Mailbag – Lucifer’s Hammer Edition

Editor’s Note: It’s been a full year since I wrote my last Mailbag note, which is kinda pat

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  1. Avatar for bully bully says:

    Don Draper is perfect Ben. I tell everyone that Dems, and Reps, are just teams with different color jersey’s playing the same game. If you think that Biden gives more of a fuck about you than Trump, you’re a chump. McConnell cares more about anything than Pelosi,
    yep, you’re a chump.

  2. Tinder…but for ET :slight_smile:

  3. I also have a profound feeling of foreboding about the near future in the US. My overarching goal is to keep my family safe, and the scenarios I’ve imagined where that becomes urgently relevant are not fun, at all. My parents live just outside a major city and give lip service to getting out of Dodge, but probably won’t get around to it. Makes it hard to concentrate on work, and I’ll feel pretty dumb if it ends up being nothing. But if it does end up being nothing, the rubber band will just get stretched even farther, and hurt more when it breaks. Without BITFD, nothing but the window dressing will ever actually improve meaningfully.

    I don’t know what you guys think of Jimmy Dore, but he makes me laugh and that’s worth a lot these days. One of his recurring themes is that Donald Trump’s cardinal sin is saying the quiet part out loud. Obama didn’t think of you, nor did GWB. [Bill might have felt your pain, but it probably turned him on.] But they pretended to, and as long as enough people bought it, we could keep kicking the can down the road. That’s falling apart.

  4. Avatar for O.P.A O.P.A says:


  5. Avatar for RussJ RussJ says:

    Thank you, Ben.

  6. What to say? I’m with Andy - fourth from last commentor in article - it seems beyond any scope I’ve ever dealt with.
    But you made the effort, so I will too.

    Peaceful resistance is the first thing one should do, not the last. When all around people in positions of authority are failing to do what’s right, failing even to understand what’s right, when leadership condones, even declares support for wrong-headed actors, when what has heretofore passed as justice turns a blind eye to official and orthodox corrupt practices, then it is time for the honourable, intelligent and generous person to stand up and declare foul. And articulate a right and fair course of action.
    Of course then, the first thing to do is to push back against the status quo.

    But we’ve all seen, over the past 3 years, the feckless and impotent Congress. Their endless hearings about some very consequential things, their Impeachment of the President, the 10’s of $millions spent, the resources of the whole apparatus of the United States of America at their disposal - and what? A few low-level scumballs arrested. Local cops in Bumfuck Idaho do that every Saturday nite.

    Not a damn thing has changed, for the better, in the last 3 years with all this rationalist, incrementalist liberal approach. Three years, or four, or eight, is not a long time in the Great Liberal Democracy experiment. But it is plenty of time to derail an unaware and otherwise preoccupied society for a few generations, even one as ostensibly grand as America.

    So in the great sweep of time the American experiment in democracy might prevail. It should. Time will only tell. I will be long gone, and so will you, when the answer is known.
    In the meantime we, all of us, will have this November to live through. This November, that has been left over by the peaceful resistance, seemingly lost by the greatest democratic institutions known to mankind and not coincidentally, threatened by just another gang of authoritarian thugs. This November, with charred landscapes across half the country, with corpses piled up in every morgue and cemeteries filled to bursting, with vicious enemies aggressively posturing on every horizon, we are well and truly in some kind of Hell.
    This November we will stare into that abyss. And decide how we will die or live. We are all going to die; that is assured. But is everyone going to live and more to the point, live how they want?

    If history teaches us anything, if studying the humanities teaches us anything, it is this: If you value the right to live your live freely as you choose, you must risk that very same life and fight fight for it.

    So, no. I’m not comfortable with where ET seems to be going.
    I like your idea of the Pack, I like the smart and erudite commenters here, I like the thoughtful arguments and insightful conclusions.
    But the idea of not pushing back against these motherfuckers with everything I’ve got as they BITFD; my life, my family, my liberal-democratic society - not a chance!
    Many, many people have died so that I might choose to live this way.
    I fear that many, many more will have to, so that future generations can also make that choice.

  7. Avatar for tobinh tobinh says:

    Iraq has lived competition games of one sort or another since the 50s. I work to BITFU - Build it the F* Up.

    I believe that we need to think local. First milestone today. The arch that ISIL tried to blew up is still standing and now supported. The rebuild starts soon.

  8. One thing that could help is a simple example of your news themes meta-tracker to share with our little packs. I mention what you have done to the 15 or so that follow my personal newsletter but not sure they understand well enough to believe. It is a very cool way to demonstrate what I could see but not quantify; how politicians working with the media raise ideas as trial balloons to see if they get any traction. Most fail, others catch on and so we are flogged with them.

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