I hope everyone is staying warm while we get through this brutal cold weather. Please remember to put the phone number for your local hypothermia hotline into your contacts list. (A Google search should turn up the number. In Washington, D.C. it’s (202) 399-7093.) That way, if you see a homeless person in need of assistance, you’ll have the number easily available. Calling the police is generally NOT a good idea unless there is simply no other alternative (which is the case in some rural areas). Many homeless people have mental health challenges and the police are, sadly, not well-trained for dealing with those challenges. If you’re inclined to do more to help, buy a cheap pack of athletic socks. They can serve as mittens, as well, and keeping hands and feet dry and warm can make a big difference.
I took a break this week from trying the recipes in Clean Soups to make one of my winter favorites: pisto soup. You saute carrots, celery, fennel, onion, and garlic in olive oil. Add about a cup of crushed tomatoes, a bay leaf, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Then add 8 C or so of water and cook until the vegetables are tender. Cool and run through the blender. Now, repeat the process only, this time, don’t blend the vegetables. Mix both batches together and add cannellini beans. You now have a vegetable soup that combines the best of smooth and chunky. Top with some pesto sauce if you like. Like most soups, this tastes even better the next day and can be frozen. What are you cooking to keep warm?
We’re going to have to figure out how to raise young men in this modern world. So far, we’re doing a terrible job.
Neiwert says that “authoritarianism appeals to our desire for security and safety and control. When fearfulness and chaos are being promoted, authoritarianism ramps up.”
He points to a recent example of incipient authoritarianism – the young men from Covington Catholic college in Kentucky who hooted and taunted in the face of a Native American man on the National Mall. “It’s yet another indication of how we’re radicalising this generation of young men,” Neiwert says. “The rabbit hole they’re falling down leads to white nationalism, but the pathway is authoritarianism.” He mentions the new media landscape that has been crafted to appeal to young men, such as the “authoritarianism lite” offered by the likes of Jordan Peterson. “These young men are being conditioned to develop authoritarian personalities.”
Authoritarianism, in turn, uses conspiracy theory to drive a wedge between a movement’s followers and the world. “Conspiracy thinking ensures that the authoritarian leader has their followers’ loyalty because they thereby enter his version of reality.” He offers a concrete example: “When Trump is lying nakedly, but all of his followers still believe him, well, that’s what he’s doing.
The Republicans are going to outlaw abortion and are coming for your birth control. I know I’ve said this before, but if you don’t want children, or if you have all the children you want, talk to your doctor about sterilization. If you’re not interested in that, buy Plan B and condoms and store them according to package directions. Do it now. Also, show up in every election and vote for Democrats.
Imbolc is later this week. The days have been growing longer, bit by bit, since Yule. I have tiny daffodil sprouts in the garden. What signs of Spring are you noticing?
Picture found here.