had a dream last night lads that i think some of you would enjoy
this dream revolved around merfolk and specifically one dude who had like,, climbed the ranks of merfolk. People kept mentioning how he was “kin to Teba” - a millennia old creature of epic proportions and untold magical power and how if he kept climbing the ranks he was in line to be considered a kraken which was a title in this universe
And he ended up with this apprentice/adopted kid and he was like, teaching this kid by making up obstacles for her with like, magic and stuff so this part of the dream was her pov
and she met up with him and his friend (who was the one to introduce him and apprentice) and was like "haha bro what the fuck was up with that tidal wave amiright"
and they exchange a look and it is clear that the Bigass Wave was Not Them
so through a series of events they ended up facing this being like, at the surface, who was like “I will expose you for what you truly are” and this being grabbed my man dragged him under and suddenly he couldn’t breathe seawater anymore
His apprentice managed to free him and it was revealed that he was actually originally human, not merfolk
and everyone was super shocked, because he had been assumed to be like hundreds of years old - he was kin to Teba after all! How could he be human? How could a human have climbed the ranks to quickly? How could a human be six "spaces" away (diagonally?? for some reason? i have no idea how mer ranks work what the fuck) from being considered a kraken?
And his apprentice turned her tail into legs (to great disbelief and protest from mr. man) to talk to him about it and he started talking about his backstory, about how humans didn’t even know merfolk existed and how he had somehow found out? I didn’t get too many details about the transition from human to mer
But he did say that he didn’t mean to be such high rank, that he only started fighting and defeating ancient monsters and threats because they threatened his friends and then he just… kept going
I think it was implied that Teba themself had a role in turning this dude into merfolk and adopted him
and then my mum woke me up in the MIDDLE of the exposition ):
Maus destroys the “just world” fallacy, and that’s just PART of why many Americans don’t want their kids to read it
Obviously antisemitism is the primary driving force behind many Americans not wanting to take a close look at the Holocaust, but that antisemitism is intertwined with the “just world” “rugged individualist” “bootstrap” “anyone can do anything if they work hard enough” philosophy we Americans get shoved down our throats practically from birth, and which is--counterintuitively--also bound up with the same sort of victim mentality that the Nazis preyed upon to rise to power. (I’ll get to that in a minute.)
The just world school of thought holds that people, in general, get what they deserve. If you fail, you have only yourself to blame. Ask any American school child who was bullied, and they’ve heard adults tell them, “Well, you must have done something to make them bully you.”
The truth of the Holocaust as shown in Maus, though, demands that you either a) abandon that school of thought and acknowledge that the virtue (however you define virtue) and hard work and a can-do attitude cannot save everyone, or b) you must decide that those who perished were somehow not worthy of surviving.
The second is, of course, reprehensible, but those are your only two honest choices. And many American politicians have, in fact, blamed German Jews for their fate, claiming that if they had “fought back harder,” they’d have never been rounded up. (And contrary to popular belief in the US, many Jews did fight back, quite effectively. If not for antisemitism, the stories of Jewish resistance fighters would be legendary.)
“Why do you think that never happened in America?” these politicians and pundits say, refusing to acknowledge that is has, in fact, happened more than once in the United States (and is still happening). Would these same politicians have supported Americans of Japanese descent taking up arms against the US government when the US put them in concentration camps during World War II? How about the Trail of Tears? How do they feel about the ongoing war of genocide against the Native American population? Should Native Americans once again take up arms against the US government? How about Black Americans?
You get the idea. (I’m drifting, I know--If this were a formal essay instead of a stream of consciousness rant begun at 5 am because I couldn’t sleep from thinking about it, I’m sure I’d get points taken off.)
But Spiegleman sums this up more elegantly than I.
Just like many Germans in the 1930s and 1940s, a large percentage of Americans have imagined a third choice; if things are hard, it must be because they are victims of some all-powerful (and non-white, or at least not the “right kind of white”) force that has as its sole goal the destruction of “the white race.”
Now, in a sense, they may be victims, just not of whom they think they are--capitalism (the precursor to and incubator of fascism) and its agents victimize all but a lucky few; the Musks, the Gateses, the Bezoses. These white supremacists cannot assign blame to capitalism, though, despite the overwhelming evidence that it and its agents are behind the bulk of their misery, because they’ve been taught that capitalism is the only way they can ever “get ahead” in life.
So who’s to blame? Just who is preventing them from “succeeding” in life? They can’t blame the rich and powerful they worship, of course.
So for Americans in the 2020s, just like Germans in the 1930s and 1940s, it must be that the entire world is ranged against them, led by... who, I wonder?
Oh, of course--it must be the Jews. (And now the Muslims.) The Black people. The Indigenous. The Arabs. The Asians. The Romani. (Because although there are exceptions, the majority of those in this mindset think of America as a white country, just as they thought of Germany as a white country.)
It must be the LGBTQA+ community. (It is no accident that the books in those famous Nazi bonfires were volumes of LGBTQA+ literature and research.) It must be Everyone Who Is Not Us. Everyone not of Our Nationality, Our Specific Brand of Whiteness, Our Specific Religion.
(There’s a reason that conservative Christians in the US have tried to rewrite history to hide that Nazism was a conservative Christian movement that only turned against the Lutheran Church when the Nazis demanded that Lutheran clergy more closely follow famous antisemite and father of Protestantism Martin Luther’s admonition to persecute Jews, and the Lutheran clergy refused.)
In order for white nationalism to survive, it must convince its adherents that--against all evidence--they are the true victims. That their oppression of others is “defense against white genocide.” That’s the only way they can reconcile their imagined superiority with their actual circumstance.
But see, if we teach our children the truth of books like Maus, the truth that might does not--despite US pretension otherwise--make right, that the answer to their problems is not blaming minorities, they might realize that the answer is in accepting the Other and banding together with them in common cause, to refuse to be divided and turned against the one who is Not Like Us.
Because regardless of your ethnicity, religion, gender, orientation, and so on, the only true other is the one who would destroy you for not being their ideal of a perfect, abled, cishet, person of the “correct” race and religion.
And now because I know there will inevitably be the usual fascists and neonazis whining that they deserve tolerance, too, I present you with the words of philosopher Karl Popper, who, much as Spiegleman before, makes my point far more elegantly than I could.
(Or as I sum up Popper’s words, “It is always morally and ethically correct to punch Nazis.”)
911 Lonestar is a show specifically designed so that Rob Lowe gets to be The Lead (and not just one of an ensemble, like the majority of his shows) and have people call him a hero in every episode. That part is amazingly cringey. I physically wince now every time it happens. The constant 9/11 callbacks are just icing on the cake of awkward.
It's like a nationalistic Republican wants very badly to make the misguided liberals think they're cool, and teach them how to have patriotism and respect policemen/firefighters, while ignoring all of the actual issues people have with those things. So they have some super heavy-handed "appeal to liberals so they don't notice the propaganda" things shoe-horned in.
But then I actually like most of the characters, despite the strong vibe that they are there to make some sort of point about Texas and diversity and red states being just as inclusive as blue ones. Or something. I can't quite put my finger on it, but it is the weirdest vibe. Things like the cappuccino machine... On one hand it's obviously making fun of Owen's liberal NYC nonsense to insist on that in a firehouse, but on the other, it almost seems like that was supposed to be positive or relatable to a certain demographic, because after the eyerolling, everyone seems to use and like it. When, in reality, pretty much everyone, regardless of political leaning, would actually go "what a ridiculous thing to spend thousands of dollars of public money on in a firehouse. Are you alright."
I think it's that Owen is basically a completely unrelatable character, because he's a mash-up of "heroic" traits right wing folks want viewers to respect (or possibly respect themselves?), plus a bunch of "left wing" "traits" that are supposed to be relatable to the rest of us heathens, but they're not really what a Democrats/progressives/left wing belief system actually is. Or even traits. I mean, Democrats have Some Major Problems as a party, but cornering coworkers to talk about a multi-step skincare routine is not one of them. (I mean, that's annoying, but not really something most of us do or consider tied in with our personality or politics.) The understanding of what it means to be (or try to be) a progressive from a major American city is very shallow. A Martian watching it would come away with the belief that the group that was pro physical heroics and pro God were the ones with the moral beliefs, and the other group were really into accepting everything, food, and grooming, *despite* almost every single position being presented from a fairly innocuous centrist/popular general politics viewpoint. It's a neat trick.
But Rob Lowe getting to be called a hero and take a bunch of risks that make no sense in context? That's the main point. Above all, it is Rob Lowe Propaganda.
And then I found out his son is one of the writers? Woo, boy.