Sunday, January 31, 2016

The 'Bernie bro' scam

As close as I can tell, the term 'Bernie bro,' or 'Berniebro' emerged with an article by Robinson Meyer in the Atlantic on October 1 last year. This was when, in the face of a concerted media effort to marginalize Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, the Sanders campaign began building an insurgent political momentum that continues to this day. As we stand on the cusp of the first primary (okay, caucus), the berniebro meme is spreading like beltway strip malls. The problem with this article and most everything I have read about berniebro so far has been without specific examples, or with very few. In Meyer's piece, he doesn't cite a single example of the berniebro. Instead, he creates the berniebro as an archetype, which he then ridicules. Jezebel's Johanna Rothkopf picked up on it immediately, and basically reiterated Meyers' piece, with copious citation of him. She includes a few sexist tweets and comments from various men, mostly in response to her own comment on pro-Sanders facebok pages that "Bernie is great, but Hillary is more electable."

First of all, facebook.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Reading Tina Beattie (with updates coming)

This will be a fractured effort to unpack what I'm reading, in the hopes of understanding it better myself. I worked on this a bit, then set it aside, then worked some more - because time has been broken up by personal and family struggles of various kinds. Those aren't going away, so even with the best of intentions, I am bound to get things wrong, miss things, or otherwise do injustices to this writer and Catholic feminist theologian I am trying to understand: Tina Beattie. Ergo the title parentheses, meaning  'more to follow.' I'm working my way through my third go at New Catholic Feminism, and still haven't gotten to my second pass with Theology After Postmodernity. So more will follow as I continue this journey, and I'll post it here (so if you like what you are hearing about reading Tina Beattie, check back in from time to time).

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Clinton dogwhistles (Reconstruction and Jim Crow)

This is a politician who never learns. In 2008, Hillary Clinton suffered a devastating loss to Barack Obama in the South Carolina Primary. This loss was precipitated my a mass exodus of black voters - a very substantial fraction of the South Carolina Democratic base - from Clinton to Obama. Three out of every ten people in South Carolina are black, and more than 70 percent of white people vote Republican.

Saturday, January 23, 2016


...was a sixteenth  and seventeenth century hand delivered bomb with a 'slow match' for a time fuse. In the wars of the time, it was what we nowadays call a breaching charge. It opened the gates into an enemy defender's position with the early version of an explosive 'shape charge.' French in origin, the term "petard" has infiltrated our own era through the enduring Shakespeare drama Hamlet. The Bard wrote of being "hoist by one's own petar," and what that means to us now is something you created to use against others just gotcha. The unlucky combat engineer who was placing the breaching bomb is 'hoisted," that is - thrown into the air, by the explosion of his own device.

This phrase keeps crawling into my ear uninvited and boring through my head whenever I look at the big television news conglomerates today in the face of the early collapse of the two-party American duopoly with whom they are irrevocably joined.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Class & Race in "Borderline"

I want to publicly thank Kathryn Blanchard for the generous review she has given me for Christian Century.
I do have one quibble with the review, however, and it is this: