We are blessed and cursed to live in very interesting times. Some notes from the Pandemic/Protests:
I wear a mask in public and, to be perfectly honest, part of why I do so is that I don't want anyone to think that I'm a Trump supporter. As I've mentioned, I've got The Look—old, fat, white, bald, kind of a blank stare. The only things missing are a Hawaiian shirt and an assault weapon.
I don't enjoy wearing the mask, but I do it. Having suffered multiple broken noses in my completely unexceptional athletic career, I developed into a mouth-breather over time. I am immediately uncomfortable when I put the mask on and, as my breathing becomes more and more irregular, I blow air up into my eyeballs. What keeps me going are the stares of derision I get from people who look like me as they realize that I don't share in their worship of the would-be dictator.
Two quick mask stories: I went into Sprouts the other day and every single person in the store was wearing a mask. It was cool. But then I got different stares, as in "Why is this obvious Trump guy trying to infiltrate our healthy environment?" I mean, geez, I just wanted to get some strawberries. One thing I learned while I was there was that the aisles off to the side of the vast produce section aren't really designed for a fat person (and definitely not for two).
The other night, my son and his buddies were going to play Halo or some other video game, so I was dispatched to a wing place to pick up the sustenance for what promised to be a long evening. The place didn't have curbside service, so I went in to pick up the order. When I walked in, I saw an African-American guy with whom I used to play City League basketball 20 years ago (before time, gravity, and the ravages of a fried-chicken diet took their inevitable toll).
We chatted for a while and then he asked me why I was wearing a mask. I laughed, "I just want to make sure I live long enough to see Trump get his ass beat in November."
Another guy who was standing off to the side rather clumsily entered the conversation with, "I'm voting for Trump!"
I said, "Well, that's certainly your right. You and I will cancel each other out, so that leaves it to (my friend) Ray to break the tie." Ray laughed, anyway.
The guy said, "Well, why wouldn't you vote for Trump?" (The Look, yet again.)
I said, "Well, I know and get along with black people, so there's that..."
Kudos to Jim Click. Over the past couple months, he has helped to prop up Arizona Daily Star by taking out full two-page ads almost every day, and (much more importantly) by offering free oil changes to all of the front-line workers. It was a classy move.
The late Emil Franzi used to tell me that Jim Click's politics were somewhere to the right of Attila The Hun, but I really don't care. He does many good things for this community. My only regret is that he has never owned a Honda dealership.
Having lived through turbulent times and being secure in my belief that protesting is patriotism played out in public, I'm happy to see young people taking to the streets. Oh, there will always be the handful of knuckleheads who try to ruin it for everybody. They lack common sense and discipline. When I was growing up, they're the ones about whom we would say, "They ain't got no mama." All they do is give the pathetic right-wing talkers some crumbs on which to nibble.
A sad example thereof is the young woman who had a college scholarship to play lacrosse at Marquette. Apparently thinking that she was being cute or bold or something, she posted on social media, "Some ppl think it's ok to (expletive) kneel during the national anthem so it's (also) ok to kneel on someone's head. come at me. y'all brainwashed."
It did show the magic of the internet, because in an instant, her four-year scholarship vanished into thin air. To its credit, Marquette came at her.
I have always read George Will, even when I vehemently disagreed with his position (which was most of the time). But he's so good at what he does. He does great research and carefully builds his case. Plus, he's almost as good at moving words around as Eminem is.
Quite impressively, he refused to renounce his conservative beliefs and quit the Republican Party rather than jump on the Trump Cult Bandwagon. Last week, he wrote a column about how it will not be enough to vote Trump out of office in November. He added, "Voters must dispatch his congressional enablers, especially the senators who still gambol around his ankles with a canine hunger for petting."
Wow, that's some serious Slim Shade.
He finished it off with something from T.S. Eliot, who foresaw the silent sycophants who lust for power colors their every move (and lack thereof):
We are the hollow men ...
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
or rats' feet over broken glass..