Sent to me by my friend, Mary L., from an unknown author:
- I’ve been wondering why this entire country seems to be under a cloud of constant misery. Why we all seem to be Russians waiting in line for toilet paper, meat, Lysol. Hoarding yeast and sourdough starter “in case we can’t get bread”.
- Buying stamps so that one of our most beloved institutions might survive. Why we all look like we are in bad need of a haircut, or a facial or a reason to dress up again and go somewhere. Anywhere.
- There is no art in this White House. There is no literature or poetry in this White House. No music. No Kennedy Center award celebrations.
- There are no pets in this White House. No loyal man’s best friend. No Socks the family cat. No kids’ science fairs.
- No times when this president takes off his blue suit red tie uniform and becomes human, except when he puts on his white shirt khaki pants uniform and hides from Americans to play golf.
- There are no images of the first family enjoying themselves together in a moment of relaxation. No Obamas on the beach in Hawaii moments, or Bushes fishing in Kennebunkport, no Reagans on horseback, no Kennedys playing touch football on the Cape. I was thinking the other day of the summer when George H couldn’t catch a fish and all the grand-kids made signs and counted the fish-less days. And somehow, even if you didn’t even like GHB, you got caught up in the joy of a family that loved each other and had fun.
- Where did that country go? Where did all of the fun and joy and expressions of love and happiness go? We used to be a country that did the ice bucket challenge and raised millions for charity.
- We used to have a president that calmed and soothed the nation instead dividing it. And a First Lady that planted a garden instead of ripping one out. We are rudderless and joyless. We have lost the cultural aspects of society that make America great.
- We have lost our mojo. Our fun, our happiness. The cheering on of others. The shared experiences of humanity that makes it all worth it. The challenges AND the triumphs that we shared and celebrated. The unique can-do spirit Americans have always been known for.
- We are lost. We have lost so much in so short a time.
I’m 73 and had been a widow for just a year and a half when the pandemic further upended everything. I’ve lived the life of a hermit (although a hermit with curbside grocery pickup) for the last 6+ months.
The intertoobs have been great for maintaining some semblance of human contact, but the flip side is I’m constantly exposed to the rantings of the sweaty, orange-faced current occupant of what used to be The People’s House and the complicity of what used to be the Republican party, which now resembles a cult of personality.
In the year leading up to the 2016 election, I was equally glued to the computer screen and angsted about every little fluctuation in Hillary’s poll numbers, etc. My husband warned me not to get consumed by it all because “What can you do about it? You can cast your vote and the rest is out of your hands.” He was right. As we all know, the unthinkable happened and there went a year of my life down the crapper.
If there’s one thing I hope I’ve learned from this time of reflection following the death of my husband and my self-imposed withdrawal from what used to be polite society it’s what I found on a small bumper sticker in my husband’s desk drawer: “Life is too short to argue with stupid people.”
I’m convinced Trump will win the election by hook or by crook. We already know about the voter suppression and the shenanigans at the USPS. I hope I’m wrong, but as Trump himself says, it is what it is. If the people of this country choose him again as our president, then I guess we deserve the president we get. Nothing I can do about that.
So, I’m backing off from my avid following of politics. I don’t want to spend whatever amount of time I have left on this planet in a constant state of outrage and despair. I’m only one vote, which I will gladly cast and hope it counts.
But I’m tired.
David Axelrod @davidaxelrod
It turns out that Lysol kills self-serving, misleading press briefings 99.9 percent of the time!
Satire from the Washington Post, by Alexandra Petri:
Yes, I would like things to be worse, please. I do not think things are bad enough, and I would like them to be worse. I look at the number of people who have died in this great state, and I think, frankly, it is a little low. People, if you want to be technical about it, who will never see their families again; people who were not done living; people who cannot be replaced and whose absence will bore an echoing hole through countless other lives — but what is that, weighed against my own convenience and my sense that things should be open rather than closed?
I look at the strain on our hospital system and I think: It could be greater. I see ambulances going past and I think: They are too unimpeded and will get to the hospitals too quickly. I look at the people in charge of my state who are trying to minimize the cost to human life and I say: Why, though?
I am here to make my voice heard. I am not actively in favor of the virus, but I think there might be good people on both sides of this people-virus question. So I am going to assemble in such a way that my leaders will have no choice but to listen and that through my negligence, more people will die. You might say I’m doing my part. Thankfully, at least, the president agrees.
The problem? On the grounds that there “is a pandemic” and it “is not safe,” I have been briefly deterred from going about my life in exactly the manner I would like. Can you believe this? No, I will not hold. I am here, banging on the window, like the heroes in a zombie film. Listen, I know my rights. I know that among them is life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but I don’t care about the first one.
Given the choice of saving thousands of lives, including, possibly, my own, or getting to buy a can of 730C-2 Sandstone Cove paint now rather than later, I will not hesitate to choose the latter. Do not ask me how many lives I would trade to avoid minor inconveniences, or you will see what a sea of bodies I would be content to wade through to my morning coffee. If I’m willing to die, that should be enough for everyone. No one — as I have established during COUNTLESS interactions with customer service professionals — is worth more than me.
I just want nothing about my life to change, including my indifference to the lives of others. So please stop demanding that I bend to the will of the people or their elected officials. The last time I checked, this was a democracy.
Have you considered that, actually, I don’t want to be safe? You think you are protecting me, but whom are you really protecting? Others? If I am willing to take this risk for myself (my top favorite person!), why do you think I would not be willing to take it for “others,” many of whom I don’t even know personally and some of whom are the very people who once asked me to escort myself out of a Red Lobster because I was making a scene? No, I don’t understand how the transmission of disease works. Does anyone? No, I don’t understand that it is not only my life that my choices are putting at risk!
It’s time we were liberated! Set me free from this prison (not a literal prison, where people are currently trapped and dying, but a metaphorical prison, where I am being asked to remain safely in my house and not buy potting soil specifically today)! If my wishes conflict with the wishes of a majority of people, that is TOO BAD! I do not understand that there are insides to other people, so my wishes are the only wishes that matter.
There is nothing beyond me and I refuse to accept that I share the universe with others. If I am willing to die, then that ought to be good enough for everyone.
This is a first.
Came across this when I was walking my little dog at the park here in town. They finally got people to pick up after their dogs by installing a dispenser of free pet waste bags.
Now if they would just dispose of their used medical face masks. Sheesh.
President Trump speaking at the March for Life anti-abortion rally:
“All of us here today understand an eternal truth — every child is a precious and sacred gift from God,” Trump said. “Together, we must protect, cherish and defend the dignity and the sanctity of every human life.”
(Note: I became a widow last year, so this hits home particularly hard.)
Trump commenting on the death of journalist Cokie Roberts, who died today from breast cancer complications:
“I never met her,” Trump told reporters traveling with him on Air Force One. “She never treated me nicely. But I would like to wish her family well. She was a professional, and I respect professionals. I respect you guys a lot, you people a lot. She was a real professional. Never treated me well, but I certainly respect her as a professional.”
From Esquire, by Charles P. Pierce:
“Of course, the most lasting damage done by the Kochs is in the area of the climate crisis, in which their money and influence may have paralyzed the response to it until, now, things have gone past the point of control. It is in that spirit that I make the following proposal: If David Koch is to be cremated, I suggest we dispense with all the fuss and bother and just drop his corpse from a helicopter into the fires now consuming the Amazon rainforest. Let him be one with his legacy.”