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Category: Cultural insanity

Anger and madness

I dreamed last night that I was in Portland with a dozen or so blog friends when The Big One hit. We had gone to the city searching for Covid-19 supplies, which was tough enough. But now we were trapped by Mother Nature — in a world where people had been ordered to fear and avoid each other. In a world where natural instincts to help had been crushed. For some reason, I had a large collection of books with me, which two of my friends quickly “borrowed” without permission. I knew they immagined my collection would be loaded with…

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A Tale of Two Towns

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. Publicly, the worst. Privately, sometimes the best. It was the time of Covid-19 and of goodness and nastiness. —– In a small dry-country town, a health club owner whose business was ordered closed for being “non-essential” during the pandemic panic checked with the sheriff: Could she conduct exercise classes outdoors, with small groups, everyone staying six feet apart? Yes. Midway through her first class, deputies of that very same sheriff arrive. A busybody has spotted the “deadly” and “illegal” activity and they’ve been dispatched to shut her down.…

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Not a rumor …

… but on the other hand, I also don’t know how significant it is. Just passing it along. Friend TSO said that, at the large post office where his brother works, the postmaster read a memo this morning that made two points: first, that all USPS employees should start using direct deposit because of potential “communications disruptions”; second, that they should begin carrying their work IDs at all times because if and when the nation goes on lockdown, “only law enforcement, postal service, and medical professionals will be able to travel to and from their homes.” TSO verified the news…

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Dispatches from a small town

Last week the local grocery store was out of toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes. Of course. That’s old news. Covid-19 business as usual. The new normal as pundits keep telling us. This week they received new supplies, but when I dropped in Friday they were not only out of the infamous items, but either stripped of or light on dozens of others. Eggs were unavailable. Butter was gone except for a few pricey specialty types at $12 a pound. Yogurt was sparse and only a few gallons of milk remained. Items featured in the week’s sale flyer were…

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Freedom in the time of panic
or
10 small ways to turn crisis lemons into freedom lemonade

I began writing this post after California ‘crats shut down the Bay Area and Governor Jay Inslee of Washington state demanded that all restaurants in his state close their doors except for take-out and delivery. I also began the original version of this post with a fulmination about the insanity of specific measures (“You oldsters stay in your homes and don’t go out even to buy food.” In other words, “We don’t care if you starve for want of helpers to run errands for you; just don’t clutter up our hospitals or disrupt our attempts to make ourselves look like…

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Hysteria Hits the Hinterlands (and a small Friday ramble)

I hit the library yesterday to do some ‘Net surfing and emailing, only to find it “canceled” like so much else. It was open and minimally staffed, but had the air of a haunted house. Patrons could check out and return books, but the banks of library computers were shut down (“until at least March 31,” said the signs), chairs were removed from all the carrels and upturned on the long reading tables, and the ever-present din of children was absent. I never thought I’d miss the shrieks of rugrats, but I did. The place was a freakin’ tomb. They…

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Saturday links + joke

Boris Johnson’s monumental victory in Britain should remind U.S. Democrats of an important thing or two. Britain’s Labour Party “got woke and went broke” deserted en masse by working-class v*ters. Time magazine’s petulant brat of the year says up against the wall with leaders who don’t execute her climate agenda. Seeing like a finite state machine. Second amendment: Virginians stand their ground on sanctuary counties while the nation watches. Frightened, arrogant anti-gun pols threaten “consequences” — up to and including sending the National Guard in as an occupying force. The greatest political miracle? Trump has revamped the 9th circuit court.…

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Getting to high ground ahead of the flood

A few days ago a freedomista friend cried, “That’s it! I quit.” He’s going to live strictly for himself and his family from now on. So he says. Forget politics, forget organizing, forget publishing, forget “movements” and “isms” and activism, and hopeful enthusiasms. He. Has. HAD IT. Well, that’s common enough. I may have said things like that myself a time or two; perhaps you have, too. But this isn’t just a case of burnout. Burnout is part of it, yes. But there’s something more, and more ominous, to it, as we’ll see below. My friend is afraid. Then this…

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Friday check-in

Just peachy Well, what did you think of the now-ended impeachment hearings? Were they … Relevatory and persuasive? Dull as ditchwater? Shamelessly partisan? A waste of space in the universe? As gripping as Watergate at its best? Totally righteous? Totally self-righteous? Completely missing any impeachable offenses? (Except perhaps on the part of Joe Biden, who can’t be impeached because he’s not in office.) The silliest bunch of cooked-up factoids you ever did hear? Brilliant? Pure democracy in action? Or did you think of them at all? It was lovely to pay very little attention, although I did wonder if NPR…

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