Saturday, February 01, 2020

Monster Jam

Remember when Samantha Power called Hillary Clinton a "monster"?

It was in the middle of the 2008 primary. Feelings ran hot. Emotions were intense. But it just wasn't the sort of thing you can do. So Power resigned from Barack Obama's campaign. Later, when Obama was elected, she returned and served in his administration (along with Secretary of State Clinton).

This past week, Rashida Tlaib led the crowd at a Bernie Sanders rally in a rousing round of boos for Hillary Clinton. She now sort-of regrets it (this thread would not score highly in my "rate that apology" series). Of course, many people are defending her and saying of course she should boo Clinton, she has all the reason in the world to boo Clinton, everyone should boo Clinton, look at all the terrible things Clinton has done to Bernie Sanders.

For me, though, this is just like the Power scenario. I backed Obama over Clinton in 2008, and I am a massive admirer of Samantha Power. But -- putting aside whether it was "appropriate" in some objective sense -- calling your main intraparty opponent who still carries significant support among the class of voters you need both the primary and the general a "monster" is just bad message discipline. The project of political campaigning means sometimes -- probably often -- biting your lip and not saying what you really feel, even -- especially -- when emotions are running hot. If you can't do that, you're a liability. I said then, and I meant it, and I believe it, that Power was correct to resign from the campaign (I also said, and I meant it and I believe it, that this was not a call for permanent exile -- and I was thrilled when she rejoined the Obama administration).

I was very unlikely to vote for Joe Biden in this primary field, but one of the things that has especially driven me away from him is the repeated clips of him snapping at prospective voters who've asked challenging questions to "vote for someone else." I'm sure Biden feels like he's being unfairly harangued. I'm sure the questions he's facing make him hot under the collar. Maybe I think some of the questions he's facing are unfair too. But you've got to keep it together. Joe Biden lacks discipline, and that makes him a weaker candidate in a grueling election season.

I saw one prominent leftist writer defend the Sanders campaign re: Tlaib by saying, in essence, that the reason Sanders was so great was that he doesn't try to regulate what his surrogates say. Everyone's allowed to speak from the heart! That is such a lovely, egalitarian, romantic idea for running a campaign that will barrel headfirst into electoral catastrophe. Campaigns need discipline. They need people to keep their heads on straight.

The fact of the matter is -- and too many Sanders supporters seem unwilling to accept this -- they need to appeal to Hillary Clinton voters. Lots of Democrats like Hillary Clinton! And Obama! And other members of the dreaded "establishment"! Obama and Clinton won their primaries! They've gotten the support of most Democrats! Telling a Democratic primary voter -- and I've gotten this exact phone call -- that they shouldn't vote for so-and-so in the primary because she's "an Obama Democrat" is such a colossal misreading of the political space, it's campaign malpractice. If I'm cutting ads against Sanders in primaries in South Carolina or Georgia, it's just going to be a string of clips of Sanders and his surrogates dismissively deriding popular Democratic figures.

Plenty of Sanders supporters are frustrated with Hillary Clinton (plenty of Biden supporters are frustrated with Bernie Sanders!). I get it. There's some bad blood, and the primary season is intense. Too bad. Suck it up. Politics ain't beanbag, but it isn't a therapy session for you to vent your honest emotional truth either. Campaigns need discipline. If you're on a campaign and you can't hold it inside when necessary, you need to step back.

Friday, January 31, 2020

The Good Place: Final Thoughts


At the conclusion of season three, I registered my prediction of how The Good Place would end:
The abolition of the afterlife in its entirety (no more good or bad places); a re-emphasis on doing as best you can when it matters (i.e., during one's actual life); the core quartet is sent back to Earth to live out the rest of their natural lives as friends.
I would say that, like most religions, I got about 5% right. The afterlife, as we knew it, is abolished. And the series does end with all of the human characters passing on. But in between, The Good Place takes a much more audacious swing: a genuine attempt to reform the afterlife. And -- and I think this is perhaps even more profound -- an essential acknowledgment that this attempt fell short. A perfect paradise was not created, and in fact the final conclusion of The Good Place seems to be that such a paradise is impossible even in concept.

After all, cut away the underbrush and the heroes' solution to the problem afflicting The Good Place was to offer the choice of suicide. And while the penultimate episode suggests that perhaps just having the option will suffice to stave off the ennui of eternal bliss, the finale refuses to accept that out. Every human character, eventually, kills themselves. Their happy ending is that they are content to die. The best possible paradise is one where people can and do eventually choose to erase themselves from existence. Skip over the beatific forest setting and the stipulation of emotional contentment, and that's a rather melancholic, if not outright grim, conclusion.

It's easy to draw a parallel between the last episode and the need for fans to accept the voluntarily-chosen end of a great show like The Good Place (it's even easier to draw it to the need to accept our own mortality). But another recurrent theme in The Good Place is the failure of systems. Over and over again, the systems the characters find themselves in are revealed to be either malfunctioning or outright designed to immiserate them.

From the very beginning, Eleanor and Chidi confront the brutal harshness of the points system, which results in nearly all people being horrifically tortured for eternity (incidentally, that Chidi isn't immediately repelled by -- and suspicious of -- this set-up is a rare miscue in terms of characterization, if not plotting). They resolve to try and improve Eleanor, only to find out that they're actually in a perpetual torture chamber which will literally reset every time they come close to escaping it.

At this point, the series becomes a repeated effort to find ever-higher levers in the celestial bureaucracy that can be appealed to. They find a judge, who is at best indifferent to their predicament and not particularly interested in helping them. Upon returning to earth, they discover first that they can't ever improve enough to enter The Good Place (because -- knowing the stakes -- their motivations are corrupt) and then that nobody can successfully enter The Good Place because existence has become too interwoven and morally interdependent for anyone to satisfy the standard of admission. They meet the actual Good Place committee, who are worse than useless and content to let everyone suffer forever because taking any concrete action risks violating some procedural norm. And when they finally enter The Good Place, they discover it's as dysfunctional as everywhere else -- gradually sucking the life out of its residents who, given eternity, eventually tire of everything. All the systems fail. All of them are doomed to fail. They can't not.

Hence, the suicide gate (and sidenote: If The Good Place ever has a spin-off series -- and lord knows it shouldn't -- it should definitely involve exploring the first murder in the Good Place when someone gets involuntarily shoved through that archway).

By the time it reaches its conclusion, The Good Place is one of the few depictions of the afterlife to take the concept of eternity seriously. Some other venues glance in this direction. Agent Smith in The Matrix tells Neo that humans reject a simulation of paradise -- the implication is because we're diseased, but perhaps also indicating that perfect, eternal happiness ... isn't. Maya Rudolph's other afterlife vehicle, Forever, certainly touches on this theme. The Order of the Stick has an afterlife where people can eat all the food and have all the sex and otherwise satisfy all the "messed-up urges you people have leftover after having your soul stuck in a glorified sausage all your life". But this is only the "first tier" of heaven: once you're bored, you can "climb the mountain" to search for a higher level of spiritual satisfaction. And while what this entails is left vague, it is not death -- those who ascend can, if they wish, descend back down to the lowlier pleasures (OOTS also introduces the very neat concept of "Postmortum Time Disassociation Disorder").

But the story which provides perhaps the most powerful foil to The Good Place's view of eternity and immortality is (and of the approximately 143,000 Good Place retrospectives being written right now, I bet I'm the only one to make this comparison) Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality.

The ultimate adversary in HPMOR is not Snape, or Malfoy, or Voldemort. It is death, and Harry is committed to the "absolute rejection of death as the natural order." The message on the Potters' gravestone is, after all, "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death" (and it's a sign of my cloistered Jewish upbringing that I thought this was a Rowling original -- it is in fact a quote from I Corinthians). Harry Potter wants people to live forever. And the story anticipates the objection, placed in the mouth of Dumbledore, "What would you do with eternity, Harry?"
Harry took a deep breath. "Meet all the interesting people in the world, read all the good books and then write something even better, celebrate my first grandchild's tenth birthday party on the Moon, celebrate my first great-great-great grandchild's hundredth birthday party around the Rings of Saturn, learn the deepest and final rules of Nature, understand the nature of consciousness, find out why anything exists in the first place, visit other stars, discover aliens, create aliens, rendezvous with everyone for a party on the other side of the Milky Way once we've explored the whole thing, meet up with everyone else who was born on Old Earth to watch the Sun finally go out, and I used to worry about finding a way to escape this universe before it ran out of negentropy but I'm a lot more hopeful now that I've discovered the so-called laws of physics are just optional guidelines."
The last few episodes of The Good Place are, in a sense, a calling of this bluff. Even if you play out the string all the way to extinguishment of the sun or the heat death of the universe -- well, forever is a long time. It can wait. Harry argues that the only reason we accept death is because we're used to it, and if you took someone who lived in a world where there was no death and asked them if they'd prefer to live in a universe where eventually people ceased to exist, they'd look at you like you're crazy. The Good Place provocatively argues the precise opposite -- that if death didn't exist, people would have to invent it. Or they would go crazy, with infinite time on their hands.

And so we are, perhaps, back to where we started. The paradise the heroes create is certainly better than that which they replaced. But it still is deeply, tragically flawed -- and The Good Place seems to believe that these flaws are fundamentally inescapable.

The suicide option is the clearest manifestation of how cracked paradise must be, but there is another issue that the show alludes to: paradise depends on other people, and on their choices. Way back in the first season, "Real Eleanor" raises this precise point: if her soulmate doesn't love her, "this will never truly be my Good Place." Sure it's actually a contrivance to torture Chidi, but it's easy to imagine it as real. What if your paradise is to live blissfully with a certain special someone and ... that person doesn't love you back? Both Simone and Tahani seem okay with Chidi and Jason respectively choosing someone other than them (Eleanor and Janet). But that's in harmony with the audience's happy ending. It's not hard to imagine a different world where they were less sanguine about it.

Or take a far more direct problem: If paradise comes with a suicide option, what happens if your loved one takes it? Harry's excited declaration of all the things he'd do with infinite time is not fundamentally, the reason why he desires immortality. When push comes to shove, he's motivated by a far more basic yearning: to make it so "people won't have to say goodbye any more."

Eleanor's utter panic at the thought of losing Chidi forever was, for me at least, the most visceral emotional gut-punch of the entire series -- even more than the finale of season three (at least there, we could be reasonably assured their separation was temporary). She eventually comes to terms with it. But sit on it a little more: imagine a "paradise" where your soulmate has left you forever. People fantasize about heaven to be reunited with their loved ones, yet we end up looping right back into eternal separation. What kind of paradise is this, where people still have to say goodbye?

So we have two problems that seem to threaten even the conceptual coherency of a paradise:

  • First, if paradise is forever, eventually everything will become tired. That suicide is presented as a good solution to this problem shows just how serious it is (and, for what it's worth, I'm not sure the suicide "option" would necessarily bring relief. It could easily generate crippling anxiety -- a sense of trappedness between the irrevocable permanence of death and the unbearable ennui of existence). 
  • Second, if paradise depends on the choices other people make, how can we be sure they'll make choices compatible with your happy ending?

The Good Place presents the first problem as unavoidable and skates past the second entirely. But could they be overcome?

Maybe. In the penultimate episode of The Good Place, one solution proposed to the problem of eternal ennui is to reset people's memories, so the things that bored them become fresh again. This is swiftly rejected as a repetition of how the quartet was tortured in The Bad Place. Too swiftly, in my view. Neighborhoods were also used to torture -- should those be jettisoned too?

The problem with eternity is that eventually, everything gets repetitive. Go-Kart Racing against monkeys may be a blast the first time, but it loses its luster after a million reiterations. The wistfulness comes from wishing one could go back to that initial burst of discovery and experience -- before one had the memory of doing it all over again. This was my immediate solution to the ennui problem -- not that some demon should periodically reset you, but that you should be able to choose when, where, and how to reset yourself. It's not just about going back in time. It's reoccupying any memory state you've ever possessed. Go back to before you ever raced against monkeys -- then zoom forward to when you've already experienced all the monkey-races you could handle.

It's like a load/save system for your mind. Hell, you can even adjust the "difficulty" level. It's true that, for many, a "paradise" where one simply automatically gets whatever one wants will feel unsatisfying. But one needn't set the parameters of paradise to guarantee success. It can be as hard or easy as one wants; people can be as pliant or obstinate as one likes (not for nothing is one of the afterlife attractions in OOTS -- a fantasy roleplaying-based setting -- "The Dungeon of Monsters That Are Just Strong Enough to Really Challenge You").

Or dream bigger. If one has infinite ability to reverse and remake memory as one wishes, then one could at any point adapt any set of memories one ever could have had. Don't just live a different life, remember a different life. Then jump forward and remember all the different lives you lived -- each of which (when you lived them) you had erased the memories of all the others. Every single possible timeline is lived -- and can be relived in all its glory, as many times as one wants.

For me, at least, this dissolves the problem of others' choices as well. If anyone can make not just any possible choice, but live through any possible timeline, what does it mean to ask which one is "real"? If your paradise involves loving and being loved by a particular someone, will in your paradise, the person you need to love you, loves you, and stays with you as long as you need. In their paradise, they might love someone else. You enjoy a timeline where people choose exactly the choices that would make you most happy; they live in a timeline which is the same for them. Of course, the sorts of philosophical questions that would raise (among others: What does it mean for the "same" person to simultaneously exist across multiple timelines? Who, exactly, is "choosing" which version they occupy? And if the one that does choose doesn't choose a timeline that involves them loving you back, is the version that does love you really "them"?) are even more esoteric and less accessible to a network audience than the moral philosophy questions The Good Place did try to introduce. So I don't blame them for skipping by it.

* * *

The last enemy to be defeated may not, after all, be death. It may be time.  Time ruins all things. Eventually you run out of it. And even if you never ran out of it -- you had infinite time -- it would defeat you in a different way: via boredom, repetition, and ennui. We can, perhaps, imagine a world where we vanquish death. But can we imagine one where (forgot about possibility, and just think conceptually) we defeat time?

I can. Barely, but I can. Of course, it's in many ways a moot point, since I'm profoundly skeptical that humanity ever will master time in this way -- or even if it's practically possible (that it won't happen in my lifetime is actually less material, given that if it ever did happen we'd probably be at Omega Point anyway). But at least it holds out the possibility of an actual happy ending -- where the last enemy is truly vanquished, and nobody has to say goodbye.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Bernie Sanders, Joe Rogan and the Politics of Conviction

If you're relying on me to inform you about the Bernie Sanders/Joe Rogan controversy, you need to read more widely.

The short version is this: Joe Rogan is a podcaster with a brand of anti-PC anti-establishment angry comedy, who is popular with ... exactly the sort of crowd that likes anti-PC anti-establishment anger. He endorsed Bernie Sanders, and Sanders loudly trumpeted the endorsement.

On one level, Rogan's endorsement is a big coup for Sanders insofar as it gives him credibility with the proverbial disaffected White voter. Sanders ability to appeal to this crowd is central to his "electability" case.

On another level, Rogan's "brand of anti-PC anti-establishment angry comedy" often in practice has been vicious racist, transphobic, Islamophobic, and anti-immigrant. So Sanders is taking a lot of flak from people who think the supposed standard-bearer of the left shouldn't be aligning himself with that sort of reactionary hatred.

Sanders' defenders think this is all yet another bad-faith cheap shot from the "establishment" desperate to take Bernie down a peg. After all, how many other candidates have accepted endorsements from morally compromised figures (Henry Kissinger is a popular target) and not gotten half the backlash? Many of the critics rejoin by saying they are not anti-Sanders per se -- some are even backers -- but feel especially betrayed that Bernie Sanders is elevating and amplifying the voice of the likes of Joe Rogan.

So that's the controversy in a nutshell. And I have two points. First, when people argued that Bernie Sanders could build a different sort of political coalition because he could uniquely appeal to disaffected White voters, this is what they meant. They may not have realized it was what they meant; there's been quite a bit of romantic naivete that when these voters back Sanders they were doing so because they've become converts to a true-blue socialist vision that goes all the way down, and in comradeship they would join the left cultural issues right alongside economic ones. But in reality, this was always going to be the way that it worked -- if Sanders was able to build a novel coalition that brought back these angry White male voters that had been attracted to Trump back into the fold, they were going to come with all the baggage that made them Trump-curious in the first place. As I remarked last year, it's fine to say "that's politics" and accept that political coalitions always will entail alliances with some unsavory sorts. But one can't just wear blinders that this is what one is doing.

Which brings me to point number two. One of the reason Bernie Sanders, in particular, is taking flak over this sort of arguably unremarkable political compromise is because so much of his campaign's organizing narrative is based on the idea that he doesn't compromise. In contrast to an establishment that is hopelessly tainted by disreputable associations and opportunistic corrupt bargaining, Sanders stands as someone who will always do the right thing, even if it's the hard path. He has his convictions, and he sticks to them. That's what makes him stand out, and -- for his more passionate supporters -- that's what makes other Democrats unpalatable. They play the game. Sanders will overturn the game table.

What Sanders is finding out, though, is something Max Weber observed years ago: nobody who is actually seeking to exercise political power can get away with the pure politics of conviction. One will always have to compromise, there will always be instances where one has to sacrifice ideals on the altar of expediency. Sanders is getting hit harder for the Rogan endorsement because in some ways the very controversy falsifies one of his core campaign narratives. When you've held yourself as the beacon of uncompromising conviction, obviously you're going to take a few shots when you so publicly engage in a political compromise -- accepting Rogan's backing (and the disaffected White voters he may bring with him) and the expense of excusing his anti-egalitarian rantings against various other marginalized groups.

It's kind of like conservative legal originalists. They get on such a high horse about how they're the only legal interpreters who are apolitical and unideological and just calling "balls and strikes". And so when they inevitably have to engage in judgment calls and contested interpretation -- and those calls and interpretations oh-so-shockingly skew towards their political priors -- there's going to be some extra mustard on the ensuing denunciations. It's not that adherents of other legal theories are immune to those sorts of behaviors. But they haven't dedicated their entire public profile to declaring they are so immune (and therefore superior).

Me, I'm a pragmatist -- I've long since come to terms with the fact that politics entails political compromises, so I don't get too exercised when I see it in the wild. Whether or not I think Joe Rogan's endorsement is a net positive or negative, it is not in the family of political misconduct that particularly bothers me (for similar reasons, actually, to why I don't get too worked up that "Linda Sarsour is a campaign surrogate!"). All it tells me is that Bernie Sanders is a perfectly ordinary politician -- and to be honest, it never occurred to me to view him as anything else.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

No. Matter. Who.

First things first: If you are a Democrat, the only valid answer to the question "will you support the Democratic nominee regardless of who it is?" is "yes." No hemming. No hawing. No "it depends." Yes.

I don't care whether the nominee is Biden or Warren or Sanders or Klobuchar or Bloomberg or Tulsi frickin' Gabbard. The answer is yes.

So: Joe Biden gets today's tsk of shame for not answering this question correctly:
Former Vice President Joe Biden stopped short Tuesday of saying he’d support Bernie Sanders if the progressive Vermont senator wins the Democratic presidential nomination.
“I’m not going to make judgments now,” Biden told reporters in Muscatine, six days before the Iowa caucuses. “I just think that it depends upon how we treat one another between now and the time we have a nominee.”
Bzzzt. Wrong answer. The correct answer is "yes", without further adornment. See above.

But a new poll suggests that while Biden-the-candidate may be getting it wrong; at least his supporters are getting it right. And as for Bernie Sanders -- well, vice versa. He's taken the right line on the issue, but his supporters....
Only a small majority of Bernie Sanders voters say they will definitely support the eventual Democratic nominee at the 2020 election if the independent Vermont senator does not win the race, according to a poll.
The National Emerson College Poll of 1,128 registered voters between January 21 and January 23 found that 53 percent of Sanders supporters said "yes" when asked if they would support the Democratic nominee even if it is not their candidate.
Another 31 percent of Sanders supporters said it depends on who the nominee is and 16 percent flat-out said no. The poll, conducted via landline calls and an online panel, has a 2.8 percentage point margin of error.
The poll suggests some Sanders supporters are out of step with their own chosen candidate on the question of supporting the Democratic nominee regardless of who it is.
"Let me be clear: If any of the women on this stage or any of the men on this stage win the nomination—I hope that's not the case, I hope it's me—but if they do I will do everything in my power to make sure that they are elected in order to defeat the most dangerous president in the history of our country," Sanders said at the recent Iowa debate.
By comparison to Sanders, 87 percent of former vice president Joe Biden's supporters said yes to voting for whoever wins the nomination, 9 percent it depends on the winning candidate, and 5 percent said no to anyone that is not Biden.
And 90 percent of Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren's supporters said they would vote for whoever is the nominee, while the remaining 10 percent said it depended on who won the nomination.
None of Warren's supporters said they would not vote for the eventual nominee if she loses the Democratic race.
Chalk this up as another data point in favor of "Bernie Sanders" being far, far superior to "Bernie Sanders supporters."

Wilder/Fury II: Preview

It's been awhile since we had a boxing post on this site, but I've got $40 on Tyson Fury to defeat Deontay Wilder in the rematch, so why not run through my thinking?

Full disclosure: My track record of boxing betting involving any fight not including Floyd Mayweather is not great. So take what I say with a grain of salt -- or as a guide in the opposite direction.

When I visited Las Vegas a few weeks ago, the Wilder/Fury fight was a pure toss-up -- -110 odds for either fighter. That makes some sense, given that their first fight went to a draw. But the more I thought about it, the more I liked Fury in the rematch -- and that's accounting for the fact that as a fan I greatly prefer Wilder. Two things loomed largest in pointing towards "The Gypsy King":

First, most observers thought that if anybody won the first fight, it was Fury. Instead the outcome was a draw. In my experience, when most people thought boxer A defeated boxer B in the first fight, but the judges disagree, boxer A beats boxer B more decisively in the rematch. Think Pacquiao/Bradley. There are exceptions, but they tend to fall into two categories. Either A's win would have been a huge upset (in which case, often the explanation is that B overlooked A, and doesn't make the same mistake twice); or B has a lot more drawing power/promoter backing than A. Neither one applies here: Wilder and Fury are roughly equally popular, and were viewed as evenly-matched from the start. It's hard to imagine Wilder was "overlooking" Fury in their first fight.

But that's mostly me doing amateur psychology on the mindset of the judges. Substantively, I see a much bigger issue for Wilder -- at the very top level, he's repeatedly needed his power to bail him out. That was true in both Ortiz fights, each of which he was losing before he came-from-behind with a knockout. And it was true in the first Fury fight, where he needed two knockdowns (including one in the final round) to scrape out a draw that even then many observers thought he was lucky to get. If Wilder didn't land his one big shot, he loses those fights.

Now of course, if ever there was an eraser, it's Deontay Wilder's power. I don't overlook that. And I get the whole argument that Tyson Fury has to be good for 12 rounds, while Deontay Wilder only has to be good for one second. Even still, it's never a good thing to go into a fight needing a knockout. There's a reason why Randall Bailey didn't win every fight he was ever in. If that's your only dimension, eventually you'll encounter a guy who can neutralize it long enough to take a decision.

And let's not forget -- Tyson Fury might be the one guy on the planet capable of surviving Wilder's power. The punch that dropped Fury in the 12th round of their first fight was the sort of shot I didn't think it possible to get up from. But Fury did, and survived the round. It's not enough for Wilder to land the big shot, it has to actually end the fight. Against 99% of all opposition, that's a foreordained conclusion. Against Fury, it isn't.

Tyson Fury certainly didn't look perfect against Otto Wallin in his last fight. But unlike Wilder, he didn't have to bail himself out of a hole with one punch. Much the opposite, he gritted out a decision under deep adversity (and I'd point out that we really have no idea just how good Wallin is). He showed heart and discipline, two things he'll need in spades against Wilder. But if he sticks to a gameplan and boxes smart, I think he can ride out Wilder's one punch, and get the victory many observers thought he deserved the first time around.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Things People Blame the Jews For, Volume LVII: The Death of Kobe Bryant

When seeking to attribute a given historical happening that doesn't seem to involve Jews to a Jewish conspiracy, one generally can take one of two routes.

The first is to find a connection between a critical figure in the event and a Jewish person in their social orbit. This isn't hard, since most of the prominent figures one would want to build a conspiracy theory around probably know at least some Jews. This is the angle that gave us classics like "Blaming Jews for a coup in Turkey" or "Blaming Jews for Taylor Swift endorsing Phil Bredesen".

But if the connection can't be found or feels to tenuous (though lord knows what could be "too tenuous" for the people in this series), there's another route: it's a distraction to draw attention away from some other news.

The people who -- surprising no one -- immediately jumped aboard the "Jews killed Kobe Bryant!" train appear to be taking Door #2.
More examples of the genre collected here.

My sincere condolences to the Bryant family and all those who died today.