A catastrophic storm dumps feet of snow from Texas to Maine and sure as death and taxes here they come, out of the woodwork:
And it isn’t the mistaking of weather for climate, or anecdote for data; it isn’t that for every city currently experiencing record lows, whole continents were hotter than ever before this past summer. It isn’t that such extremes, such monstrous storms, are precisely what’s predicted by the theory he so sneeringly believes is evidently bankrupt. And it’s certainly not the unkillable zombie nature of these soi-disant arguments, how every goddamn time it snows Republicans build igloos on the Capitol lawn.
It isn’t even that @PatriotD66 couldn’t manage to cut and paste a simple hyperlink. —No, it’s cold in the mesosphere, and a piece of rhodium was once a few hundred picokelvins away from absolute zero, so Al Gore is fat and probably an atheist. Fuck you, liberals.
It’s a neat little essay in power, this scene from Mulholland Drive: Adam Kesher, the hotshot director, walks into the meeting with his swagger and his golf club and his insults and his bluster and despite all these overt displays of power never has control of a goddamn thing.
It isn’t the menace in the soundtrack, that he can’t hear, or the cuts to Mr. Roque, whom he can’t see. It isn’t how Mr. Darby and Ray and Robert Smith, the bit players, recite their platitudinous nothings with a deliberately overrehearsed sheen, playing their roles to the hilt but no further, refusing the risk of actual agency in the struggle that’s played out around them. It isn’t even how the Castiglianes sit there and stare and refuse to engage beyond sliding the envelope across the table and trusting the others to do what it is they want, though that’s close; this is the girl. This is the girl.
It’s what Luigi Castigliane does with the espresso, of course.
It’s a shockingly ugly moment, what he does. The revulsion that crosses his face after the sip, and then how he doesn’t spit it out but opens his mouth and lets it dribble down his chin to puddle on clean white cloth, his tongue licking out reflexively, his hands trembling as he pats his chin clean with the unstained end of the napkin. It’s all very physical, very grotesque, a body out of control of itself, driven to do what it’s doing. It’s a sign of weakness, and thus an overwhelming show of power.
—Because it is a show, isn’t it? It’s why he orders the espresso. It’s why he insists on the napkin. It wouldn’t matter if it really were the best espresso in the world; he’d still let it fall from his mouth, too overwhelmed to manage to spit it out. This is the power I have, he’s saying. I can do this terrible shameful embarrassing thing and there is nothing, nothing at all that you can do to take advantage of it. That is how much power I have over you.
Strength—the bluster, the golfclub, the insults, the anger—strength is for the weak.
Which is why they won’t stop, the ilk of @PatriotD66. They’ll just keep making these unkillable arguments, so easily defeated, even as the ice caps melt. It’s why Bill O’Reilly won’t stop telling his parable of the tides; it’s why Megyn Kelly doesn’t care whether what she just said was laughably demonstrably false. It’s the secret meaning behind that much-vaunted Rove quote about the reality-based community: this is the power we have over you. We can say these terrible shameful embarrassing things, these appallingly stupid things, and there is not a goddamn thing in the world you can do to take advantage of it.