Conservatives say Frederick Douglass was optimistic about America. His words say something different. – The Washington Post

This a great takedown of a white guy mansplaining black history. Note, the author of this piece is also white, and I’m white. After watching Ansari last night, I’m thinking a little more about the circle of white people talking about race. But this piece has some great points:

Cruz’s selective reading of the illustrious freedom fighter is emblematic of the modern conservative co-optation of Douglass and other civil rights leaders’ radical challenges to white supremacy. His call for deeper contextual consideration of Douglass’s words is welcome, but probably not for the reason Cruz intends. Douglass’s major public remarks during the last years of his life — the 1890s — show that Cruz dramatically overstates his optimism that the United States will ever be willing to repair the generational damage it has inflicted on black people.

The Republican Party, Douglass said, had become “a party of money rather than a party of morals, a party of things rather than a party of humanity and justice.”

“Put away your race prejudices. … Recognize the fact that the rights of the humblest citizen are as worthy of protection as are those of the highest.”

microblog, Quotes

Review: ‘Aziz Ansari Right Now’

We ended up watching Aziz Ansari’s new special on Netflix last night. This review over at The Vulture is pretty dead on:

But the total impression of Right Now is not that it’s a defensive screed from a wealthy comedian claiming that the audience is also at fault for his behavior. It doesn’t feel like a series of excuses, either, or a plain humble prostration, or an abandonment of comedy in the face of seriousness. It is at times all of those things, and Ansari argues for, variously, the importance of reconsidering the past, the importance of discarding the past, the need for wokeness, the exhaustion of wokeness, the significance of cultural context, the frustration of contextual truths, the need for gratitude, and the emotional difficulty of gratitude. It’s intentionally full of contradictions, and Ansari has no interest in trying to resolve them. Right Now feels like a reckoning because it feels like an hour of Ansari, actively and sometimes futilely and often hilariously, attempting to wrestle with what it means to be an artist in the world right now. I’m not sure that it matters much that the result is a tangle of contradictions and generalizations and personal stories; the tangle is carefully choreographed, and the contradictions are intentional. This version of reckoning is less about answers, and more about the process of posing them.

Gaming, Writing

Dr. Doolittle, I Presume?

Animal Crossing? No freakin’ way! The number of hours that I’ve sunk into living in the woods with cartoon animals, on the GameCube, on the DS, on the Wii, really can’t be measured. There are still times when I look out at my overgrown lawn and am reminded of booting up my town after a long absence and have to pull all the weeds.

Pocket Camp has been out for a while, but last night was the first time that I gave it a try. And wow, it is very Animal Crossing. They did a great job of catching the feel of it, the way it looks and the way it sounds. So far, I’ve just put my toe in the water. I’m curious to see if it syncs with my phone. Blades does, and it’s been satisfying to pick up and play on either device.


Wish Fulfillment

It starts as a blend of Star Wars and Ranger Rick. I had started a Ranger Rick fan club with my best friend Josh Nissim and his little brother Jared, and I guess Josh? I think there were four of us, but it couldn’t have been Josh, and it couldn’t have been then, because Josh would have been really little, but I guess he had been taken to see Star Wars (at the Rogers, I think, on East Main (?)). (East Wood. But it was the Rogers Theater. Wow, that came out of nowhere.)

Anyway, the “Animi Knights” were a take on Jedi Knights, except we had the power to communicate with animals, turn into animals, and we fought with tree branches in Josh Nissim’s backyard.

The next time the Animi makes an appearance, I’m in sixth grade at the Lutheran school. I see an interaction between some boys and girls in the hallway in front of the bathrooms, and I’m taken with this idea of boys and girls being on two different sides in a war. I start daydreaming about it, and it grows into this saga were a group of women are in control of this area in the mountains, it’s a forest and it’s winter, the women are in charge and the men do the manual labor, and there’s a small group of men who’ve rebelled and are living in the forest, and then this guy in our world, and I don’t know why this is important, but it was, establishing how he went from our world to their world, it was common on TV or in movies, I think, the other world couldn’t just be it’s own world, anyway, this guy in our world gets hit on the head and wakes up in the other world, only now he’s the Animi, and he leads the men against the women which is essentially the plot from my novel.

I daydreamed about this a lot at school, and then one night I was thinking about it as I fell asleep, and had a really vivid dream based on it. And when I woke up, things were different, were better, because I had discovered The Dream. The Dream was place you where you could go to escape. Life was inherently boring, and if I couldn’t be playing with my toys or watching TV, then I would be in The Dream. The Dream was this story, and whenever I got bored or just wanted to get out of reality, I would start playing through this story in my mind. And I’m still escaping into The Dream to this day, though now The Dream mostly takes the form of video games.

blogs, Gaming, Writing

Weary To My Bones

I want to be playing a game. I’m tired, a little groggy, a little drunk, maybe a little sick. It’s been a busy week at work. It’s been a busy week taking care of kids, a house, a cat, a spouse. I want to be playing a game, but booting up the console feels like too much work. I’d have to get up off the bed, and the cat looks awfully comfortable sleeping at my side. I don’t want to read any more news, any more Twitter, any more Reddit. I want to be playing a game.

My current jam is Fallout 76. I don’t even want to get into it. Unraveling the way this game consumed me the last couple of months would take more wattage than my brain can muster at the moment. Let’s just say I finally found the deep play game I was looking for, in a title I had written off late last year. Needless to say, it’s not a casual thing. The spouse will be home soon and then we’ll probably head towards bed, maybe watch something before we turn out the lights. I don’t know how much time I have to fill, but 76 takes time.

I want to play a game on this iPad, this beautiful, wonderful machine, the greatest computer I’ve ever owned, and I’ve been typing words on computer screens for years and years now. I know my machines. But I haven’t found a game that has really grabbed me here. Games made for mobile seem to relish being in the shallow end, fleeting moments of fun to pick up and put down. I do have a couple of chess games going, but making three moves will eat up all of a minute, and then I’ll be right back to where I was, sitting here on the bed next to sleeping cat, slowly finishing this last beer, each sip slightly warmer than the last.

My mind needs something to do, something to chew on. It never sits still. I’m weary to my bones but I’m also bored, and there is nothing worse than being bored, nothing worse than wanting to do something and have no idea what that thing should be. I want to be playing a game because I have to be conscious, it’s too early to go to bed and I’m not that tired. Besides, the cat snores.

I guess looking for a game on the iPad will give me something to do. I’ll let you know what I find.