Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Friday, December 16, 2016


Last night, I saw one of the best movies I've seen in a year full of great movies: Manchester By The Sea.  As I described it to a friend, a great eulogy makes you laugh and cry in equal measures and the movie was a lovely eulogy for a man who is still alive.

This morning, I rummaged around to read reviews on the film, which was mostly very well received.  However, there were more than a few reviewers who discussed the movie in terms of race, especially the Sad White Person genre (which I didn't know existed).  There were talks about privilege, which I found baffling, because the movie deals with a freaking janitor suffering from depression so deep it touches the earth's core.

I understand that discussions of white privilege are precisely about people like the one's in the film, who don't have to add racial anxiety to the otherwise shitty conditions in their life.  But while I agree that discussions of white privilege are important, blanket accusations of "privilege" make no sense in the context of many WWC.  In fact, all they do is engender the sort of backlash that creates Trump.

This is at the heart of the identity politics/economic populism debate that is currently roiling the Democrats and the Left.  In some ways, this is just another form of weird preferences of the Left for moralism over coalition building.

Anyway, it's a helluva movie.

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