The suffix ‘-lover’ isn’t useful for constructing insults

Before we get into the appalling specific applications of that suffix, though, just consider what meaning it brings to the conversation. It says you are defined by your love. It says that love is the whole of your identity. That’s usually a reliable move when the goal is to insult another person. Select a single trait and reduce that other person to nothing but that trait. Define them with and confine them to that single thing and you deny them the dignity of being fully human. Usually. But that doesn’t work with love. [Read more…]

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What ‘SJW’ really means

This “SJW” business doesn’t involve an argument contrasting opposing views of the nature and meaning of social justice. It doesn’t involve some ideological dispute between competing visions of the proper role of the state, or of law, or markets, civil society, neighborliness, etc. It’s a wholesale rejection of the idea that social justice — in any form — is worthwhile. [Read more…]

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The temptation of disappointment

We really do mean it — sincerely, mostly — when we tell one another that we’re relieved, thank God, that the latest big storm turned out to sea. After days of nervously watching the news, we can all calm down again and get back to normal, back to our routines and our routine lives. We are relieved — mostly. But we’re also maybe just a tiny bit disappointed. … [Read more…]

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Sunday favorites

“All dwellers in cities must live with the stubborn fact of annihilation; in New York the fact is somewhat more concentrated because of the concentration of the city itself, and because, of all targets, New York has a certain clear priority. In the mind of whatever perverted dreamer who might loose the lightning, New York must hold a steady, irresistible charm.” [Read more…]

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Every word of this is true, urgent, and necessary

“And unfortunately, there are people like that. And [Donald Trump] has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to have only 11,000 people — now have 11 million. He tweets and retweets their offensive, hateful, mean-spirited rhetoric.” Where is the lie? [Read more…]

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Regrets, I’ve had a few …

A few short blocks from the Christian Coalition’s Road to Victory conference there was a movie theater, with a line of movie-goers that stretched down the block. But this wasn’t just any movie and this wasn’t just any line. It was opening night for “To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar,” and we were in Dupont Circle. [Read more…]

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Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 98: ‘Boutros Boutros Carpathia, part 1’

Some general lessons on avoiding this trap: Don’t write about great poets. Or about any other great artists whose skills readers will reasonably expect to see conveyed on the page. … And be very careful about big scenes in which your preternaturally talented character wins over the crowd with an awe-inspiring display of his/her art/skill/cleverness/humor/charm. Such scenes are less likely to inspire awe than they are to result in anticlimax, with readers losing respect for you, your character and your character’s audience, in that order. [Read more…]

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Smart people saying smart things (9.8)

Josh Marshall and Sarah Kendzior say what needs to be said as Donald Trump’s hate speech normalizes racism and nativism. Bill Lindsey on the implications of what happens to most zygotes. And Ijeoma Oluo with wise advice that every one of us will sometimes need. [Read more…]

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Shaving the intolerant barber (a continuing series)

So, yet again, we have encountered — in the wild and in full bloom — that rare and fragile flower, “Your tolerance must tolerate my intolerance.” This statement is not an argument. It’s not even a statement. It is, rather, as Lenore Beadsman describes it, “… a sort of joke. A what do you call it. An antinomy.” It’s Not Good when someone mistakes this joke for a substantial argument. [Read more…]

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Donald Trump’s one idea: The only thing that matters in this election

That big idea is this: Some people are legitimate Americans and other people — regardless of citizenship — are illegitimate and not really real Americans at all. That is the big idea that drove Trump’s initial foray into national politics as the King of the Birthers. And that is the idea that shapes his every policy, statement, agenda and decision as a candidate. On any subject, Donald Trump’s position will be the one that affirms the legitimacy of white Americans while denying the legitimacy of everyone else. And if any subject is not in some way directly linked to that big idea, the he’s too bored to bother with it. [Read more…]

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