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Thread: The Daily Groan (A thread to ease your pain) - The 3rd!

  1. #781
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    Aw, man. Sorry to hear that, blood. I know that pain well. I’m glad that you’ve got some happy plans!!

    ****

    Just feeling grateful right now that the scary weather this weekend hasn’t caused more destruction so far.

  2. #782
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    Well, just found out that my grandfather is dying. They expect he won’t last the rest of the week. He’s my last living grandparent. He lives out of state, and my work conditions won’t allow me to go to see him before he passes on. A lot of mixed feelings about this.

  3. #783
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    Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that. Inability to visit definitely adds an extra layer of grief to such a situation. Best wishes to you and yours.

  4. #784
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    Thanks. He passed away a little before noon today. Suddenly I was reminded of when.. holy shit, it’s been 14 years now, but it sure doesn’t seem like it, his wife, my grandmother, was dying. We received word when we were hundreds of miles down the road to visit out of state family for Thanksgiving, and we turned around and drove back. She lingered about a week in a hospice center. I remember the last time I saw her alive, she was in a state of unconsciousness, so I said goodbye and couldn’t help but cry a bit. For some reason my mother, who was in the room, found this funny and started laughing at me. All these years later I just don’t understand it. I had excised it from my memory and forgot about it until now.

    On top of that, it’s now all but confirmed that the most dramatic political event in this country in my lifetime has come to pass: the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade. I don’t feel much need to moralize over this; we’ll see plenty of that and have some to spare in the coming days, weeks, months, and years. It is abominable, but what I find absolutely striking is how, even from the perspective of conservative, this decision is so utterly self-defeating.

    To draw a comparison, in the 1930’s the Supreme Court was also dominated by Republican-appointed justices during the early years of FDR’s presidency. With the passing of the New Deal legislation, the majority of the court’s justices actually believed that several key provisions of it were unconstitutional, yet they chose not to accept cases where they would have to rule against it. Why? They made a political calculation: they judged that overturning the New Deal, even if as conservatives they actually did feel it was unconstitutional, would dangerously destabilize the country politically. They felt it was more important to secure the country’s stability rather than play ideologically driven games. It’s a purely cynical choice, make no mistake, but their wager was probably correct.

    Conservatives already were having their way and in Republican controlled states, state governments were already implementing de facto abortion bans, so why did they feel the need to make a mostly symbolic gesture over something that will almost certainly have severe consequences and work against them? That this, even from their own shitty conservative political perspective, is a terrible idea must have occurred to them. It’s impossible to imagine that they can’t predict how massive the fallout will be over this, so why did they do it? It was obvious from the start that Alito, along with Scalia(who thankfully, is now dead), were insane zealots, but to get enough of the rest of them to go along with it?

    In light of all the other problems we face like the threat of nuclear war, ecological catastrophe, skyrocketing inflation and costs of living, ever lowering wages, and more, abortion rights is a smallish slice of the pie(which, of course, by no means implies that we should yield an inch on it, ever), but I think this will have the potential to become a rallying point for all the problems with this country today. Or maybe not, we’ll see. The unthinkable, even before it has the chance to become thinkable, has had a nasty habit of coming to life, magically, before our eyes. The Trump presidency, the coronavirus, the almost overnight collapse of the Afghan government, the war in Ukraine, and now, this.

    There isn’t even really a parallel for this in history. A democratic government rolling back the clock on more than half a century of social reforms. It would be like if the Russian Empire, in response to the failed revolution of 1905, announced the re-introduction of serfdom. There’s no place of reference to make sense of anything anymore. In years past, reading on the course of ancient history, and more modern events like the two world wars, it was always kind of an odd experience. The histories describe a world of complete chaos, insane levels of violence, the complete unseating of the ‘order of things’. It was difficult to grasp that they were real things that really happened, seeming to have no connection to a world in which these things were unthinkable. Now, nothing is unthinkable, and it’s not so hard to see that people like Hitler and Stalin really did exist, but even this falls short as there’s no real comparison to the past century. Neither Hitler nor Stalin were ever imaginable before they came along, and I suspect what comes in our future will also be something that, in its specifics, nobody predicted either.

    There is a passage from Dostoevsky, I think I have mentioned it somewhere on here before in the past, but I think of it every once in a while and it came to mind again tonight upon hearing this news.

    If their Babylon is indeed going to collapse, and great will be its fall, here in Russia there is nothing to collapse, comparatively speaking. We won’t have stones tumbling down, everything will dissolve into mud. […] Russia now is preeminently the place in the whole world where anything you like can happen without the least resistance. I understand only too well why the moneyed Russians have all been pouring abroad, more and more of them every year. It’s simple instinct. If a ship is about to sink, the rats are the first to leave it. Holy Russia is a wooden country, a beggarly and … dangerous one, a country of vainglorious beggars in its upper strata, while the vast majority live in huts on chicken legs. She’ll be glad of any way out, once it has been explained to her. The government alone still wants to resist, but it brandishes its cudgel in the dark and strikes its own. Everything is doomed and sentenced here. Russia as she is has no future.
    The silver lining in this, I like to think about the words crisis and catastrophe. Both are words of greek origin, and their original meaning is not what one would expect. The greek word from which catastrophe is derived actually means ‘to overturn’, while crisis means something like ‘the point of decision’. Both are agnostic in terms of value. They describe a situation, a turning point in which things could end disastrously, or for the better.

    Perhaps all of this is a bit dramatic, but I really do see this event as the metastization of a cancer that has long been systemic. It has a broader significance than ‘just’ being an attack on reproductive rights and bodily autonomy. Possibly the closest comparison in American history would be the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, which also destabilized the country immensely and paved the way for civil war, even if it, in itself, wasn’t a ‘big deal’. I still don’t think that is even a likely outcome of this decision, only to point out that legal decisions of this nature can, and have, had immense political impact. It doesn’t even matter if abortion bans will be easily circumventable, it’s the principle of the thing.

  5. #785

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    Quote Originally Posted by TopBrass View Post
    Thanks. He passed away a little before noon today. Suddenly I was reminded of when.. holy shit, it’s been 14 years now, but it sure doesn’t seem like it, his wife, my grandmother, was dying. We received word when we were hundreds of miles down the road to visit out of state family for Thanksgiving, and we turned around and drove back. She lingered about a week in a hospice center. I remember the last time I saw her alive, she was in a state of unconsciousness, so I said goodbye and couldn’t help but cry a bit. For some reason my mother, who was in the room, found this funny and started laughing at me. All these years later I just don’t understand it. I had excised it from my memory and forgot about it until now.
    It always feels like cheap words, but I am sorry for your loss. It's never easy, heck, I don't even like to see people I don't like pass. Endings are hard. Hope you pull through all right.

  6. #786

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    TMI and also who cares.
    Last edited by Koba; May 6th, 2022 at 09:14 AM.

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