Looking Back, November 2016

Self is doing catch-up reading of The New Yorker. She’s currently reading The Talk of the Town of the 3 February 2020 issue:

  • In the dazed aftermath of the 2016 election, as a vast portion of the country tried to come to terms with the fact that a fixture of the tabloids and of reality TV would be the next President of the United States . . .

Steve Bannon announces the new President’s agenda in an interview to — not The New York Times, not the Wall Street Journal, not the Washington Post, but to The Hollywood Reporter which would have been telling except we were all too dazed from shock to grasp the direction the wind was blowing:

We’re going to build an entirely new political movement.

Four years later, here we are. The new political movement turns out to be nothing more than a transparent and clumsy power grab by the most rank amateur ever to occupy the White House. All that fanfare, all that hoopla — all just a distraction, all smoke and shiny mirrors. To call it tinsel-town Hollywood would be an insult to the actual Hollywood.

Does self sound bitter? That’s because she is. She voted for Hillary and really, really thought that American women would have their moment. Instead, we got the president who’s a serial cheater and the First Lady who was so enthusiastic about being First Lady that she re-negotiated the terms of her pre-nup before she agreed to move into the White House.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

 

Sentence of the Day: Evan Thomas

The Lazy B got about ten inches a year, barely enough, and in some years not that.

— p. 9, First: Sandra Day O’Connor

The first female justice on the US Supreme Court grew up on a cattle ranch called the Lazy B in Arizona, and the ranch hands (most from Mexico) named their horses Hysterectomy, Hemorrhoid, Idiot, and in one case, Swastika (in jest, self is sure)

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Sentence of the Day: Thomas Candish

I navigated to the Islands of the Philippines, hard on the coast of China: of which country I have brought intelligence.

— Thomas Candish, 1588

The Shadow King, p. 73

Why is self reading so slowly these days? There was a time when she used to average 60 books/year. Anyhoo, she is absolutely enthralled by her current book, a novel by Maaza Mengiste. Set in  1930s (?) Ethiopia. It’s written in impressionistic style, so the dates don’t matter all that much. It feels very much like one flowing river of memory.

A young servant girl feels a strange connection between herself and the man of the house. The cook tries to set her straight. Meanwhile, her mistress rides across the countryside on a horse, dressed in jodhpurs like a man.

We all know that war destroys mankind, and in spite of their differences in race, creed, and religion, women all across the world despise war because the fruit is nothing but destruction.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

 

Monday Read: THE FILIPINOS: PORTRAIT OF A PEOPLE, by Manuel D. Duldulao

p. 13: “the past comes rushing back . . . ”

  • On election day, in full view of more than 700 foreign and local journalists, and millions of concerned citizens, Marcos’s men ripped up ballots, bought others and muzzled voters. As many as three million names were stricken off the voters’ list.

p. 16 features a description of self’s favorite Filipino dessert, halo-halo (Literal Translation: mix-mix):

  • This delicacy, served in a tall sundae glass, contains diced bananas, sweet mango, chickpeas, kidney beans, strands of macapuno (the succulent meat of a variety of coconut) — all of these in syrup — plus pinipig (kernels of crisp and delectable rice), mongo beans, corn, langka (jackfruit), sweet potato, jello, ube (purple yam preserves), and leche flan.

HUNGRY.

A Big Entrance

He watched Dewy Crowe bring a pump shotgun out of the trunk and start back this way, all business now, his mind made up, his dumb pride taking him to a place it would be hard to back out of.

. . . Raylan in his shirtsleeves, Dewey Crowe taking careful steps now, holding the shotgun out in front of him.

“Mr. Crowe? Listen, you better hold on there while I tell you something.”

It stopped him about fifty feet away, his shoulders hunched.

“I want you to understand,” Raylan said, “I don’t pull my sidearm ‘less I’m gonna shoot to kill. That’s it’s purpose, huh, to kill. So it’s how I use it.”

Fire in the Hole

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COVID Report, England

From Chris Evans, Editor of the Telegraph:

Sixteen weeks have now passed since the nationwide lockdown was announced. As the Government continues to mitigate the virus’s spread, Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, has revealed that there are more than 100 outbreaks of Covid-19 in the country each week.

Excuse me, what? Did you say “more than 100 outbreaks of Covid-19 in the country each week?”

America has thousands of new cases, EACH DAY. Georgia had something like over 4,000 new cases in just one day last week. Also last week, California had 149 covid-related deaths in one day, a record.

In other news, mark the day: JULY 11, the day Trump finally wore a mask in public, on a visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD:

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WOO HOO!

He didn’t seem happy about it.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 105: SPRING

It’s summer, but the Lens-Artists Challenge this week is Spring.

So, nostalgia?

In spring, it’s all about the flowers. Her roses were blooming! Everything was blooming!

DSCN0075

New Planter Basket, from Whole Foods

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Front Yard: mid-May

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Backyard: mid-May

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

 

The Legacy of George Floyd (The Economist, 13 June 2020)

George Floyd was not famous. He was killed not in the capital of the United States, but on a street corner in its 46th-largest city. Yet in death he has suddenly become the keystone of a movement that has seized all of America. Still more remarkably, he has inspired protests abroad, from Brazil to Indonesia, and France to Australia. His legacy is the rich promise of social reform. It is too precious to waste.

3rd Monday in June 2020: Still Reading The Uninhabitable Earth

Self is reading fast as none of the arguments are new.

  • “We think of climate change as slow, but it is unnervingly fast.” — p. 198

There is a big, big elephant in the room, which is the impact of Greta Thunberg, who is never mentioned. (She shows up, finally, on p. 257)

  • “Any number of dead is a tragedy, but more than 10,000 die each day, globally, from the small–particulate pollution produced by burning carbon.” — p. 203

Never in a million years, at the time this book was published (2019) could anyone have imagined that a pandemic and the need to find a vaccine would soon eclipse climate change in urgency.


Back from picking up prescriptions (which always require a doctor’s visit: $162). She catches a Gavin Newsom presser. He’s addressing the ongoing need for masks. This morning, self asked the doctor if he had a test. He did, but it cost $150. He reassured her that all of the patients he’d tested had tested negative.

“Do they all live in the area?” she asked.

“Some of them,” he said.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

 

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