If we truly seek to understand segregationists — not to excuse or absolve them, but to understand them — then we must first understand how they understood themselves. Until now, because of the tendency to focus on the reactionary leaders of massive resistance, segregationists have largely been understood simply as the opposition to the civil rights movement. They have been framed as a group focused solely on suppressing the rights of others, whether that be the larger cause of “civil rights” or any number of individual entitlements, such as the rights of blacks to vote, assemble, speak, protest, or own property. Segregationists, of course, did stand against those things, and often with bloody and brutal consequences. But, like all people, they did not think of themselves in terms of what they opposed but rather in terms of what they supported. The conventional wisdom has held that they were only fighting against the rights of others. But, in their own minds, segregationists were instead fighting for rights of their own — such as the “right” to select their neighbors, their employees, and their children’s classmates, the “right” to do as they pleased with their private property and personal businesses, and, perhaps most important, the “right” to remain free from what they saw as dangerous encroachments by the federal government. To be sure, all of these positive “rights” were grounded in a negative system of discrimination and racism. In the minds of segregationists, however, such rights existed all the same. Indeed, from their perspective, it was clearly they who defended individual freedom, while the “so-called civil rights activists” aligned themselves with a powerful central state, demanded increased governmental regulation of local affairs, and waged a sustained assault on the individual economic, social, and political prerogatives of others. The true goal of desegregation, these white southerners insisted, was not to end the system of racial oppression in the South, but to install a new system that oppressed them instead. As this study demonstrates, southern whites fundamentally understood their support of segregation as a defense of their own liberties, rather than a denial of others’.

Understanding segregationists in such a light illuminates the links between massive resistance and modern conservatism.
Kevin M. Cruse, White Flight: Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism (2005)

Paul Simon, “Graceland,” Graceland (1986)

About five years ago, maybe more, I declared that I hated Paul Simon’s “Graceland.” I like it now, and nothing has changed.

When I first considered this, Simon’s lyrics encroached too strongly on me: “My travelling companion is nine years old; he’s the child of my first marriage.” I couldn’t handle — I knew at the time I couldn’t handle — this bland subdued adulthood: an adulthood of fatherhood and divorce and nine-year-olds who can be companions. It felt unfathomably sad to me, to be living that modestly, and it wasn’t the kind of sadness that was cathartic, but the sort that drags you down with it.

"The Mississippi Delta is shining like a National Guitar/I am following the river down the highway to the cradle of the Civil War."

It’s a lyric freighted with history, and I’ve become more comfortable with history as I’ve got older. Simon’s song is about helplessness, religiously grounded or otherwise — “we’ve got reason to believe we all will be received in Graceland” —  and I guess maybe as you get older helplessness seems more acceptable. Not more real, since we’ve never not been helpless, but not something that always needs to be kicked against.

Defeat made beautiful.

I don’t think I was wrong when I was younger and that I am right now. It’s too tempting to see life as a linear journey from ignorance to wisdom, ever building to a more perfect existence, but I don’t think that’s true. We think the things that we think because we think they’re best suited to our time now. For every action we could have improved through 20/20 hindsight, there’s another that could benefit from youthful impetuousness.

Appreciating the sadness of “Graceland” is something young men are right not to do. We should not feel the strain of sons of divorced marriages. We should recoil when asked to understand how flimsy is our grasp on our histories.

"There is a girl in New York City who calls herself the human trampoline."

Paul Simon is too clever for his own good, always. “The man in the gabardine suit is a spy.” “Orangutans are skeptical of changes in their cages.” In “Graceland,” his smarminess almost works; it’s part of the character.

Probably U2 already got there first though. (With “Trash, Trampoline, and the Party Girl.)

(Source: Spotify)


I only really understood the joke of “Gangnam Style” after had I come here. Gangnam is the complete opposite of some goofball dancing like a horse — the comedy is in how Psy is the farthest thing from Gangnam style imaginable. Back when the song came out, there were too many thinkpieces about how “political” it was, and though that might be going too far, the tune does manifest an undercurrent of class revenge: all those fancy rich people must have slowly had to come to the realization that their upmarket address now connotes a silly music video.


I am in Fukuoka now.

Seoul was a wonderful place and I had such fun there, but it is a relief to be in a place where I can say and understand more than two phrases. (In Korea: “gamsa hamnida” — thank you — and “sillye hamnida” — excuse me.) Don’t by any means overestimate my command of the Japanese language — it is very poor — but it’s amazing what a difference it makes in terms of sociability to just have the rudiments of a language, to be able to read some of it, and to understand how it is supposed to work. After four days of near silence, it’s fantastic to again make sounds, even ones not in my native tongue, even if they’re not always the correct sounds.

Also had a dope Hakata ramen at this izakaya, so there’s that.


There is a clothing chain here called Teenie Weenie. It seems to occupy kind of a Urban Outfitters/American Apparel market niche, except its stores deliberately cultivate an aesthetic of WASP Teddy Ruxpin. Here are bears summering in the Hamptons. Here are bears getting ready for freshman year at an Ivy League college. Here are bears wearing the new moderately priced line of spring fashion.
Dontgetit.
EDIT:
Can someone who knows Korean please translate the bios of Willy and Kate, from Newhaven Connecticut?
EDIT EDIT: 
omg, are Willy and Kate perhaps named for that dreadful autocratic couple?

There is a clothing chain here called Teenie Weenie. It seems to occupy kind of a Urban Outfitters/American Apparel market niche, except its stores deliberately cultivate an aesthetic of WASP Teddy Ruxpin. Here are bears summering in the Hamptons. Here are bears getting ready for freshman year at an Ivy League college. Here are bears wearing the new moderately priced line of spring fashion.

Dontgetit.

EDIT:

Can someone who knows Korean please translate the bios of Willy and Kate, from Newhaven Connecticut?

EDIT EDIT: 

omg, are Willy and Kate perhaps named for that dreadful autocratic couple?


It took me about twenty minutes before I figured out why the train carriages looked so familiar.

It took me about twenty minutes before I figured out why the train carriages looked so familiar.


mizufae:

screwrocknroll:

You guys are caterpillar. Let’s try to be eaten!!

This is an Adventure Time short animated by Yuasa Masaaki who is one of my favorite animators (not just anime, all animation regardless of style and culture) of all time. The best thing he’s ever made is a show called Kaiba, which if you have the chance to see it (it’s legally on dvd on Australia, please get them!) I promise you will have a gorgeous and possibly mind-blowing experience and you might cry.

And here’s the answer to the Who’s Yuasa Masaaki question that’s been floating round the back of my mind the past couple hours. (Thanks Mizu!)


You guys are caterpillar. Let’s try to be eaten!!


He set his spoon on the table, lifted the glass, and tilted it back, and as I watched the milkshake tumble into his mouth, I felt that affection you feel for boys when you see the ways they’re different from you that’s not a bad way.
Curtis Sittenfeld, Prep (2005)

Listening to their cries, I felt a familiar jealousy of boys. I didn’t want what they had, but I wished that I wanted what they wanted; it seemed liked happiness was easier for them.

Curtis Sittenfeld, Prep (2005)

Hmm.



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