• Bay Buchanan, like her brother Pat, is a former Republican official who has spent the past several decades as a right-wing culture-warrior and pundit. But now she says she’s walking away from the pundit game to become a real estate agent.
In quitting, Buchanan offered the most honest description of the culture-war pundit you’ll ever read: “I can’t just live my life going on TV and being angry all the time.”
That’s what the culture war demands of every would-be culture warrior: being angry all the time. Even, and especially, when there’s no real reason to be angry. Perpetual outrage has to be exhausting, and depressing.
• From The Vault: “Abel Thomas, a Unitarian minister, writer, and antislavery activist from Philadelphia, published Gospel of Slavery: A Primer of Freedom, a children’s A-to-Z book about the evils of slavery, in 1864.”
• Rock on, Wes Breedwell. Rock on, indeed, good sir.
• Timothy Kincaid of Box Turtle Bulletin highlights a delightful exchange from a discussion of same-sex marriage between a New Zealand MP and a local leader of the LDS Church, who had been pursuing an unfortunate line of argument against marriage equality. “After a lengthy pause …” Awkward.
• Do you remember when it was that we anointed Equifax, Experian and Transunion as the untouchable royalty with sovereign power to pry into every aspect of our lives and to weigh on every decision affecting us without any democratic or market checks on their reign? Because I don’t remember when that happened. But it happened.
• Chris Morran at Consumerist lists “23 Things Debt Collectors Are Not Allowed to Do.” It’s a good and helpful list, although it might have been more accurate to name it “23 Things Debt Collectors Do All the Time Because People in Debt Are Powerless to Stop Them and Authorities Always Side With the Wealthy Against the Poor.”
Having laws limiting debt collectors’ exploitation and dishonesty is good. Actually enforcing those laws would be even better.
• What exactly do we mean when we say that anti-gay preachers and complementarians are “on the wrong side of history”? Well, for a good example, check out the coverage of the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention on women’s rights, from the Oneida Whig newspaper. That paper is now defunct — just like everyone who worked there in 1848, of course, and just like their ideas about humanity. That’s what the wrong side of history means — it means your ideas and beliefs and ideologies get buried when you do. Or possibly even sooner.
• “Firefly pick-up lines.” Meh. Couple of half-chuckles, but how do you make a list like that and leave out “Big Damn Heroes” and “I aim to misbehave”?
• Michael Bayly at the Wild Reed shares a fascinating piece of American history I’d never heard about before, “The ‘Fool Soldiers’ of the Lakota.” Bayly quotes from Alicia Bayer’s account:
In November , word of the captives [white women and children taken during the U.S.-Dakota War] reached a group of young Lakota men. These men had formed a group based on non-violence and helping all people, leading some others to mockingly call them “Fool Soldiers.”
The Fool Soldiers decided to make the journey to the Santee camp to negotiate a trade and rescue the hostages. Since they believed in non-violence, they gathered and bought supplies like blankets, coffee and sugar to offer in return for the women and children.
The Fool Soldiers made the dangerous trek to the camp and spent three days negotiating for the release. When they finally succeeded, they were left to journey back with only one horse (the others had been added to the trade) in bitter cold and snow.
Fool Soldiers committed to “non-violence and helping all people.”