"He committed no crime the day he was killed. Even the officer who shot him acknowledges that. There was no struggle. The details are not murky.
"But because no one was marching in the streets on behalf of John Geer, because he was absent from national headlines, the system was able to make his outrageous death go away by the simple expedient of doing nothing and refusing to discuss it.
"But the killing of John Geer should frighten everyone. It is the best example yet that while police often target minorities disproportionately, their basic and overriding demand is total and unquestioning submission to their authority."
--Neil Macdonald, "In Fairfax, Va., a different, no-less-scary police shooting, CBC, 2015-02-18
[I can see a big difference between this case and the better known stories of Garner and Brown and others. In those, there are at least two issues in play: profiling of African-American citizens and social/institutional devaluing of their lives, and out-of control, unaccountable, scaredy-cat police bullies. In the Geer shooting, only the latter pertains. Still, it illustrates why people like me -- white privilege, class privilege, and all -- are afraid of the police (sure there are apparently-good cops (but not good enough to protect us from the bad ones, eh?), but the consequences of finding out the officer you're dealing with is a bully can be fatal), and maybe this'll get the attention of any white people who want to continue dismissing shootings like this as someone else's problem because they either don't believe systemic racism is real or just don't care. Though white folks' risk is a whole lot lower, it's everybody's problem.]
"Karma - the guy who pushed past me on the tube and then suggested I go F myself just arrived for his interview...with me..." -- Matt Buckland (@ElSatanico), 2015-02-16
(In followup tweets, responding to questions, he clarifies: "I was nice. Hinted at it, he realised, laughed about it awkwardly and got on with the interview :)" and "The tube makes monsters of us all".)
From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2014-06-07:
"The piano ain't got no wrong notes." -- Thelonious Monk
(submitted to the mailing list by Terry Labach)
[Happy birthday to Roger, my third and fuzziest roommate! (The drum kit ain't got no wrong notes, neither.)]
"Wish I could find a way to enter my shower time headspace at my desk. I get all of my best ideas while I'm taking a shower. Seriously, if I'm stuck for where to take an article or story, or how to solve a science problem, I jump in the shower for 20 mins. Almost all my long-form essay ideas, short story ideas, AND the premise for my novel all struck while my brain was wandering mid-shower. [...] With a shower desk, a waterproof computer, and unlimited hot water, I think I could do almost anything." -- Mari Brighe (@MariTheTNF), 2015-02-06 (several tweets)
[Okay, that's what I want for my birthday: a shower desk and a waterproof computer and an on-demand water heater. I've gotten all sorts of story, arrangement, and essay ideas in the shower, and so many "oh that's what I should've said" moments that instead of calling it l'esprit de l'escalier, I should probably rename it l'esprit de la douche.]
"One summer, when I was a small child, I found a book on astronomy. I read it eagerly, and talked about the stars to everyone I met. But it was summer, and so my bedtime was before dusk, and stargazing was impossible.
"So my father offered to let me stay up one night to see the stars. He took me to the tall window on the stairs, and drew back the curtain, and I saw the stars scattered across the dark blue of the sky, and the Milky Way shining.
"And it was terrifying. It seemed I was looking not just into unimaginable distances, but at something that should not be seen, something almost indecent for human eyes to see-- like seeing the sky goddess all naked for one moment before looking upon her beauty strikes you dead.
"I fled, screaming."
From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2014-104:
"Excuse me while I adjust the privacy settings of this poem
so that if it's ever published it will exist as a legible text
and not as a string of stubborn phrases I silently repeat to myself."
- Raphael Rubinstein, from Poem Begun on a Train.
(submitted to the mailing list by Terry Labach)
[Happy birthday to my cousin Stella, and belated birthday greetings to Tom, the husband of my cousin Marianne!]
"Under this flag may our youth find new inspiration for loyalty to Canada; for a patriotism based not on any mean or narrow nationalism, but on the deep and equal pride that all Canadians will feel for every part of this good land." -- Lester B. Pearson (b. 1897-04-23, d. 1972-12-27; Prime Minister of Canada 1963-04-22 to 1968-04-20), address on the inauguration of the national flag of Canada 2965-02-15
"There's probably someone somewhere who still believes in perfectly intact people, but I bet they're not a psychiatrist." -- Scott Alexander, 2014-01-12
[I know some of you are celebrating St. Valentine's Day, some of you are trying to survive it, and some of you are trying to ignore it. I wish you success in whichever of those applies to you.]
"It has often and confidently been asserted, that man's origin can never be known: but ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science." Charles Darwin (b.1809-02-12, d. 1882-04-19)
"I once decided that the middle class was 'people who had enough property that they are afraid of losing it but not so much as to be able to hire a private army to protect it'. The result is that the middle class loves law and order, because that's what keeps them from losing their property. Which seems to be borne up by the evidence -- if the voters are forced to choose between Order and Law (much less Justice), they choose Order every time." -- achinhibitor 2015-01-20
"Healthy, mutually supportive, generous relationships make better environments for raising kids. That doesn't mean marriage creates a better environment for raising kids, unless you make the assumption that every marriage is a healthy, mutually supportive relationship." -- Robert M., commenting at Alicublog, 2015-01-27? (thanks to realinterrobang for quoting this earlier)