And I’m actually not kidding. I gave Fieri a little bit of snark in a piece I wrote earlier, but I also acknowledged that he’s done more for small businesses than any Republican in recent memory, and received an outpouring of supportive email from Fieri supporters — owners of restaurants only still in business because of him, leaders of motorcycle gangs who plan their summer road trips around Diners, Drive-In, and Dives, etc. — so I contacted his representatives and I’ve got an interview scheduled for after the New Year.
So I’m putting it out there — outside of the branding, about which I already know how you feel, what do you think about the project behind the show? It’s the most popular program, by far, on Food Network — only Chopped approaches it — but its ethos is decidedly in line with ours. (Unless you’re that guy, in which case, this is just another example of lower class privilege, whatever that means.) Point being, set snark aside, admit to your guilty pleasure, and feel free to relay questions about why Guy Fieri pretends to like matzo balls that my bubbie would come to blows over if she heard about that recipe…
…or, you know, other questions. I’ve got that matzo ball one covered, my grandma wouldn’t forgive me if I didn’t.
…with the VanderMeer Winter Mix Tape Bundle. Jeff and Ann VanderMeer are the two greatest living curators of science fiction in my humble opinion, and the works they’re including in this bundle are worth whatever you decide to pay for them — which is up to you. They need $300 to meet their goal for the year, and I’m sure we can help them achieve that. Here’s their announcement: Read more…
(SEK is on line at the gas station waiting for a pump to open, listening to the “Hamilton” soundtrack, admittedly too loudly because he is deaf, when OLD WHITE MAN ambles up and taps on his window.)
OLD WHITE MAN: (angrily) …!
SEK: (rolls down window) Sorry, what, I couldn’t hear you?
OLD WHITE MAN: (irately) …!
SEK: (turns down “Hamilton” soundtrack) Sorry, again, what can I do you for?
OLD WHITE MAN: Turn that crap down.
Thomas, that was a real nice declaration,
Welcome to the present, we’re running a real nation.
Would you like to join us, or stay mellow,
Doin’ whatever the hell it is you do in Monticello?
OLD WHITE MAN: Turn your nigger music down, there are kids here.
OLD WHITE MAN: This used to be a Christian nation.
A civics lesson from a slaver? Hey neighbor,
Your debts are paid cuz you don’t pay for labor.
“We plant seeds in the South. We create,”
Yeah, keep ranting, we know who’s really doing the planting.
(OLD WHITE MAN walks back to his car. SEK attempts to pick up his jaw from the floor mats of his.)
“The Jew Kaufman” appeared on an accidentally special all-Jew, Hanukkah episode of Graphic Policy’s “Jonesing for Jessica” podcast with Brett, Elana, and another guest, Sarah Rasher. It was only supposed to last for an hour, but it lasted for…
…sorry, recycling the jokes I made before the show and repeated on-air is bad form. But the conversation — as any conversation about the show will inevitably be — took many a dark turn, with frank discussions of PTSD, misogyny, drug and alcohol addiction, the men’s rights advocates and their idolization of Kilgrave, as well as a few filmic observations about homages to Blowup and Rope in the fourth episode.
I’m a Jew of German descent — if you don’t believe me, just ask my surname — whose family tree would have many more branches if it hadn’t been pruned by the Nazis. Many German Jews sought refuge in the United States as the Nazis came to power, but were denied for exactly the same reasons bandied about Syrians today — they’re likely spies, they’re not really white, they can’t be trusted, etc.
That’s why Anne Frank lived in an attic and died in the camps. (Let’s not even mention the Japanese-Americans. Let’s leave that to George Takei.)
Some have argued that it’s different now — that radical Muslims are unimaginably more horrible beasts than Nazis — but if you believe that, you’re a Nazi who believes that even the most mass-murderous of mass-murdering fucks to ever walk the Earth are somehow morally superior to the current crop of Islamic extremists.
Because I’ve seen that argument made tonight — “We should have let Anne Frank in, because white German spies would’ve just behaved like spies, whereas these brown Muslims are terrorists through and through” — and I’ve witnessed it repeatedly, mouthed by people who don’t realize that they’re extolling the moral superiority of Nazis.
That bears repeating: They’re extolling the moral superiority of Nazis.
So here’s where we stand — if you believe that we shouldn’t allow Syrian refugees fleeing from ISIS into the country because you believe ISIS when it says it’s embedded terrorists in the refugee communities, you and I are done.
Because even if ISIS isn’t lying — which it is, but whatever — you’re doing moral calculus in crayon on the walls outside your racist parents’ bedroom, and it’s unbecoming of a civilized adult society. If the price of humanitarianism is that a few rotten apples spoil a barrel, it doesn’t matter because American democracy is a fucking cargo ship and the other 100,000 barrels matter too.