Personal Musings category archive
I know it may be difficult in these viral times, but I hope you can find at least one thing to be thankful for.
And stay safe.
You do realize, do you not, that 2001: A Space Odyssey, was set nearly two decades ago?
Where is my jet pack?
From time to time, I listen to old radio shows from a website devoted to the CBS Radio Mystery Theater (and you should too).
The audio often includes bits of news reports preceding the actual mystery broadcast, and much of that news from the early years of the show includes stories about the Great and Glorious Patriotic War for a Lie in Vietnam.
The same war from which I can remember my draft lottery number 50 years later.
The same war I marched against many times.
The same war for which I journeyed to Washington for the march and listened to Pete Seeger sing “Give Peace a Chance” in front of the Washington Monument.
It is eerie how those bits of news take me back in time.
Even more eerie is how little we have learned from our mistakes.
It’s November and we’re running the bleepin’ air conditioning for Pete’s sake.
What Donald Trump doesn’t get is that most people are worn out by all the shenanigans.
I find myself bemused when I see letters and columns in my local rag extolling Donald Trump’s “policies.”
The concept of policy implies concerted, rational actions towards achieving a specific purpose.
I have seen no “Trump policies” in the four years of the Trumpling.
I have seen only bigotry, blather, and blame.
I’m not going to waste my time–or my nerves–sitting up to listen to returns. I’ll read about them tomorrow.
I’m upset enough already.
Instead, I shall watch an episode of Midsomer Murders and pretend that I live in a civilized society.
Pestering persons with a proliferation of unsolicited text messages is not a profitable tactic for promoting positive political participation.
Especially when the senders think my name is Jeremy and that I live somewhere else.
Also, who the hell is Jeremy?
I must confess that every morning, when I find this thing is still working, I am somewhat gratified and mildly surprised.
I have avoided the “gee whiz here’s the latest” coverage of Donald Trump’s stay at Walter Reed, because there is, in my estimation, too much guessing and, without a doubt, too little
openness truthfulness from the current federal administration (leading in turn to said “too much guessing”; it’s a vacuous cycle). To put it another way, I’m content to wait until tomorrow to see what today brought.
If you can’t tear yourself away from it, though, the Poynter Institute’s senior writer Tom Jones offers some guidance.
My two or three regular readers know that I use “we are a society of stupid” as a tagline on posts regarding especially moronic and vile behavior.
And really, just look around.
At Psychology Today Blogs, though, David Niose suggests otherwise, arguing that “(a)nti-intellectualism has little to do with intelligence.”
Frankly, I think he draws a false dichotomy. Being smart in one area (say, math or real estate or computer coding) does not cancel out being stupid an another (say, governance or ethics or charity).
Intelligence ipso facto values the intellectual. Look the word up, for Pete’s sake. But follow the link and see what you think.
Image via Juanita Jean.
I suspect that the Trumpettes will never admit–especially to themselves–how thoroughly they have allowed themselves to be conned.
We’ve been having intermittent connectivity issues for the past few weeks.
We could restore connectivity by rebooting the modem (that’s a fancy way of saying pulling the power, counting to ten, then plugging the power back in and waiting about five minutes for all the LEDs to come alive). I feared that the modem was going bad, which might necessitate my having do something, like taking it to my local ISP store and exchanging it for a new one. Oh, the horror of it all.
Yesterday, I called my ISP’s tech support; the support rep told me that I was not alone–that a number of customers in my area had reported problems, that the problem was likely on their end, and that their staff was actively troubleshooting it. He went on to say that they expected the issue would be resolved by the early afternoon.
And it was.
I have a number of minor gripes with my ISP, but they are all on the theoretical side of things. Their tech support and their physical support are both excellent.
Despite the apparent belief of many of my fellow citizens, being stupid is not an inalienable right.
At the Greensboro News and Record, Joanna Winston Foley, descended from a Revolutionary War hero who was also a slaveholder, struggles with a renewed awareness of her ancestry in the light of the death of George Floyd and the cascade of events it triggered. It is a sensitive and moving piece, well worth your while.
I have long believed that one of the elements that make the myth of the lost cause and of the land of gracious living so tenacious is a desire of many Southerners to avoid facing the reality of what their ancestors did so as to profit from stolen labor.
I can empathize. Both of us are Southerners, both of us had ancestors who fought in the Revolutionary War and other ancestors who wore the grey. I think my turning point–not as regards my stand on civil rights or on treating other people like people, but as regards my view of my family’s history–came when, at the Harper’s Ferry Wax Museum, we were looking at an exhibit depicting one of my forebears defending slavery.
As we looked at it, one of my children said, “. . . he was on the wrong side?”
I had to agree.
Yes, he was.
In every possible way.
Here’s a bit from her article:
During my heritage visit to Greensboro seven years ago, these two aspects of his life — Joseph Winston’s public service to help build the new American nation and his private moral failure to live up to his Christian faith — sat side by side in my consciousness without quite connecting.
This blind spot, big as a boulder, remained in place until June 2020. The word “privilege” comes to mind — the white privilege of avoiding discomfort.
As those statues came crashing down, so did that blind spot that separated my feelings about my ancestor.
*Of course, that does not explain why those whose families did not participate in the war, indeed, whose families had not yet arrived here when the war was fought, bought into the lies. For that, look to a century and a half of one of the most successful propaganda campaigns in history, perhaps best represented by that over-the-top potboiler, Gone with the Wind.
It’s no surprise, I guess, that some Trump supporter has resorted to animal cruelty and is putting Donald Trump bumper stickers on wild bears in North Carolina. Here’s a bit; more at the link.
The latest report was made Friday and involves a different bear, based on the position of the sticker, HAB (the bear advocacy group Help Asheville Bears–ed.) said. The person who photographed the bear was identified by HAB as “Shelia” and she was quoted saying: “No words can describe my anger and sadness.”
State wildlife officials told McClatchy News they suspect the person responsible for the stickers is using food to get close to the animals, which is illegal in Buncombe County (home of Asheville). It’s also illegal to deface state property, which is another law violated by the stickers, state officials said.
“It appears someone has been feeding bears on purpose and was able to get close enough to slap the sticker on,” according to Colleen Olfenbuttel, the black bear and furbearer biologist for the Wildlife Management Division of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.