who are you and what have you done with my country?

it’s 6:30 a.m., soon after the first sunrise of a long night that will continue for days. I last checked the counting four hours ago. We didn’t get Florida, Georgia looked doubtful and North Carolina was teetering. These were the three must-gets for tRump and it looks like he’ll get them all. But we flipped Arizona, including the Senate seat (Huzzah! for Mark Kelly; now we have a real Space Cadet on Capitol Hill!) And we picked off an electoral vote in Nebraska. At 2:30 a.m. tRump hadn’t taken anything Hilary got in 2016, which keeps us still on track to win, but man oh man, this is sure-fugly winning.

The new voter said a couple more choice words, called the Town Clerk a bitch, leaned in, opened her unmasked mouth and forcefully exhaled directly into — and about 6 inches away from — the Clerk’s startled face. Then she left.

Who are we, America? How could so many of you look past the babies in the cages, the pandemic inertia, the lies! The ceaseless cataract of lying! The self-dealing. The tossed rolls of paper towels. Jeebus. The Ugliest American is the preferred candidate of tens of millions of my countrymen? Really? I don’t care who’s President; THAT‘s a massive political challenge right there, that is.

read on…

the particular suckiness of late march in the north country

we had made such headway into spring! Over weeks the snow cover shrank and the stunned land surfaced as the dun-colored dry residue of last year’s living, or as small new sprouting things, green curls among the dead stuff, trying to get comfortable, trying to get started.

On cue, the spring clouds grew sharp edges and hung above our heads like ill-fitted keystones: loose and menacing.

Read on…

campfires of the insistence

last night on a late-night TV show (Colbert), the evening’s musical guest (the barenaked ladies) played the theme song of another TV show (the big bang theory) — as its scheduled performance number. Big Bang Theory — a series much beloved — is ending and its audience mourns its passing. This musical performance was part of that communal mourning ritual. Broadcast of this performance summoned the tribe. The convening continues indefinitely on YouTube where a video recording of the occasion was posted soon after the event itself.

algorithms which can so precisely target us with messages tailored to our prejudices and fears could conceivably channel challenges to those prejudices and fears with the same precision.

Read on…

times make the woman

elizabeth Warren is ready to wade right in and impeach the mofo. It’s the first thing I’ve warmed to, about her. Isn’t it generally so — that, given the right circumstances, the right issue, the right moment, any of us shines absolutely? All flash and fire and brilliant resolve. Don’t we all show better under certain conditions, and …less well under others? Maybe the problem is that her ideal conditions are less regularly met.

These events demand a response rooted in principle, and she’s the only one calling us all back to the home fire, demanding that we acknowledge with action crucial First Principles: that ALL are created equal, and NONE is above the law.

Read on…