This national death watch is an absurd and distressing phenomenon. And yet Ginsburg’s physical frailty is central to her pop-cultural cachet. The whole appeal of her little-old-lady archetype is that it situates her as an underdog and makes for a heady contrast to her intellectual might. In a sequence from the 2018 documentary “RBG” that has been sliced into GIFs and pasted around the internet as tribute, she wears a “SUPER DIVA!” sweatshirt as she heaves teensy hand weights over her shoulders. Even footage of Ginsburg nodding off at the 2015 State of the Union was celebrated by her fans, especially after Ginsburg explained that she had not been “100 percent sober.”
I’m just about done with thinking the problem with our society is not systemic inequality but basic Starbucks bitches in pussy hats being silly online. Can we do the fashion criticism of La Resistance after we’re done GETTING RID OF THE FASCISTS?
I mean every revolution eventual descends into assholes picking on each other but I swear to God you’ve got to do these things in order. First you win, then you start crabbing about the way everyone is doing their victory dance.
The fucking mail is getting dismantled, the neon asshead cheeto bigot is telling everyone that voting by mail is some kind of evil conspiracy, people at the first store I went to in four months yesterday were yelling at security guys who outweighed them by 150 pounds that masks actually spread the virus, and everyone’s kids are choosing between staying home forever and dying. Is it actually possible to not do the thing where the wrong color ribbon got used for the End Hunger brochure?
Now that the Trump era has been met by a true activist movement with the sustained protests of Black Lives Matter, the Ginsburg memes hit like relics. In 2016, Ginsburg was asked about Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling during the national anthem, and she called it “disrespectful” and “really dumb.” She later apologized, admitting that she had been “barely aware of the incident or its purpose.” Today the symbol of progressive change looks not like a justice in a chic dissent collar but a regular person for whom justice was not served.
RBG’s the wrong symbol. Fine. But when we’re done telling people to take off their T-shirts what exactly is the plan to do more than keep telling people their T-shirts are wrong? And it’s not exactly an accident that it’s generally women who get told they’re not doing the protest right, while men don’t do anything at all except grab the mics we rented and paid for and hired someone to set up, and then yell about overthrowing the country and also can they crash at our place this weekend, their cousin threw them out.
It chaps my ass to see us going after easy targets — each other — instead of looking at which ones of our friends and relatives are persuadable and figuring out how to get them to the polls.