Tag Archives: james baldwin

Sentimentality and mean tweets

Wanted to share this snippet from Chris Hedges’ Killing Ragheads for Jesus, mainly because of the counterintuitive but brilliant James Baldwin definition of sentimentality:

Kyle was able to cling to childish myth rather than examine the darkness of his own soul and his contribution to the war crimes we carried out in Iraq. He justified his killing with a cloying sentimentality about his family, his Christian faith, his fellow SEALs and his nation. But sentimentality is not love. It is not empathy. It is, at its core, about self-pity and self-adulation. That the film, like the book, swings between cruelty and sentimentality is not accidental.

“Sentimentality, the ostentatious parading of excessive and spurious emotion, is the mark of dishonesty, the inability to feel,” James Baldwin reminded us. “The wet eyes of the sentimentalist betray his aversion to experience, his fear of life, his arid heart; and it is always, therefore, the signal of secret and violent inhumanity, the mask of cruelty.”

***

Trying to crank out a post every day, but can’t get a handle on the news today. My twitter feed is still full of ruminations on the Super Bowl and anti-vaxxers. I got nothin’ really, but this Jimmy Kimmel bit with celebs reading mean tweets about themselves is actually really good….