Plays are often historical artifacts, and should be read with that in mind. We’re going to get something different out of O’Neill today than his audiences did. We should read plays historically, historiographically, even. I don’t necessarily know what that means.
Seeing Miller mentioned on the dashboard. His Death of a Salesman read as a later companion to O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh is a great exploration of the kind of masculinity and business culture that was quietly unraveling as much as it was revered. Miller’s Linda Loman is one of the most striking characters for how often she is overlooked by contemporary readers. She’s incredibly important. She highlights sympathy for Willy without apologizing for his bad behavior. Miller is so obsessed with fathers and sons in his work that she’s a relevation of a character. We’re supposed to identify with her, I’d argue, and not with her bumbling shit of a husband and her sons who are distilled essences of his bad character: a philanderer and an idealist. Linda’s sympathy is delivered as an outsider, alienated as she is from the men in her immediate family. She is witness to the destruction of a man by the society that uses him without care. It might be a simple observation, but it only adds to the expressionism in the play. Linda haunts the stage, its house without walls.
anyone who complains about people wanting a higher minimum wage is fucking awful and should shut the fuck up
this isn’t even a Marxism thing this is a Basic As Fuck Human Decency thing
Except minimum wage isn’t the problem. Minimum wage goes up, the price of everything goes up. Why does that not make sense to people.
it doesn’t make sense because it’s a goddamn ideological straw man
That’s Not How Capital Even Works! is not something I feel like I should be shouting at its most adamant (even if seemingly by fiat) proponents and defenders, but what can I say, Nature Is Amazing
One word for the minimum wage proponents: Costco. Lowest prices, profitable expanding company, pays living wage. It is proof that paying lousy minimum wage is not only unnecessary, but actually counter productive.
Trust me, I’m a professional.
So I post that Onion article on Mandela on facebook (“Nelson Mandela Becomes First Politician to be Missed”), and everybody jumps on board, even some of the tea partiers amongst my friends.
No problem with that. If everyone wants to claim Mandela, that’s fine. I’m old enough to remember when that wasn’t the case. I’m old enough to remember not only Reagan’s anti-Mandela rhetoric, but the insistence from everybody in the American mainstream that, as noble as Mandela’s mission was, he could not be trusted until he renounced the ANC. Put another way, the mainstream of American thought prioritized our own anti-communist paranoia over racial equality in South Africa.
Somewhere along the way, that changed. A tipping point was reached. It reminds me in some ways of the climate that exists around gay rights now, how social norms evolve faster than the popular political accounting of those norms. Somewhere along the way, it became okay to become a Mandela fan.
So now it’s okay to mourn Mandela. Okay for everybody to mourn Mandela, no matter how much they also revel in Reagan nostalgia, no matter how much the canonization of Reagan contradicts the grand mission of Mandela. Mandela’s victory truly was for everyone, even if (especially because!) that victory chips away at the very privilege enjoyed by many who celebrate. Mandela’s life made things better for everyone, not only those for whom he fought directly … it is the inverse of the old saying “an injustice for one is an injustice for all”: justice for one is justice for all.
And then I spot an ebook Collective reblog of an article on Mandela called “Liberals Cannot Claim Nelson Mandela”. No direct critique of the article itself (besides what’s noted elsewhere), since the points it makes are salient, but you know what? Liberals can claim Nelson Mandela. Conservatives can claim Nelson Mandela. Blacks (obviously) can claim Nelson Mandela. Whites can claim Nelson Mandela. Everyone can claim Nelson Mandela, because justice for one is justice for all. So, fuck you and your exclusivity, Nelson Mandela was a great man, a man who made the world as a whole dramatically better, and who are we to de-legitimize the love of those who don’t understand the full implications of Mandela’s politics and life?
Rest at last, Mr. President. You awakened the conscience of legions worldwide, even if they did not share in your struggle. The world is a better place for you having been here.