America’s Heartlessland

We’re suddenly discovering a lot of things we don’t give a shit about.

Let’s start with That Woman from Georgia. We don’t give a shit about her. We’re happy she was stripped of her committee assignments, we’d like to see her thrown out of Congress and returned to whatever shadow dimension she emerged from, we wouldn’t mind if her immortal soul suffered for an eternity in Hell — but really, we just don’t give a shit about her.

She’s not the problem.

And neither, at this point, is Donald John Trump.

He never was.

Read more »

We apologize for the language in advance, but this has been on our mind a long time, and there’s really no other way to get the point across.

It’s a story we first heard in the Eighties, but it must stretch back generations, perhaps forever. It’s a story of Poor White Trash seemingly happy with their miserable lot, fundamentally resistant to attempts to help them. Why? Why settle for that shack, when life can be so much better?

And the profane response, which explains for us America’s Original Sin as much as anything:

Read more »

It’s a video we’re familiar with by now: a presumptuous white woman lording it over someone who is black. Or, in some newer variations, brown.

“Lording” is the word we came up with when looking for a verb: Lord of the manor. I own this joint. I own this situation. I own you. Fact of life. Deal with it.

It’s the woman we were talking about the moment before we started talking about George Floyd, the woman in Central Park. It’s the woman we’ve seen many times since, so frequently that there are multiple “Karens Gone Wild” accounts on Twitter, collecting examples.

The guys we’ve seen, well, they’re usually police, fully dehumanized — and dehumanizing — in their riot gear. The women need no such protection. They’re capable of complete dehumanization in their street clothes.

“Is this your property?” asks Karen.

Read more »

It’s not like this is the first time.

We’re familiar with the murder of an unarmed black man — or woman, or child — by police, just as we’re familiar with the massacre of children — or churchgoers, or revelers — by someone with a high-capacity weapon.

These things happen. Frequently. It’s the country we live in.

Also familiar is the response: A wave of anger.

Anger, followed by frustration, followed by life, such as it is, moving on. The wave crashes on the unyielding shore, then dissipates. The moment passes.

Read more »

Last we visited the subject, eighteen months ago, we made a startling discovery:

White people are stupid fucking idiots.

Okay, not that startling. It’s not a plot twist if you knew it all along.

But there it was, in every poll, not just recently, but going back generations: You want to find the trouble with America, how we keep ending up on the wrong side of history, it’s White Americans making the call, or at least being distressingly ambivalent about it.

And now they want us dead.

Read more »

“The Sixties were an aberration,” he told me.

We were sitting in his office. He was a fortyish school-district superintendent. I was a 23-year-old reporter.

It was 1982. He knew what he was talking about. I didn’t.

The Sixties were an aberration.

Read more »

We were going to express our indignation over an American resident being executed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, but then we were reminded of our indignation over a newsroom being shot up, over massacres in schools and churches, over a woman being run down by a neo-Nazi.

We were reminded of our indignation over children being stolen from their parents by our government, and our indignation over our government’s deliberate carelessness in returning them.

We were reminded that our President once bragged he could shoot somebody in the middle of Fifth Avenue without losing supporters.

Read more »