I recently told my Beguine editor, Terri Stewart, that, because I regarded the re-election of Trump as quite likely, I considered politics a dead subject for leftists / progressives, at least for the near- and medium-term future, and that I would henceforth write about science, art, philosophy, in other words, anything except politics. I had every intention of abiding by that resolution until I read a column by Hugh Hewitt in the Washington Post of April 27 exulting in his prediction – which, to repeat, is probably accurate – that Trump would not only win the election in 2020, but that the election would not even be “close” (Hewitt’s word, not mine). The reasons Hewitt cites for that prediction, while factually accurate, go straight to the heart of what it means to be a nation – and,
Admittedly, this is a seemingly trivial problem, as are all the related problems I discuss subsequently, but it drives me certifiably bat-shit crazy, notwithstanding. In fact, I am beginning to suspect that the following problems, though seemingly unrelated, are in fact constitutive of a profound and irremediable flaw in the deepest foundations, ideologically and psychologically, of knowledge-based late / 21st-century capitalist economies. OK … enough preamble … this is my problem …
o You know those bottles of, e.g., hand soap and skin lotion you buy that have bottle caps that double as pump mechanisms?
Initially, in their right-off-the-shelf condition, those bottles’ pump mechanisms are all locked down to prevent accidental or inadvertent pumping-out of the contents. Quite reasonab
I recently engaged in a Facebook discussion with a couple of Facebook friends regarding the kerfuffle about some disparaging comments the chef / gourmet-show host Andrew Zimmern made here and here about Chinese food, and Asian food generally, in the US. Considering that the conversation about Zimmern’s critique occurred among three Facebook friends, my remarks were uncharacteristically sharp. (One Facebook friend said "abrasive".) What aroused my ire was that the Zimmern critique provoked yet another round of bend-over-backward-til-your-vertebrae-crack political correctness that evidently holds that all works on the part of people of color, particularly people of color who are recent immigrants, should be immune from open and honest criticism and replaced by approbation on the part of