The folks at Fox News have been pretty upset lately. They’re pretty upset to have learned that publishers are going through books looking for things that might offend readers (or potential readers). The f***-your-feelings crowd who mocked snowflakes for being so easily offended are now super offended because publishers like the guys who publish 007 books are trying to keep readers engaged in spite of some antiquated language that’s pretty likely to offend many of today’s readers. Social media has been buzzing over this and the Roald Dahl controversy and other instances of woeness and cancel culture. Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally opposed to censorship and I’m a big advocate of the free speech part of the first amendment, but I think the folks at Fox News (and elsewhere) are missing some key points.Continue reading “Sensitivity editing and free speech (have nothing to do with each other)”
The Privilege to Celebrate Juneteenth
I try, as a rule, to pick my topics carefully. Not carefully in that I want to avoid controversial topics or trying to make sure that I don’t get into some kind of trouble from people who disagree with me (not many people read this anyway, so I still find this to be my safe space). But I pick topics carefully in that I generally only write about things if two criteria are satisfied: 1) I have thought deeply about the topic, and 2) the position I am taking on the topic has a solid fact-based foundation. To some (mostly over in Facebook land, where more people tend to read my stuff), it makes it seem like I’m full of facts and figures, but in reality, it’s easier to seem super knowledgable by limiting yourself to topics that you know something about. But here I am, breaking my “rule” that isn’t really a rule. I don’t feel on firm ground on this one, and what I’m going to write may have plenty of obvious flaws (in addition to the flaws from unedited writing and a lack of good proofreading that have always been part of Hitting Bregma). The good thing is that I don’t use being right or wrong as a category in my estimate of my value to the world. I’m not upset when I’m shown that I was wrong. Sometimes I’m confused how I didn’t see it myself, but I’m excited to have a reason to change my views, so breaking my “rule” doesn’t have much risk to it. So let’s talk about Juneteenth a little bit. Just a little bit…this introduction might have more to say than whatever comes after the fold.Continue reading “The Privilege to Celebrate Juneteenth”
Is it all about power?
Folks in politics and who talk about politics often accuse others of just trying to gain power. I understand this notion, but I’m not sure what kind of power people are talking about most of the time. Money? Sure. I can see that. Decision-making? OK. Feeling like you’re somebody special? I can understand all of that. But it seems like, maybe for one group more than another, those goals put people on very strange sides of arguments.Continue reading “Is it all about power?”
Generation of Hate Revisited
Years ago, in the early days of me dumping my thoughts on this site, I proposed that we’re living through the most hateful time in history. If you read that post, you’ll see that I don’t mean it in the way that’s most obvious, that people are more hateful than ever, but instead that people feel more hated than ever. I’ve been thinking more about this lately, largely inspired by a series of Facebook posts that have come and gone over the years, but seem to be coming back with a vengeance. Although my premise hasn’t changed, I’m starting to have a better, perhaps slightly more paranoid, perspective about it all.Continue reading “Generation of Hate Revisited”
Delight in suffering
Trump supporters like to talk about Trump Derangement Syndrome, in spite of having no idea where that phrase originated and what its originator thinks about Trump. Although I think the phrase is a bit over- and mis-used, the visceral disgust that many of us feel about Trump is real. I wouldn’t call it derangement, but there’s a real difference between how I feel about Trump and how I feel and have felt about politicians and pundits who haven’t shared my views in the past. I don’t think that’s because I’ve changed. I think it’s because there’s something vastly different about Trump and his supporters: they seem to place a higher value on upsetting their opponents than on achieving some policy goal.
The never ending culture war
It’s been a while since I posted anything here. I’ve been pretty active on social media still, but haven’t found the motivation to write anything more extensive like I usually write for this place. But my recent sadness has moved me to jot these thoughts down and put them here. My sadness is because of the turn that the culture war has taken. We used to argue about taxes and about whether companies should be regulated and if we should allow kids to pray in schools. The last argument I remember having with one side of my family (a side that has pretty much banned political discussions since Obama was elected) was about private vs public control of health insurance. It’s memorable to me as one of those conversations that runs in my mind because it should have gone so differently. I had made the case that the private sector couldn’t operate in the business of insuring the elderly because there’s simply no way to do it and turn a profit. The guy I was talking to pointed to Medicare advantage programs that are administered by private companies as evidence that they could. I don’t remember what happened next, or what I said, but I want to rewind and make the point that none of those programs work if the public sector isn’t paying the bill, or at least a big part of the bill. But I digress. My point here is that these are the things we used to argue about, sometimes getting hot about them. We talked about things and had strong opinions, but it all just felt different. Continue reading “The never ending culture war”
Modern Mob Mentality
The nation is on fire, or at least it was after looting erupted near and intermingled with protests over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. I haven’t written anything in a while, but have been pretty much consumed with these events, so I have plenty to say about them. In my less-than-typical manner, I’m going to get some bullet points out of the way without going into detail or nuance, just to get these ideas out here before I get to the real topic of this post, the mob mentality that is alive and well in the United States.
Is it really that bad?
Trump is in trouble, maybe. Something might actually stick to the Teflon Don this time. It’s bad. It’s really bad. And I hope he’s held accountable for it. But how bad has he really been as President? It’s a fair question.
One for all and all for one? Why are people mad at Gillette?
Gillette is now enemy number one in the political world. Why? Because they made an ad about being men, and about how men can be better (by being kind to others, and by stopping other men who are being mean or hurtful to others). This is controversial, for some reason, in today’s world. Let’s dive in a bit.
Continue reading “One for all and all for one? Why are people mad at Gillette?”
Diversity and multiculturalism
I ran the NYC marathon last weekend. It was amazing. My fourth marathon, and although it was my second best time, it was my favorite race in so many ways. My family came for the trip, and jumped from subway to subway to follow me along the course, and it was the perfect day for a marathon: bright and sunny, cool temps (low 50s), and no wind at all. Of course, my mind always comes back to the topics of Hitting Bregma, and my time in NYC was no different.