#its like other countries have to take care and listen to american problems
Ive seen so many instances of Americans preaching that the issues in their country only happen with them, and that their issues are Gravely Serious and “dont happen to other countries”, while also seeing them mocking or using other countries’ issues and tragedies as a meme or “aesthetic material”
That this just makes me feel fed up and exhausted.
Just because you dont see whats going on in the rest of the world. Doesnt. Mean. It doesnt happen there. Just because you only see whats happening in your country. Doesn’t mean. It doesnt happen in other countries.
American social media is a worldwide popular media source, Thats why American issues are so seen. Other countries dont have that luxury to show the world their problems. And claiming Others dont have problems as big as Americans have by using argument like “other countries’ problems arent shown on social media therefore everything is calm and fine there” is highly ignorant and insensitive.
Its not that youre not allowed to tell others about your problems.
Its just that You Shouldn’t Claim you are the Only ones with problems. And shouldn’t treat other countries’ problems as an entertainment.
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This is just a way to let out some frustration so I can put it out there and stop mulling on it bc I'm bad at this sort of stuff -
Feel free to ignore it
I'm putting this under Read More; if your fav past-time is to call anyone who likes Ironwood's character or was disappointed by his V8 turn to villainy a stupid bootlicker who "should have seen the signs he was always a tyrant !!" please don't interact with this post. You're ultimately free to think what you want but honestly I see enough of that in the main tag when left alone, I don't need it on my blog it doesn't make me feel good.
Anyone else... well you can read if you're interested but you don't have to either. Feel free to respectfully disagree though, I'm not that bullheaded that I can't partake in a friendly argument =)
I'll just be listing some things about Ironwood's reading by the FNDM who get old or draining as someone who doesn't like the V8-characterization they went with
Can people please stop just... copy/pasting real world issues on a world/characters that have nothing to do with them or a completely different context ?
Like,, I genuinely try to educate myself on real-world issues. I know I'm rather privileged so I try to listen and hear out people who speak out about the issues they live through day by day.
I know why the "ACAB" moniker exists. I understand the problem that lies within the american police system (and likely other countries as well). I see why the army, on our blue planet, is criticized & its many failings. Etc, the list can go on...
But I'm sorry to say, Remnant isn't OUR Earth. Their Army's primary job is to fight actual evil soulless monsters, not people. The Ace Opps or Huntsmen are not an organization directly inherited from slave-hunting groups. James Ironwood isn't the US army general bombing Middle East. Clover Ebi isn't the racist cop you want in prison. So WHY are they treated as such by so many people ?
Stories are not a 1-1 where you can take everything you know and just apply it to a completely different world.
Has Atlas been presented as a country that suffers from racism & classism ? Certainly. Has it be shown this way ? That's already more debatable since the only racist arguments we got were in Mantle (which is the city we're supposed to be rooting for so that's a weird choice but eh it's whatever). Are the characters, as persons, shown to evoke these issues in a way that deserve our scorn ? Not really.
Is Ironwood depicted as particularly racist for example ? I wouldn't say so seeing as one (or more considering Tortuga) of his Ace-Opps are Faunus & it seems perfectly accepted; and he hates Jacques Schnee's guts. So why does he get to shoulder all of our real-world issues as if he was responsible for them, in a context where (pre V8) his army had most likely never killed anything else than Grimm and was shown to elicit very positive reactions from most of the population (V3) ? (In direct contrast to the polarization that the US army might evoke for example.)
You can totally hate Ironwood because of the feelings he evoke, the trope he stems from or the parallels to be made. That doesn't mean however, that he IS truly guilty of every one of OUR world issues (pre-V8)
Just because classism is prevalent in Atlas society does not make Ironwood the figurehead & leader of this issue.
Is classism an issue in Atlas ? Yes. That's been made clear because of Mantle's state as well as Jacques Schnee entire existence & even Cinder's backstory. Does that mean every single one of Ironwood's decisions reeks of classism ? NO
Trust me, as someone who found Ironwood's V8 characterization not... well-executed & too much; there's nothing more annoying than being assaulted by posts about his fall going "it was so obvious !! look at -" only for them to then list reasons in a really biased way or even headcannons based on (again) irl problems. An exemple...
Reasons his turn was good that I see thrown around : "Ironwood left Mantle behind because he only wanted to save the rich. He's a selfish coward & an asshole !"
What we were actually given : "Ironwood suffers from PTSD, and faced with Salem's imminent arrival, he tried to save what he was CERTAIN to be able to protect aka the flying city and all the people on it including Mantle evacuees. There is absolutely no text backing the idea that he wanted to leave with Atlas because it's rich. We could even suppose that he would have left with the 'poor' Mantle if it was the flying city and rich people were hanging safely on the ground. There is indeed an issue with Atlas & Mantle disparity, but Ironwood isn't directly responsible for it."
Does that make his decision to leave Mantle behind a morally right one ? That's of course NOT what I'm saying. The situation is still very ambiguous. But the classism theme has NO place here.
"Ironwood leads Atlas & Mantle. As such, he inherently holds responsability for the issues plaguing it." THIS is an acceptable reading according to me. I would probably argue that even if Ironwood's the only Atlas leader we're shown; he actually only oversees the military & academy (where we haven't ever seen classism issues), so putting Atlas' classism issues on him still doesn't sound fair to me. However the idea & argument is sound.
Acknowledging only how his actions look/the tyrannical surface reading and not the reasonnable justifications or glimpses we were given (pre-V7) of Ironwood being more than his trope
I'll probably stop after this one, but the last thing that is both tiring & annoying after too much of it; is seeing people boil down all of Ironwood's character to the most basic summary, inherently written to paint him in a bad line. And then saying that everything led up to his downfall by using these watered-down versions of the show's events to justify it. Or worse (imo), saying that people who are not satisfied with his V8 characterization that THEY don't understand how good a character he is and don't really appreciate him.... All the while only ever highlighting his characters flaws. Please stop this.
"Ironwood brought an army to the peace Olympics why are you surprised he turned out this way ?" ==> Ironwood brought an army to a country where the civilians visibly have no issue with said-army, to protect a peaceful event that he KNOWS to be targeted by foes. It's definitely overzealous & his conviction that threats should be dealt with by blunt force IS one of his flaws; but pretending that he did it for fun or because he's a tyran is just as misplaced.
"Ironwood said he'd shoot Qrow if he were one of his men why are you surprised he shot Oscar ?" ==> Do I really need to flip through every joke in this show and consider it as absolute truth & proof that the character would enact these words if given the occasion; even when we're shown with certainty that they actually don't mean it ? (IW hugging Qrow to welcome him, refusing to attack Qrow when he's certain Qrow IS attacking him...)
"Ironwood has his military all over Mantle, there's a curfew, all of this is tyrannical why are you surprised he's also down for genocide" ==> Damn, it sure is criminal to have Mantle defended from the litteral monsters roaming inside & out, and to make sure with a curfew that the people are not at risk during the night. I wonder if any recent events could make us reconsider our stance on how evil a enforced curfew is. Mhmmm maybe a pandemic ? Nah I must be imagining things.
For real though, at what point did Tyrian's framing/lies (IW has his soldiers all over Mantle because of politics/he's a tyran who refuses opposition) became the truth of the situation for the FDNM too ? Again Mantle's situations SUCK, and that's a problem in itself. Making up problematic reasoning for the situation is dishonest though.
To end this, I'll just make clear. I do not condone any of Ironwood's actions post-V7. I don't think he had to be the big hero of the Atlas arc. Nor that he was without faults. I merely think that he'd have been a better antagonist than villain. And that it'd have been nice to keep the ambiguity/morally greyness that surrounds him; the knowledge that he's TRYING hard to do what's best for everyone; that he has good intentions. That he cares about individuals too to a lesser degree, and that he had people who cared about him as a person.
Ironwood as an antagonist with understandable issues, flaws & failures; making questionable choices but with good intentions ? Hell yeah.
Ironwood as a villain, more irredeemable than Hazel, willing to kill people for NO reason or even wipe out a city ? I'm not convinced.
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Thursday, May 20, 2021
For Migrant Children in Federal Care, a ‘Sense of Desperation’
(NYT) In a federal shelter in Dallas, migrant children sleep in a windowless convention center room under fluorescent lights that never go dark. At a military base in El Paso, teenagers pile onto bunk cots, and some say they have gone days without bathing. And in Erie, Pa., problems began emerging within days of the shelter’s creation: “Fire safety system is a big concern,” an internal report noted. Some of the hot water heaters were not working, and lice was “a big issue and seems to be increasing.” Early this year, children crossing the southwestern border in record numbers were crammed into Customs and Border Protection’s cold-floored, jail-like detention facilities. They slept side by side on mats with foil blankets, almost always far longer than the legal limit of 72 hours. Republicans declared it a crisis. Democrats and immigration groups denounced the conditions, which erupted into an international embarrassment for President Biden, who had campaigned on a return to compassion in the immigration system. The administration responded by rapidly setting up temporary, emergency shelters, including some that could house thousands of children. But the next potential crisis is coming into view. “I know the administration wants to take a victory lap for moving children out of Border Patrol stations—and they deserve credit for doing that,” said Leecia Welch, a lawyer and the senior director of the legal advocacy and child welfare practice at the National Center for Youth Law, a nonprofit law firm focused on low-income children. “But the truth is, thousands of traumatized children are still lingering in massive detention sites on military bases or convention centers, and many have been relegated to unsafe and unsanitary conditions.”
Ceasefire calls and U.S. credibility
(Foreign Policy) As the bombings [in Gaza] continue, the human toll is becoming clearer. More than 52,000 people in Gaza have been displaced by Israel’s aerial assault, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said on Tuesday, with most seeking refuge in U.N.-run schools. The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) confirmed that 11 of the more than 60 children killed so far by Israeli airstrikes were participants in an NRC program helping children deal with trauma. Even if hostilities soon end, the Biden administration’s resistance to a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for a cease-fire has tested U.S. credibility. “They pledged to come back and support the U.N. system and multilateralism,” one council diplomat said in a report by Foreign Policy’s Colum Lynch and Robbie Gramer. “We don’t see that happening now in the Security Council.” The episode also encouraged China to carve out a leadership role at the Security Council on Middle East issues, a topic where it usually takes a back seat, while at the same time allowing it to dodge questions on its actions in Xinjiang. Multiple reports appeared on Tuesday, attempting to shine light on Biden’s approach not to call publicly for a cease-fire. They depict an administration wary of getting on the bad side of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The tactic has been criticized as a misreading of U.S. leverage over an ally to which it provides significant military aid and political support. Shibley Telhami, writing in the Boston Globe, voiced some of that criticism on Tuesday. “If an American president cannot leverage this extraordinary and unprecedented support to advance core American values,” Telhami writes, “what hope is there for succeeding anywhere else?”
Spain Sends Troops to African Enclave After Migrant Crossings Jump
(NYT) Spain deployed troops, military trucks and helicopters in its North African enclave of Ceuta on Tuesday after thousands of people crossed over from Morocco, one of the largest movements of migrants reported in the area in recent years. More than 8,000 migrants, including nearly 2,000 minors, arrived on the beaches of Ceuta on Monday and Tuesday, mostly swimming or aboard inflatable boats, according to the Spanish authorities, who said that Spain had already sent back 4,000 people. The sudden arrival of thousands of people in Ceuta—more than had attempted the crossing in all the rest of the year so far—comes amid a deepening diplomatic spat between Spain and Morocco over the hospitalization in Spain of the leader of a rebel group that has fought for the independence of Western Sahara from Morocco. Videos broadcast on Spanish television on Tuesday appeared to show Moroccan border guards opening fences to the Spanish enclave. While Morocco has warned of “consequences” for harboring the rebel leader, it was not immediately clear if the spike in migration was linked to the diplomatic dispute.
Grand day for the French: Cafe and bistro terraces reopen
(AP) It’s a grand day for the French. Cafe and restaurant terraces reopened Wednesday after a six-month coronavirus shutdown deprived residents of the essence of French “joie de vivre”—sipping coffee and red wine with friends. The French government is lifting restrictions incrementally to stave off a resurgence of COVID-19 and to give citizens back some of their world famous lifestyle. As part of the plan’s first stage, France’s 7 p.m. nightly curfew was pushed back to 9 p.m. and museums, theaters and cinemas reopened along with outdoor cafe terraces. France is not the first European country to start getting back a semblance of social and cultural life. Italy, Belgium, Hungary and other nations already allow outdoor dining while drinking and eating indoors began Monday in Britain.
Indian navy searches for 78 missing from barge sunk by storm
(AP) Indian navy ships and helicopters searched in rough weather and seas Wednesday for 78 people still missing from a barge that sank off Mumbai as a deadly cyclone blew ashore this week. Navy Cdr. Alok Anand said 183 people were rescued within 24 hours by three ships and helicopters engaged in the operation. Cyclone Tauktae, the most powerful storm to hit the region in more than two decades, packed sustained winds of up to 210 kilometers (130 miles) per hour when it came ashore in Gujarat state late Monday. The storm left at least 25 dead in Gujarat and Maharashtra states. The Hindu newspaper Wednesday tallied more than 16,000 houses damaged in Gujarat state and trees and power poles uprooted.
How Myanmar's military moved in on the telecoms sector to spy on citizens
(Reuters) In the months before the Myanmar military's Feb. 1 coup, the country's telecom and internet service providers were ordered to install intercept spyware that would allow the army to eavesdrop on the communications of citizens, sources with direct knowledge of the plan told Reuters. The technology gives the military the power to listen in on calls, view text messages and web traffic including emails, and track the locations of users without the assistance of the telecom and internet firms, the sources said. The directives are part of a sweeping effort by the army to deploy electronic surveillance systems and exert control over the internet with the aim of keeping tabs on political opponents, squashing protests and cutting off channels for any future dissent, they added.
Restrictions reimposed as virus resurges in much of Asia
(AP) Taxi drivers are starved for customers, weddings are suddenly canceled, schools are closed, and restaurant service is restricted across much of Asia as the coronavirus makes a resurgence in countries where it had seemed to be well under control. Sparsely populated Mongolia has seen its death toll soar from 15 to 233, while Taiwan, considered a major success in battling the virus, has recorded more than 1,000 cases since last week and placed over 600,000 people in two-week medical isolation. Hong Kong and Singapore have postponed a quarantine-free travel bubble for a second time after an outbreak in Singapore of uncertain origin. China, which has all but stamped out local infections, has seen new cases apparently linked to contact with people arriving from abroad. The resurgence hasn’t come close to the carnage wrought in India and parts of Europe, but it is a keen reminder that the virus remains resilient.
Immigration In Japan Under Pressure
(NYT) For months Japanese jailers said they ‘thought’ the young migrant from Sri Lanka was faking her illness, even as she wasted away before their eyes before dying alone in her cell. Wishma Rathayake had a lifelong fascination with Japan. She entered the country in the summer of 2017 to study Japanese at a school in the Tokyo suburbs, hoping eventually to teach English. She met another Sri Lankan student in Japan who became her boyfriend. Sadly, after a series of unwise decisions, unfortunate events, and a now-expired residence permit, she found herself in a detention center a few hours south of Tokyo, awaiting deportation. It was August 2020. While in detention she was threatened by her ex-boyfriend, now back in Sri Lanka. She thought she’d be safer in Japan, and with the encouragement of advisers at START, a local nonprofit, she decided to try to stay. That move irritated officials at the detention center, who demanded she change her mind. In late December Wishma fell ill with a fever. Within weeks she was having trouble eating, standing, and speaking. In late January 2021 a doctor prescribed her vitamins and painkillers, but they made her even sicker, so she filed for a provisional release. Detention centers had already released hundreds of healthy detainees due to coronavirus concerns, but in mid-February Wishma’s request was denied without explanation. She submitted a second request on medical grounds; by this time she was so weak she could barely sign the form. Despite the severity of her symptoms, officials waited until March 4 to take her to a hospital. Two days later the 33-year-old was dead.
Japan has a long history of hostility toward immigration. Despite being the world’s third-largest economy, it settles less than 1% of asylum applicants—just 47 in 2020. Critics of the country’s immigration system say most decisions are made in secret; detainees who have overstayed their visas can be held indefinitely, with little access to courts. Detainees who apply for asylum, as Wishma did, are particularly unwelcome. Critics say Wishma was the victim of an opaque and capricious bureaucracy that has nearly unchecked power over foreigners who run afoul of it. And while there have been other instances of inhumane treatment of foreigners that ended in death, especially for people of color, the particularly egregious circumstances of Wishma’s death have driven national outrage to a whole new level. Protesters have gathered almost daily in front of Parliament, and objections by opposition lawmakers have been unusually fierce.
Experts warn shuttered Australia is becoming a ‘hermit nation’
(AFP) Prime Minister Scott Morrison defended his “Fortress Australia” Covid-19 restrictions Tuesday, as experts warned that plans to keep the borders closed for another year will create a “hermit nation”. Last March, Australia took the unprecedented step of closing its borders to foreign visitors and banning its globetrotting citizens from leaving. That prompted the first population decline since World War I, stranded tens of thousands of Australian citizens overseas and separated hundreds of thousands of residents from family members. But the country now has almost no community transmission and life for most is relatively normal. And the government’s recent suggestion that borders could remain closed for another year has sparked fierce debate. Australian Medical Association president Omar Khorshid on Tuesday warned: “Australia cannot keep its international borders closed indefinitely.” A University of Sydney task force examining how Australia can safely reopen this week went further, warning the country “cannot continue to lock itself off from the world as a hermit nation indefinitely”.
(NYT) Abeer Ghanem, like many Gazans, long struggled to work around the long blackouts that blighted the besieged Palestinian enclave along the Mediterranean Sea. But with the outbreak of hostilities a week ago between Israel and the Hamas militant group that governs the Gaza Strip, she said, she now gets at best four hours of electricity a day, intermittently. When it comes on, her family scrambles to charge their lights and batteries for the long, sleepless nights punctuated by outgoing Hamas rockets and the thunder of Israeli airstrikes. A combination of fuel shortages, damage to the electricity supply lines running from Israel and an aerial bombardment that has torn apart local power lines means that many families are receiving at most three to four hours of electricity a day, according to Gaza’s power company. “What we have now for fuel will last for two or three days,” said Mohammed Thabet, a spokesman for the Electricity Distribution Co. of Gaza. The power shortages are compounding the daily misery for Gazans and are also taking a toll on the provision of water, sewage treatment and the ability of hospitals, swamped with casualties, to function. Even if supplies resume, the crisis has caused millions of dollars in infrastructure damage.
Palestinians go on strike as Israel-Hamas fighting rages
(AP) Palestinians across Israel and the occupied territories went on strike in a rare collective protest Tuesday as Israeli missiles toppled a building in Gaza and militants in the Hamas-ruled territory fired dozens of rockets that killed two people. The general strike was a sign that the war could widen again after a spasm of communal violence in Israel and protests across the occupied West Bank last week. Although the strike was peaceful in many places, with shops in Jerusalem’s usually bustling Old City markets shuttered, violence erupted in cities in the West Bank. Hundreds of Palestinians burned tires in Ramallah and hurled stones at an Israeli military checkpoint. Troops fired tear gas, and protesters picked up some of the canisters and threw them back. Three protesters were killed and more than 140 wounded in clashes with Israeli troops in Ramallah, Bethlehem, Hebron and other cities, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. The Israeli army said two soldiers were wounded by gunshots to the leg. The general strike was an uncommon show of unity by Palestinian citizens of Israel, who make up 20% of its population.
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Okay, after way too much delay - it's my Eurovision 2021 Final Ranking! This took me a while for a lot of factors - took extra hours at work to make sure I could get time off this week, some recent family events... and most relevantly, the fact that this year is so damn good that no matter what, I knew someone was going to get ripped off by ending up somewhere in the bottom half. Just know that being toward the bottom of the list doesn't necessarily mean I dislike it, especially this year - it just means I like other things more. This year is going to be an absolute bloodbath. I am both excited and terrified.
Try not to take my ranking too seriously, by the way - I'm an American who unironically listens to stuff like Scooch and Dolly Style. I'm not exactly a seasoned music critic. I just know what sort of music makes the happiness center of my brain light up, what the hell is music theory
Ranking made with the sorter at http://esc.gerbear.com/sorter2021.htm, then slightly adjusted when it put some songs concerningly low on the list. Okay, so I cheated a little
Firstly, in the interest in completion - if Belarus didn't get disqualified, they'd be in the big fat 40 rank, with a big bold "Hate" right above. Fuck that song. I've only listened to it once and am so glad I have no obligation to acknowledge it any further. Those fucking lyrics. Mother of Christ. Fuck you guys.
I also offer my condolences to Armenia for their having to bow out this year. I'm sure whatever you guys sent, it couldn't have possibly been worse than "Chains On You".
Now, for the songs that actually matter:
39 – Spain - “Voy a quedarme” by Blas Cantó: Welp, already I’m gonna get shot. I can’t remember how this song sounds at all. I know it’s tender and genuine and sweet and everything… I just… kinda don’t care. Nothing to say. I liked his entry last year even more, and even that was pretty damn dull. Just not destined to be a Blas Cantó fan, I guess!
38 - North Macedonia – “Here I Stand” by Vasil: I’m with most other rankings I’ve seen; what the hell is this? I at least kinda remember it, which is more than I can say for poor Spain, but oh my god it’s so boring. I really liked “You” last year! What the hell happened, Vasil?
37 – Albania - “Karma” by Anxhela Peristeri: Another “oops” from me, huh. It’s another one I immediately forget about the instant it ends. I at least don’t remember it boring the crap out of me, hence it placing higher than Spain and Macedonia, but I still can’t say anything nice about it – or anything at all, really – so I’ll leave it this low. I acknowledge that I’m in the minority, I won’t protest if it qualifies, but personally, it’s not my pick.
36 – Georgia – “You” by Tornike Kipiani: Give him points for passion, I suppose! At least I’m not laughing at him like I was last year. On the other hand, less ridiculous also means more boring. Points for earnestness, but this is just another song that goes right over my head.
35 – Portugal – “Love Is On My Side” by The Black Mamba: An English song from Portugal? That’s new. Too bad it hasn’t rescued the song from the darkest depths of Boring. I will confess that I spice it up a little by associating it with Homura from Osomatsu-san, thus rescuing it from the deepest pits of my ranking list… but it’s still stuck down here. Portugal and I have never gotten along well Eurovision-wise. I’ve come to accept that.
34 – Slovenia – “Amen” by Ana Soklič: I’m gonna call this a song that I respect more than I like. She’s got a great voice, I can’t deny that… but when I’m ranking this purely based on what I’d go out of my way to listen to, this one falls flat. I warned you at the beginning that I have no taste! I’m not normally into straightforward ballads, the religious connotations are lost on me… this isn’t the song for me.
33 – Austria – “Amen” by Vincent Bueno: Back to back “Amen”s! Tip for getting me to like your Eurovision entry, apparently, is “don’t call your song Amen”. It’s a ballad, earnest and trying but overall not my type of music. I’m running out of ways to say that. Breakup song, a tad bitter, we’ve all heard this sort of song so many times before. It doesn’t stand out, and I think it’d be a waste of a spot in the final.
At least, I thought this was a breakup song when I first wrote this, but apparently it’s about the death of a loved one…? I would say that makes me hate the bitterness, but… given how I’m handling a death in my own family right now… god, I don’t know. I just can’t handle this song, not at any time but especially not now. It doesn’t even provide catharsis like a song later on in the list. It stays this low regardless of its meaning, I just don’t like it, I’m sorry, moving on.
…” 'Cause it all feels like you didn't even try to save us, all this time wasted on a lie”… ugh, my personal problems…
32 – Switzerland – “Tout l'Univers” by Gjon’s Tears: Another one I respect more than I like, and another opinion I’m gonna get my ass beaten for, I’m sure. I respect the artistry, but this is so far removed from anything I’d ever listen to on purpose. It might have landed even lower if I wasn’t afraid of pissing people off. I’ll understand if it wins, but I’ll also be hoping for most anything else.
31 – Russia – “Russian Woman” by Manizha: I don’t get it. Sometimes it’s pleasant enough to listen to, but overall I don’t get it. It’s unique, I’ll give it that! I understand why it won its national final, and why so many people enjoy it! But for me, it doesn’t quite cross that line between “interesting” and “enjoyable”. I'm not Russian - this isn't for me, and it wasn't supposed to be. Though I will confess that there may be some bias at play here. God, I miss Little Big…
30 – Estonia – “The Lucky One” by Uku Suviste: The voice is okay, the music is okay, I like how the bitterness is handled here more than in Austria’s… but this is still as high as I can go on this one. It’s serviceable, but this year has so much better to offer.
29 – Sweden – “Voices” by Tusse: Sweden really does like sending the same song over and over again, huh? I don’t hate it, but it does strike me as a lesser “Too Late For Love”, sound wise. Sweden almost never takes risks, and it’s causing me to look over them more and more with every year. I respect it too much to put it in the “Indifferent” category, but given how the rest of my ranking played out, this the best I can do for it. (But again, do not trust the opinions of someone who teethed on cheesy Europop and fondly remembers when Sweden was flooded with the stuff…)
28 – Belgium – “The Wrong Place” by Hooverphonic: Once again, Hooverphonic help Belgium fill the role of Eurovision’s “Most Likely To Appear In A Bond Movie” song. It’s fine. It’s a song! I don’t know what else to say about it! It does its job well enough, it’s just not really a job I care for that much.
27 – Ireland – “Maps” by Lesley Roy: It’s cute enough! A cute little radio tune. It’s no “Story Of My Life”, though. If “22” couldn’t qualify then this probably won’t, either, and I can’t say I’ll miss it all that much. Still pleasant enough when it comes up on the shuffle.
26 – Bulgaria – “Growing Up Is Getting Old” by Victoria: I admit it, this ranks as high as it does because of anime and that’s basically it. If I was still doing plain category sortings this would have landed straight in “Biased”. My favorite anime is about a bunch of 20-somethings learning that growing up sucks and trying as hard as possible to avoid it, and I first heard this song around the same time that I watched that show’s relatively melancholy season finale, so it ended up sticking with me on that note. Don’t have much to say about it musically, just that it makes me picture sextuplets crying and that’s one of my hobbies, so I’ll grant it an “Okay”. (It may also worth noting that if I heard this song before 2019, in the state my life was in before then it would have probably left me too inconsolable to listen to it more than once. Growing up is growing old indeed!
…it’s also worth noting that after I wrote this blurb, a major event happened that really enforced that growing up is getting old, so I listened to this quite a bit for a few days, among some other non-Eurovision songs. I’m probably gonna have an emotional breakdown on Thursday when this one starts. So, um, look out for that, guess. Between this one and Austria’s, I swear to god…)
25 – Italy – “Zitti e buoni” by Måneskin: I’ve been trying to get this one to rank higher, I really have, but its inability to crack the top 20 just says a lot about how damn good this year is. It sounds great, it’s very well done, and I wouldn’t hate to see it win! It’s earned its popularity. Everything holding it back in my own personal ranking is just that, personal – I do lose something when I can’t sing along or understand the lyrics, and there’s another rock song this year that I like way better. Still wishing you guys the best!
24 – Netherlands – “Birth Of A New Age” by Jeangu Macrooy: This song has a great style that I respect a lot. The message, the vibe – even if it’s not a culture I’m a part of, I feel and appreciate the hell out of it, and I really hope it does well. I don’t understand why so many people seem to think it’s not interesting! It may not be the sort of thing I’d go out of my way to listen to, but I’m glad it’s here. Catch me singing out “Yu no man broko mi” on Saturday! It’s been a while since I’ve given a shit about a host country’s entry, so I’m really glad for this one.
23 – Romania - “Amnesia” by Roxen: I’ll admit something else unpopular – I hated “Alcohol You” last year. Didn’t see what the big deal was at all. It sounded okay, I guess, but the lyrics were so pretentious and awful, and I’ve never liked the topic of “I love you even though you have no redeeming qualities whatsoever and you make me feel like shit”. But it seems like in that year, Roxen has discovered that self-love is important, actually, and it’s not worth it spending your time on some shitbag who consistently disappoints you. I appreciate it for that alone. Character growth! Plus, I feel the whole thing of “forgetting how to love yourself because everyone around you sucks”. It’s not the perfect song, not by a long shot, but it has a nice melody, and Roxen has a nice voice. It’s good to hear her using that voice on something I don’t find obnoxious.
22 – Norway – “Fallen Angel” by TIX: Okay, I’ll admit it, this is one where I watched the live video the first time I heard the song, and I was too busy laughing at his outfit to take the song seriously. Jesus Christ, dude, what the hell. Well, that’s Eurovision for you, and the more I listened to it, the more I admitted to myself that I’m a sucker for “I love you but letting you go for your own good, not sure what I ever offered you in the first place” type songs. Knowing the song is inspired by his own disability and self-loathing really twists that knife, to the point where I feel bad that I almost threw this at an anime character. I know I’m usually cold on songs that try to evoke emotions about the singer’s personal problems – Germany 2018, and this year’s Austrian entry – but this one really works for me. Only reason it’s in “Okay” tier is because of its competition – it’d rank way higher in a weaker year.
21 – France – “Voila” by Barbara Pravi: I like a good waltz, I guess! It’s a unique number, and the French language sounds nice, especially with the music. It’s yet another example of how this year is filled with so many interesting entries that I appreciate the hell out of. God bless this diverse year! (Or maybe everything just sounds so good to me because last year’s cancellation left me in withdrawal.) I expect a really nice performance for this one – this song isn’t one you can perform while just standing there, especially not during that speedup toward the end.
20 – Australia – “Technicolour” by Montaigne: That song that sounds like it’s about stripping if you don’t know that she’s saying cloaks. (Guilty as charged.) It’s catchy and fun, and I really love it when it first starts… but unfortunately, it does wear out its welcome toward the end of things. It’s a good party song, just a little repetitive. I still like it just fine, and wouldn’t mind seeing her in the final this year! Hope the performance is colorful and sparkly, it’d suit the song well
19 – Germany – “I Don’t Feel Hate” by Jendrik: I know stereotyping is bad but I was not remotely surprised to find out that Jendrik is gay. This song is pure gay sass, and god, I love every minute of it. I fully expect it to fall on its ass – this wouldn’t make it to the final if it wasn’t an automatic qualifier – but I’ll have a grand old time watching it! The sarcastic lyrics, the cheerful little ukulele, the middle finger costume… this song is a delight. Only thing that I think really brings it down is that weird spoken bit that interrupts the song. That’s so annoying, brings me right out of it. And I did purposely rank it below songs that aren’t complete shitposts. But thank you for your existence, Jendrik, your contribution to Eurovision is much appreciated.
18 – Israel – “Set Me Free” by Eden Alene: I said it this year and I’ll say it again this year, Eden Alene is a goddess of a woman. Absolutely gorgeous. Appreciation for pretty women aside, it’s a fun party song in a sea of fun party songs! I really do like it, I like her voice, but there’s so much else this year that drowns it out – not much stands out here compared to later entries on the list. Still a good song, though.
…and I do not expect for an instant that this is going to make it to the final. …my personal ranking is based on how the song sounds, okay? Just the song. Just the song. Nothing else. Just the song. Anyway…
17 – United Kingdom – “Embers” by James Newman: What’s this? A UK entry I don’t find bland as off-white paint? That doesn’t happen often! I didn’t like his entry last year, romantic ballad bla bla bla whee, but I’m always down for a good party song. It’s a little generic and radio friendly, sure, but that doesn’t mean it’s not fun as hell to sing along with!
16 – Greece – “Last Dance” by Stefania: I really liked last year’s “Supergirl”, but figured it didn’t have too much of a chance because it struck me as being a little too teen poppy to be taken entirely seriously. It seems like Greece thought so, too, because they’ve ramped it up with this year’s entry. They’re not playing around anymore, sending a grand, powerful song that, like “Embers”, is fun as hell to belt. This is another one I’m really looking forward to the live performance for – the music video is gorgeous, and I hope they capture that same majesty on stage!
15 – Moldova – “Sugar” by Natalia Gordienko: Oh, Moldova, I’m so glad you guys decided to be completely batshit again this year. I’ve missed your nonsense so much. Dancing ice cream cones. Cake men. This video is glorious. And the song goes well with the insanity! A catchy dance tune that can only be improved with downright insane staging. Please let the dancing ice cream cones be on stage, I’m begging you
14 – Latvia – “The Moon Is Rising” by Samanta Tina: A unique electronica number backed with a powerful as hell voice. I can see where all the wubbing would get on people’s nerves, but personally, I love it! I love the voice, I love the attitude, Samanta just oozes confidence, and if she doesn’t make it to the final it’s not gonna be because she didn’t give it her goddamn all.
13 – Poland – “The Ride” by RAFAL: Why is this one so unpopular? You people don’t know how to have fun. Yeah, yeah, last year’s “Empires” was a powerful song… but I like my club nonsense much more, so I’m favoring this one. Yet another song that gets me pumped – this whole Contest is gonna leave me with a smile on my face, there’s so much good party music
12 – Azerbaijan – “Mata Hari” by Efendi: Yeah, they’re basically just sending “Cleopatra” again, but “Cleopatra” was so goddamn good that I can’t even blame them for it. This song needed a chance to compete, and I’m glad it’s getting it again this year. I like it so much that I can even forgive the line about being a “godless”. Oh, Europop, don’t you ever change.
11 – Cyprus – “El Diablo” by Elena Tsagrinou: Huh, I didn’t know Cyprus had perfected their Lady Gaga cloning technology. Neat. More seriously, the early 2010’s club vibe of this song is exactly my jam, enough that I can forgive the “I’m in love with a horrible person” theme. (I think I forgive that theme a lot more from catchy party songs than heartfelt ballads I’m actually supposed to feel for.) Hell, I even like the creepy chanting! Sure, it’s a little cheesy, but cheese is always a good ingredient when used in moderation.
(How many songs are we going to get this year, not just in Eurovision, about wanting to fuck devils? I mean, not that I don’t get it… mmm, Akuma Ichimatsu… um. Anyway.)
10 – Czech Republic – “Omaga” by Benny Cristo: And here we enter the top ten of a strong year, where I’d love to see any of them win! Benny, what is with that title. Why. Ah well, like I said earlier, I do like moderate amounts of cheese, and this song is more than fun enough to have earned itself a ridiculous lyric or two. It’s unique, I’ll give it that! The song is just so bouncy and fun that I manage to ignore how pushy the singer is. Another one I expect big things from the staging for.
9 – Lithuania – “Discoteque” by The Roop: Ignoring the current events that surely inspired the song, I do love the more generic “party song for introverts” read on it – if only you knew how many one-person dance parties I’d had in my own house. This song speaks to me deeply. I can’t even begin to call it a joke song; I think it’s doing exactly what it set out to do, and it’s doing it oh so well. God, those synths. Totally okay with dancing alone!
8 – Iceland – “10 Years” by Daði og Gagnamagnið: I want Daði Freyr to adopt me. I don’t even care that he’s younger than me. He’s just such an earnest, fun guy, and I love his 8-bit aesthetic! And come on, he submitted a song about how much he loves his wife! If I ever stop loving this song it’s because my heart shriveled and died. Love isn’t dead, it’s just in chiptune now. I will throw things if this doesn’t make it into the final, do you all have no souls, this is too damn cute
7 – Serbia – “Loco Loco” by Hurricane: Another group I am so excited to see return, because I adored “Hasta La Vista”. I don’t know if I like this one quite as much, but it’s still catchy as hell! I love trying to sing along with it despite not knowing a word of Serbian.
6 – Croatia – “Tick-Tock” by Albina: Another catchy-ass club song! What more can I say? I love how much of this stuff we got this year. I will absolutely be screaming “Don’t go, don’t go, don’t go!” Oh god that was cheesy… I’ve been working on this ranking for too long. Don’t know what else to say about this one, just that I adore it. Just barely missed the top 5.
5 – Malta – “Je Me Casse” by Destiny: This girl’s got pipes– not surprised to hear she won the Junior contest before! I get major “Toy” vibes from this song, and you all know just how much I adored that one. Aaa, those horns! Expecting big things from you, Destiny! We may have our winner!
4 – San Marino – “Adrenalina” by Senhit – As much of a soft spot I had for last year’s “Freaky”, I don’t think it was gonna make it into the final, unless Senhit had the blessing of the same angels who were looking out for Serhat in 2019. This one, though? San Marino tasted the final two years ago and they are never giving it up again! This song goes hard! Love the song, love the video’s aesthetic, I even kinda like Flo Rida’s rap, even though I’m still baffled by the idea that I have been regularly listening to a song featuring Flo Rida on purpose. I don’t know what he’s doing here but I’m glad he is. Please, please make it to the final, San Marino! You clearly want the hell out of it this year! Favorite club song in a year of amazing club songs.
3 – Finland – “Dark Side” by Blind Channel: After spending about five seconds disappointed that Finland wouldn’t be sending Pandora this year, I gave this song a shot, and was not expecting what it gave me. I feel like an angsty middle schooler again, and it is bliss. This is everything Hatari wanted to be, but unlike Hatari who just confused me, I absolutely love the hell out of this song. …some of those lyrics, though. “27 Club, headshot, we don’t wanna grow up”? Yikes. But as dark and questionable as it might be, I can’t help but get pumped when I hear it. Definitely my favorite rock song of the year – sorry, Italy!
2 – Denmark – “Øve os på hinanden” by Fyr & Flamme: I love you, 1983. I don’t care how dated it is when my entire soul consists of a disco ball. The song’s so damn cute! This is the one member of my top 5 that I’m most terrified of losing – I know it’s not popular, with everyone calling it dated, but my top 5 always has that dated song that I love the hell out of becauseit sounds so classic. The translated lyrics are adorable, too. Even if you guys flame out in the semi, you’ll live on in the disco in my heart.
1 – Ukraine – “Shum” by Go_A: Holy fucking shit. There’s something about the blending of traditional and electronic that gets me hyped – see KEiiNO – and this one does not disappoint. The last minute of this is the best minute of Eurovision this year, and god, the buildup! I don’t even know Ukrainian but I am trying my damnedest to get the lyrics down, phonetically, at least. You know that “dancing goths” meme video? That’s me whenever this song comes on, especially during that speed up. Love the hell out of it. Could Ukraine be on its way to another victory already? I sure hope so, because this song fucking rules. Definitely checking out the rest of the discography someday, if all of their songs are in this folktronica style then they’ve gotta be a treat to listen to. Go Ukraine!
Ideal Qualifiers (favorite of each semi in bold):
This is definitely not what's going to happen - there is no universe where Switzerland and Sweden don't make it - but it'll be interesting to compare the reality to my hopes.
Let's go, Eurovision 2021
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Published: April 27, 2021
These days, I (as well as my Bloggingheads sparring partner Glenn Loury) am asked several times a day what we can do to prevent the modern distortion of antiracism from destroying our schools. The desperation from parents, teachers and even students is heartrending – and quite challenging, given that I am a linguistics professor and editorialist rather than an educational administrator.
However, I consider myself responsible for at least trying to offer solutions instead of doing nothing but analyzing from the sidelines (the new organization FAIR has a similar mission.) And as I develop a sense of how we might reverse this anti-intellectual tide of pious, self-congratulatory nonsense from depriving generations of children of true education, I have settled upon a sense that black people will have to play a major role in the pushback, and that this can only happen if we get honest about a certain obstacle to black America’s doing so.
* * *
On what we need to push back against, we must first drop in on, for example, one Tom Taylor. He’s the head of the upper school at Riverdale Country Day school, and has penned an article where he serenely lays out his educational philosophy. You know the drill from the title alone: “Independent School Rhetoric and its Role in the Neoliberal Construction of Whiteness.” Some choice passages from Mr. Taylor’s opus:
In light of the deeply embedded and largely unexamined neoliberal ideologies in the foundation of NAIS [National Association of Independent Schools] (and thus in independent schools as a broadly constructed segment of the education landscape), it would appear that such schools are fundamentally problematic spaces.
Get ready, though: to people like this, problematic means blasphemous, and blasphemy requires desperate, and even hostile changes of procedure.
Neoliberalism and its attendant beliefs about the market, individual control, and meritocracy are existential elements of independent schools and, thus, any attempt at constructing an inclusive space or decolonizing community will face immediate challenges.
That is, the problems people like Taylor have with what they call neoliberalism justify deriding the idea of anyone having control over their fate (who isn’t white), and the things we consider it a positive trait to excel in – i.e. “meritocracy.”
Thus, private schools who find parents unwilling to accept moves toward culturally responsive schooling are free to draw a line in the sand, so to speak, and assert firmly and positively a philosophy of education that is explicitly anti-racist, decolonizing, and culturally affirming.
That is, parents’ objections are not to be heeded because today’s “antiracism” is a higher morality these “Nice White People” are too benighted to understand (although quite a few of them are South Asian and African, but never mind).
In light of the problematic elements of neoliberal ideology evident in the structures of independent schools, it is not merely a freedom they have to construct their environment in this way, but in fact an obligation.
Again, the school is channeling Jesus and will not be questioned. Thou shalt not question Tom Taylor.
Given the buzzwords, the period of composition, and current practice at such schools nationwide, we are reasonable to assume that the program Taylor is espousing will include excusing black students from real standards, teaching students to distrust one another across racial boundaries, narrowing scholastic coverage to “center” issues of oppression and inequity, “decentering,” well, just plain school as “too white,” assigning KenDiAngelonian texts as scripture, and creating an atmosphere where students and teachers are afraid to take issue with any of this because they don’t want to be rhetorically roasted alive and socially excommunicated.
And Taylor’s position is “If parents don’t like what we’re doing they can go fuck themselves. We’re right and they’re wrong.”
This man, despite his sport coats and probably pacific demeanor, is a zealot.
And of course, I am only focusing on him as an example of a type. The rest of us can say all we want about free speech, the exchange of ideas, the Enlightenment, and John Stuart Mill. But this can only serve to unite us in recollecting what progress is. We can be under no impression that any of it can touch people like Taylor. He is under the sincere impression that he is on to a larger truth beyond discussion. His mind will never change – or, the chance of it changing is too slight to merit effort.
More broadly, consider: he is 1) intelligent, 2) educated, and 3) seeking moral absolution for being white. Plus: 4) These days he’s on the defensive and thus he’ll only dig in deeper upon challenge, to avoid having to admit he’s been wrong. But that’s only if he can perceive that he has been, which is unlikely.
Cynical sorts might add that on top of all of this he’s white – he’s a member of the ruling class and tacitly (complicitly, as his own gospel has it?) sees his predilections as bearing a certain gravity. Make of that what you will; whether I believe that part varies from day to day, but it is worth consideration.
But he’s as irretrievable as a Stepford Wife – this is Invasion of the Body Snatchers territory. To attempt reaching this person would be as futile and backwards as the educational philosophy he is mistaking as wisdom. He is the squid who, when threatened, squirts a cloud of black ink and flees. (Strained analogy alert: like the ink used to print copies of White Fragility and How to Be an Anti-Racist! If only Getty Images had a picture of that I’d use it for this piece.)
* * *
And this leads to my second proposition. This KenDiAngelonianism, in its infantilization of black people for purposes of white self-congratulation, is racist, as I have discussed in this space recently. Perhaps the only way to discourage its takeover of our educational institutions will be for black people to start protesting against it on those terms, because abjuring being racist is what The Elect consider a paramount, dealbreaker reason for living. But there is a crucial obstacle to this.
Namely, many black people – and especially more educated ones, overrepresented in education, academia, and the media -- accept being treated the way Tom Taylors prefer to treat us.
Why do so many of us accept this condescension as a compliment, almost enjoying being told we are too dumb to be truly educated, to be specific, or to be subject to genuine competition? Psychology has an answer to this question: a personal trait called the tendency for interpersonal victimhood, or an embrace of victimhood status.
In a word, there are people who exaggerate the degree of their victimhood, and by extension, groups of people who do. For clinical details, this article is useful; I also recommend this overview. There is a whole literature on this syndrome.
The syndrome manifests itself according to these four facets:
1) Constantly seeking recognition of one’s victimhood
2) Frequently ruminating about past discrimination
3) A sense of moral elitism, as a way to maintain a positive self-image
4) Lack of empathy for the pain and suffering of others
It is impossible not to recognize a certain strain of thought in the black American community in those four tenets, let’s face it. The parallel is almost eerie, and too close to be insignificant. The constant seeking of recognition as a victim – i.e. beyond what reality would lead one to expect – is, unfortunately, most writing on race today: the guilty sense you may have that racism exists but a great many thinkers exaggerate about it is stimulated by this facet of the victimhood identity. Too, the sense one may have that black people resist the basic coping strategy of getting beyond the past is due to the ruminating aspect.
3) and 4) may seem somewhat unfair to level at people who have been through so much, but in truth, they also apply to modern black America. The moral elitism is behind the essentialization of whites as a monolithic clump of evil (with whites like Robin DiAngelo encouraging it), while the lack of empathy for others’ suffering comes out in, for example, indignation that Asians battle the discrimination against them in elite university admissions policies, the idea being that it is “racist” for them to resist this bias because it benefits black admits.
What causes a person to embrace the victimhood mindset? What is called anxious attachment, stemming from doubts about one’s social value. The question is why black people would not have doubts about their social value given our history. The Elect cannot claim I am just making that up, as they found their whole approach to black people on the very idea that the society is built upon devaluing us socially.
Importantly, psychologists specify that the victimhood mindset need not come from actual victimhood: trauma may, but may not create the mindset, and the mindset may, but may not come from trauma. Rather, one can be socialized into embracing the victimhood mindset because, on a day to day level, it can function as a source of comfort and even belonging.
Psychologists have noted this tendency in various groups worldwide. Claims that somehow this analysis is mysteriously inapplicable to the descendants of African slaves in America will require careful argumentation, and will be unlikely to stand.
* * *
A part of grappling with race in our current moment will be to get past a sense of recoil we may have at applying this psychological analysis to a critical mass of black American people. The idea is not that such people are insane; however, this victimhood mindset is a mental quirk which, among other things, makes too many black people listen to people like Tom Taylor and smile.
However, our approach here cannot be to simply call out the syndrome and leave it there. Name-calling doesn’t change people. Rather, we must focus on what a person, or a people, gain from letting go of the temptations of this victimhood mindset.
For example, as Scott Barry Kaufman notes, the moral elitism forces us to turn away from the complexity of the real world, as in, the only world in which we can forge actual solutions to actual problems. Overall, Kaufman asks:
“What if we all learned at a young age that our traumas don’t have to define us? That it’s possible to have experienced a trauma and for victimhood to not form the core of our identity? That it’s even possible to grow from trauma, to become a better person, to use the experiences we’ve had in our lives toward working to instill hope and possibility to others who were in a similar situation? What if we all learned that it’s possible to have healthy pride for an in-group without having out-group hate?”
Note that this is perfect common sense, and yet that a Tom Taylor reads such a thing and glumly shakes his head. Kaufman’s humanistic wisdom is exactly what a Tom Taylor is opposed to, because it isn’t about showing that you aren’t a racist.
A Tom Taylor wants black people to embrace a victimhood mindset because it makes him feel anointed.
Black people, black parents, black students, must understand the nature of this victimhood mindset, the fact that we suffer from it disproportionately, and get out from under it, whether Tom Taylor likes it or not. We must get past the idea that for the descendants of African slaves and only us, studied defeatism is a strategy for success and contentment.
Now: how to turn a call for action like that into reality is something I am still thinking about. Actively.
For decades, schools have been under fire from Xtian religionists who have made fighting against secularization of education (”taking god out of school”) and opposing the teaching of evolution their moral imperative.
But where Xtian religious fanatics have (thus far) failed to undermine education by implementing their program of Xtian creationism, Woke religious fanatics have had far more success. Their program and moral imperatives of authoritarianism, puritanism, and their own brand of outright pseudoscience and mythology - such as “Mathematx” and ”The 1619 Project” - have been not just allowed in, but given full-throated and enthusiastic endorsement from ideologically possessed activists posing as teachers, who are more than willing to sacrifice the mental health and future prospects of their students in pursuit of churning out junior activists.
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Can you please explain more what you mean by your tags on the post from himbobf?
(sorry this rant gets very aggressive, it’s not necessarily targeted at you anon).
nowhere in the post is op talking about blm, yet people in the notes decided that because he’s calling out americans for being self centered people who only give a shit about their own issues (there’s decades of entire academic studies about the subject, believe me when latines say gringos don’t give a fuck about us we know what we’re talking about) it means he’s being anti-black. which is absolutely ridiculous, and here’s the reasons why:
1) assuming what’s happening in mexico and colombia does not affect black people, when both of those countries (colombia especially) have a huge black community. afrolatines are the biggest target of police brutality alongside indigenous people. by this assumption, they read the post as “you should care about latines but not black people” when black people are included in this problem in the first place. we’re trying to bring attention to an issue that directly affects black people.
2) making the absolute worst possible interpretation of the post based solely on bad faith criticism. read the og post again, nowhere in there says “we supported you with blm now you have to stop caring about that and care about us.” nope. this is about how people from literally all over the globe went out into the streets in the middle of a pandemic last year in support of blm, millions of latines included. how every time the american people are in trouble we’re there to show support however we can because we care about other people. yet when we ask the same, for americans to just listen for five fucking minutes, suddenly it’s too much to ask. it’s taking attention from their own issues.
3) the supposedly “guilt tripping” tactic. sorry, but op was ranting on his own blog about how tiring it feels to be the ant under the boot. last year i got tired of seeing posts that said “if you don’t reblog this, you’re racist. if you don’t signal boost, you’re trash. if you don’t care, i’m blocking you.” that’s fucking guilt tripping. but did you us see complaining? no, because we understand where that sentiment is coming from, and because we care about other people. we’re taught to care about other people.
4) police brutality and military intervention in latin america is not by any means a problem that’s not correlated to police brutality in the usa. for half a century now we’ve been the experimentation ground for all the violent tactics the usa’s military and police use then on their own citizens. i’ve said it before, and i’ll say it again: you won’t fix police brutality until you fix imperialism.
5) tone policing. “i’m sorry that’s happening sweetie but if you were nicer about it maybe we would listen :)” PEOPLE HAVE DIED. PEOPLE ARE DYING RIGHT NOW. we don’t care about being nice.
look at the fucking responses and asks they sent op. it’s incredibly transparent that they really do not give a single shit about latines, and given the slightest validation by hanging a morally justified reason like racism they will turn into xenophobic monsters. look at the shit they sent for fuck’s sake.
that post is a prime example about how americans will look for whatever excuse to never revise their own biases and prejudice, and how every time someone says anything that hits a little too close to home, it’s time to search up and down for reasons to have the moral high ground and destroy that person. everything is about “me, me, me, and only me.” we get it, you invented individualistic neoliberalism for a reason. we get it, you have literally zero cultural allies in other countries and have made enemies of everyone around you. being a minority in the usa doesn’t take away the fact that you’re from the fucking usa. you might not be living a comfortable life like white americans, but you’re absolutely reproducing the cultural biases and prejudices towards everyone else that you’re complaining about. but then again, american mentality at its best, it’s not a problem until it’s a problem that affects me.
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Psychiatry Confronts Its Racist Past, and Tries to Make Amends Dr. Benjamin Rush, the 18th-century doctor who is often called the “father” of American psychiatry, held the racist belief that Black skin was the result of a mild form of leprosy. He called the condition “negritude.” His onetime apprentice, Dr. Samuel Cartwright, spread the falsehood throughout the antebellum South that enslaved people who experienced an unyielding desire to be free were in the grip of a mental illness he called “drapetomania,” or “the disease causing Negroes to run away.” In the late 20th century, psychiatry’s rank and file became a receptive audience for drug makers who were willing to tap into racist fears about urban crime and social unrest. (“Assaultive and belligerent?” read an ad that featured a Black man with a raised fist that appeared in the “Archives of General Psychiatry” in 1974. “Cooperation often begins with Haldol.”) Now the American Psychiatric Association, which featured Rush’s image on its logo until 2015, is confronting that painful history and trying to make amends. In January, the 176-year-old group issued its first-ever apology for its racist past. Acknowledging “appalling past actions” on the part of the profession, its governing board committed the association to “identifying, understanding, and rectifying our past injustices,” and pledged to institute “anti-racist practices” aimed at ending the inequities of the past in care, research, education and leadership. This weekend, the A.P.A. is devoting its annual meeting to the theme of equity. Over the course of the three-day virtual gathering of as many as 10,000 participants, the group will present the results of its yearlong effort to educate its 37,000 mostly white members about the psychologically toxic effects of racism, both in their profession and in the lives of their patients. Dr. Jeffrey Geller, the A.P.A.’s outgoing president, made that effort the signature project of his one-year term of office. “This is really historic,” he said in a recent interview. “We’ve laid a foundation for what should be long-term efforts and long-term change.” Dr. Cheryl Wills, a psychiatrist who chaired a task force exploring structural racism in psychiatry, said the group’s work could prove life-changing for a new generation of Black psychiatrists who will enter the profession with a much greater chance of knowing that they are valued and seen. She recalled the isolation she experienced in her own early years in medicine, and the difficulty she has had in finding other Black psychiatrists to whom she can refer patients. “It’s an opportunity of a lifetime,” she said. “In psychiatry, just like any other profession, it needs to start at the top,” she said of her hope for change. “Looking at our own backyard before we can look elsewhere.” For critics, however, the A.P.A.’s apology and task force amount to a long-overdue, but still insufficient, attempt at playing catch-up. They point out that the American Medical Association issued an apology in 2008 for its more than 100-year history of having “actively reinforced or passively accepted racial inequalities and the exclusion of African-American physicians.” “They’re taking these tiny, superficial, palatable steps,” said Dr. Danielle Hairston, a task force member who is also president of the A.P.A.’s Black caucus and the psychiatry residency training director at Howard University College of Medicine. “People will be OK with saying that we need more mentors; people will be OK with saying that we’re going to do these town halls,” she continued. “That’s an initial step, but as far as real work, the A.P.A has a long way to go.” The question for the organization — with its layers of bureaucracy, widely varied constituencies and heavy institutional tradition — is how to get there. Critics operating both inside and outside the A.P.A. say that it still must overcome high hurdles to truly address its issues around racial equity — including its diagnostic biases, the enduring lack of Black psychiatrists and a payment structure that tends to exclude people who can’t afford to pay out of pocket for services. “All these procedural structures that are in place are helping to perpetuate the system and keep the system functioning the way it was designed to function,” said Dr. Ruth Shim, the director of cultural psychiatry and professor of clinical psychiatry at the University of California, Davis, who left the A.P.A. in frustration last summer. They all add up, she said, to “an existential crisis in psychiatry.” A racist history White psychiatrists have pathologized Black behavior for hundreds of years, wrapping up racist beliefs in the mantle of scientific certainty and even big data. The A.P.A. was first called the Association of Medical Superintendents of American Institutions for the Insane, according to Dr. Geller, who last summer published an account of psychiatry’s history of structural racism. The group came into being in the wake of the 1840 federal census, which included a new demographic category, “insane and idiotic.” The results were interpreted by pro-slavery politicians and sympathetic social scientists to find a considerably higher rate of mental illness among Black people in the Northern states than among those in the South. In the decades following Reconstruction, prominent psychiatrists used words like “primitive” and “savage” to make the cruelly racist claim that Black Americans were unfit for the challenges of life as independent, fully enfranchised citizens. T.O. Powell, superintendent of the infamous State Lunatic Asylum in Milledgeville, Ga., and president of the American Medico-Psychological Association (the precursor to the A.P.A.), went so far as to outrageously state in 1897 that before the Civil War, “there were comparatively speaking, few Negro lunatics. Following their sudden emancipation their number of insane began to multiply.” Psychiatry continued to pathologize — and sometimes demonize — African-Americans, with the result that, by the 1970s, the diagnosis of psychosis was handed out so often that the profession was essentially “turning schizophrenia into a Black man’s disorder of aggression and agitation,” said Dr. Hairston, a contributor to the 2019 book, “Racism and Psychiatry.” Since then, numerous studies have shown that an almost all-white profession’s lack of attunement to Black expressions of emotion — and its frequent conflation of distress with anger — have led to an under-diagnosis of major depression, particularly in Black men, and an overreliance upon the use of antipsychotic medications. Black patients are less likely than white patients to receive appropriate medication for their depression, according to a 2008 report published in “Psychiatric Services.” Fixing the problem To change course, and serve Black patients better, organized psychiatry is going to need to make a higher priority of training doctors to really listen, said Dr. Dionne Hart, a Minneapolis psychiatrist and addiction medicine specialist and an adjunct assistant professor of psychiatry at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science. “We checked a lot of boxes publicly,” she said in an interview. “Now we have to do the work. We have to show we’re committed to undoing the harm and working with all of our colleagues from all over the country to recognize trauma and acknowledge trauma where it exists and get people appropriate treatment.” Psychiatrists lean liberal, and many say that people with mental illness are a marginalized and underserved group. In 1973, the A.P.A. made history by removing “homosexuality” as a psychiatric diagnosis from the second edition of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. But the kind of soul searching that occurred around that decision has taken much longer with race. Psychiatry today remains a strikingly white field where only 10.4 percent of practitioners come from historically underrepresented minority groups, who now make up nearly 33 percent of the U.S. population, according to a 2020 study published in “Academic Psychiatry.” That study found that in 2013, Black Americans were only 4.4 percent of practicing psychiatrists. The discipline’s history of pathologizing Black people — to “regard Black communities as seething cauldrons of psychopathology,” as three reform-minded authors put it in 1970 in the American Journal of Psychiatry — has deterred some Black medical students from entering the profession. “Some people in my family, even now won’t say that I’m a psychiatrist,” Dr. Hairston noted. “A family member told me on my match day that she was disappointed that I had matched to psychiatry and not another specialty — it seemed like I was letting the family down.” The difficulty in finding a Black psychiatrist can put a damper on the willingness of Black patients to seek treatment. And psychiatric help is also strikingly inaccessible for patients without money. Psychiatry is an outlier among other medical specialties for the extent to which its practitioners choose not to participate in public or private health insurance programs. In 2019, a study by the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission found that psychiatrists were the least likely medical providers to accept any type of health insurance: Just 62 percent were accepting new patients with either commercial plans or Medicare, while an even more anemic 36 percent were accepting new patients using Medicaid. In contrast, across all providers, 90 percent reported accepting new patients with private insurance, 85 percent said they accepted those with Medicare and 71 percent were willing to see Medicaid patients. Many psychiatrists say they do not participate in health insurance because the reimbursement rates are too low. A 2019 study showed that, nationwide, reimbursement rates for primary care physicians were almost 24 percent higher than for mental health practitioners — including psychiatrists. In 11 states, that gap widened to more than 50 percent. The A.P.A.’s advocacy in this particular area of equity has focused on pushing for full insurer compliance with the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, a 2008 law that requires health insurance plans that provide mental health care coverage to do so at a level comparable to what they provide for physical health care. While the profession hopes for higher reimbursement rates, the gap that affects patients, in the short term, is inequitable access to treatment. “The thing that’s always bothered me the most in the practice of psychiatry is, you can talk about your commitment to things like equity, but if you have a system where a lot of people can’t get access, so many patients are cut off from access to quality care,” said Dr. Damon Tweedy, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University and the author of “Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor’s Reflections on Race and Medicine.” “What are our values?” said Dr. Tweedy, who sees patients at the Durham Veterans Affairs Health Care System. “We might say one thing, but our actions suggest another.” Source link Orbem News #Amends #confronts #Psychiatry #racist
This Is How They Tell Me The World Ends
“They say the first step in solving a problem is recognizing there is one. This book is my own ‘left of boom’ [military lingo for getting to the bomb-maker before a bomb is made] effort. It is the story of our vast digital vulnerability, of how and why it exists, of the governments that have exploited and enabled it and the rising stakes for all of us. While this story may be familiar to some, I suspect it is one few are aware of, and even fewer truly understand. But it is our ignorance of these issues that has become our greatest vulnerability of all. Governments count on it. They’ve relied on classification requirements and front companies and the technical nature of the issues involved to conceal and confuse one stubborn fact: The very institutions charged with keeping us safe have opted, time and time again, to leave us more vulnerable. My hope is that this book may serve as a wake-up call, to encourage the awareness necessary to solve what may be the most complex puzzle of our digital age.” (p. 440)
Dr. Shoshana Zuboff wrote The Age of Surveillance Capitalism in 2019. Perlroth’s book could be a potent addendum to that work as infosec experts glean greater and greater info into the espionage, PSYOPS, and combat taking place within the circuitry of the world. Take in mind that most of this is seriously under-the-radar and classified stuff, which leans easily into some right-wing demographics saying such information is baseless “conspiracies”. (Perlroth does have a link to her thorough bibliography, and a solid 100 pages of endnotes in my e-copy to leave the mouth-breathers clutching their anonymous Parler handles and berating the New York Times because that is what their media moguls’ puppeteers do.) I’ve been apart of at least three large hacks (that I know of) and have three organizations trying to watch my back as all that info has been cast into the murk of the dark web. NetGalley got hacked just last week. The facts are there for those who have been paying attention, and Perlroth was elbowed into this niche facet of journalism, learning so much over the last 10 years, and summarizes the evolution of cyberwarfare well enough here—and it’s horrifying.
“By the time the NSA’s exploits boomeranged back on American towns, cities, hospitals, and universities, there was no one to guide Americans over the threshold, to advise them, or even to tell them that this was the threshold they would be crossing.
For decades the United States had conducted cyberwarfare in stealth, without any meaningful consideration for what might happen when those same attacks, zero-day exploits, and surveillance capabilities circled back on us. And in the decade after Stuxnet, invisible armies had lined up at our gates; many had seeped inside our machines, our political process, and our grid already, waiting for their own impetus to pull the trigger. For all the internet’s promise of efficiency and social connectivity, it was now a ticking time bomb” (p. 391).
Basically, we’re screwed. Everyone. Offense is far more powerful and better-funded than defense; governments around the world have partnered with any hacker they can to suit their needs and push their agendas; freelancers, mercenaries, fringe companies, and anarchists run wild on the web; every device is completely hackable; every company on Earth has been probed or infiltrated; the tech companies only care about their profit-margins; and, most elected officials only care about their stock portfolios. One carefully exploited “zero-day” could cripple any country, as we’ve already seen with Iran, Ukraine, Estonia, and Georgia. The use of tech can suppress a citizenry, as we know well with China and so many despotic nations. The internet can be easily exploited to sway millions of people and polarize a populace with distrust, disinformation, and propaganda, often leading to upheaval and mob violence, as we’ve seen in India, Ukraine, Britain, Myanmar, and the United States of Hypocrisy. Greed overrules morality. Power supersedes democracy. It’s only a matter of time before things get exponentially worse.
Zero-day weapon markets, Stuxnet, fuzz farms, the Patriot Act and the Pentagon’s Total Information Awareness (TIA) project, Snowden, Aurora, Heartbleed, NotPetya, WikiLeaks, Crowdfence, WannaCry . . . the list goes on.
In July of 2017, the Wolf Creek nuclear power plant in Burlington, Kansas, was hacked by Russia using a modified Stuxnet cyber-attack (https://www.wired.com/story/hack-brief-us-nuclear-power-breach/). Hell, even monolithic Google and the wealthiest man in the world, Bezos’s personal phone, were hacked. Perlroth visits several “hacking conventions” and deftly illustrates how kids can break into any device, any system, in a matter of minutes, performing on a stage for the audience, which no-doubt includes lots of federal recruiters salivating at the possibilities. But it’s not just federal organizations. It is nation-states and corporations, “white hats” and “grey hats” and “black hats”, all vying for the talent to add more soldiers to the battlefield of the code for their personal desires. The new battlefield is fought from comfy chairs far, far away.
As she learned how easy it was to access her personal information after the Aurora hack: I changed every password to every account I ever had to absurdly long song lyrics and movie quotes and switched on 2FA [two-factor authentication]. I didn’t trust password managers. Most had been hacked. Even companies that bothered to scramble, or ‘hash’, users’ passwords were no match for hackers’ ‘rainbow tables’—databases of hash values for nearly every alphanumeric character combination, up to a certain length. Dear reader, use long passwords” (pp. 248-9). I feel such things are band-aids over bullet wounds, but doing something is better than nothing.
NPR’s Terry Gross interviewed the author for Fresh Air: https://www.npr.org/2021/02/10/966254916/u-s-cyber-weapons-were-leaked-and-are-now-being-used-against-us-reporter-says
. . . and Jill Lepore of The New Yorker did a nice review of this book: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/02/08/the-next-cyberattack-is-already-under-way
“The arrogant recklessness of the people who have been buying and selling the vulnerability of the rest of us is not just part of an intelligence-agency game; it has been the ethos of Wall Street and Silicon Valley for decades. Move fast and break things; the money will trickle down; click, click, click, click, buy, buy, buy, like, like, like, like, expose, expose, expose. Perlroth likes a piece of graffiti she once saw: ‘Move slowly and fix your shit.’ Lock down the code, she’s saying. Bar the door. This raises the question of the horse’s whereabouts relative to the barn. If you listen, you can hear the thunder of hooves.”
Lock down the code. I hired on to federal service in 2014, and then the OPM breach was realized. Most federal systems have been breached, just as much as the US has breached so many foreign systems. This is the new war zone, and there are no long-term winners here, unless we philosophize about who might be standing atop the ruins when it’s all over. In 2018, the RAND Corporation complied the most comprehensive report on cyber risk to date. The report is here (https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR2299.html) and has a summary of: “The resulting values are highly sensitive to input parameters; for instance, the global cost of cyber crime has direct gross domestic product (GDP) costs of $275 billion to $6.6 trillion and total GDP costs (direct plus systemic) of $799 billion to $22.5 trillion (1.1 to 32.4 percent of GDP).”
I doubt the literal “code” can ever be truly watertight. Reading this book grants huge respect for those responsible for coding well. It is no-doubt a terribly tough job. The best bet is to unplug everything, but our Pavlovian addiction to our tech toys is unbreakable at this point, and the “Internet of Everything” will inevitably make the whole world worse, unless the powers-that-be can lock down the f-ing code. Otherwise, I fear it will take nothing short of a calamitous “accident” to show us we don’t need such things after all. (Would an exploding nuclear plant in Kansas really change peoples’ minds here? History says “no”.) Remember the Tampa water-system hack of just 3 weeks ago from this writing? (https://www.npr.org/2021/02/09/965791252/fbi-called-in-after-hacker-tries-to-poison-tampa-area-citys-water-with-lye) Buckle up, because those “invisible armies” lined up at our gates are only getting started, and while Russia is a meddling anarchist sowing confusion and division and getting its tentacles coiled around our infrastructure, China is a voraciously hungry juggernaut vacuuming up everything it possibly can (https://www.npr.org/2021/02/24/969532277/china-wants-your-data-and-may-already-have-it), while so many other countries (North Korea, Iran, Saudi Arabia, the Emirates) and so many companies, shell-fronts, criminal groups, and lone-wolf anarchists have their own agendas.
“Digital vulnerabilities that affect one affect us all. The barrier between the physical and digital worlds is wearing thin. ‘Everything can be intercepted’ is right, and most everything important already has—our personal data, our intellectual property, our chemical factories, our nuclear plants, even our own cyber weapons. Our infrastructure is now virtualized, and only becoming more so as the pandemic thrusts us online with a scope and speed we could never have imagined only weeks ago. As a result our attack surface, and the potential for sabotage, has never been greater” (p. 439).
It all raises the very question she writes on page 46: “How does anyone sleep at night?”
She does offer better bandages in the Epilogue. Scandinavia and Japan are paragon examples of nations doing the best they can. (What is with Scandinavia being so damn close to perfection in so many ways?) “We will never build resilience to cyberattacks—or foreign disinformation campaigns, for that matter—without good policy and nationwide awareness of cyber threats. We should make cybersecurity and media literacy a core part of American curriculum” (p. 449). I couldn’t agree more. The PATCH Act (Protecting our Ability to Counter Hacking Act) is also a promising start, but the proverbial Pandora’s Box has been smashed. I doubt a genuine digital Geneva Convention will ever happen, but we can certainly fortify the walls, hold transparency and accountability as tenets, and expect governments and corporations to do their utmost to protect the digital Commons.
I... I’m not sure what to really think of this current generation. Please note that I am a millennial, roughly 29 years old next month. I love the generation I grew up in, and I love my friends....and well coming to the terms with turning 30 in the next few years has made me notice something.
The current generations say that it's sad that we are just finding ourselves and it made me sit back and actually think. I’m not one of those people that straight-up discredits what people younger than me think..... even if I dislike most of the younger generation for personal reasons.... and trust me ‘youngins’ you will start to dislike others younger than you at one point too.... but they’re right. I am just starting to find myself and it is sad. But not in the ‘that's lame’ type that some talk about. It's more on the “It's sad that I had to hide for so many years” type of sad because I was afraid of what my peers thought about me...what family thought - what friends thought and what society thought about me as a whole.
I grew up mainly in the ‘00s. I was raised in the late 90′s as well....but I graduated in 2010....at eighteen. meaning in 2000...I was eight. I spent my late ‘childhood’ and my teens in the 2000′s. I grew up in rural Ohio. I was surrounded by FFA and 4H kids... which some of them are the nicest people you could ever meet - this isn’t a shit post on other lifestyles.... but again... I was surrounded by farmland and country kids....and I was artsy....and had what you would call.... *unsupportive* parents in the arts.
Not a shit on my parents - they owned up to the mistakes they made and made amends. So any hate will be deleted. But here I was barely in what Americans call 8th grade.... in Junior High(Middle School)… and I walked into a store that changed my life for the very first time.
Hot Topic. A store that made me feel at home. A store that people looked like me. I didn’t feel as alone in the world anymore... but I was still feeling forced to be someone I wasn’t....because back when I grew up... you wore what your parents got you and you didn’t complain...or you got something to complain about... and no that for me isn’t abuse bullshit. I hated dishes... I’d be told to do the dishes or sweep... or laundry. The unholy trio for me....but back on track...
So many people that are my age... even when we did rebel against our parents....we tried to keep up on what was popular and change to stay relevant. We wanted to be seen and we changed so much to change our identity....or we dressed how we were raised... which for me and my area....farms.... lower middle class were your two players. It didn’t matter in grade school....before we knew how much it cost to have not only a pair of shoes for class but another pair for gym. Before we knew that monies are what made the world go around and what was important to so many people.
Fast forward to my 9th-grade year... I was in high school. I had fallen into the cliché that most would call “goth/emo”... I literally had my computer science/web page teacher put me with a new student who wore the same pants that I did. Please note... again.... small school... like maybe 500 kids total....and that's 7-12th grade. I did make a friend....but it's sad when the teacher puts you with the only other kid that looks like you because she thinks it would be easier.
I spent most of my HS years in a small state of torment. I’m fat. I won't lie about that. I mean I can look in the mirror and see that...but I was never tormented over my weight. It was always my style of clothes, the music I listened to, what I read, what I drew, and the fact that I didn’t act like the other kids in my grade. I lost a lot of childhood friends because we were just polar opposites anymore.
I suffered through suicide attempts and hospitalizations, running through the woods trying to find a friend who was doing the same and the drama that normal teens go through, but as someone who had heightened emotions...I felt shit worse because my music had always taught us to be who we are....and while I hid some of it... I was still very much proud of who I was.
But here we are...grown adults wondering what exactly we are because so many of us were thrown into being things we weren't...and we didn't know what others were going through...all because we were so afraid to reach out to others.
So i'm sitting here....about to turn 29 and i'm just now finding myself and starting to love myself because for so long... I hated everything about myself. I didn't know why people didn't like me. I tried to be nice to others and it still didn't work. I tried to dress different because I always thought that was what was wrong. I just spent so much of my youth and younger adult years trying to just be who I wanted to be...while still hating myself.
As of 2021 I have started to love myself and change who I am. I'm taking control and becoming who I want to be - because if I can't learn to care about myself and enjoy who I am at that moment...I can't grow as a person. It doesn't matter my weight. It doesn't matter my hair, my clothes, etc - etc. As long as I have people around me who are in my corner... that's all that I need... and I feel thats what people my age are realizing as we hit these new milestones in our lives. That its not the amount of friends you have, the amount of money you have, or what you look like to others. Its having good friends, memories and loving yourself.... and the generation before me....they instilled that in their kids...and my generation is putting it in their kids minds too.
Its not even that millenials are hateful, spiteful, etc etc. We're cynical. We'd rather hate ourselves and isolate and mope in self pity because we're the ones who have to fix our problems but yet we dont want to accept that we have the problems and get help...but when we do... the help.... it works.
... or maybe therapy is just working this time. LOL
As I write this one day after 4/20 .... 2021 has been ... decent.
I've started going out more.
I have a skin care routine that I stick too
I actually drink a ton of water
I have a better relationship with both my parents
I got a new job
I have money
I'm doing better on my make up
I'm just taking things one step at a time.
In the words of Dory. "Just keep swimming"
but.... its more look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself that youre worthy of so much and to never settle for less.