Friday, January 11, 2019

A return? Maybe.

A friend of mine, who clearly has an outsized influence on me, suggested that I should start writing on the Gillette-Torvik blog again. I should do lots of things, of course. I do not do a lot of things I should do. Anyway, I guess my tweets were not particularly satisfying reading. I can understand that sentiment given that most of my tweets are simply using this gif in response to political statements with which I disagree.


I know my using that gif is not witty. Nevertheless, I find using that gif deeply satisfying. Twitter brings out my worst self.

I can't speak for Mr. Torvik, but one reason that I quit writing on this blog much was that I felt like I was not being particularly kind to the people I was writing about. Modern life seems so coarse and I worry that blog posts about foibles of the Michigan judiciary do not elevate contemporary discourse. Also, it's pretty clear that this blog's high-water mark has already been reached. It is all downhill from July 12, 2013.

But you know, The Beatles made some excellent music after "Revolver." So just because a moment cannot be equaled does not mean one should just quit (if you think a different Beatles album is their best album just insert the name of that album in place of "Revolver" and the sentence holds up unless you chose the last album they recorded "Abbey Road."). So, I am going to dip my toe back into writing on this blog again. Politics seem to be on the mind of many people.

There are a lot of strange things going on in politics at the moment. So Reader(s)™ may have missed that, according to the Washington Post, previous Gillette-Torvik blog post subject Cory Stewart will no longer be a candidate for statewide office in Virginia "for a couple of years at least." I wrote about Mr. Stewart in a post entitled "Will nitwits rule us all?" That title is an example of the coarseness I mentioned earlier.

As with the campaign that was the subject of our previous post, Mr. Stewart's campaign to be one of Virginia's senators was marked by his opposition to removing monuments that honored the Confederacy (and by his willingness to associate with white supremacists). Mr. Stewart's love of Confederate monuments seems to be genuine. He still tweets about them even though he and Virginia are on a break from politics.

As I wrote before, Mr. Stewart is from Minnesota and went to law school in Minnesota. Minnesota, of course, fought the Confederacy in the Civil War. So I found--and still find--it odd that Mr. Stewart likes the Confederacy so much. But Mr. Stewart seems comfortable with the idea that just because some Minnesotans died fighting the Confederacy, those deaths don't mean that Mr. Stewart can't like the Confederacy. Those deaths happened a long time ago, I suppose.

But setting aside those deaths, at the end of the day, the Confederacy stands for the proposition that people should be able to own other people. What is there to like about that proposition? What is there to like about the "Southern Culture" that supported that proposition? Robert E. Lee and the other subjects of those monuments fought for that proposition. Why are those men worthy of statues? I find it odd that Confederate generals get monuments as if we should separate the men from the cause for which they fought. Imagine Germany trying something like that with World War II generals.

I wonder what the first Republican President, Abraham Lincoln, would think about Republicans like Mr. Stewart who embrace Confederate symbols. I also find it odd that the people who embrace those symbols often portray themselves as being very patriotic towards the United States of America. But as Walt Whitman (a man who cared for wounded Union soldiers) wrote, people inherently contradict themselves. I know I do.

So as Mr. Stewart takes a break from running for office until the next statewide election, I am ending my break from writing for this blog. I doubt that reading these posts will ever be particularly edifying. But who knows? After all a broken clock is right twice a day (well not a digital clock. This expression is not aging well). From time to time I may fail in my attempts to be less coarse towards my fellow humans. But I hope any coarseness is directed towards important targets. Regardless, I'll try hard not to kick people when they are down.

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