Something to ponder re the photos of ppl in line at airports:

The airlines + the fueled jets + the govt + 300 yrs of mythology & socialization say this is OK.

Biz & govt have made few restrictions to travel.

So why is it solely an individual matter to “do the right thing”?
I, too, am frustrated by 🦃 travel & wish anyone who can avoid it will. But shaming never works for anything, I’m curious how a lack of a federal plan to address interstate travel (or anything COVID, really) + the air travel business being legal, advertised & welcome affects this
Other countries’ lockdowns, of course, are national. Ours are regional (& I’ve no idea if US law allows for more than intrastate governors’ patchwork). But surely our populace is affected by centuries of being told we can do whatever we pay for, by a century of car+plane travel,
by the FAA not restricting commercial air travel (as it did after 9/11), by US govt(s) not restricting internal movement as it restricts migration, by not restricting interstate mvmt as it restricts interstate.
We have a society—for better or worse—where much is left up to individual choice. Sometimes those choices are very limited in scope. With domestic US travel, they’re pretty open to those w $. And when you let ppl make choices business welcome & govt allows, they make...choices.
There are all kinds of things we don’t allow ppl to choose in this country (or grant them only few options).

But when ppl are socialized their whole lives (in centuries of ideology) & allowed to choose what govt & biz welcome, it’s not fair to put entire onus of choice on them.
We’ve an entire society where holidays, family togetherness (even for those who hate each other), shopping, consuming, biz>govt, feeling free to do whatever you please (as long as you got the dough) whenever you want & airline deregulation rule.

That won’t change overnight.
And so what we get with travel—what we’ve largely gotten in this pandemic—is, “It’s on you and you alone, bub. YOU do the right thing. Resist advertising, plane seats to be bought & decades of socialization. Govt won’t be here to enforce public health.

Good luck! “👋🏾
It’s similar to bars/restaurants being open for indoor dining. We know by now this is a high risk activity. But govt doesn’t want to pay bars to close & workers to stay home, so they stay open & govt then scolds diners (+ ppl exposed to them) for “letting” COVID happen to them.
*interstate as it does *intrastate*
This is a good example from @ProfLWiley that complicates idea of “choice” as an individual matter. I have students who will go home next week. And then they’ll stay there until January, most likely. But unis like mine drew them to campus—that wasn’t fully the students’ choice.
I think I've found a simpler way to think about choice:

In a society where market logic determines everything,
market logic determines everything.
When the market allows anything, well,

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More from @thrasherxy

22 Nov
Thinking today abt how many US Jews spent their holiest days of 2020 “with” family on Zoom, and abt how many US Christians are indicating that we are not willing to do the same with our holidays (while framing being asked to do so as persecution).

There’s a lot to unpack here.
As I wrote yesterday, I don't like thinking abt any issues of the pandemic (including holiday travel) simply as individual choices, but systemically. And I think Christian supremacy is a part of how USians are socialized to conceive of freedom & choice
US Christians routinely view/present ourselves as a persecuted minority, when we are the the driving dominant force beneath US theocracy. And while Christianity is v close to many (not all) Black Americans, it's also v close to white supremacy.
Read 14 tweets
22 Nov
A very young me in the 90s, living in the East Village, working at Saturday Night Live, making films & studying & dancing with my best friends, so much of my life still ahead of me, near the end of NYU Rodeo 1.0—New York pre-Covid, pre-9/11, pre-grad school, pre-journalism Image
My college roommate and film school comrade, producer Peter Frintrup, has been digitizing film negatives Image
That time we made a 16mm film in China in 1999 Image
Read 8 tweets
20 Nov
Not to be a killjoy, but to be a killjoy:

There's been good HIV meds for 25 yrs.

Yet, the better part of a million (mostly nonwhite) ppl still die of AIDS every yr.

Absent an anti-capitalist, anti-racist approach, medicine alone will not end our current (or any) pandemic
To put our challenge in perspective, it took abt 15 yrs from the 1st known AIDS death to get to a million deaths/ yr.

We're approaching 1.5 mil deaths in 1st yr of COVID.

Absent an anti-capitalist, anti-racist approach, medicine alone will not end our current (or any) pandemic
Any vaccine will help, a LOT.

But SARS-CoV-2 is a FAR more transmittable virus than HIV. BY FAR.

Drugs are but one tool for what will be an endemic challenge.

Absent an anti-capitalist, anti-racist approach, medicine alone will not end our current (or any) pandemic
Read 11 tweets
19 Nov
1. Short thread music about how capitalism's scale of time and consequence is not up to the challenges of this pandemic (nor, of course, to climate change).

Below is a graph of Zoom stock, which tanked when good news was announced about a potential vaccine
2. Around the same time, when Moderna announced their vaccine looked promising, their stock went way up.

But, pharma cos routinely put out press releases announcing ish that hasn't been peer reviewed or overseen by regulators at moments that are financially judicious for stock
3. Meanwhile, stock traders are trying to trade Zoom, and also trying to trade Moderna, on mere speculation that a vaccine could (or could not) stop our nightmare.

And here's the thing: A society which caters to such valuation of life cannot address the time scale we need.
Read 7 tweets
19 Nov
I miss my late sister Sharron most days, but she went to Occidental the same years as Obama, and I so wish I could ask her this week WHO IS THE "ETHEREAL BISEXUAL"? and DID HE EVER TRY TO MACK ON YOU BY CHATTING YOU UP ABOUT FOUCAULT?!?
My family does remember Sharron saying about "Barry" at the time, which seems shocking at this point: She came home one weekend totally radicalized about boycotting South African apartheid after he'd given a speech about it.

You could say she got more woke.
In 2012, the New Yorker published pics from the 1981 event where Barry said, “We call this rally today to bring attention to Occidental’s investment in South Africa & Occidental’s lack of investment in multicultural education”
Read 7 tweets
18 Nov
As a Black gay man, HIV is always a part of every sexual encounter. Even if an intimate partner or I don't believe we have it, HIV is still like a phantom lover in a threeway with us

Similarly, COVID is a part of everyone's intimate lives, like a phantom—and must be tended to.
This is a sentence/metaphor I am trying to perfect for my book. I am trying to think with better metaphors about viruses. HIV can be like a baby, welcomed by a doula, as @TheodoreKerr1 & his fellow WWHIVDD artists put it.
I really dislike thinking in war metaphors. We are not at "war" with viruses, at least I am not. I really love how @SFdirewolf told me how she respects viruses, because we're all in "the same soup" together--and if we can't share a planet w them, how can we survive?
Read 10 tweets

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