Cruelty Is An Ideology

Mike the Mad Biologist

Last week, there was considerable uproar over the Trump administration’s decision to not fund the Special Olympics (Il Trumpe himself ‘heroically’ intervened to stop this, though some reports claim this was a White House initiative). Manycommentators noted that this seems to exemplify what Adam Serwer has described as “The cruelty is the point.”

While I won’t deny that people who enjoy being cruel (i.e., sociopaths) would embrace this, I didn’t like Serwer’s treatment when he first wrote about it. He treats cruelty as if it were a Lovecraftian Elder god, lurking behind the veil, corrupting those who approach it, and occasionally breaking through to wreak havoc and destruction. It is indestructible, and can not be destroyed.

But I think this misses the ideological component to this. We’ll return to the Special Olympics in a bit, but consider, instead, healthcare. A fair number of conservatives don’t have a…

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The Triple Soul in Ancient Scandinavia Part 1: The Hamr


One of the foundational teachings of Feri that is probably also one of the most recognizable is the concept of the Triple Soul. The average understanding of the soul in post-Christian America seems to be that the soul is the animating principle within each of us, and is our central “us-ness” that leaves our body after we die. In this model, our body is essentially a tool or machine that our soul drives around in until it abandons the physical body at death: presumably to go on to some form of afterlife.

Though that has become the popular idea of what a soul is, in most pre-Christian cultures the spiritual makeup of a person was often more complicated than this, and it was often believed that our soul was more of a complex of different parts that perform different functions than a single entity. Though traditions vary, my own research…

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“Calling All Women” to Save the Earth, signed and shared by Carol P. Christ

I contend therefore that we have allowed these chemicals to be used with little or no advanced investigation of their effect on soil, water, wildlife and man himself. Future generations are unlikely to condone our lack of prudent concern for the integrity of the natural world that supports all life. Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

Today we are faced with a challenge that calls for a shift in our thinking, so that humanity stops threatening its life-support system. We are called to assist the Earth to heal her wounds and in the process heal our own – indeed to embrace the whole of creation in all its diversity, beauty and wonder. Wangari Maathai

I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act. Greta Thunberg

We are calling all women and our allies to come together to save the earth that sustains us…

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The Point Is To Be Mean

First Draft

I’ve written before about how everything right now is designed to make you give up, lie down and quit fighting, and of course twas ever thus for those we nice white people didn’t want participating in the system, but increasingly we are weaponizing our customer service systems against ourselves: 

Elizabeth Cloinger, 47, who lives in a trailer next to her cousin’s house just outside town, thought she was complying with the new rules. She has been on Medicaid for years and already had a job, working seven days most weeks as a home health aide. Her wages — 9.25 an hour, with 50 cents more for hospice patients — and her hours met the new rules. Yet she received a June letter saying she needed to verify that her income made her eligible, or she would be cut off.

She called the listed phone number and faxed information to a…

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