The Best of Discourse Blog: 2022 Edition
Our favorite work of the year.
This is the story of 2022—in all its madness, injustice, and occasional euphoria—as told through our favorite posts of the year. It’s been a helluva 12 months, but we’re still here, and we’re still fighting the fight.
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OK, here’s our best of 2022! Onto 2023!
—Discourse Blog (Aleks, Caitlin, Cros, Jack, Katherine, Rafi, and Sam)
These are in chronological order from the beginning to the end of 2022.
In part, this has always been Weiss' M.O.: She airdrops into a subject she knows little about, gives it a dramatic title, and then walks away in slow motion, without turning back, like an action movie star, while her entire thesis explodes behind her.
It is always worth examining why it is that some struggles are lionized—even understandably so—and others are demonized, or ignored altogether. It is worth thinking about who is allowed humanity, and whose humanity is erased.
Thnks Fr the Mmrs, by Paul ❤️
Even though I won't be writing for the site anymore, I still believe deeply in the mission and ability of Discourse Blog to chart a different course for a broken industry, and to be a friend to the exploited and an enemy of those exploiting them.
'They've Had to Leave Behind Things That I Didn't': Talking to Jack Crosbie About Leaving Ukraine, by Cros (interviewed by Jack)
“I'm traveling in the exact same path with them—we're both basically fleeing the country—but I'm going home, and they're going away from home.”
There’s a rich world of culture we can never recover and civilizations, customs, ways of life, ideas, and traditions we’ll never know. The very least we can do is talk about, appreciate, and try to retain their memory when they’re gone, which in itself is a heartbreaking and intolerable truth.
The Secret Left-Wing History of 'Monopoly,' by Caitlin
It’s a long, arduous tale of money-grabbing, competing interests, drawn-out battles, and the bad guys mostly winning. But we’re gonna make it fun!! I promise.
The NYPD Can't Protect Us, by Cros
Our response to any new crisis is simply to put more boots on more necks and hope that the problems go away. The only people who benefit from the myth that the police serve and protect is the police — and they benefit the most from it when they fail to do their jobs.
They simply care that their kids might be normalized to the existence of people who aren’t straight and/or cis, and are using the threat of possible sexual abuse as a weapon against that normalization. Shame on them for making such an argument and shame on the Democrats for letting them get away with it.
Los Angeles Is a Better Food City Than New York, Sorry, by Katherine
Over the last few years, I’ve had the good fortune to spend time in Los Angeles, where a difficult but undeniable truth slowly dawned on me: LA is simply a better food city than New York. Don’t bite my head off!!! Let me lay out the parameters.
The TERF Mask Is Off, by Jack
How much more blatant does it need to get? “The fewer of those people there are the better” is not sugar-coated language. It is quite upfront. It is the language of fascism, of eugenics, of elimination.
Pry My Juul From My Cold Dead Hands, by Katherine
Face it: The grind of daily life is crushing for a lot of people. Until we do anything to lift Americans’ quality of life, both spiritually and economically, I beg: Let people fucking vape.
Fuck This Country, by Katherine
It’s hard to shake the idea that there are now more ways to die than to live in this country. Go ahead and die because you can’t afford insulin, die of a drug overdose, die in a mass shooting. There’s simply nothing to be done! But God—your god, not mine—forbid you be allowed to govern your own body in this specific way.
There are events known far and wide as pivotal fulcrums in our short time on this Earth, and it is with humility and respect that I submit the following as an addition to their illustrious ranks: June 24, 1922, 100 years ago, when New York City Police Department Patrolman William Deans was kicked in the balls so hard he died.
The first DC of the day is a beautiful thing, ice-cold and crisp, the military-grade sweetness of aspartame cutting through all other tastes and thoughts and feelings. The carbonation burns the back of your throat for just a moment. Ideally, I have gotten up and chugged eight ounces of cool room temperature water and brushed my teeth before this moment, but sometimes even those little indignities are beyond me until I have scourged my past sins with half of a can of DC.
This history has strangely become my source of sanity as the reality of our situation has set in. It’s an odd solace—especially as it’s so clear that the justices who made this decision for us hold this legacy in contempt—but it has made me feel connected to all of the people who refused to accept that there was nothing they could do but cave to their oppressors, and who forced the world to change over and over again. It has made me remember that we will win the right to legal abortion once more, because we’ve done it before.
Leave Hunter Biden Alone, by Katherine
I find myself drawn to Hunter because he feels real in a way his father is not and probably never was.
It’s hard to ignore the parallels: here was a group hired by an entertainment industry giant to manufacture a girl group to promote a movie about the consequences of what happens when an entertainment industry giant manufactures a girl group to promote U.S. government propaganda.
It’s weaponizing the shame and annoyance people feel when they get called out for using the wrong word in a social situation. That sucks, it’s happened to pretty much everyone, but a normal response is to say “oops, sorry” and make a note not to do it again, not throw your lot in with the tiny minority of Americans who are outspoken Christian fascists.
I Can't Stay In Texas Anymore, by Sam
The thought of leaving this state, and maybe this country, resonates in a way that it didn’t before. The past two years have challenged me more than I ever anticipated, and I’m less and less convinced that there is anything worth sticking around here for, family aside.
That’s right: we are going to pit two birds head to head (or, more appropriately, wing to wing) and at the end of this post, we are going to exclusively reveal which is the top bird. Two birds fly in, but only one can win! Let’s gooooooooooooooooooooo!
The Queen began her historic tenure in 1952, when Britain was a wounded, though still vast, colonial force, dogged by years of austerity and undergoing an existential crisis in the wake of the brutalities of World War II and the sudden loss of its superpower status. She died when Britain was a wounded, diminished, dilapidated, deeply weird nation, dogged by years of austerity and undergoing an existential crisis in the wake of the brutalities of the 21st century and the continued loss of its superpower status.
Do the Mario Accent You Coward, by Sam
Sir, sir!!!!! What 🤌🏼 in 🤌🏼 the 🤌🏼 buca 🤌🏼 di 🤌🏼 beppo 🤌🏼 is 🤌🏼 this 🤌🏼 shit?????
Insinuations that Fetterman is somehow unfit to be senator are merely playing into an ableist notion that politicians must be of a certain physical/mental type in order to do a job for which the way their body moves and processes input has little if any relevance.
We Don't Talk Enough About: Ernie's Moon Song, by Caitlin
Even as my relationship to space has changed, one thing has stayed with me, providing the forever soundtrack to my love of the cosmos, and, in a sense, to my life itself. That’s right. “I Don’t Want to Live on the Moon,” sung by Ernie. From Sesame Street. Holy shit, this song.
By the time the dust (and tear gas) settled on Monday night, Penn State’s foray into the exciting and action packed world of fascism-appeasement ended pretty much exactly the way anyone with a functioning brain would have expected: terribly.
When voters actually have the chance to vote on the kind of world they want to live in, they largely do not want one where abortion is outlawed.
How Do You Flip Someone Off? by Rafi
Just as jazz is about the notes you don’t play, giving the bird is as much about the other digits as it is the finger itself. And like jazz, everyone has their own unique spin on how best to do it; for every Louis Armstrong flipping someone off, there’s a Chet Baker offering an alternate version of the dreaded rocket.
Every last one of them is to blame. Not just the loudest among them, but the Republicans who fall along party lines when voting for legislation that directly targets the health and wellbeing of queer and trans people, too. And to the Democrats who maintain cordiality with these same lawmakers despite their mission to further marginalize their constituents? Fuck y’all, too. Fuck off, all of you.
I have noticed that the political stuff that does filter through to what I will call KaraTwitter is great. It rocks. It’s really really funny.
There are no epithets strong enough to describe how reprehensible it is to do what Baker and Shear did today. It was an act of deliberate malice against their co-workers, most of whom surely have less power at the Times than they do.
The Horrifying War on Libraries, by Caitlin
A beacon of egalitarian principles, community connectivity, and an accessible trove of knowledge and resources is a powerful tool for the common good, and the common good stands as a menace to the status quo.