AnthonyB's recent activity

  1. Comment on Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade; states can ban abortion in ~news

    AnthonyB
    Link Parent
    The holdouts clearly don't care about anything other than their own interests, so going after their power is probably a good place to start. Not that I think it would make much of a difference,...

    The holdouts clearly don't care about anything other than their own interests, so going after their power is probably a good place to start. Not that I think it would make much of a difference, but at the very least it might be nice to hear Biden or some other high-ranking Democrats say something along the lines of, "Hey, maybe Joe Manchin shouldn't have his committee positions." Or, "Kyrsten Sinema should face a tough primary when she's up for reelection." Of course, they could go a hell of a lot further and do something like investigate Manchin for his shady ties to the coal industry, but hey, let's not get too carried away.

    If you want a good example of the stick in action, look to the other side of the aisle. There, you have Republicans nuking Liz Cheney for refusing to support the fraudulent election lie and condemning Trump in the wake of Jan 6th. Meanwhile, Manchin and Sinema can tank the entire Democratic platform and Democrats basically shrug their shoulders. That's the part that is so frustrating and deflating, in my opinion. If you're going to fail, at least show people you are fighting tooth and nail for your agenda.

    8 votes
  2. Comment on Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade; states can ban abortion in ~news

    AnthonyB
    Link Parent
    I agree with the overall sentiment here but at the same time, there are other options. For every carrot, there is a stick. I think at this point in American politics, there are plenty of people on...

    People need to figure out that American political parties do not have the power to meaningfully whip votes. If the caucus has holdouts the only remedy is to bribe them with pork to look the other way.

    I agree with the overall sentiment here but at the same time, there are other options. For every carrot, there is a stick. I think at this point in American politics, there are plenty of people on the left who would like to see the stick in action, even if that disrupts the civility that Democrats seem to hold so dearly.

    7 votes
  3. Comment on Judge blocks Texas investigating families of trans youth in ~lgbt

    AnthonyB
    Link Parent
    Most people don't have the option to decide if they want to move somewhere else. I, on the other hand, am fortunate enough to have that option and I wrestle with this question almost daily. For a...

    Most people don't have the option to decide if they want to move somewhere else. I, on the other hand, am fortunate enough to have that option and I wrestle with this question almost daily. For a little background, I am a teacher and taught English abroad for a few years until the pandemic. America is an absolute shit show right now, politically, economically, and socially. When I lived abroad, I took advantage of my status as a foreigner and didn't concern myself with the social/political issues of the country I was living in. That country is far from perfect, but who am I to show up and tell people how to live? I also made significantly more money teaching and my cushy job gave me a fraction of the stress I deal with now. Overall, my quality of life was much better and I am single without kids or assets. So yeah, I think about it all the time, and part of me wants to get on the next possible flight to a country that's willing to pay a living wage to whatever dipshit is willing to teach rich kids how to speak with an American accent.

    But on the other hand, there is an intense pull to stay here and do what I can to make things better. I can't really make sense of it. I think the optimistic "we can fix it" attitude is baked into the American psyche. In some ways, it's the counterbalance to the rugged individual, bootstraps-pulling attitude that is quintessentially American, but I see them more as being two sides of the same irrationally confident coin. You grow up learning this idealistic fairy tale about the founding fathers who bravely stood up to tyranny, and their long line of successors, like Lincoln and MLK, who also successfully made changes that fixed some of the flaws this country had. The way it's taught and mythologized leads one to believe that America is always improving and that the positive change you wish to see is always around the corner if you're willing to do something about it. That's objectively not true, but it's really hard to shake. So even though I know for a fact that my life would be better if I left, there is an underlying feeling of guilt for "quitting" basically.

    So that's where I am at. I'm not sure if anyone else feels the same way or similar. There is definitely a "fuck this, I'm out" point but I don't know what it is yet. Hopefully, if that day comes, it won't be too late.

    5 votes
  4. Comment on Monica Lewinsky’s verdict on the Johnny Depp–Amber Heard trial: we are all guilty in ~life

    AnthonyB
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    We're almost at the point where we need to come up with our own version of IANAL but specifically for the Depp/Heard trial drama since almost every comment in every post about it starts with...
    • Exemplary

    We're almost at the point where we need to come up with our own version of IANAL but specifically for the Depp/Heard trial drama since almost every comment in every post about it starts with something along the lines of, "I didn't follow the case, but..."

    I personally did not follow the trial very closely, either, but one of my favorite youtube channels, Matt Orchard - Crime and Society, did (what appears to be) a pretty solid breakdown of the major incidents that were disputed in the trial. You can find that video here if you feel inclined to have a basic understanding of the toxic shithole that relationship was. The video came out right before the trial exploded on twitch and youtube, so it is less caught up in The Discourse.

    As for the discourse and Monica Lewinsky's take, I find myself mostly in agreement. Collectively, we're caught up in the most shallow elements of the case when deep down there is an important discussion to be had about abuse, the many different forms it can take, and how misogyny and patriarchy influence the way we treat both male and female victims of abuse. But after three decades of "punditry = news", a social media environment where everyone's role is to be the pundit, and the almighty algorithm's desire for chaos, we're left with this freakshow sideshow at the shitshow where Incel-MRA freaks and RadFems are duking it out over who the real victim is while bystanders get sucked in and pick sides.

    What we have now, arguably, is a “cultural miasma.” We are drenched in the taint of the dirt and aggression of the social media wars. The obsessive chatter around the Depp–Heard trial is just one small example of the ever-expanding, ever-demanding search for schadenfreude and titillation.

    Unfortunately, it's hard - if not impossible - to find any issue or story that doesn't fit as substitute for "Depp-Heard trial" in that quote. There is hardly any room for nuance, and it's nearly impossible to approach a story/issue without having a take on it first. I always appreciate Lewinsky's reminders that, underneath all of these massive stories that are litigated in the press and on social media, there is a human being catching tons and tons of shit. I'm not sure where that particular issue ranks in the problem we're facing. It's kind of a chicken and the egg situation. Are we so caught up in the punditry and hot takes of infotainment and social media that we forget there is a person we still need to have empathy for? Or did we forget how to empathize first, which is what allowed this "cultural miasma" to flourish in the first place? Hell, was there ever a point in which we (the public) had empathy?

    10 votes
  5. Comment on no subject in ~talk

    AnthonyB
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    I don't comment very often, and I have never really interacted with other users on a personal level, but I read almost every post and comment on this site. In a strange way, I feel like I know a...

    I don't comment very often, and I have never really interacted with other users on a personal level, but I read almost every post and comment on this site. In a strange way, I feel like I know a lot of the users here.

    I read this post this morning and thought about it a few times during the day. It was a beautiful tribute. I'm very sorry for your loss, Adys.

    10 votes
  6. Comment on Texas school shooting kills nineteen children, two adults in ~news

    AnthonyB
    Link Parent
    I think we're in an even worse place. The overwhelming majority of the country favors universal background checks and a fairly solid majority or plurality favors enacting laws that are even more...

    I fear we've fully made the move in this country to a place where mass shootings (including children in schools) are just an accepted part of "freedom".

    I think we're in an even worse place. The overwhelming majority of the country favors universal background checks and a fairly solid majority or plurality favors enacting laws that are even more strict, depending on the poll/policy. In other words, we haven't grown to accept this as a consequence of "freedom," rather, we've reached a point where we've basically accepted the fact that there is nothing we can do to counter the stranglehold that the NRA and gun manufacturers have on our politics. It's perhaps the most blatant sign of the corruption and ineptitude that has ruined this country's ability to govern itself or respond to the growing number of crises it faces every year.

    12 votes
  7. Comment on TV Tuesdays Free Talk in ~tv

    AnthonyB
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    Three fairly popular shows I highly recommend and can't stop thinking about: (No spoilers here, but I'm in if anyone wants to talk specifics) Barry (HBO) - Well worth the wait. This season has...

    Three fairly popular shows I highly recommend and can't stop thinking about:

    (No spoilers here, but I'm in if anyone wants to talk specifics)

    Barry (HBO) - Well worth the wait. This season has been fairly dark, even by Barry standards, but it's as funny as ever. Bill Hader's acting continues to surprise/impress me and the supporting characters like NoHo Hank, Crystal Ball, and Gene bring so much to their scenes. My only complaint is that it's a half-hour. How many more hit shows does "Mr. Alec Beeeerg" need to be involved in before he becomes a household name?

    The Staircase (HBO) - The dramatization of the famous docuseries could have been a disaster but Colin Firth and Toni Collette bring the heat. The casting is pretty wild when you compare the actors to their real-life counterparts. Also, this story is absolutely insane. I can't believe it's real.

    Better Call Saul (AMC) - It doesn't make sense to me that this show isn't as popular as Breaking Bad. It reminds me of the early days of Breaking Bad where the only person I knew who watched it was my step-dad's father. What the hell? Why can't I find more people to talk about this with? Sure, it's more of a slow burn, but it is just as good and HOLY SHIT HOLY FUCKING SHIT THAT LAST EPISODE WAS INSANE.

    3 votes
  8. Comment on Leaked draft opinion show the Supreme Court has voted to overturn abortion rights in ~news

    AnthonyB
    Link Parent
    That aspect could be the determining factor in solidifying Republican control on a national level. Arizona, Michigan, and Wisconsin have near-total bans on their books, Georgia and Ohio have...

    If this becomes a state by state issue, it could take decades before abortion, gay marriage, access to contraceptives, etc. become legal again in huge swaths of the country.

    That aspect could be the determining factor in solidifying Republican control on a national level. Arizona, Michigan, and Wisconsin have near-total bans on their books, Georgia and Ohio have time-limit bans, and Florida is likely to pass something similar. Over the past few decades, Presidential and Senate elections in those states have been decided by razor-thin margins, so if a few thousand people decide to leave because of some fucked up law that their heavily gerrymandered state legislator passes, they basically hand over the presidency and the senate.

    9 votes
  9. Comment on Predict the next five years in the US in ~talk

    AnthonyB
    Link Parent
    A few years ago, I listened to an interview with Trevor Noah where he talked about some of the advice that Jon Stewart gave him on his way out. There was one line that stood out, which essentially...

    John Oliver's Last Week Tonight will either end its run or accept it's not funny anymore and become a very progressive version of 60 Minutes.

    A few years ago, I listened to an interview with Trevor Noah where he talked about some of the advice that Jon Stewart gave him on his way out. There was one line that stood out, which essentially was about anger and frustration and the importance of not letting those feelings take over. John Oliver definitely hit the point where anger took over. I'm not sure when it happened exactly, but I noticed last year that his overall tone and demeanor had changed and I could sense the exasperation. It's hard enough to stay fresh after nine(!) seasons, but I think the routine coverage of the most frustrating elements of American systems, combined with the increasingly ridiculous shitshow that American politics have become, has taken its toll.

    6 votes
  10. Comment on Predict the next five years in the US in ~talk

    AnthonyB
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    I enjoy topics like this but it's so hard to predict how things will look five years from now given the fact that game-changers can pop up at any time. Imagine asking the question on Jan 1, 2004....

    I enjoy topics like this but it's so hard to predict how things will look five years from now given the fact that game-changers can pop up at any time. Imagine asking the question on Jan 1, 2004. How many people would accurately predict Obama, the iPhone, Facebook, or the housing market crash? Imagine asking that question in July of 2015 or on Jan 7, 2016. There was obviously a fascination with Trump, but few people seriously imagined he would win let alone kick off an era of absolute insanity, mishandle the response to a global pandemic so badly that hundreds of thousands of people died, or lead an insurrection. You can play this game with a thousand different things, both good and bad - 1984, 1996, 1992, 1939, 1960... it's a fun exercise.

    Gun to my head, I'd say the next five years look pretty bleak. BUT we never really know what's around the corner, so there is some hope in that.

    7 votes
  11. Comment on I finally understand why evangelicals support Trump, and it's not just hypocrisy, mindless anti-gay, or stupdity in ~talk

    AnthonyB
    Link Parent
    Wholeheartedly agree with everything you said there. I'm 50-50 on this point. Yes, complicated problems require in-depth analysis and complex solutions. I dont understand why we haven't seen a...

    You know what, I think you are right, but only insofar as you use the word "democrat" instead of leftist. Most Democrat representatives are extremely moderate about things because they are trying to capture that mythical middle ground. I've heard from a lot of people on the right that they have respect for Bernie Sanders because he gets the issues with class. But then again there are representatives like AOC who also get it and they demonize her like she's out to personally attack them.

    Then again I'm really not the best person to offer this kind of opinion because I have long started thinking about our politicians - democrats in particular - like celebrities, barely paying attention to what they do because at the end of the day they're all painfully ineffective at making any change in my life.

    Wholeheartedly agree with everything you said there.

    On the other hand, the idea that we should have to have a simple easily communicated platform is kind of BS. The real world is complicated and must not be simplified. In reality we have a myriad of problems to fix, and there's no one simple magic bullet that will fix everything.

    I'm 50-50 on this point. Yes, complicated problems require in-depth analysis and complex solutions. I dont understand why we haven't seen a politician address issues and offer their solutions via readily available long-form videos a la John Oliver segments or breadtube videos. Stump speeches are such an outdated and ineffective form of getting a point across and we have the perfect platforms to allow politicians to provide a deeper look into their positions in a way that is more clear and easy to follow than a run of the mill campaign speech. But even so, at the end of the day, I think a lot of it will still boil down to slogans and simple, direct messaging. Part of what made Bernie so popular was the simplicity and discipline in his messaging with the millionaiies and billionaaiies ☝

    I'd love to participate in a high functioning democracy where the voters are well-informed and engaged but for now we have to work with what we've got.

    1 vote
  12. Comment on I finally understand why evangelicals support Trump, and it's not just hypocrisy, mindless anti-gay, or stupdity in ~talk

    AnthonyB
    Link Parent
    Of course. I mean, they should be a really big deal with anyone who values justice or equal rights. I was really struggling with how to phrase that last point because I didn't want to make it seem...

    It’s a challenging problem, because identity issues and associated discrimination are a really big deal for those with non-majority identities.

    Of course. I mean, they should be a really big deal with anyone who values justice or equal rights. I was really struggling with how to phrase that last point because I didn't want to make it seem like it's something that the left should abandon, but I also didn't want to launch into a separate point where I ramble incoherently and propose messaging strategies from my couch. But since we're here...

    I think the biggest problem with the Democrats' approach to identity issues and their messaging as a whole is that they almost entirely ignore class. As a result, a lot of people (most of them white) walk away with a message that says, "things are fine, the only people that have it bad are BIPOC/LGBTQ+, white people are fine, white people have it easy." Or worse, "white people are the problem." And yeah, there is certainly an element of truth in that, but it ignores the fact that class is also a form of identity and it minimizes or ignores the growing stress and uneasiness that all working and middle-class people feel right now.

    I know a lot has been said about the "economic anxiety among the white working class" and that there has been an endless stream of think pieces about it since 2016, but at this point I think it's safe to say that the majority of the country has the sense that something is wrong. Unfortunately, the Democratic Party consistently fails to recognize or put a name on "that funny feeling," and they fail to point to a boogyman that people can blame. But again, that's because most of them dont want to offer any meaningful structural change. The mainstream/establishment wing of the party is still operating under the pretense that things are mostly fine and that we just need a few tweaks here and there and some more opportunities for marginalized people (a few million to HBCUs ought to do the trick, right?)

    Republicans, on the other hand, do a lot more to recognize the sense of uneasiness that people have, and unfortunately, they have a boogyman that they point to. The've been very successful in harnessing that frustration, in part because they're the ones who are willing to say something is wrong. The crazy thing to me is that, between the two parties, Republicans seem to do more to recognize that class itself is a form of identity. They don't say it outright, and their idea of class is directly tied to whiteness, but it is everywhere in their messaging. And yeah, when you go through the Republican platform point by point it looks insane, but on the big picture, it's pretty easy to follow. They acknowledge the feeling that things are going to shit, they identify the source of the problem, and they offer a solution. It's simple and streamlined. The only problem is that they are pinning it on changing demographics and cultural shifts rather than things like corporate consolidation, income inequality, and the erosion of institutions and social safety nets. You ask the republicans what the problem is and you get a simple answer: them.

    Is there an equivalent among establishment Democrats? Do they acknowledge the feeling that things are going to shit? Do they identify the source of the problem? Do they offer a solution? In my view, no, they do not. They acknowledge certain problems. They acknowledge that corporations dont pay their fair share of taxes, they acknowledge that climate change is bad, and they acknowledge that racism and bigotry exist, but they dont have a larger, simpler message or solution that those issues can fit into. Their platform is aimless. Ask someone like Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, or Joe Biden what the problem is and you won't get a straightforward answer.

    4 votes
  13. Comment on I finally understand why evangelicals support Trump, and it's not just hypocrisy, mindless anti-gay, or stupdity in ~talk

    AnthonyB
    Link Parent
    I was having trouble understanding them as well, but over the past couple of years I've watched several friends slowly turn into Republicans and that has been very illuminating. In my friends'...

    I was having trouble understanding them as well, but over the past couple of years I've watched several friends slowly turn into Republicans and that has been very illuminating. In my friends' case, their support for Republicans is entirely reactionary. Whether it was about mask/vaccine mandates or BLM/CRT hysteria, they always talk about Democrats when I ask them why they support Republicans. While it's not always the case, there's evidence that even the most batshit far-right Trump supporters are motivated less by true belief in a particular cause and more by their reaction to change. This article had a very interesting passage on that:

    Pape’s team mapped the [January 6] insurgents by home county and ran statistical analyses looking for patterns that might help explain their behavior. The findings were counterintuitive. Counties won by Trump in the 2020 election were less likely than counties won by Biden to send an insurrectionist to the Capitol. The higher Trump’s share of votes in a county, in fact, the lower the probability that insurgents lived there. Why would that be? Likewise, the more rural the county, the fewer the insurgents. The researchers tried a hypothesis: Insurgents might be more likely to come from counties where white household income was dropping. Not so. Household income made no difference at all.

    Only one meaningful correlation emerged. Other things being equal, insurgents were much more likely to come from a county where the white share of the population was in decline. For every one-point drop in a county’s percentage of non-Hispanic whites from 2015 to 2019, the likelihood of an insurgent hailing from that county increased by 25 percent. This was a strong link, and it held up in every state.

    I think there is good news and bad news in that. The good news is that most people still prefer sensible policies. There is plenty of polling on this across many issues, including support for Amazon workers unions. In my personal experience, the overwhelming majority of Republican/Trump voters I know support things like raising taxes on the wealthy, enacting more aggressive climate policies, securing abortion rights, and expanding infrastructure. The bad news is that no one has been able to sell those policies and very few have made an honest attempt at doing so. Until Democrats show they are willing to propose meaningful structural change they will continue to get bogged down by fights over culture war and identity politics, which is a battle they've been losing for the better part of four decades.

    13 votes
  14. Comment on AlbumLove: a new social music discovery series on Tildes in ~music

    AnthonyB
    Link Parent
    Yeah, I wanted to write something that explains their sound but I couldn't come up with anything so I went for the personal connection instead. Their albums are kind of the same way. The early...

    Yeah, I wanted to write something that explains their sound but I couldn't come up with anything so I went for the personal connection instead. Their albums are kind of the same way. The early stuff is more jangly and rock oriented, while some of their later stuff sounds a bit more like folk. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to more posts on this topic.

    2 votes
  15. Comment on Pavement - Stub Your Toe (1999) in ~music

    AnthonyB
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    In the lead-up to their upcoming reunion tour, Pavement released Terror Twilight: Farewell Horizontal, a deluxe remaster of their final album. Most of the bonus tracks are demos and live...

    In the lead-up to their upcoming reunion tour, Pavement released Terror Twilight: Farewell Horizontal, a deluxe remaster of their final album. Most of the bonus tracks are demos and live performances, but there are a few B-sides and rarities like this one. It's worth a listen if you're a Pavement fan.

    1 vote
  16. Comment on AlbumLove: a new social music discovery series on Tildes in ~music

    AnthonyB
    Link
    Frog - Kind of Blah This little indie rock gem is one of my five favorite albums of all time. I first came across this album on my way back to Beijing from Vietnam during Chinese New Year 2020. I...

    Frog - Kind of Blah

    This little indie rock gem is one of my five favorite albums of all time. I first came across this album on my way back to Beijing from Vietnam during Chinese New Year 2020. I listened to it during my first flight from Hanoi to Guangzhou and thought it was pretty catchy, especially Judy Garland. When I touched down in Guangzhou, I realized that everything had changed and that I would be spending the next "few weeks" quarantined in my apartment. I listened to it on repeat during those first few days and developed an appreciation for their whole catalog over the course of 2020 (their self-titled debut ep is just as good). It's one of those albums that immediately takes me back to a specific time in my life. Every time I listen to Judy Garland, I think of my sneaky little trips to the supermarket for water and cigarettes. Wish Upon a Bar takes me back to the summer I spent at my parents' place back in the US and all the lengthy bike rides and basketball shootarounds I did to help pass the time. Somehow, almost every track on this album makes me feel nostalgic for an incredibly tumultuous time.

    5 votes
  17. Comment on What's one weird thing about yourself? in ~talk

    AnthonyB
    Link Parent
    Would you be willing to share a picture of your hand? I understand if you don't feel comfortable with that, so no pressure, but it sounds cool.

    Would you be willing to share a picture of your hand? I understand if you don't feel comfortable with that, so no pressure, but it sounds cool.

    4 votes
  18. Comment on What's one weird thing about yourself? in ~talk

    AnthonyB
    Link Parent
    That's my morning routine!

    Whenever I think about something I did when I was younger that was cringey, I physically cringe. Like I spaz out a little bit. I move my head, i throw my arm forward, I grab my head like if I just got hit.

    That's my morning routine!

    7 votes
  19. Comment on Daily megathread for news/updates/discussion of Russian invasion of Ukraine - March 1 in ~news

    AnthonyB
    Link Parent
    I wasn't planning on checking tildes again for a while, but I kept thinking about our comments and came to a realization that might help me explain my perspective. I think the biggest part of the...

    I wasn't planning on checking tildes again for a while, but I kept thinking about our comments and came to a realization that might help me explain my perspective. I think the biggest part of the disconnect here is coming from my end and my failure to articulate my thoughts. What I was really trying to get at in the beginning was that the current coverage of the war is actually pretty good. And I wanted to make the point that this is what all war coverage should look like, but when I started to think about that, I got caught up in my anger at how this can all turn the other way if someone else is holding the gun. And to a certain extent, you're right, the conversation ended up being about something else.

    I wouldn't go as far as to call it whataboutism because I think that term is better defined as someone intentionally trying to undermine and distract from an issue by bringing up a counter issue (e.g. What about the nazi militias? What about the Kurds? What about her emails?), whereas I was trying to make a critique about the wider media landscape which is related to, but ultimately separate from the Russia-Ukraine issue. But at the end of the day, it didn't really matter because my negativity and frustration turned the conversation much further away than it had to and I ended up making it more about Iraq, Afghanistan, and American imperialism. That part was unintentional.

    I still think that we should always carve out some space to consider how something is being covered in the media, regardless of the issue at hand. I also think there is a way to illustrate the different types of coverage we've seen over the years without losing focus on Russia's unjust war or turning it into an airing of grievances against the US.

    3 votes