I might have gone on a Twitter rant today. Hadn’t really planned to do so. Was just going to jump on and talk about Anathema, because there’s another editorial essay coming up tomorrow to help along the fundraising.
Apparently I’m having a hard time not thinking about what’s going on in the U.S. though. :/
To wit, this is what happened when I went online:
@anathemaspec essay coming Tuesday (tomorrow) from @AGAWilmot, as we head into the last week and a half of the campaign. My own @anathemaspec essay will be coming near the end of the campaign. I’m … undecided … on exactly what it’ll say as yet.
We’ve moved into “The Darkest Timeline,” as it were. But given my family history, I’d just call what’s happening “familiar.” Yeah, living in Canada affords a potential distance. Though having to watch people I care about suffer obviates that. Watching the U.S. wake up to the rot at its core has been — well, I’m not sure how I’d frame it. Interesting to see who’s surprised though. I mean it’s not like the racism and the Nazism ever went away in the U.S. They were always there. Unacknowledged in large part, sure. But the Friends of New Germany and The German American Bund didn’t disappear. They just waited. Alt-Right’s just new branding. Same shit.
Equivocation on the part of (most) U.S. media’s not unexpected. Disappointing, but if they admit Nazism in U.S., have to state its history. Given that U.S. Nazism is outgrowth of white supremacy/racism as system of oppression, you’re not going to see that examination in depth.
The U.S. has always been *spectacularly* good at hiding in its mythologizing of its past and loathe to admit culpability in atrocities. There’s a long, tangled, list of reasons that the U.S. is now under the heel of a white supremacist demagogue. Unexamined hate is a big one. Always been easy to get people to hate the perceived “other” by telling them *those people* are to blame. That’s not news.
You want to be shocked? Be shocked that large portions of the U.S. were shocked by a white supremacist/Nazi ascending to the presidency. It was always going to happen. Can’t build a country on belief of systemic inequality and racism [&] not have symbol thereof come to the fore.
I wasn’t planning on this rant today. My own shock at what happened isn’t that it happened, but that it took so long.
I think part of it is that the U.S. never really stopped being isolationist. Global in market terms, manufacturing, export, sure. U.S. foreign policy has always been decidedly about how to benefit U.S., rather than understanding of shifting global state for its own sake. & you can argue that nation states need to put their best interests first for variety of reasons. But it leads to policy-based navel-gazing. You start seeing [everyone] else’s actions as in response to you, when their actions are (at least partly) internally guided as well. It’s blinkering.
I keep coming back to how Fukuyama’s theorizing on the triumph of Liberal Democracy fucked us all. Geopolitics don’t exist in one strain. The assumption that a single political ideology was going to spread in global terms was absurd. The idea that democratic idealism founded in colonialist ideology was going to save the world was at best a self-serving delusion. It was also easy comfort for not wanting to change anything about failed U.S. foreign policy or redress colonialist expansionism. Because if you have a winning, exportable ideological stance why change it, right? If it ain’t broke…
& the cancer of US fundamentalism (its own homegrown white supremacy) flourished under a system that refused to acknowledge its existence. All while systemic inequalities deepened & minorities and people of colour fought and died for basic civil rights. But the U.S. was exporting White Liberal Democracy to the world, bringing its Manifest Destiny (yes, I went there) to fix the wider world.
Just another Britain looking for an Empire.
Everything the U.S. has done well it’s had to fight tooth & claw to do. Not against “outsiders,” but against its own entrenched interests. The U.S. was never *not* a divided nation. It’s always been a conglomerate of component states that *mostly* agree on certain things. U.S. didn’t undergo same form of “unification by sword” most other nations underwent/undergo. Led to a false veneer of diplomacy as guide. But for a nation that espouses “unity” as foundational bedrock, it’s been at war with itself or other nations most of its history. The size of the U.S. military is no accident. The U.S. is a war-based economy. Without WWII the U.S. would still be in a [D]epression. The New Deal didn’t lift U.S. out of the Depression, it allowed it to limp through that decade. War has always been how America flourishes.
Lincoln was right: a house divided against itself cannot stand. The U.S. is now seeing the result of being a nation divided for 240 years. The crack in the bedrock of U.S. ideological doctrine is where the fundamentalism stems from. This is always where this was heading.
This will *not* be where my
@anathemaspec essay goes. I’m just venting today. Watching a nation continue 240 years of tearing itself apart.
The U.S. is, indeed, a “grand experiment.” A nation self-ascribing “global superpower” status by virtue of nuclear arsenal. & playing havoc on global stage while claiming itself saviour of the world’s ills. All while ignoring those of its own people. So often *especially* its own people. Look what happened re Standing Rock last night. Only surprise there that media eventually covered it. The examples are legion. But the U.S. has always been an experiment. (Running on stolen land to boot.) & experiments don’t always last. Sometimes they come to an end. Sometimes they require further testing. Sometimes they beget something new. U.S. Could go any of those ways.
But the U.S. cannot continue in the vein in which it currently exists. That’s led to neo-Nazis and Fascism openly at the helm. Either America’s going to (after trying for 240 years) destroy itself, or change utterly. That’s it. There are no other options left.
So yeah, that was a rant I was not planning….
Honestly, I just came on here to talk about
@anathemaspec. Wanted to focus on that campaign. Can’t seem to do it given everything going on. The thing we’re trying for with @anathemaspec feels so small in the face of the naked rise of neo-Nazism. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. I don’t know. It’s easy to get caught up trying to fix/attend to the small things in the face of overwhelming hate & racism & intolerance.
Fuck it. The obligation of privilege is to use it to aid/support others.
And if you want to keep up with what we’re doing, follow us over at
@anathemaspec. And/or go follow the FB page at https://www.facebook.com/anathemamag/ . Anathema’s not all I’m doing to fight what’s happening in U.S., but giving queer writers of colour more space for their voices matters.
So yeah. That was really not what I was planning to do with some of my day. But there you go.
Figured I’d move this over here so I had a more connected record of it. And, hey, by all means, feel free to support Anathema or just talk about what we’re doing. If you missed Chinelo Onwualu’s “The Light at the End of the World” going up, that editorial essay can be found here.
Anathema‘s not a large project by any stretch, but the world is awash in openly parading Nazis again, so fuck it I’m doing what I can to counter their voices. And one of those things is making sure Anathema happens.
And in light of that it seemed appropriate somehow to have an image from Jin-Roh heading this post. Been thinking about that film again, and others like it, a lot lately.