3 min read

You should read - May 27

You should read - May 27

Just one thing

There is only one thing to speak of today. In these frequent moments of despair, I go back to Gary Wills's "Our Moloch", written in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012. Ten years ago. Ten years and nothing has changed. Again and again, we throw little children's bodies into the open maw of the 2nd Amendment.

First Moloch, horrid king, besmear’d with blood
Of human sacrifice, and parents’ tears,
Though for the noise of Drums and Timbrels loud
Their children’s cries unheard, that pass’d through fire
To his grim idol. (Paradise Lost 1.392-96)

A Country That Devours Its Children (The Sword and the Sandwich)
This ties it all together. It's not just the guns.

The political spectrum isn't a line, it's a circle. And there is a Left that circles so far around as to meet the gun-mad Right in its belief that "Under no pretext should arms and ammunition be surrendered. I typically roll my eyes. But after reading the essays below, as much as I hate guns and the seemingly endless stream of American gun violence, I pause and think maybe they are not wrong. There is a terrible storm coming. Our republic is fundamentally and irreparably broken. We will very likely be faced with the decision to acquiesce to a fascist takeover, or be pushed to resist with force, no matter how distasteful that may be.

What Are You Willing To Do? (Today in Tabs)

If I were a teacher, would I refuse to go to work? If I were anyone whose professional absence would be noticed, would I join a general strike? If everyone did that, it would matter a lot. If a few people did, maybe more would join them? If one person sat down and refused to participate, would anyone care? Just a month ago a man “set himself on fire in front of the Supreme Court… in an apparent Earth Day protest against climate change.” Nothing happened.

What are you willing to do? (London Review of Books)

...the real danger might be that Trump and Republicans loyal to him cheat and lie their way to a victory that is accepted by Congress, federal power passes to an autocrat, and, after a period of mass protest, most liberals just put up with it, judging it not worth the blood and damage to fight for democracy. If it is a real danger that civil war may threaten democracy, it is also a real danger that democracy may die because its defenders refuse to start one.

This is What Happens When You Live Under Minority Rule (Anne Helen)

It’s not enough to live in a blue state. It’s not enough to try and send your kids to private school. It’s not enough to donate to an abortion fund. It’s not even enough to have money, or a home, or an education. Privilege can insulate you from the hostility of American society but it cannot ultimately save you from it. Collective and individual action feel impotent. The idea of representative democracy comes to feel like a farce.

The Unanswered Question (The AP Newsletter)

Anyway, 19 little kids are dead, and I don’t expect anything meaningful will be done to prevent the next 19 little kids from getting killed. I know most of the complex logistical, legal, cultural, and political reasons why our system is incapable of preventing this. I leave those explanations to other authors. I ask instead what anyone with power in this country—a group that has intentionally excluded young people from its ranks—plans to do about those reasons. And I invite the reader to think about the implications of the fact that those people with power cannot answer my question with anything remotely credible.

Enough talk. Act.

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