Friday, October 20, 2017

A Couple of Late Thoughts on Yesterday's Nuremberg Rally


There were casualties at yesterday's event. I was one of them. My feet are blistered from walking about 11 miles, looking in vain for a Nazi presence in Gainesville, in boots that didn't fit as well as I thought they fit.

This morning, I see that there actually were a few Nazis present and that one of them even got punched, but the two biggest unified group presences at the counter-demonstration consisted of 1) police and 2) the press. Dozens of camera trucks, several hundred reporters, camera operators, etc., and the press I talked with were all doing the same thing I was -- wandering around asking if anyone had seen any Nazis.

I think I can tease a story with a couple of morals out of this thing, and I'll be trying to later. But the immediate takeaway is that the whole thing was kind of boring and stupid.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

A Couple of Early Thoughts on Tomorrow's Nuremberg Rally


So, as you may have heard, Richard Spencer (one of the architects of the Charlottesville white nationalist riot) is coming to the University of Florida to tomorrow.

Who else is going to be there? Well, me. But I only live 8 1/2 miles away from campus and I fall into a couple of the general categories of people I expect to see there.

Remember, Charlottesville took place on a summer weekend. This is a fall weekday. That probably means different crowd composition.

On a summer weekend, a lot more amateur activists from around the country were likely to be able to show up, on all sides.

On a fall weekday, I expect that "outside agitators" will be fewer, and of the more professional variety.  People who have regular jobs are more likely to be working on a Thursday than on a Saturday. Students who actually study are in school now.

Obviously the University of Florida student body (about 55,000) will field contingents, presumably weighted heavily toward the anti-Nazi side of things. But I'd expect to see fewer student activists from other schools than might have been able to make it to Charlottesville.

There will be plenty of police, naturally (the number I've heard is 500).

My "in case of CS attack" getup
There will be plenty of press, naturally (I have press credentials myself).

And there will be the professional activists.

By "professional," I do not necessarily mean "paid." I mean people for whom politics is their central personal daily activity (in addition to be being "press," I fall into this category). I know quite a few "professional activists" who make little if any money for their work. Some of them have taken an effective vow of poverty so that they can devote their time to it. At least a few have sources of income -- inheritances/trust funds, investment earnings, retirement income) that don't require them to work a "day job."

The governor has declared a "state of emergency." Yes, a "state of emergency" -- because some knothead is going to speechify. That's pathetic. If I had to bet on when was the last time that happened, my bet would be that the speaker in question was Martin Luther King, Jr.  If Spencer is as much a challenge to the existing system as King was ... well, let's be clear on that, he isn't. The "state of emergency" is security theater.

A certain amount of any writing I do about, but from or after, the event is pre-promised to the publication that gave me press credentials, but I'm sure I'll have some things to say here as well, once I get home (hopefully without stops at the hospital or county jail). See you on the flip side.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Who Knew Cultural Appropriation Could be so Comfortable?


Those Thai fishermen know how to do pants (not an affiliate link, nor am I being compensated for talking about how great they are).

Less than $10 (with free shipping for Prime members, of course).

Comfy.

Light fabric, 100% cotton, great for Florida. They seem to be reasonably well-made. I wouldn't want to slide into second base in them or anything like that, but remember, I work sitting in a chair all day.

Waist size, 56 inches. Yes, you read that correctly. The thing is, they are designed to be multi-size. You fold over the slack to your comfortable tightness and tie two strings (sewn on at the rear). Which means that my clothes don't stop fitting every time I lose or gain weight (the last few years I range from a tight 34-inch to a loose 40-inch waist size and that can change pretty suddenly when I start or stop exercising regularly).

Just got my second pair (as pictured; the first pair is black and gray instead of black and red). I expect to get three more, and make them my usual casual go-to.

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