31 October 2020

Gonna Get a Big Dish of Beef Chow Mein

Under no circumstances, however, will my hair be perfect (I don't really like pina coladas anyway, and Trader Vic's is right out even without a pandemic).

  • Do vote. Please. That's how you thank veterans for our service.

    But don't vote for/against professionals whose professional judgment in specific instances must be independent of popular will. Doctors (including elected coroners). Judges. Prosecutors. Sheriffs. Read U.S. Const. Art. IV § 4 and ponder, for a moment, whether a "republican form of government" includes such elections — especially in the face of Articles II and III.

  • All too often, though, we're left voting for what Leo — a Chicago politician no less — called "the lesser of who cares?" Our "two-party system" is broken, because with relatively rare exceptions the party apparatus denies even a voice to significant consituencies, let alone an actual seat at the policy table. Don't fall for facile lesser-of-two-evils reasoning without at least acknowledging that when one chooses the lesser of two evils, one is still choosing evil. Sometimes there actually isn't a better choice; but the proper response is not to throw up one's hands and lament, but to ensure that the next time there is a better choice. The major reason for doing so is simple: As Korematsu demonstrated all too well — at that time and in the decades until it was finally abrogated — it's much, much too easy to be wrong when choosing amongst evils.

    This cycle, it's not a choice between two evils. It's a choice between supervillainesque reveling in evil (cackling and incompetent henchcreatures included) and (highly probable) mediocrity. Even if "voting for mediocrity" isn't exactly choosing good, it's not choosing evil.

  • One of the obvious big victims of the pandemic has been so-called "legitimate theatre." The system was already in bad shape, from the perspective of playwrights, of staff, of the structure of the entire "system" (if calling something as chaotic as theatre a "system" doesn't disserve them both). These are important mechanistic issues. But…
  • … just as in commercial publishing, there's a critical journalistic failure. At some point, we've all heard of the "five ws and an h" that every story needs to ask. "Who" is too often left out, or at least inadequately examined. There are actually three separate "who" questions: Who participates; who consumes; who benefits. All of these sources dance around the first question, without ever engaging with source barriers other than immediate pay. "Making a living now" is admittedly a critical factor, but it simply does not engage with "making a living while training," let alone "recoverability from failure." None of the sources engage with the other two questions, and for that reason alone can't reach any non-bandage, self-sustaining solution to the first one.
  • That is admittedly a highly theoretical inquiry. Unlike these latecomers to the party, I was in the trenches, then left. I left for a field that is, if anything, worse: Law.