Here’s my thing though.

It pains me that my last newsletter, A few good links about the alt-right, did not include the greatest summary of it yet.

One more alt-right link for you. This op-ed reads like a smart person read this study and decided to write about American white nationalism by taking the perspective of one of the threatened white people.

Listen, I guess I mostly agree with the author of this op-ed. I think he VASTLY overestimates some things and VASTLY underestimates others. That makes him kinda confused and misguided, but not completely wrong. Here’s my thing though. You can believe all the insane, problematic, repulsive things you want. But you CANNOT tell me objectively bad writing is good writing. This is bad writing.

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Yesterday Hugo Schwyzer wrote something that I really liked.

I can’t stop thinking about Anthony Weiner and Huma Abedin.

Weiner’s story is my story, more or less. Charming, bright, nerdy guy marries extraordinary, beautiful immensely accomplished woman who is in some ways a little above his grade. Guy is chronically, embarrassingly, compulsively unfaithful. Woman is bewildered because this isn’t supposed to happen to a girl like her. Woman is strong and figures there’s nothing in the world she can’t fix if she just puts her mind to it. And off we go for five years or ten: rinse, repeat, shame, wreckage, divorce.

If the guy’s willful enough about refusing to acknowledge the obvious, he repeats this pattern with several wives, until he figures out that he and monogamy should forever keep a respectful distance. (Waving!)

The whole thing hurts, and it’s messy, and when it’s public on a small scale (as my life was) or on a global scale (as Weiner and Abedin’s drama was), it’s so desperately sad.

I will say that men who have a history of sexual compulsion can also be safe and loving fathers, and I expect Weiner will be that to his son.

I do not apologize for my empathy for Anthony Weiner. Care is not a zero-sum game; I also have huge compassion for Huma and their son. I have no compassion for the wretches in the media who regard consensual sexting as newsworthy. Infidelity isn’t news either.

This Jane Hirshfield poem seems appropriate.

FOR HORSES, HORSEFLIES

We know nothing of the lives of others.
Under the surface, what strange desires,
what rages, weaknesses, fears.

Sometimes it breaks into our daily paper
and we shake our heads in wonder –
“Who would behave in such a way” we ask.

Unspoken the thought, “Let me not be tested.”
Unspoken the thought, “Let me not be known.”

Under the surface, something that whispers
“Anything can be done.”

For horses, horseflies. For humans, shame.

Hugo has victimized women in horrible, dishonest, violent ways. I do not condone his past behavior. Yet I do not apologize for my empathy for him. I have also victimized people (mostly men) in horrible, dishonest, violent ways. Care is not a zero-sum game.

branden

The only thing truly shocking about I Got Scammed By A Silicon Valley Startup is that the author feels embarrassed. Yes, there were warning signs. But what was she supposed to do? I thought she handled it really, really well. Image adapted from @joanneprada.

This is really good advice.

One Comment

  1. jtroll

    I agree with the vast majority of this. I think most people will agree that the vast majority of people will.

    This is the greatest blog post linking to the greatest summary. The vast majority don’t always get such great satire, mostly.

    Funny photo. Or should I say “meme.” Haha. LOL.

    -(((Hugo Schwyzer)))

    “Survival never goes out of style”

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