Posted on March 22nd, 2023
With all due respect to Peanuts (widely considered the benchmark for comic strip exceptionalism), I think that Calvin & Hobbes is the greatest comic strip of all time.
Not only was it drawn in a style that flawlessly conveyed the energy of the strip, Bill Watterson created stories that are a master class in economy of words and images. I marvel at what he managed to accomplish within the constraints of a daily strip. His is a skill that has been sorely missed, and I keep hoping that he'll do another strip one day... even if it's limited in scope or duration. Anything Watterson does would be incredibly interesting to see.
I have re-read my The Complete Calvin & Hobbes set cover-to-cover many times, but that doesn't stop me from reading the daily online strips.
Today's strip is this...
Yet another triumph by Watterson.
But getting back to my marveling over his mastery of economy of words and images... look what happens when you get rid of the last panel...
Without the punchline, it is a much more ruthless skewering of today's "I'm Special and Deserve Full Credit for a Lackluster Job!" culture. It is what makes Miss Wormwood's response of drinking Maalox straight out of the bottle so funny.
And then look what happens when we remove the first panel...
Without the setup to soften the impending joke... Calvin objecting to his C-grade... the strip is considerably more vicious in nature. Calvin's demands are more of a direct attack. And if the words weren't accompanied by drawings of a cute kid, I'm note sure they would hit as funny, even though the concept of being recognized as "exceptional" for less-than-exceptional work could be seen as funny in any context.
Which brings us to the meat of the strip, which is this panel right here...
Now, to me, all of a sudden the strip (when stripped down to this single panel) is hilarious. All context has fallen away, so this becomes a scathing comedic commentary on government and industry. Congress excels at demanding exceptional recognition for doing a minimal, mediocre, crappy job. They run their re-elections on it! I look at this one panel so beautifully putting into perspective as to why our culture has been built around "American Exceptionalism," and here we are... it flows from the top. Congress demands exceptional recognition for less-than-exceptional work... people see this... people vote on this... and suddenly we're all about being "the best in the world" at everything, even though we're getting our ass handed to us by other countries in SO many areas.
Education being at the top of the list.
Forever moving the goalposts so we can be the greatest in everything is the real American Way.
It's a lot less work than putting in the actual work.
Posted on July 5th, 2022
How fucked up is our bought-and-paid-for government that one of the old white men running this shitshow can cause essential legislation to become "endangered" because so many members of the Senate are fucking owned by the big internet providers? Pretty fucked up... and yet here we are. Some old Democrat dude breaks a hip so an FCC nominee can't get confirmed... or whatever... and now net-neutrality (something that the majority of Americans agree is a good and necessary thing) may not be passed if it can't get done by mid-terms.
First of all... Fuck Joe Biden and the fucking Democrats for not getting this shit done immediately when he got into office. Just one of many, many things that they should have rammed through in 2020 (like codifying Roe v. Wade) that they decided to sit on and do fuck-all about because it can be used to get progressives running to the poles at elections. Fuck them sideways for putting their personal re-election campaigns above the American people. We're told to "support net-neutrality" and "protect a woman's right to choose" by voting for Democrats, then have absolutely fucking NOTHING to show for it on these issues (and many others).
I swear, the only thing that enrages me more than Republicans accepting cash to roll over on the American people so that wealthy people can continue to fuck us over... is the fucking Democrats who just sit by and let it happen when they have a chance to actually do something. Happened with President Obama. Happening again with fucking President Biden.
Everybody who knows me knows that I hate career politicians, hate our lobbyist-owned political "representatives," hate Democrats, really hate Republicans, and am sick to fucking death of the way that politics continues to erode our freedoms and put us even deeper into this bullshit. But I hold my nose and the polls and vote for the least-worst candidate anyways, hoping against hope that somebody actually does something... only to get disappointed every time.
And then people tell me I should be happy because "Well, at least they didn't make things worse!"
Fuck that. And fuck Joe Biden.
I'll be dead inside of 40 years, thank God. I just hope that I live long enough to see our failed two-party system go down in fucking flames when people trapped into voting for a nonstop parade of shitty politicians get sick of it all.
Assuming they ever do.
I am having more doubts about that every fucking day.
Some old guy in Vermont breaking a hip could be enough to skuttle net neutrality, so do you blame me?
Posted on September 24th, 2021
I've stepped away from most of my political ranting here because it was consuming my life. Politics is so heinous in these United States of America that justice doesn't even fucking exist here. And people just don't care. Thus it's pointless to keep screaming into the void.
Everybody reading this blog knows that I have a healthy distrust of government, loathe 98% of our politicians, and detest the fact that wealthy & powerful people own this country and those we pay to represent us. It's why I advocate for term limits and breaking the stranglehold that lobbyists have over the oppressive load of shit that our government shackles us with.
And yet there are times...
This morning on Facebook somebody reposted this tweet from 2020:
This was referring to this article: Open-Access JSTOR Materials Accessible to the Public. The tweet was based on a minunderstand presented in the article (which has since been cleared up with a revision)... but the sentiment being presented is accurate.
Our government drove a brilliant and tireless political activist to suicide with a heinous campaign of overreach and lies.
As our government does.
Past precedent shows us that the government will always, always, always exterminate those they cannot control.
And we let them.
I first became aware of Aaron after his Infogami CMS was merged with Reddit, of which he is listed as a co-founder. But he didn't move to the forecfront of my thinking until his work in stopping the horrific government SOPA and PIPA laws. Aaron, along with others, got me to be a vocal opponent of this stupid shit, and removed any doubt that the poiticians making our laws don't give a single fuck about being educated about the legislation they advocate. They only do what their wealthy asshole owners tell them to do so the rich get richer at the expense of our citizens. And the only reason... THE ONLY REASON... that our government reversed course on SOPA and PIPA was because enough people got mobilized that their power and wealth were threatened.
And we can't have that, can we?
The U.S. Government: The Best Government You Can Buy!
And so now I am furious all over again... hence this blog post.
Aaron Swartz deserves to be remembered for the fucking hero he is. And of course it's equally important that we remember that our government of the money, by the money, for the money, shall not perish from the earth! We vote in people to keep it that way, after all. Hope you have a ton of money so you can take advantage of it.
If you want to know of Aaron's fascinating story, have I got a video for you. This documentary is essential viewing, so I'd get on that right away if I were you...
Rest in Peace, sir.
And thank you.
If you're in a video-watching mood, Johnny Harris has yet another incredible video that's worth your valuable time...
So it goes...
Posted on May 23rd, 2021
Feeling lost? Feeling that the internet has let you down? Want to be let down even further? Well have no fear... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Dogs! We Rate Dogs is now on TikTok! This is one of the more wonderful things to ever come out of the internet, and I'm happy to see it showing up on The Tok as well. I love that they are taking time to explain one of the best memes to ever exist...
Reply to @bertflemmings ##greenscreen Brant: A Story of Redemption (thanks for being a good sport my friend)♬ original sound - weratedogs
Some things deserve to go mega-viral. This is one of those things.
• Love is a Drug! Watch this. Watch Katie Porter dismantle the outright lies of Big Pharma. This is ASIDE FROM the fact that the US government funnels ADDITIONAL money in the form of government research to these companies. Taxpayers get soaked front-to-back, and NOBODY GIVES A SHIT. This is why lobbyist payola must be removed from politics. And that's a bi-partisan position, because there is trash on both sides of the aisle taking money to stay silent and sell us out. Except not Katie Porter. Thank God...
But will anything come of this? Probably not. Too many politicians in government who are NOT named Katie Porter are too busy fucking us over for money and power. Our system of government is designed that way.
• SQUIRREL! Mark Rober is back. And so are his squirrels...
I don't know what's more remarkable... that Mark keeps building these outlandish things... or that the squirrels somehow manage to get it all figured out in the end.
• Give Blood? And yet here we are...
Sorry monogamous gay men! There's still a three month abstinence waiting period before you can donate blood! And yet I can shoot up with dirty gutter needles and have unprotected at-risk intercourse with crack-addicted sex workers day and night (so long as they're women) and there's -zero- waiting period on my giving blood (so long as I'm not presenting any symptoms). Because that totally makes sense! Except it doesn't... because bigotry never does.
• Don't Fence Me In! And now for a cautionary tale, courtesy of vlogger Johnny Harris...
In all seriousness, is there anything on this planet that humans haven't screwed up?
• Be Best! People who get off on cruelty boggle my mind. What has any trans person ever done to you to deserve this? I’m genuinely curious. People are just doing their best to live their life the best they can with the cards they were dealt. And their reward for trying to carve out a little piece of happiness and live their best life is for you to shit all over them? That’s not the flex you think it is. You’re just showing the world that you’re awful...
Do better to be better.
THE END! NO MORE BULLETS FOR YOU!
Posted on January 8th, 2021
I got up early this morning to get some work done before feeding the cats and running into Tourist Town to do some grocery shopping. Early morning shopping is the best shopping because the store is so empty. But also? My cupboards and refrigerator are low on staples, so I was excited about having food in the house again.
The other big draw for my grocery shopping today was a coupon I had which gives me $11 off a total of $110 or more. That's 10% off... on top of the other coupons I have. I love it when opportunities like this comes along, because it's the one time I allow myself to buy stuff that's not on sale. But you have to be careful. One penny under $110 and no discount for you. I kept careful track in my head and got to $120 (actual total $116.88), so way to go, me.
Along with a shiny new iPhone, I changed my service plan with AT&T. My new phone can do 5G, my service plan didn't have 5G, and even though I probably won't see 5G any time sooon where I live, I'd like it available when I travel (assuming I travel again). AT&T had a deal where I could get my two lines for $65 a line (with auto-pay and paperless billing enabled), and I'd actually be saving money in the long run over what I had, so sign me up...
Before (virtually) signing on the dotted line, I went over the details of what I would be charged very, very carefully with the phone rep. I wanted to be darn sure there weren't going to be any hidden fees above what I was already paying. After a very patient person went through everything with me... twice... I changed my plan to the new $65 per line.
My previous bill was a mess. I had no idea what was going on because AT&T jerks you around with pro-rated billing and activation fees and other stupid shit that I had no way of understanding. But then today my current bill with none of the extras arrives. And I looked it over very carefully. And, wouldn't you know it, only ONE of my lines was $65. The other was $75...
So I online-chat with AT&T and explain the problem. After pulling up my account, I'm told this:
I see that you have been charged for monthly service charge. That is why you got high in your bill.
I explain that my bill very clearly shows one of the lines was charged $75. Then I get this:
I see that you have been charged $65 for one account and $65 for another account. But this time they have added $8.33 for one account.
I then have to tell them that I am looking at my bill and it clearly shows one line is $75, so I don't know where they're seeing both are at $65. I don't care what the fees are showing, the amount per line I was quoted (and which is still showing on their website) is NOT being honored.
After a while of them "looking into it" I get this:
Yes you are right. Sorry for that. Let me go ahead a note to change that for you. So it will not reflect in your next billing cycle.
Look, I really want to give AT&T the benefit of doubt here, but I see this shit ALL THE TIME, so it's tough not to be cynical. I signed up for a new plan so I could get 5G at $65 a line (if I use auto-pay and paperless billing, which I do). but I'm charged $75 for one and $65 for the other. And the ENTIRE TIME I'm chatting with customer support, I think back to my grandmother and mother being easily confused by pages of bills that are designed to obscure how much YOU'RE ACTUALLY BEING BILLED FOR, and I know beyond any doubt that they would have just paid the overcharge month after month because they didn't know any better. And if they did call customer support, they undoubtedly would have believed the bullshit about "extra fees" and not pressed the issue any further.
This is rage inducing.
And I cannot help but ask... is AT&T doing this on purpose? Do they make their billing statements confusing and encourage auto-pay and paperless billing so they can rip you off and have less chance of being caught? I am seriously outraged right now. I'd dump these assholes in a second if other carriers were any better... but they're all the same, aren't they? So what good would it do?
If the Democrats in power want to make me happy after they're done sucking off the lobbyists lining up to pay them to betray US citizen interests... FIRST they can put us on permanent Daylight Saving Time so we're not dicking with the clocks twice a year. THEN they can pass an act which forces all these asshole companies to not hide all their charges when you sign up for shit. The price they advertise should be the price you pay... AND IT SHOULD INCLUDE ALL THE FUCKING FEES AND OTHER BULLSHIT THAT **NEVER** ALLOW YOU TO KNOW WHAT YOU'RE PAYING BEFORE YOU COMMIT TO A CONTRACT!
But you know what? AT&T probably shovels millions upon millions upon millions to politicians so they can just keep doing exactly what they're doing. Which means nothing is going to change any time soon. Our politicians won't do anything to threaten that sweet, sweet lobbyist payola now would they?
At least not in my State. Senator Patty Murray is OWNED by the medical lobby, and we all know how much they just LOVE to obscure costs in their billing. Major surgery results in pounds of never-ending bills that are intentionally confusing so you just shut up and pay. Which is exactly the kind of behavior our politicians crave... "I'll shut up just so long as you pay."
God bless America.
Posted on December 1st, 2020
The more virulent a politician is at being anti-gay and persecuting LGBTQ persons, the more likely it is that they will get caught escaping from a 25-man orgy out a window. You cannot make this stuff up.
You can bet on it happening though.
You can set your watch by it.
Which will give you something to think about the next time you read about some politician drafting anti-gay legislation or finding new ways to strip rights from the LGBTQ community.
It's either that, or they're trying to distract you from even bigger skeletons in their proverbial closet.
Posted on November 8th, 2020
The election may be (mostly) over, but don't destress just yet... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• FAME! One of my earliest blogging friends is Heather Scarbro Dobson (formerly of Coal Miner's Granddaughter). She's an author and paranormal investigator living in Georgia. We've met up several times when I was in town for work and I've been on two investigations with her. The first was to Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Louisville, Kentucky in 2011 (which I wrote about here). It was on that trip where we saw a board that had photos of all the "famous" paranormal teams who had investigated there. I knew none of them. But one of the photos stood out because it was a glossy, fully-staged production which had a team of brooding, pouty badboys... and it was autographed!
I mentioned to Heather that their tagline might as well be "Bustin' Ghosts and Breakin' Hearts!" And ever since then we've been joking back and forth about who the sexiest member of the team was. She picked Chris, I picked his brother Brannon, and we've had a faux fight going on ever since...
I mean, seriously, Brannon is totally the hottest, amiright? Anyway, Heather writes about the time that we met up in Jefferson City to go on an investigation with The Wraith Chasers in her new book, Recollections of a Future Ghost...
Naturally I wrote about the trip here on Blogography. If you want to read about it, here's your link.
• Count! I laughed way, way too hard at this...
The best part about visiting Australia is the Australians.
• Chappelle Show! Just like after the last election, the host for Saturday Night Live this election was Dave Chappelle. He is one of my most favorite comedians because his form of insightful commentary illuminates in a way comedy so rarely does...
"Don't let hunger dictate your life" is almost prophetic about where we're headed.
• Trebek! Many times, the host of a game show just has to rely on their personality to get the job done. It's not like Pat Sajak requires anything past the bare minimum of smarts to get through a game of Wheel of Fortune. But the host of a show like Jeopardy really has to be on their toes. They have to review all the clues prior to the show. Be sure to grab the right clue from 30 clues. Read the clue in a fluid way that makes it easy to understand. And be sure to pronounce even the most complex words from clues correctly in order for them to be correct. On top of having a winning personality. Alex Trebek has done all this by reading the answers on Jeopardy in the most brilliant way possible for years. That alone deserves kudos... but the fact that he was such a good sport about being lampooned over it all was what made him so beloved...
Trebek was parodied for years on Saturday Night Live, but the best bit was when the Alex Trebek himself made a cameo appearance...
Business Insider did a really cool behind-the-scenes with Trebek last year...
But my favorite appearance out of everything he's ever done? When he was a man in black on The X-Files...
What a sport. I've been watching Alex Trebek on Jeopardy for most of my life... and was saddened that he passed away at 80 years old today, losing his battle with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He was a truly great and talented personality and will be missed.
• Masked! At this point, I don't know why anything more on this subject needs to be said, but here you go...
Science has laid it all out on the table. There it is. Masks can halt the horrific effect of the pandemic and save lives. But too many people refuse to fucking listen, so here we are.
• Maya! I tell you... every single time I see Vice-President-Elect Kamala Harris speak, all I can think of is just how totally on-point Maya Rudolph's impression of her is...
I sure hope that this means we'll be seeing more of her on Saturday Night Live!
• Burn! Soooo... is Bernie Sanders psychic?!? No. He just saw what so many people saw was going to happen...
"For whatever reason?" Come on, Bernie. Democrats were specifically told by Biden to vote safely by mail. Republicans were specifically told by Trump to vote in person. What happened is exactly what was always going to happen given how Republicans were cutting into Post Office operations, restricting drop-off locations, and doing whatever they can to delay or eliminate votes coming by mail... up to and including calling those votes "illegal" with no evidence at all. What's funny is that they also dictated in some states that votes couldn't be counted as they were received, but instead had to be counted after Election Day... once again to provide the illusion that votes were being "found" after Election Day. It's such a transparent load of bullshit. But that's politics for you. Don't hate the players, hate the game for allowing this kind of stupid shit to keep happening.
And that's your election coverage for this fine Sunday.
Posted on October 26th, 2020
Not a great day to be Dave, just sayin'.
I worked a half-day on Sunday so I could be ahead of the game when I walked into the office this morning. That was absolute folly, because I was confronted by or Horrendous Monday Problem the minute I sat down and checked my email. Nothing that was my fault or the fault of anybody I work with, mind you, it was a 3rd party problem which is now my problem. In all honesty, I wouldn't be upset about it if I didn't have so much work already on my plate, but here we are. Oh well. It's not like I have anything piling up on my social calendar. Though I really, really need to clean my house.
Other than the impending cascade of work which will be falling on my head over the next several weeks, my mind has been focused on one thing and one thing only today...
Yep... next Saturday before bed we will be "Falling Back" an hour because we're fucking stupid like that. And I am already mortified at the idea of it because after the change all the daylight hours will be happening while I'm at the office. Instead of getting a small slice of sunshine at the end of my work day, I'll be getting jack-shit and total darkness. Which is buckets of fun when it starts snowing heavy.
Honest to God I don't know why people aren't in open revolt and advocating anarchy over the government forcing us to dick with the clocks twice a year. At the very least politicians should be voted out of office for refusing to do anything about it. NOBODY WANTS DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME TO END, SO JUST MAKE IT PERMANENT OR WE WILL FUCKING END YOU! Is that what it's going to take?
In today's non-calling-for-the-heads-of-our-politicians news... NASA announced there's water on the sunlit surface of the moon. As in our moon. As in THE moon. It's not like a lake full of water, it's a relatively tiny amount of water... and it's apparently trapped in glass bead or some crazy shit like that... but it's still kinda a big deal. Water is heavy. Getting water off the surface of the earth is difficult, expensive, and takes a lot of energy. Being able to get it off the moon somehow would be a game-changer for space exploration and building a human colony on the lunar surface.
Given how we seem to be intent on fucking up the planet with the Supreme Court "justices" we're installing, the moon may very well be the only source of clean water we'll have left.
Until we fuck that up as well.
If there's one thing I'm confident of, it's that we will continue to burn down the planet because it's inconvenient to try and save it. If there's two things I'm confident of, it's that we will continue to burn down the planet because it's inconvenient to try and save it... AND we're going to be stuck with senselessly fucking with the clocks forever because politicians are too big of fucking assholes to give a shit about what US citizens want or need. There's lobbyist dick to suck for cash and reelection to think about, and that's all that matters to the pieces of shit.
And to us, apparently, since we keep reelecting them.
Posted on July 23rd, 2020
=sigh= I've drastically cut down on the number of political posts I drop on my blog because there's nothing new to say. On top of that, it always makes people mad because I am critical of politicians no matter which side of the political divide they get their lobbyist money from.
But recently something has been dominating the news cycle which has really bothered me, so I'm just going to dump my thoughts here for all the world to see and let the chips fall where they may. And that "something" is Impeached President Trump bragging about being able to pass a cognitive test like it's certified him as some kind of very stable genius.
As the caregiver for my mother through her dementia, it's a test I'm painfully familiar with.
Far from an IQ test, the test our impeached president is referring to is designed to be a screening tool for diagnosing cognitive decline and brain-related problems. It looks like this...
This is the Montreal Cognitive Ability Test. I'm not positive this is the version of the test my mom took but, if it wasn't, it was very close to this. She took it twice. And watching her struggling to get through it is something that still haunts my nightmares. The first time she attempted it she pretty much failed at everything, and it was all I could do to not break down into tears right there in the doctor's office. I was so close to her problems that I wasn't seeing them for what they were. It was this test that put everything into perspective for me, and it was gut-wrenching. I am having anxiety just remembering back to it.
The second time we got through question three and there was really no point in going any further. That time I did break down in tears, but it was after I had excused myself and somehow made it to a stall in the men's bathroom.
Ironically I remember her taking the tests like it was yesterday because my cognitive abilities are (assumably) mostly okay.
The first question has you running through a maze of characters which are alternating numbers and letters of the alphabet. The challenge is to get them in alternating order, which anybody with a brain can manage easily. Except people with an injured brain, of course. Despite having it explained to her twice, my mom connected the numbers and ignored the letters. The next question asks you to draw a 3-D cube. Even if you don't have artistic talent this is something people can copy fairly easily. My mom managed to get a square okay, but then it was just random lines.
Next you have to draw a clock with the time set to 10 past eleven. This might be tricky for some but, again, a person with normal cognitive function can draw a circle, put a tick at 12 O'clock and 6 O'clock, draw in the 15 and 45 minute ticks, then put two ticks between the ticks you have. Then you draw the little hand and the big hand at the appropriate time. This had my mom completely flummoxed. She got a kinda-oval shape, but then just started drawing random lines really close together, and she had to be coached to get that far. I think the hands she drew weren't even on the clock face.
Then you have to name some drawings of animals. Mom blazed through these with no problem. At the time of her first test her long-term memory was in pretty good shape.
Next is a memory test where you are given five words and asked to repeat them back. This is where things can get tricky. If you just throw five random words at me, I won't remember them at all... likely not even five minutes later. But if you tell me I have to remember five random words, then I can do that no problem because I use memory association. FACE • Okay, I am picturing a woman's face. VELVET • Okay, the FACE is Isabella Rossellini and she is rubbing a piece of blue VELVET on it. CHURCH • Okay, we pull back from Isabella Rossellini's FACE being rubbed by blue VELVET and she's sitting on the steps of a CHURCH. DAISY • Okay, Isabella Rossellini's FACE is being rubbed with blue VELVET as she sits on the steps of a CHURCH which has a DAISY growing in front of it. RED • Isabella Rossellini's FACE rubbed by blue VELVET as she sits on CHURCH steps with a DAISY growing in front of it and a PeTA nut job just drove by and threw RED paint on everything. FACE, VELVET, CHURCH, DAISY, RED. Got it. My mom, of course, couldn't get through the list at all. She couldn't remember a thing, and this was all really confusing to her.
Then you repeat some numbers and have them repeated back... and have to clap when you hear the letter "A" when a series of letters are read to you. Then you have to count backwards from 100 by sevens (which, is something I can do easy enough, but it takes a minute!). My mom just kinda stared blankly and couldn't be coaxed into even attempting any of this.
And now we're finally to those last five VERY HARD QUESTIONS which has Impeached President Trump thinking he's some kind of medical miracle.
When Impeached President Trump brags about five fairly simple questions being "very hard," I am understandably concerned. Everybody should be. But more than being concerned, I am very, very pissed off. Whether your brain is cognitively functional or not has absolutely nothing to do with whether you're an evil asshole or not! Do I think Joe Biden could run through this test and get 30 out of 30 correct? No. No I do not. Do I think that Impeached President Trump actually got 30 out of 30 correct? No. No I absolutely do not. We will never see that test. And even if we saw that test, there's no guarantee whatsoever that it's the actual test or that he wasn't coached all the way through it. That's politics. And as thrilling as it might be to see Joe Biden and Impeached President Trump go head-to-head in a cognitive test when I think that they both have demonstrated that they have cognitive issues... that isn't going to get us anywhere. It's not going to tell us which special interest groups are buying them off. It's not going to tell us what they'll be fleecing off the American people's hard-earned tax dollars. It's not going to tell us what back-door deals and shady cronyism their administration will be party to.
All it will tell us is whether they can remember what a lion, rhino, and camel are.
But my biggest takeaway from all this brouhaha is that there's a serious stigma against people with brain and memory problems. I read the comments on these news stories and it's mostly people making fun of Impeached President Trump or Joe Biden because they (allegedly) have cognitive decline. Which is to say that they're making fun of my mom. And as I sit here and type these words my heart is aching.
I am not going to lie, though. I absolutely do this too.
I try not to. I know better. And it's never necessarily to make fun of people, but more to offer armchair assessments as to somebody's mental state or cognitive abilities from a clinical perspective when it comes to the responsibilities they have. I've said that Joe Biden looks like he's sundowning, which may be true... but it could just be him attempting to speak when he suffers from a stutter. I've said that Impeached President Trump scares the shit out of me because everything he says is insane and he's got his finger on the button to unleash the nukes... but it could just be him being an evil, disgusting excuse for a human being. I honestly don't know.
As always, all I can do is try to be better about not stigmatizing mental health.
Even if I fail in the attempt.
Which I do a lot.
Take my trying to eat better, for example.
Yesterday I had to go to the grocery store because I needed an onion and a few other items. While I was there I passed by a display of sugary bakery products that were on sale. These are things that I just can't eat any more... most of the time I don't even want to eat them any more... but I saw a box of raspberry jelly donuts and was immediately intrigued. When I was in college, I was eating a box of these things a day. But as of now? I haven't had a raspberry jelly donut in decades.
I bought a box of course. If I'm careful and eat them in moderation they're not going to kill me, right?
Yeah... I ate half the box that afternoon and downed the other half this morning for breakfast.
But I'll try to do better tomorrow, I promise.
Posted on July 17th, 2020
It is impossible to put into words how much John Lewis has come to mean to me.
From what I remember, The Civil Rights Movement was pretty much glossed over at school. I'm sure it was explored a bit, but not in a way that any of it stuck in my head. That wouldn't happen until I watched a Martin Luther King Jr. documentary shortly before leaving on a school DECA Nationals competition to New Orleans in 1983. On my way back home I was in an airport gift shop and spotted a book on The Civil Rights Movement. I didn't have the money to buy it, but made a note to request it at my local library. In the book I was introduced to The Big Six of The Movement... Martin Luther King Jr., James Farmer, Whitney Young, A. Philip Randolph, Roy Wilkins... and John Lewis. They were immediate real-life super-heroes to me, and their story was about as inspiring as it gets.
Not too many years after that James Farmer released his autobiography, Lay Bare the Heart. I checked it out at the library the minute it was available and found it a riveting read. The only other surviving member of The Big Six was John Lewis, and I remember wondering when he would pen an autobiography. The thirteen year wait for Walking with the Wind was worth the wait. Easily one of my favorite books of all time, it was a highly personal account of The Movement that went behind the scenes in a way that precious few could manage. If you don't walk away from the book in a fit of blind admiration for John Lewis, you'd have to be dead inside.
But it was his graphic novel, March, that really made me fall in love with the man...
To promote the series, he appeared at Comic-Con in full super-hero cosplay... as himself!
Photo from Representative John Lewis via Facebook
Photo from Representative John Lewis via Facebook
Photo from Representative John Lewis via Facebook
How many people can do that?
He never stopped fighting the good fight. He became a Congressman and served 17 terms, representing Georgia's 5th right up until his death... today... at age 80.
As a champion of freedom, Representative Lewis lived a life of service that is admirable and leaves a legacy that few can match. His voice in government will be sorely missed... especially in an age where Federal Officers In Unmarked Vans Are Snatching People Off The Streets In Portland and we're barreling further into fascism with each new day.
One can only hope that the legion of people he inspired will carry on in his place.
Rest in Peace, sir.