1968 Intensifies

I hope this doesn't unlock something in me.

At his inauguration in 2021, Joe Biden pledged that:

Today, on this January day, my whole soul is in this:

Bringing America together.

Uniting our people.

And uniting our nation.

Yesterday he finally succeeded in bringing together the fractious and seemingly intractably opposed edges of the American political spectrum, as pro-Palestinian protesters and pro-Israel counter-protesters at the University of Alabama took turns earnestly screaming “Fuck Joe Biden” at each other.

Last week I accidentally mentioned Eugene McCarthy and then thought “wow I hope this doesn’t unlock something in my understanding of the present political moment.” Oops! Now we have a historically unpopular Democratic President stubbornly maintaining American involvement in a historically unpopular foreign war, for idiosyncratic ideological reasons. We have an anti-war protest movement blazing up among young people across University campuses nationwide and being met with panicked repression from sclerotic college administrations wielding a post-BLM police force that recognizes no need for restraint and the right wing gangs who work alongside them to create the conditions of violence required for police to justify the use of force on protesters, in the unlikely event they ever need to justify it.

ceej posted: “holding up a heavy chain Outside agitators are bringing these dangerous items into the city. Just last night one of them was floating at the foot of my bed, waving this around, and warning me that the chains we forge in life weigh heavy on us in death. I assume he was talking about someone else”

Extremist militias are prepping for the ascension of a vindictive authoritarian monster, bent on revenge against the political and cultural elites who are paradoxically delighted at the prospect of having him to kick around again. Here’s Matthew Schmitz guessaying in New York Times Opinion today that maybe Donald Trump is the fun kind of criminal—“lawless, yes, but in the name of a higher law.” Don’t blame me, I voted for the man who shot Liberty Valance. Meanwhile the Democratic opposition, such as it is, seems determined to ignore a generational political realignment rapidly stripping electoral ground out from under them.

Yesterday, for example, a large majority of House Democrats voted to pass a bill which seeks to codify into law the IHRA list of contemporary examples of antisemitism, which include “claiming that the existence of the State of Israel is a racist endeavor” and “drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.” The Washington Post’s Abigail Hauslohner explained:

The idea is that student-held signs, for example, like those displayed at Columbia University in New York this week, calling for “revolution” or “intifada” — which means “uprising” — would amount to antisemitism under the law. The Education Department, in turn, could then revoke federal research grants and other funding to a university that fails to take punitive action toward students who express such views, the bill’s proponents say.

The bill was opposed by your usual Jerrys Nadler and Alexandrias Ocasio-Cortez on the left, for obvious free speech reasons. It was also opposed by your Marjories Taylor Greene, Laurens Boebert and Mattz Gaet on the far right, for the less obvious free speech reason that it would prohibit their personal favorite antisemitic trope. But one hundred thirty three Democrats voted yea, seemingly unable to foresee the coming wave of election season attack ads accusing the majority of their potential volunteers and voters of being legally antisemitic according to the definition they just endorsed on the record.

Today Joe Biden delivered four minutes of “Remarks on Recent Events on College Campuses” which seemed perversely tuned to make no one happy. In the time-honored tradition of people who are currently losing at politics, he declared that “this isn’t a moment for politics,” then went on to define actions like being somewhere or saying something as “violent protest” which is incompatible with American civil society. “Dissent is essential to democracy,” Biden said. “But dissent must never lead to disorder.” Joe… c’mon, man.

Last night at Dartmouth, Hanover police tackled and arrested sixty five year old Annelise Orleck, along with other faculty and at least ninety students. Orleck reports that after thirty four years of teaching at the University, she’s now banned from campus. She was formerly the chair of Dartmouth’s Jewish Studies program.

Anyway I’m sure this will all die down before the Democratic National Convention in August which will be held in… Chicago.

A shaking LBJ with Impact-font overlay that reads “1968 Intensifies”

Also Today in I Hope This Doesn’t Unlock Something In Me:

Alpaca Sex Is Even Weirder Than You Think.” Respectfully, Ed Cara, you have no idea how weird I think alpaca sex is. Mpreg Bluey episode released on YouTube. You heard me. Fifteen vehicles in Portland, OR destroyed in police car involved burning. Jason Koebler: “Facebook’s AI Spam Isn’t the ‘Dead Internet’: It’s the Zombie Internet.” New form of venture-capitalist-specific masturbation discovered.

Kyle declares “Espresso” song of the summer. The「Nightcore」version hits though.

Joanna Coles has taken over at the The Daily Beast, and Justin Miller reports that it’s not going great so far.

“I’m going to blow it up,” she said this past weekend at the White House Correspondents Dinner, where she was hunting for talent. “We’re going to be pirates.” …By the end of her first week, at least a dozen staff were looking elsewhere for jobs or hoping for buyouts, and by the end of her second, two were on the way out. For those who remain, fear of layoffs is widespread and morale is so low that some have been crying behind closed doors.

The last time one of Barry Diller’s websites was taken over by pirates they turned out to be a front for cult money-laundering activities, so good luck I guess. Make sure you know what’s on your servers.

Another Boeing whistleblower died unexpectedly? Wow, what bad luck these people keep having.

Madison Malone Kircher’s scene report from the Hate Reads party at The River: A Party for the Haters.

Today’s Song: Teardrops, “Bring Me The Horizon”

Tired Spongebob.

This week y’all.