Rebecca Solnit On Representation

D9DDEB89-B59D-4B67-90B7-A55719F6068DRebecca Solnit (June 24, 1961 -)

What is onstage is a tragedy, the tragedy of the inequitable distribution of power and of the too-common silence of those who settle for being audience while paying the price of the drama. Traditionally, the audience is supposed to choose the actors, and the actors are quite literally supposed to speak for us. This is the idea behind representative democracy. In practice, various reasons keep many from participating in the choice, other forces — like money — subvert that choice, and onstage too many of the actors find other reasons — lobbyists, self-interest, conformity — to fail to represent their constituents.

Rebecca Solnit On The Media

D9DDEB89-B59D-4B67-90B7-A55719F6068DRebecca Solnit (June 24, 1961 -)

I think of the mainstream media as having not so much a rightwing or leftwing bias but a status quo bias, a tendency to believe people in authority, to trust institutions and corporations and the rich and powerful and pretty much any self-satisfied white man in a suit; to let people who have been proven to tell lies tell more lies that get reported without questioning; to move forward on cultural assumptions that are readily disproven; and to devalue nearly all outsiders, whether they’re discredited or mocked or just ignored.

Rebecca Solnit On Lies And Language

D9DDEB89-B59D-4B67-90B7-A55719F6068D.jpegRebecca Solnit (June 24, 1961 -)

There are so many ways to tell a lie. You can lie by ignoring whole regions of impact, omitting crucial information, or unhitching cause and effect; by falsifying information by distortion and disproportion, or by using names that are euphemisms for violence or slander for legitimate activities, so that the white kids are “hanging out” but the Black kids are “loitering” or “lurking.” Language can erase, distort, point in the wrong direction, throw out decoys and distractions. It can bury the bodies or uncover them.

Rebecca Solnit On Rape

88af4-img_2096Rebecca Solnit (June 24, 1961 -)

We have been here before. We have been here over and over in an endless, Groundhog Day loop about how rape and sexual abuse happen: offering the same explanations, hearing the same kind of stories from wave after wave of survivors, hearing the same excuses and refusals to comprehend from people who are not so sure that women are endowed with inalienable rights and matter as much as men – or, categorically, have as much credibility.

Rebecca Solnit On Transformation

   Rebecca Solnit   (June 24, 1961) Rebecca Solnit (June 24, 1961)

There are times when it seems as though not only the future but the present is dark: few recognize what a radically transformed world we live in, one that has been transformed not only by such nightmares as global warming and global capital, but by dreams of freedom and of justice — and transformed by things we could not have dreamed of… We need to hope for the realization of our own dreams, but also to recognize a world that will remain wilder than our imaginations.