How Baby Groot Stole Christmas

It started innocently enough. A week ago, after bewailing the state of Our Exceptional Republic, we felt like zoning out on some fine filmed entertainment offered by our preferred streaming service. Maybe one of those comic-book movies we hadn’t gotten to watching yet?

We didn’t get very far.

The opening credits were one of the most joyous things we’ve seen since the Snoopy Dance — and we first saw the Snoopy Dance fifty years ago. The face was total bliss, the body (trunk?) a mass of expression.

We had to stop. And play it again. And again. And again.

We’ve been playing it again all week.

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White Like Me

One of the most useful passages we’ve read in philosophy is Wittgenstein’s “The World As I Found It”. Crafted as a response to Descartes, it is a brief exercise in identifying consciousness — what I see, what I sense, the parts of my body subject to my control — and ends, not with a brain in a vat, but with consciousness melting into the world itself. The world is my awareness of the world, my experience of it.

You needn’t delve into esoteric philosophy to understand this. Growing up, we enjoyed a sitcom inspired by Thurber cartoons called “My World… and Welcome to It”. Even at age 10, we got the idea.

Another way to understand this is simply your own experience. Your world is your stage, and you are both star and audience. What you know best is what you’ve lived. Anything outside your experience is by nature foreign, exotic, uncertain. You know what you know. What you don’t know might as well not even exist.

And when you’re a white male in America, there’s a lot you don’t know.

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Like a Virgin

  • “Republican Party has sold its soul” (Chicago Tribune, December 7)
  • “After the Roy Moore debacle, it’s clear the Republican Party has lost its soul” (Daily News, November 14)
  • “The Republican Party needs to search for its soul” (Globe and Mail, August 2)

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The Best Congress Money Can Buy

There was a time in our life — we can’t remember when — when it was considered naive to think politicians could be bought.

It wasn’t so simple, we were told, not so obvious. You don’t just hand over a bag of cash and order a vote. No, it was far more subtle — the ability to make a call or walk into an office and command attention, a degree of access unavailable to a mere constituent. You’re buying influence, not action.

And that may have well been the case. Just like it was once the case that MTV played videos. Or that our nation once celebrated what we called “democratic norms”. But whatever world may have existed a generation or two back, it no longer exists today.

You might think folks would notice.

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Leftover Crow

Two weeks into his presidency, we made a bold prediction: Donald Trump would resign before the year was out. Or, as we colorfully put it: President Pence would be pardoning turkeys this Thanksgiving.

Sure, we hedged it: 50/50 chance, we said. But honestly, that was more about the timing than the event itself. We were sure the job would grind him down within a year.

That it hasn’t is not a testament to Donald Trump’s fortitude. Instead, we failed to take into account his laziness. We thought he would he would be miserable in the Oval Office. And, by all accounts, he is.

He’s just never there.

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Let Us Give Thanks

[via @DingDongVG]

Comparative Misogyny

Maybe it’s because we’ve used to it.

Two of the three most influential comedians in our life are Bill Cosby and Woody Allen, which doesn’t say much for our track record. And although their falls from grace came long after we had grown creatively disappointed with each, the fact remains that our pleasure in Cosby’s early storytelling and Allen’s early movies has long since been darkly tinged.

But we can’t walk away from what shaped us. They is what they is.

And by now, we’ve also long since known the drill: When the news breaks, deal with it. You don’t want to defend the indefensible.

At least, we thought you didn’t.

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