Journalist Anna Clark traces the toxic politics that poisoned the people of Flint - from the actions of state and local officials under financial emergency management, to the large-scale structural problems deep within American society - of racialized, strategic inequality, and the corrosion of the notion of a universal, public good.
Anna is author of The Poisoned City: Flint's Water and the American Urban Tragedy from Metropolitan Books.
Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.
I believe Bill Cosby's philosophy was, always be nice. Be pleasant, be calm, be even- tempered, be reasonable. Be nice, even when drugging your victims.
Revenge is a dish best served without being examined too closely. Revenge and punish, it never pays for the avenger or punisher to look too hard in the mirror.
Rape is not a joke. Rape is not funny. Rape jokes aren't funny. We know this. We know this. It's not funny. Not even close to funny. Not even when a comedian goes to prison for it. And rape is definitely not a job. At least in the society we claim to be, whether in the public or private sphere, rape is not a duty in anyone's official job description. But, we're all adults here. We know that in clandestine circumstances, off-the-books as it were, as civilized as we pretend we to be, the very opposite is true. Raping is in some men's tacit job description.
So who's job is it gonna be to rape Bill Cosby in prison? Who's gonna do that? Who's gonna take on that burden? Somebody's gotta do it. I know, I know, rape's not a job, it's a spontaneous or premeditated act of violence to assert power and control, generally by someone sociopathically resentful who lacks the emotional resources to repair their deformed self-esteem.
But Bill Cosby's going to prison. And you know if somebody's man is going to prison while Cosby is in there, she's gonna be like: You better rape Cosby while you're in there. If you haven't raped Cosby, don't come back out. You have one job while you're in prison: rape Cosby. You have one job. You don't have to buy me birthday presents or Valentine flowers for the rest of your life, but you just better rape Cosby.
This is the social contract: Cosby drugged and raped dozens of women. Dozens. I suppose I should say, "allegedly," since the majority of accusers have not had their cases heard in court. But dozens. No exaggeration. So now, he goes to prison, where people get raped a lot. He gets to see what it feels like. But somebody's gotta do it. The Jello puddin pop. Someone's gotta pop his puddin.
Men, especially white men, have been a bane to the other inhabitants of the Earth for centuries. Men have a lot to atone for. It's doubtful they'll ever make up for the cruelty and death they've doled out. It may be that only through the commission of a heinous taboo can the reputations of men be cleansed. Not the souls, just the... read more
Phyllis is co-author of The Institute for Policy Studies report The Souls of Poor Folk.
Eliane is author of Anti-Politics: On the Demonization of Ideology, Authority and the State from Repeater Books.
Nomi is author of Collusion: How Central Bankers Rigged the World from Nation Books.
Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.
I was born into a bright, cold room. The color scheme was unappealing. I was anxious about the motives of the people there. Were they hostile to me? I felt they were. Though inscrutable behind their institutional green cloth masks, covering their mouths and noses, I was almost certain they didn't like me. Also, the floor looked slippery. Why the masks, gloves, and aprons? Did they think they were going to catch something from me? Why didn't someone put some nice mood music on? What's that screaming? Oh, it's me.
That pretty much set the tone for the rest of my life. I enter any room, and it's like someone clicked on the YouTube video of my birth, from my POV. Complete with worryingly possibly hostile hospital staff.
It's the same when I go outdoors. The long and the short of it is, I expect the worst. Pollution. Rude farmers. Volcanoes. Wilted spinach. And those are exactly the things that come my way. I look in the mirror and have body dysmorphia. It's worked so well, my body now actually does look like a pile of crap. And it works on the world, too. I have environmental dysmorphia. And I've been at it so long, the world is turning to crap. I have atmospheric dysmorphia as well as gestalt dysmorphia. And it's effective. I can turn anything into its worst possible self.
So y'all can blame me for the dying bees. When I was four years old, I remember, I was standing on the step to the side door of our little orange and black house in Oak Park, Michigan. I felt something buzzing around my head. I asked my father, who was probably, unbeknownst to me, slightly too far away to hear me, what was buzzing around my hair, a fly or a bee? He smiled at me. I said, "I guess it's a fly." Guess what I did? I bothered the bee, and paid the price. I screamed in agony for a good half hour while my father took me around to different neighbors to ask what to do about the pain of a bee sting. He even asked the workmen putting down concrete in front of our house. Everyone said the same thing: baking soda. We didn't have any. Anyway, what if we had? What then? Were we supposed to sprinkle it on the place where the bee had stung me? Make a poultice? Was I supposed to snort it?
When my dad asked the workmen, I noticed a thick aura of masculinity around them, in contrast to the emasculation of a young father dragging his shrieking little boy around helplessly. That was the... read more
Marc will be reporting on yesterday's Inter-Korean Summit between Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in.
Samuel is author of Not Enough: Human Rights in an Unequal World from Harvard University Press.
The Oakland Institute released the brief A Death Knell for the EBA? on their website.
Julianne wrote the article Living in a Pepsi Ad World for The New Republic.
Michaelanne is co-author of the paper El Paquete Semanal: The Week's Internet in Havana, presented at the 2018 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems.
Something tells me Jeff knows the route pretty well.
Welcome to the Moment of Truth, the thirst that is the drink.
The title of this moment is The Eerie Canal. Unlike the Uncanny Valley, the Eerie Canal is all too embedded in actual human flesh. What's eerie about it? Let's catch a gondola and see.
A baby is about to emerge from within its mother, but before it commits to entering the world through a parting of what my friend Mike in high school called, disgustingly, but I can't get his phrase out of my head, so shame on me, "the roast beef curtain," it weighs its future possibilities. This baby is scheduled to momentarily make its grand entrance into what Shakespeare, who learned things before the advent of high school, called "this mortal coil." But the baby hesitates, because the curtain it is to enter from behind is also what liberal philosopher John Rawls, who had no friends in high school, or if he did, did not retain their sophomorically sexist if evocative nomenclature for aspects of the female anatomy, called "The Veil of Ignorance."
The Veil of Ignorance is a thought experiment: how would you design a society if it were possible that, once it was built, you might end up anywhere in it, in any social position, any geographic position, any economic position, any physical situation. You were ignorant of whether you would be rich or poor, strong or sickly, intelligent or mentally challenged, or somewhere in between. You just didn't know. Rawls didn't answer the question of what kind of society was to be designed. He posed it as an approach to thinking about justice and fairness and compassion, limits on power, and society's responsibility for the living conditions of the individuals it comprises.
This baby is as ignorant of its future status as any intentionally ignorant social thinker playing this theoretical game. It does know that it's human, but it doesn't know who its mother is. It doesn't even know its own sex, if you can believe it. Well, it's dark in there. Yes, it could feel around to find out, but to be honest, it would like to keep that information a surprise for itself.
So, this about-to-be-born baby has some things to work out. Unlike in Rawls' thought experiment, this baby knows what current societies are like. It's not that ignorant. It knows what Ugandan society is like, and it knows what Norwegian society is like. And it knows what conditions are like in various locations within those societies. It just doesn't know what kind of person it's... read more
Corey is author of Live Work Work Work Die: A Journey into the Savage Heart of Silicon Valley from Metropolitan Books.
Tithi wrote the Guardian op-ed Women are leading the wave of strikes in America. Here's why.
Geoff and Joel are authors of the book Climate Leviathan: A Political Theory of Our Planetary Future from Verso.
Kate wrote the article Denial By A Different Name: It’s Time to Admit That Half-Measures Can’t Stop Climate Change for The Intercept.
Figuratively. Maybe not. Dunno what Jeff's into these days.