john mccain is not a puppet

Hello, readers.

In the flat at the moment, with drying clothes hung over radiators and a very warm delicious cup of tea in an orange mug resting on a coffee table which is, in fact, actually, a very large foot stool. It’s pretty awesome. Another thing that’s awesome is outside. By which I mean, all of outside. It looks, well, I don’t know. I left my words behind yesterday. Let’s say it looks like the inside of a nickel, which makes it sound less awesome, but, well.

Yesterday, I left a comment on the internet.

Today, happily, it appears that a day or so ago John McCain left a comment on things as well and it, very much like the sky, is more awesome than you might expect. I’m going to embed it here because I watched it and cried. Before 9/11, my concept of the United States of America was just beginning to complicate itself, and after that, it became wonderfully complicated. I very much cared about when and how and if and in what manner we went to war and I was upset and then we clearly tortured people and it was wrong and now we drone people and that seems wrong and also we kill unarmed people, in part, because whether or not they have guns doesn’t matter, since the social construct of race and poverty continues to demonstrate that however much we may think make believe is something we stopped playing as children, we actually still play make believe all the time and the stuff we make our beliefs has profound, tangible consequence.


Here’s McCain.

If tl;dw, here’s how The Daily Show reported it.

And also, because, happiness. Here’s some list of books you might want to read.

1) Tor’s Reviewer Choice Best Books of 2014
2) The avclub’s best graphic novels and comics of 2014
3) Buzzfeed’s list of best science fiction and fantasy novels by women of color

Make believe being as powerful as it is, it’s useful to get some exercise making believe outside of your experience as much, and as often, as possible. Stories are empathy machines. They’re like treadmills for your conscience. Or something.

Happy Thursday, readers.

As the nerdfighters say, don’t forget to be awesome.*



p.s. The above link is for the project for awesome which is this thing that happens once a year where

the daily show

Hello, readers.

A lot of things happened in 1999. Things happen all the time. Some of the things that happened in 1999 include, among other things, The Phantom Menace by George Lucas, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, and my graduation from high school.

I remember this one discussion from near the end of that year. I was talking to a boy in my AP English class. The boy’s name was Jake. He possessed a laconic way of being wise in which he spoke little but nodded a lot. One of the things I said in this discussion was how sad I was, at the end of the last year, when Craig Kilborn left The Daily Show with his now famous: dance, dance, dance . I was worried it wouldn’t be as good. I mean, John Stewart? The guy from MTV?

Jake nodded.

“But, well, he turned out okay, didn’t he?”

Jake nodded.

“Yep,” he said. And he nodded some more, so I knew he agreed with me more than a little bit.

I’m reminded of this conversation because yesterday and today my tumbles and tweets have been full of a literate rage. And I wonder how much of that rage, at least among people my age and younger, is, in part, inspired, distilled, and perhaps educated, through years of watching John Stewart, the guy from MTV, demonstrate a glorious obsession and wicked delight with documenting the stupidity, ignorance, and hypocrisy of everything and ever. Stewart, and his writers, defined what it was to cut apart the news and put it back together in a way that made sense. In a way that looks familiar to me now, seeing the gifs, clippings, live videos, and take-downs, that have dominated my tumbles and tweets.

I don’t know. Just a thought. A wonder. And, at least, for me, a lot of gratitude for this man existing. For showing a lot of us that it was not only possible to care, but possible to stay sane, and funny, while doing it. god bless you, Mr. Stewart.

Here are some highlights from the last 15 years.

Mr. Stewart after 9/11.
Mr. Stewart on Crossfire.
Mr. Stewart on the Financial Doodah of 2008 with special guest Jim Cramer from CNBC.
Mr. Stewart, a few months ago, right after Ferguson

A lot of people have this thing where they say that sarcasm is the coward’s way. That comedy is a shield. That being funny is a way of avoiding the things that hurt. These people are missing the point, I think.

Once upon a time, in a small town far, far, away, someone told me that I was shorter and funnier than John Stewart. Clearly, I’m not. Clearly, they were being funny. Possibly they were saying, “You are funnier than John Stewart” when really they were thinking, “I really, really, like you.” Either way, it was a very kind thing to say because maybe what they were saying is that you try to be funny in the way that John Stewart is funny. And that meant the world to me. Because John Stewart, as much as anyone else, knows how to be funny in a way honest, kind, and full of rage.