Showing posts with label decline and fall. Show all posts
Showing posts with label decline and fall. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

150,000 corpses = a lot of mole hill

Mount Everest vs. stack of American COVID-19 dead

It looks like mandatory face masks are coming to this corner of eastern Nebraska.

At long last, and with the bodies starting to pile up.

The Douglas County Board of Health voted unanimously Monday to authorize the health director, Adi Pour, to require wearing face masks here. As usual, Trumpers and other assorted wingnuts lined up to champion their "freedom" to infect others amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Because 'Murika.
Others expressed concerns that masks prevent their children from developing healthy immune systems. And some said fears about the virus are overblown.

“Why are we making a mountain out of a mole hill?” Seth Paulson of Valley said.
Pour pushed back against those who questioned public health data.

She said she felt comfortable about local case trends around the Fourth of July. But week by week since the holiday, cases have risen, and Pour said the time is right for a mandate.

Douglas County last week saw its highest three-day run of new cases — 476 — since the end of May. Pour noted that the county recorded a total of 940 new cases of COVID-19 during the week that ended Saturday, a 50% increase from the week before and the highest weekly total since May 30.

In addition, the positivity rate for tests increased to 9.6% last week from 7% the week prior.

“This is not an easy decision,” she said. “If the data had been different the last two weeks, I probably would have said it’s not necessary. But the data tells a different story.”


AFTER THE Omaha World-Herald story posted online, former columnist Matthew Hansen highlighted anti-masker Paulson's objection on Twitter and wondered how many bodies would make a mountain. Hansen didn't do the math. 

I did.

We now have about 150,000 Americans who have died from COVID-19, and experts say that number surely is an undercount.

Now, let's assume the average depth of these bodies is 1.5 feet -- fat, skinny, adult, child . . . roughly average it out. Now stack the bodies one atop the other like a giant pillar of corpses.

Your stack of American corpses would be 225,000 feet high.


Now divide that by 5,280, the number of feet in a mile. That makes the stack of American COVID corpses 42.6 miles high -- 42.6136363 miles, to be exact. I think that qualifies as mountain high. Mount Everest, after all, is just under 5.5 miles high at 29,020 feet.

No, Seth.
You have it backward. You're making a mole hill out of 7.7532736 Mount Everests.

Now shut the hell up.

https://twitter.com/redcloud_scribe/status/1287894430905782274?s=20

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Dear Pete Ricketts . . . .


Dear Pete,

I hate to ruin your day and all with a little perspective, but my basket of f***s to give has been empty for a while now.

Tuesday, there were 318 new COVID-19 cases reported in Nebraska. Italy reported 114. That puts us 204 ahead of -- or, more accurately, behind -- Italy.

Nebraska's population is 1.9 million. Italy's is 60.4 million. Just so you know.

Perspective is a stone-cold bitch. And you are a catastrophically bad governor. We'll be damned lucky to survive you.

Friday, June 05, 2020

Amerika, a pictorial study









Here's a scene from Saturday's protest in Salt Lake City.

If this is how Amerika's storm-trooper cops treat a 67-year-old leukemia patient who walks with a cane, how the hell do you think your average able-bodied black man gets treated by police in the 'hood?

The old guy's crime? He was taking pictures when the cops swooped in to "dominate the battlespace."

“I thought they were just coming down the street and all of a sudden they came charging at me,” he told KTVX television. “Ten minutes before the armored vehicles showed up that’s when I got there,” said Tobin. “When I went down there to take pictures there was no mob scene. It was just a bunch of people standing around taking pictures. I was at the end.”

Afterwards, Tobin says a group of people then came to his aid trying to call an ambulance, but one couldn’t get through.

“They stayed with me,” he said. “Bandaged up some of my cuts on my arms.”

Frustrated, Tobin went home. The next morning, he says he received a call from Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown.

“He said that’s not the way the police are supposed to act, and he was going to look into it with internal affairs and the review board, and take action,” said Tobin. “I told him whatever you’re going to do is fine with me.”

Tobin, who has Leukemia, has a visible scratch on his head from his fall.

“My shoulder still hurts a little bit,” he said. “My rib on the back is still sore, but the main problem is my knee.”

If given the chance, Tobin shares what he would tell the officer who knocked him down.

“I’d just say, I hope you don’t do it again.”
I DON'T KNOW exactly at what point your average cop in the United States became your average Nazi storm trooper, but here we are. In the last 10 days, we have heard -- and seen -- story after story after story after story of ordinary, peaceful folk being brutalized by "(fill in the blank's) finest" while "boogaloo bois," vandals, looters and arsonists run amok as America recoils in civil-disobedient horror at . . . well . . . the kind of crap you see here. And a lot worse.

Repeatedly, murderously worse.

But it's OK. The police chief is going to look into it. The trouble is, America's police chiefs have been "looking into it" for the last 55 goddamn years. Maybe the mayor will appoint a commission.

Or maybe not. President Caligula probably would fire off some mean tweets calling him a pussy.





IT SEEMS we live in a land where "pro-life" politicians -- like Donald Trump, "the most pro-life president ever" -- just can't satiate their blood lust, and now your average, unarmed African-American just doesn't hit the spot anymore. Now we have cops pointing weapons at the heads of toddlers.

In that case, the Long Beach, Calif., police have promised to launch a "review." Don't hold your breath.

Meantime, maybe some cops will take a knee or do a silly dance with the early shift of protesters. Hell of a great way of getting limbered up for the main event.


* * *

P.S.: Judging by his apparel, it seems that the Utah victim of wanton police brutality is a Nebraska fan. Haven't Nebraska fans suffered enough?

Thursday, May 28, 2020

100,000 and counting


One. Hundred. Thousand.

Dead. In less than four months.

Our economy is in ruins. We're not near done.

God help us, because Donald Trump and his followers sure as hell won’t.

And wear a damned mask.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

The best thing about outmoded technology


Fifty years ago, in February 1970, Polaroid Land Cameras were a big thing.

In fact, Polaroid represented instant photography -- pull the undeveloped film out of the camera (and the film was the picture) -- wait a minute (or 2 minutes for color), and you could see what you just took. Will miracles never cease.

Oh, don't forget the flashcubes or flashbulbs if you're going to be taking pictures indoors.
 
Omaha World-Herald -- Feb. 12, 1970
THE TECHNOLOGY of my youth was much more advanced than what we have today, what with taking film-free, electronical "pictures" on one's telephone, which hasn't even the decency to be attached to a phone outlet by a long cord.

With the Polaroid and its Colorpack film, by God, you got 10 exposures, and that film wasn't cheap -- because People Smarter Than Yourself didn't want you wasting time and resources taking pictures of stupid things.

Like yourself.

In 1970, if you tried to take a selfie with a Polaroid camera, it would not go well for you. For one, you would be seeing spots -- still -- in 2020. And that's
assuming you didn't have a bad flashbulb that . . . how shall we put it . . . blew up.

Now, it wouldn't matter at all that the selfie would be completely out of focus. That's because all you would see would be the bright white of the flash bathing your now blind-ass self.

Of course, you could try taking a selfie as people did back then -- in a mirror. In a very well-lit room so you could avoid shooting a flash into a mirror . . . which, again, probably would not go well.  

FUN FACT: Did you know that until, in historical terms . . . yesterday, all selfies showed backward people pointing backward cameras much like the one in our Calandra Camera ad, a


I had a Polaroid camera in 1970, and I am happy to report there are no blurry, washed-out selfies of my Ernie Douglas-looking self. If you know who Ernie Douglas was, you remember the blessed days when taking a selfie was a process involved enough to deter people vain and unserious enough to want to take one.

History giveth, the present taketh away.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Dude's a #£¢§´#% miracle of modern medicine

I think our present state of affairs in these United (for now) States may lie somewhere between laughing to keep from crying . . . and dying laughing. That last thing isn't meant to be figurative.

God help us all, because we certainly haven't been able to help ourselves.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Snapshots from Amerika . . . or Syria. One of the two

I'm told this is a snapshot sent home to Saint Petersburg by a Russian diplomat at a consulate somewhere in the United States.
The guy who mailed it to me said, "Sir, this is what the Russians think of us right now. We're in a bad way, and they're just yukking it up, sir!"
Believe me! True story!
I wonder whether the Kremlin still will be laughing when their asset in the Oval Office starts pulling the wallpaper off the walls to replace the lettuce on his Big Macs, then starts playing with the nuclear codes as he jumps up and down yelling "KILL! KILL! KILLLL!"

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Didn't we all see this coming?


The most staggeringly unfit man ever to be president of the United States looks for all the world like he's trying to start the civil war he's been tweeting about this week.

I'm starting to think he might succeed. If you don't think that's enough of a possibility to be much afraid right now, you either are in denial or haven't been paying attention.

God help us.

I hate 2019. It's as bad as 2018 . . . and 2017 . . . and. . . .

Donald Trump's Amerika reminds me of the punch bowl where all the turds like to hang out.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

President Donald J. (for Jim Jones ) Trump


This is what the president of the United States posted on Twitter about two hours ago as I write this, after a day that saw compelling evidence surface that he engaged in a Mafia-style shakedown of a foreign leader to obtain dirt on Joe Biden.
It came a day after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi opened an impeachment inquiry against him over that same incident, which prompted a reportedly damning intelligence whistleblower report that one congresswoman termed "jaw dropping" when asked to characterize its contents.

"I describe it as explosive and jaw-dropping," Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) said Wednesday night on CNN's Don Lemon Tonight. "I could not believe what I was reading."

ON A NIGHT such as this, I couldn't believe what I was seeing on the president's Twitter feed. Given what we've already seen from the tweeter-in-chief on his Internet Id-fest, that's saying something.

It's clear that we have come to such ruin in America that we no longer have a president, but a cult leader instead. And like Jim Jones, I fear the only way we'll remove him from the White House (God forbid) is feet first -- rather like the way Jim Jones left Jonestown in 1978.

No doubt, the crazy will be turned up to 11 in Trumptown as the end -- one way or another -- draws near.
That leads us to another horrifying thought, one we dare not admit but which surely haunts us nevertheless: How many Americans will this particular cult leader take with him down that highway to hell.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Same thing, different particulars

Baton Rouge (La.) State-Times, Sept. 18, 1969

I like to look through old newspapers, which to me is a much cheaper way of revisiting my long-lost youth than combing my remaining hair over the bald spot, buying a flashy convertible and having an affair with a nearsighted woman much younger than myself.

Which brings us to the nearsighted, much-younger woman part.

I remember what a media sensation it was when arch pop-culture weirdo Tiny Tim married Miss Vicki . . . on The Tonight Show.


MISS VICKI, otherwise known as Victoria Budinger (or "the pretty New Jersey teenager"), was 17. Tiny Tim, otherwise known as Herbert Khaury, was 37, but everybody thought he was a decade older. In 1969, "Me Too" was more like "Me Can!"

As I said, it was a media sensation.

At this juncture, your woke-ass, under-50 self might be thinking "WHAT THE FUCK?!"

Exactly.

You see, we westerners -- particularly we Americans -- always have been all about the weird shit. 1969's "Isn't that cute? Kinda weird, but cute" has become 2019's "Lock him up and cut his nuts off! Then sue!"

On the other hand, we fail to bat an eyelid at believing there are something like 73 genders today, that "men" can have babies and that we all must state our preferred pronouns. (Mine is "My Lord and Master / My Lord and Master." If you don't think that's an actual pronoun, you are a hater, and you're making me feel threatened.)

AMID ALL the suckage of middle age and aging, the one benefit is having developed (at least one hopes) a finely tuned bullshit detector and an appreciation for the waves of bat-shit crazy that periodically roll through -- and roil -- what's left of our society. So, if you're just floating through postmodern America right now, and you think everything looks pretty normal to you, boy is your old self gonna be embarrassed by your young self in about 50 years.

Assuming, of course, we survive the absurdity that is President Donald Trump. That right there is a big-ass assumption, so we'll see.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

It's beginning to look a lot like Pyongyang


Donald Trump tweets yet another president-for-life meme, then retweets the House minority leader's "Dear Leader" obsequiousness.

Today is the 18th anniversary of the al-Qaida terrorist attacks on America, which ushered in the War on Terror. Maybe we ought to have been just as committed to a War on People Who Want to Turn Us Into North Korea.

Seems I picked a most appropriate day to schedule a colonoscopy.

Sunday, September 08, 2019

The abomination of desecration


Like millions of Americans, I watched the towers fall in New York City -- live -- on my television set.

Before they fell, I saw people leap to their deaths.rather than be burned alive.

I watched the Pentagon burn. I heard the stories from Flight 93, which gave us "Let's roll!" as a battle cry after Sept. 11, 2001.

Looking into the Omaha sky that day, I saw fighter jets and an AWACS plane. And no other aircraft for days.

I saw my country changed forever, and not for the better, in a single morning. That day, 2,996 people died. People are still dying -- many of them New York first responders -- because of that day.

Wikipedia
TO THIS DAY, I get a pit in my stomach whenever I see old pictures of the twin towers of the then-World Trade Center.

And this is how the Omaha World-Herald has chosen to commemorate that terrible day -- with a 9/11 coupon section. If there's a more telling embodiment of the America of  Donald Trump, who infamously called a New York TV station to brag (falsely) that his Trump Tower now was the city's tallest, I don't know what that would be.

Thousands die. Hey, that's a killer opportunity to make a buck! Right, Warren Buffett? Right, Lee Enterprises?

I can't wait for what the World-Herald has planned for Pearl Harbor Day and Holocaust Remembrance Day.

On Flight 93 over Pennsylvania, when Todd Beamer told his fellow passengers "Let's roll!" as they fought to foil the plane's hijackers, little did we know how America would be rolling nearly two decades later.

It's enough to make one wonder whether our worst enemies are the ones who just might know us best.

Great Satan, indeed.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

This breaks my damn heart


1962. It was the blackest of years; it was the most idealistic and hopeful of years.

Jim Crow refused to go quietly in the South. Communism, and the fear of it, haunted everything we were, did and said in America. Between us and the Soviet Union, we almost blew up the world.

But also in 1962, if we made it through October, the world would be a better place by springtime -- we just knew it.

Young Americans brimmed with idealism. Black college kids and white college kids risked their lives for their ideals in a peaceful assault against segregationist brutality in Dixie.

The youth of a country that 17 years before had vanquished Nazi Germany and militarist Japan found inspiration in a young president who challenged them to ask what they could do for their country.

JOHN GLENN orbited the earth three times. Next stop: the moon.

America had set its gaze on the New Frontier, and John Stewart of the The Kingston Trio could write liner notes like these above.

I was 1 year old. Hope was alive and kicking. Even in the South.

2019. A broken-down, 58-year-old music-show and blog guy sits at his iMac, typing. He wonders what the fuck happened.

He reads the hopeful, idealistic and oh-God-how-naive words of the late Mr. Stewart, and he wants to cry. He fears that there are no more tears left. Even more, he's terrified that fear will be put to the test again and again.

"So now, as never before, an age of introspection is reaching every one of us." Now our nation is becoming what we've willed within ourselves -- a heart of darkness.

"The horror! The horror!"

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

For f***'s sake

You want to know how to get at least one Democrat who loathes Donald Trump and everything he represents to cast a futile protest vote in November 2020?

Nominate Kamala Harris.

In the last debate, she vowed to outdo Trump in the executive order, abuse-of-power department -- right before she vowed to treat states that pass abortion restrictions just like Southern states with a history of voting-rights abuses (Justice Department preclearance of election laws).

Of course, she failed to mention that the U.S. Supreme Court struck down that particular section of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

Now, her campaign has taken to Twitter to combine an unhinged social-justice warrior level of hypersensitivity with a Trumpian degree of pettiness.

If the Democrats don't get their heads out of their ideological asses, the election -- and the United States -- will be lost. If Democrats are insane enough to nominate Harris (for just one), it probably will be lost even in the extremely unlikely event she beats Trump and the Russians.

For what it's worth, I am older than Harris, and if Joe Biden called me "kid," I'd consider it a term of endearment and respond with a sincere smile. Then again, I thanked the last person who ever carded me at a bar.

That reminds me . . . I need a drink.

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

We have reached our sell-by date as a country


Let me try to get my head around this thing: Nike yanked a special-edition Fourth of July shoe because Colin Kaepernick was offended by the Betsy Ross flag "because of its connection to an era of slavery."

Two immediate reactions:

1. Supportive as I was of the kneeling protests during the national anthem at football games and the like . . . Nike and Colin Kaepernick can kiss my red, white and blue ass.


 2. The Constitution of the United States has an even more intimate connection to the "era of slavery." Perhaps we need to just rip up the whole fucking thing and call a merciful end to a country that seems to have attained -- and blown past -- its sell-by date.



We're outta here, bitches. And we're keeping the beef.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Ignore the Johnsons, reap the whirlwind

I attribute the present state of American culture and politics to, back in 1980, people not listening to the anti-drug message of the Brothers Johnson.
Angel dust was, and is, some bad juju.
Things could have been so, so different today had we listened to some common sense advice and not trusted that dust. But we didn't, and now we must rely on legal weed and lethal opioids to dull the screaming of our brains as they react to the suck surrounding us.

The suck that came because "Don't trust that Dust" was just too flippin' complicated a message for we idiots to embrace 39 years ago . . . when we still might have had a chance in hell.
That is all.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

And lead us not into tempta . . . oh, screw it


The Democratic Party has become so woke . . . and so puritanical . . . and so alien to the spiritual concepts of grace and forgiveness . . . and so beholden to its most extreme voices . . . and so intent on demonizing its own peculiar versions of The Other -- so solipsisticly intent upon becoming a funhouse-mirror reflection of Trumpism -- that there's really no more point, actually.

Joe Biden
Our only alternative now is to watch the United States reap what it has sown and for us, somehow, to find ways to bear the unbearable pain of watching one's country die an agonizing death from a condition that hasn't the decency to kill one expeditiously and just be done with it. Oh . . . and manage, somehow, not to end up destitute, imprisoned or dead as the sociopolitical malignancy consumes the body politic.

Normally, I would counsel seeking refuge in one's religion. Then again, I am Roman Catholic, and I know from the bitter experience of the past two decades that, institutionally, my church will be worse than useless as shelter from the storm. As for the evangelicals, Southern Baptists and the like . . . their institutional feet are on fire, and their asses are catching.

Really, when the woker-than-thou are stooping to Trumpian tactics to smear Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden as some sort of cryptoracist enabler of Jim Crowism, what the hell chance do the rest of us stand?


THAT "joke about calling black men 'boys'" came as Biden spoke off the cuff at a New York fundraiser, lamenting the loss of the sort of political comity that allowed him to work with even the likes of the notorious longtime senator from Mississippi, James O. Eastland.

Here, from a pool report by The Wall Street Journalis what Biden actually said:
Mr. Biden then recalled his time serving in the Senate. “I was in a caucus with James O. Eastland,” Mr. Biden said, briefly channeling the late Mississippi senator’s Southern drawl. Mr. Biden said of Mr. Eastland, “He never called me boy, he always called me son.”

Mr. Biden then brought up a deceased Georgia senator, “a guy like Herman Talmadge, one of the meanest guys I ever knew, you go down the list of all these guys. Well guess what? At least there was some civility. We got things done. We didn’t agree on much of anything. We got things done. We got it finished. But today, you look at the other side and you’re the enemy. Not the opposition, the enemy. We don’t talk to each other anymore.”
THE DISINGENUOUSNESS with which Biden's remarks are being characterized by presidential rivals Sen. Cory Booker, Sen. Kamala Harris and any number of other party Jacobins is staggering, even by contemporary Americal political standards, which have been influenced by Donald Trump -- and not for the better. Obviously.

Let me add that I choose to characterize the criticism of Biden as cynical because I find it difficult to believe that reasonably accomplished politicians -- or journalists -- can be that goddamned stupid. But Donald J. Trump is president of the United States, so I totally could be wrong on that account.

And the cynicism (and perhaps abject numbskullery), it runs as deep to the left as it does to the right -- leaving sanity stuck in the middle and shit out of luck.

For a taste of that, let's listen to a segment from today's edition of All Things Considered on NPR:


 
LET'S JUST get something straight. And as a born-and-raised son of the Deep South -- a son of a certain age even -- I am well-positioned to set something straight:

"Boy" is not always and everywhere a racialized term of derision.

Eastland, the onetime Mississippi segregationist, was old enough to be Joe Biden's father. In the South -- and I have no damned idea how Yankees addressed men young enough to be their offspring in familiar settings -- it would not be uncommon for someone of Eastland's age and generation to informally address a whippersnapper as "boy." It had nothing to do with race.

If the addressee were African-American, it could have something to do with malignant racialist intent. Or not. It merely could have been a case of cluelessness, or momentarily forgetting that it was fraught to address a young black man the same way you might familiarly speak to a young white man.

I am 58 years old, Southern and male. If I had a dollar for every time I have been called "boy," by my parents, older relatives, acquaintances and even buddies, I could say "screw it all" right now and move to an island paradise far, far away from this insane, imploding country.

Ditto for "son," which is used in a gentler context than "boy." This is not brain surgery; what Joe Biden was saying isn't particularly opaque, and it shouldn't be controversial in the slightest.

Then we get to the unspoken implications of "woke" Democrats' condemnation of Biden for even attempting to work with (or even associate with) past segregationists in the United States Senate.

One implication is that grace does not exist. Another is that people's views cannot moderate or change over decades. Yet another is that those we deeply disagree with cannot be engaged with, only targeted and destroyed. And if someone is -- or was -- a racist. . . .

In the moral universe of what is emerging as today's Democratic Party, there is no redemption, only condemnation. We know where this road ends -- where the internal logic of this worldview dictates that it must end.

In the universe of woke Democrats, my Southern self was obligated to condemn and hate my racist Southern parents, along with every last one of my racist Southern kinfolk. In this moral universe, if I had failed to denounce them -- to expose their thought crime -- I would have been as guilty as they.

In this universe, one is nothing more than the worst thing one believes or the worst thing one ever has done, for which there is no forgiveness or redemption. Ever.

But if you want to write an article comparing and contrasting your various abortions -- abortions, plural -- then declare one, which came at age 41, the best ever . . . well, that's something not only to be tolerated but, indeed, celebrated. On the New York magazine website, no less.

AND AMERICA, such as it is, is supposed to think Joe Biden is guilty of some sort of fucking moral outrage here? Or that Donald Trump is the real problem here?

Donald Trump is a problem -- a massive problem. But he is not the problem.


That large swaths of the Democratic Party have a problem with what Biden said -- or at least want their own "low-information voters" to think folks should have a problem with it -- bodes well for the re-election of a massive problem.

But even if we somehow do manage to rid ourselves of this turbulent president, that just leaves us with the Democrats. If our only choice ends up being between the devil and the deep blue sea, we might find that a decisive contingent of voters might loathe Trump but also figure he'd put us out of our national misery a hell of a lot faster.

Friday, April 26, 2019

It's one of those flat states in the middle. . . .


I've lived in Omaha for 31 years now, and I have to tell you that it's news to me that Heidi Heitkamp is my former U.S. senator.

Oh . . . wait. She's not. She was a North Dakota senator until January.

Nebraska . . . North Dakota . . . seed caps, John Deere tractors, unbearable winters, old white rustics who wouldn't know a frappuccino from a woke meme. What's the difference?

Am I right?

I mean, if you've seen one part of Flyover Country -- And, really, why would you want to? -- you've seen it all. And now back to our breaking news . . . a gay Black Lives Matters activist is condemning some shit on one coast or the other.

Am I right, Time mag, mag?

Sorry, but as a proud rube out here on the flown-over Great Plains, my "inclusive" media betters out there in D.C. got me on the rag, rag.

And while they're at it, they can take their insults about the queen and shove them up their royal Timese machine.


News flash! Some of us prairie pigf***ers are familiar with Joan Baez.

YOU HAVE to be a lifelong resident of Flyover Country to get how grating it is to be so insignificant that you can have a story actually get onto the effing Time magazine website, and then onto effing Apple News without anyone effing noticing that Heidi Heitkamp is from effing North Dakota and not effing Nebraska. After all the news coverage about how the red-state Democrat would vote on Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court after the Me Too furor over his high-school and college "boofing" (and how her no vote likely cost her re-election), how could you not effing know?

One could let it slide as a simple brain fart if it weren't for a lifetime of observing Coastal America being shocked that, for example, Omaha has goddamn paved streets, decent restaurants and broadband Internet connectivity. And that there are no cattle herds wandering down Dodge Street in search of forage.

This actually is an improvement over New Yorkers -- again, for example -- who've been here and point out what a relative backwater it is. Perhaps, but our house payment here might rent a cardboard box over a steam grate there.


What's sad is that folks in these parts actually are, on some level, desperate for the approval of our cosmopolitan "betters" and always have been. We seek validation from those who scarcely know we exist and, with vanishingly few exceptions, we ain't gonna get it.

But that's not the half of the flyover equation. I grew up in Louisiana. No, there were no alligators in my back yard. Yes, we did have indoor plumbing. Many folks can read, write and cipher some.

And you are one Category 5 hurricane in the wrong place from freezing in the dark, America.

LET'S BE honest here. The only damned reason Time magazine gives a good goddamn about former U.S. Sen Heidi Heitkamp of Nebraska . . . North Dakota . . . whatever . . . is that Donald Trump is president of the United States, lots of Forgotten America like Nebraska and Louisiana voted for him, and he's turned out to be a fascist nightmare.

There's nothing like the political equivalent of a global thermonuclear exchange to finally get your attention. Am I right?

Maybe, ultimately, that was the point of his election. After all, the alt-right may be on the upswing, but it's not an Electoral College majority. Plenty of reasonable, decent Americans in Flyover Country were content to throw a bomb into America's entire rigged, classist political and social infrastructure. Oops.

I'm just spitballin' here, but perhaps there was an element of "You can ignore us, but we can kill you" in there as well. Just like the "yellow vests" in France, who largely hail from the forgotten périphérique of the country, flyover folk know who couldn't care less about them -- and they have less and less to lose by blowing the whole damned thing the hell up.

And they also well know the limits of Woke America's inclusivity.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

How did they sleep?

We should have seen the end coming a half century ago.
It was as plain as a patchwork plague, courtesy of your haberdasher from hell. Which in this case was the 1969 Sears Wish Book.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but Holy Hash Pipe, Batman!
One thing never changes, however -- copy editors are always required but never in adequate supply. I'm reasonably certain that the headline above the Red Menace display at left should have read "Family Nightmare."