Wednesday Required Reading

To Empathize Or Not

There’s an interesting line in Netflix’s new Bernie Madoff docudrama trailer. Something to the effect that, for Madoff, being a serial liar was much easier to accept than ever admitting to being a failure.

Probably holds for George Santos too. But if serial lying is a mental illness of sorts, why isn’t our response more empathetic? Imagine disliking yourself so much that you work nonstop to create a new/imaginary/inflated self. How exhausting. How sad.

Consequently, I could definitely be empathetic towards private people dealing with personal demons of that sort. Making up stuff about your private self, such as I’m a single-digit handicap in golf, is a victimless crime. Everything changes though when serial liars go public and ask people to invest in their Ponzi scheme, say an election was rigged, or con people into voting for them in national elections.

If you’re going to steal people’s money, undermine democracy, or deny constituents competent representation, don’t expect empathy. Expect vitriol.

Santos should be tarred, feathered, and forced to resign.

Sometimes It’s Very Much What You Say

Clint Smith explains in “What a Racist Slur Does to the Body“.

“As we were walking through the stanchions ushering us past the terminal’s gate, the white woman turned to the Black woman, red with anger, and called her the N-word.”

“. . . it is not that I was unfamiliar with hearing that word out loud; it is that it had been many years since I had heard it used in public, by a white person, in a way that was laced with such unvarnished venom and disgust. It was as if my skin was struck by a match and fire spread through my entire body. My heart’s once metronomic tempo accelerated into a gallop, my blood pumping as if it was trying to tell me to run away. Cortisol was coursing through me.”