Snowy

I woke up this morning around 9 a.m. expecting buckets of snow. There is a winter weather advisory in place. Little did I know it just hadn’t begun. The next hour or so, down it came. I had been considering a grocery run this morning. I opted against it because the pantry is still fairly deep so I won’t starve, and winter weather advisory. I’m glad I didn’t. We got covered pretty good.

I can also report that I’ve heard the first album of 2021 I’m excited about, a five-song EP from Ani DiFranco, Simultaneously. Surprise! Ani made an album, and I like it. This album is like its cover, a night-time landscape photo of a misty moon hanging among a cloudy field of stars. The use of woodwinds and strings on this record is most effective. It’s a soulful 25 minutes and worth a listen all the way through, but “Do or Die” is probably the jump-to track on the thing, and also, “Contagious.” But don’t jump to if you don’t have to. Simultaneously deserves one’s full attention.


Saturday, Porth the Glog

Today might be a good day to watch The Godfather. I’ve been wanting to watch it lately. Of course, if I were to watch it, I’d have to watch The Godfather II because, to me, the whole entire point of watching the first one is to get set up to watch the second one. Problematic to that is that TCM has In the Heat of the Night at 6 p.m., and there’s some silly sportsball thing on the TV at 8:15 p.m. So there may be plenty to stream into my brain this weekend. There’s always that book thing I’ve been working on reading.

There is likely a BJs trip in my future, I thought it might be today, but I get to the weekend and am usually in a mood to stay in, provided my store of victuals will hold. Then I figure oh, maybe some morning next week, and then those come and I end up wanting to sleep in to make sure I am rested for the work-job. Lazy times, these pandemic days, and that is okay with me.

The Strange One

There was so much news to digest today that I had to turn it off and go to Turner Classic Movies, where they were featuring 1957’s The Strange One. It’s about this military school student who bullies everyone around him and oversteps his bounds drastically until all of his colleagues make him sign a confession and then throw him out of town on a train. I’m serious. That’s the movie.

Does that sound exactly like today to you at all?

You know I’ve played around with my pet names for the current president a lot. Sippycup. Sharpie. Always Preznit Carnage as an honorific. But that last part has always been different because he’s always screwing up in some different or unusual way that requires a new variant. But after today, that stops. From now on, the official pet name for the current chief executive of these Untied States is:

Preznit Carnage the Incursion Inciter.

Because that’s what he did, and that’s what he did. He invited people into Washington, D.C., a place I called my residence for 14 years and one of my homes for many years before that. Background: My Dear Old Dad moved to Washington when I was like 12, so I spent much time there as a youngster, exploring anywhere I wanted on the Metro, which was actually safe and worked well at the time. Later, I moved there and had a career as a journalist and as a web-slinger for a medium-sized trade association. 14 years. And when you have that much Washington in your experience, you tend to take an attack on the Capitol PERSONALLY.

In 1989, Sen. Claude Pepper died, four days after receiving the National Medal of Freedom from Pres. George H.W. Bush. My Dad and I went to pay our respects to Claude in the Rotunda, where he lay in state. Another time, Dad and I were momentarily detained by Capitol Police as some muckety-muck from overseas walked through with his entourage. I have roots in the building. Memories. It was a visual background to much of my life and many memories. I have been in that chamber as a tourist and as a student. And I still revere that site and the democracy that those people create and nurture in it every day.

We’re going to walk down. Anyone you want, but I think right here, we’re going to walk down to the Capitol–

And we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women and we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them.

Because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength and you have to be strong.

Preznit Carnage the Incursion Inciter invited these people to the President’s Park South, also known as the Ellipse. This is the staging area for the annual Easter Egg Roll. This is the site of the Christmas Pageant of Peace. White House garden tours start here. And this is where Donald J. Trump gathered his marauders and gave them their marching orders. This is where the bloodshed started. From here, people were eventually crushed to death, or shot, or [allegedly] tased their balls to the point of fatal stroke. From here is were many more were injured. And it could have been so much worse. When those hairy gross marauders took the chamber, they were looking for Vice-President Mike Pence.

We want to be so respectful of everybody. And we are going to have to fight much harder. And Mike Pence is going to have to come through for us, and if he doesn’t, that will be a sad day for our country. Because you’re sworn to uphold our Constitution.

Trump mentioned his own vice-president to the crowd and was throwing chum in the water. Tell me he wasn’t doing that on purpose. Tell me he wasn’t intent on harm to the man who has spent the last four years looking at the back of his head like it was a delicious cookie straight out of the oven. Those people went in looking for Mike Pence, and they said so, and I do not even want to think about the headlines had they found him.

He invited these people to Washington, D.C. He held an event for them. He spoke at that event, and he told them to go to the Capitol. Rudy Giuliani borrowed from Game of Thrones in the weirdest way, calling for “trial by combat.” He told them to go up Pennsylvania Avenue.

So we are going to–we are going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue, I love Pennsylvania Avenue, and we are going to the Capitol, and we are going to try and give–the Democrats are hopeless, they are never voting for anything, not even one vote but we are going to try–give our Republicans, the weak ones because the strong ones don’t need any of our help, we’re try–going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country. So let’s walk down Pennsylvania Avenue.

He told them to go, and they went. People were shot to death. People were crushed to death. People probably spread bug-loads of SARS-CoV-2. There was lots of smoke. They made our Capitol look and feel like New Caprica, after President Baltar had signed the kill orders, and the Cylon forces going on the hunt. Yes. It was that bad.

So I am buoyed by the Democrats’ plans. We’ve called for his resignation. Beyond that, we’ve called for his removal via the 25th amendment. Beyond that, we’re going to impeach. A fourth option would be to shove him in a prison cell with a fresh copy of the Washington Post and a pistol, but I reckon Ernst Röhm’s fate is too good for this eczema shit who still has the title “President” for 12 more days.

I don’t know about you. But I want every lever thrown at this that can be thrown. I want impeachment. I want pressure on Pence and the Cabinet to exercise the 25th. I want pressure on him to resign. I want investigations. I want subpoenas. I want people to get divorced for this; I want them impoverished; I want boils on their skin and diarrhea pouring out of them constantly. I am so angry about his event that I am ready for giant Earth-holes to just open up and start sucking up every Trump and Trump-related asshole in the whole wide world.

Except for Mary, of course. We love Mary Trump, down to the acoustic guitar she casually leans on the wall behind her when she’s interviewed.

But for all the rest of them, I want the Earth to gobble them up, starting with their faces.

I apparently am a lucky boy, for my wishes are starting to come true. Twitter today has disallowed Trump’s tweets. And let me be clear that this is not undue censorship because the government is not initiating it, and because when you sign up for Twitter, you click on a EULA, and because obscenity is not protected speech, so SHUT UP. Facebook is shunning the dude as well. As is Reddit. Google is threatening to take Parler off its store. And, oh yes, Congress is going to impeach his humongous ass AGAIN.

Like many of you, probably, I have been subsisting through this negligent, lazy, purposely uninformed, wreckless, bullying, shitty presidency for four years, figuring hey, I survived W, I can do this. The problem is that we’re not. We’re not surviving this. We’re up to 4,000 deaths a day from Covid-19, a crisis that, with much better management from the White House, could have been much less fatal. By the way, if you’re looking for a job, sign up as a contract tracer. I have a friend and former boss who has been out of work for nearly a year due to Covid and has finally landed as a contact tracer. Wishing you just as much luck as our economy is just as much a morgue as those refrigerated trucks.

Aren’t you tired of this? I’m so tired of this. And even though we’ve come this far, after what we saw happen Wednesday, I just don’t think we can do it any longer. Not another day. Not another minute. Not another second. We have to do everything we can to end this presidency as soon as possible. I don’t care how many days are left or what the chances are of a conviction in the Senate or what the political ramifications are.

Take every step possible to remove him as soon as possible. If I were king of the world I would doth decree.

So say we all.

Well, That Was Some Weird Shit

“Time for a shower.”

This was the last line I typed into my personal journal at about 1:30 p.m. today. Previous to this, I had summarized some of what was going on in Congress on the TV.

I think the joint session approved a couple of states, and then they got an objection submitted in writing for Arizona. Now they’re debating.

Preznit Carnage One-Term Loser is seeing “0-12” in the chyron right now and going “See? I won! Look! See? I won! Yippee!”

Little did I know.

My ablutions complete, I came back to my tube, expecting to witness an annoying, unnecessary, drawn out legislative process led by an extremist sect, to question some of the already most thoroughly-vetted national election results ever. I un-muted—I had muted the television when Ted Cruz was on, which I think is perfectly understandable—but I was ready and looking forward to it.

And then, the weird shit began to happen.

I was watching MSNBC (because of course I was). The pool cameras went to mute. Some in the chamber started gesturing weirdly. Vice-Preznit Pence was rushed out of the room. People started dashing around. At some point, official looking people rushed in. Soon, the reports limped in. The Capitol was being invaded. The safety of our Congress-critters was in question. They all went on lockdown. I’ve never seen the sweet, sweet Katy Tur every sound so upset.

(What? I have a crush. Who doesn’t?)

That was a tough spot for me. Because I was feeling horrified and really really sad for my country. And because, right at that time is when I usually start logging into my tools for my day job.

I don’t mind telling you that I momentarily considered calling in. And I do not call in unless I’m dead.

But I got it together for the job but kept an eye on the TV and an ear on another longtime media crush of mine, the one and only Randi Rhodes. And hearing her familiar voice freaking out right along with me, well, it helped.

Anyway, I can’t help but think about Charlottesville. Remember Charlottesville? “Unite the Right?” Buncha honkies marching with tiki-torches uttering nonsense concerns about “Jews” “replacing” “us?” Heather Danielle Heyer assassinated by automobile? Yeah. Doesn’t the energy of that day feel a teeny little bit like the same energy surrounding today’s violent and terrifying assault on the Capitol?

Charlottesville was in August 2017. That’s eight months following the inauguration of Preznit Carnage Sippycup Is The New Black. A whipped up crowd of undeservedly or misled angry white people with violent, destructive intentions seems to be an inevitable result of having this person as our chief executive. This seems to be his magick. Even if one doesn’t think in terms of magick or energy, it certainly is telling that events that have the spittin’ image of a putsch will bookmark this presidency in its legacy.

Notwithstanding some miracle, he has 13 days left. Buckle up.

Everybody’s Looking for the Ladder

Very exciting day. I bought a ladder.

I’ve needed one, but I felt particularly motivated to do so today. All I have had in the apartment is a little stepladder. And a couple of light blubs went out in the kitchen. And so usually when I have to do that chore, I’m taking my life into my own hands. And I ain’t young anymore. So I went to Lowe’s and bought a six-foot ladder. It cost a bit more than I wanted to pay, it was about $75, but that’s peace of mind knowing I can change a light blub in here without being in danger of falling on my ass. I also made the run to Lori’s—sadly they were out of the pan loaf bread I like—and Palmer’s where I got some pork chops and some ground beef.

My life is very exciting.

Am mostly in reading today and listening to the official 8WK Frank Zappa Spotify playlist. By the way, I’ve added a search term in profile links in the AITWK sidebar that a person could use to find me on that particular platform. I also just obsessively populated the “Music for Honkies” playlist, which is based on my Tumblr ( honkies.blog ).

Okay, back to my books.

But first

Merry Christmas 2020

It may be that I’m one of those stories where the person in Household A travels to Household B to visit for a while “just this once” on the holiday and ends up sending 75 people to the hospital, because this morning, I went and saw the family. There were waffles and bacon involved, and present-swapping, and getting to see DOD and Ellen, and getting to see my brother with his terrific novia*. It was a good visit.

It’s a weird drive over because everything is closed and there is barely any traffic. I pulled into the driveway and them dogs started jumping on the car. They like to see me because they know I always have dog treats. On the way in, I mentioned to Ellen that now I needed a car wash because the dogs had muddied up the driver-side door.

Ellen would later this morning give me a Royal Car Wash subscription card as one of my gifts.

So that worked out okay.

I have broken now into chapter 2 of one of my gifts, A Libertarian Walks Into a Bear. At the least, I can report that Matthew Hongoltz-Hetling is a proper wordsmith and storyteller, and I feel this book is leading me by my nose with a blindfold on, which is a good thing.

The family is doing Christmas dinner right now, but I’m too COVID-nervous to join. It’s probably safe. But Monroe County is at a 9.9 positivity rate at last count. That means that of all tests performed on Friday, nearly 10 percent were positive. This has been the rate consistently all of December. That’s not good.

If it’s at 10 or 15 percent, think of it like a heavy rain or thunderstorm. You need to be even more careful. Start limiting your activities. If the rate gets higher than that, think of it like a tornado. With a tornado you’d get in the basement and make sure your kids are safe. (William Haseltine, chair and president of the global health think tank ACCESS Health International)

(Quote via CNN.)

My take on to lock-down or not to lock-down: There are no right answers. Not really. Some pundit on the TV the other night characterized it like we’re all poker players now. We’re all weighing the risks. My conclusion today was that a several-hour visit over maple syrup and coffee was acceptable. But my Christmas meal will likely be noodles with meatballs rather than my Dad’s famous roast beast.

It’s Donald Trump’s idiocy and incompetence. We just live in it.

* “Novia” is Spanish for “girlfriend.” I’ve been fond of using it recently.