Recent quotes:

After the Fact - The New Yorker

The past has not been erased, its erasure has not been forgotten, the lie has not become truth. But the past of proof is strange and, on its uncertain future, much in public life turns. In the end, it comes down to this: the history of truth is cockamamie, and lately it’s been getting cockamamier.

Conjunctions Archive: "Theses on Monsters," by China Mieville, Conjunctions:59, Colloquy (Fall 2012)

6. Epochs throw up the monsters they need. History can be written of monsters, and in them. We experience the conjunctions of certain werewolves and crisis-gnawed feudalism, of Cthulhu and rupturing modernity, of Frankenstein’s and Moreau’s made things and a variably troubled Enlightenment, of vampires and tediously everything, of zombies and mummies and aliens and golems/robots/clockwork constructs and their own anxieties. We pass also through the endless shifts of such monstrous germs and antigens into new wounds. All our moments are monstrous moments. 7. Monsters demand decoding, but to be worthy of their own monstrosity, they avoid final capitulation to that demand. Monsters mean something, and/but they mean everything, and/but they are themselves and irreducible. They are too concretely fanged, toothed, scaled, fire-breathing, on the one hand, and too doorlike, polysemic, fecund, rebuking of closure, on the other, merely to signify, let alone to signify one thing. Any bugbear that can be completely parsed was never a monster, but some rubber-mask-wearing Scooby-Doo villain, a semiotic banality in fatuous disguise. It is a solution without a problem.

The Rehabilitationists: The Libertarian Movement to Undo the New Deal | The New Republic

“Selecting judges with the judicial mindset of ‘judicial restraint’ and ‘deference’ to the majoritarian branches leads to the results we witnessed,” Barnett warned in another Volokh Conspiracy post this summer, after Roberts once again saved the health care law. To Barnett, the proper role for judges isn’t modest or deferential at all, and it’s time for Republicans to start promoting conservatives who will embrace a more activist approach on the bench. “If conservative Republicans want a different performance from the judiciary in the future,” Barnett argued, “they must vet their presidential candidates to see whether they understand this point.”

The Radical Humanism of David Simon -- Vulture

The kind of storytelling that Simon champions is stubborn, earnest, wise, and informed, but most of all, it’s idealistic, in the most basic way. This attitude embodies one of the foundational presumptions of democracy: that all people are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights. Call it corny or unrealistic or whatever you like: It’s as necessary for the survival of the United States as clean air and water and decent places in which to live. We aren’t supposed to care about other people because they look or talk like us or share our values, Simon’s work tells us. We’re supposed to care because they’re people, and life is short, and we’re all in it together.

Vaka Rangi

Part of Vaka Rangi, the most important part (for me at least), is about making peace with a huge portion of my past, trying to understand fully the role it played in shaping the person I became, but also in a sense laying it to rest in order to move beyond it. My life since beginning this project has been a positively uncanny example of life imitating art in this case, and I was just thinking earlier about how disappointed I've been in this run of stories; how so many of them fell short of the (in hindsight inevitably) overinflated memories I ascribed to them. It's a continually dispiriting process for me to keep seeing just how much I personally projected onto this particular bit of pop culture ephemera from the late 1980s and early 1990s. And yet even so I can't shake my loyalty to certain things about it, or at the very least least to the process of growth and self-discovery it will forever be linked to in my mind.