There’s one in every neighborhood, isn’t there?
Truth be told, this isn’t my neighborhood, although there’s an even more elaborate display at the end of my street. That one is, in true rah-rah Grosse Pointe fashion, a haunted-yard thing that I believe raises money for local causes. I suspect the people who put up this display just seriously dig Halloween.
Which is today. Boo.
I look forward to getting the candy out of the house, and may have deliberately bought just a tad less than I think we can use, just so I’m assured it’ll all be gone and temptation banished by the time Nov. 1 dawns. I bought a new dress last week, and it is not for candy-lovers. Yes, another new dress. I need something new for the auto show in January, and as it happens, we’re invited to a black-tie event next weekend, for which it will do nicely. It’s not my usual style, but it does have a plunging neckline, in case you’re wondering, and I know Brian is wondering.
I spent the weekend busy, and I recommend it highly as we lurch toward D-Day. Errands. To-do lists. Closet clean-outs. The sort of thing that gives you a sense of accomplishment and requires just enough mental engagement that you don’t have to think about the election, the stupid things written about the election, and pretty much anything else except whether to toss, sell or save item X found forgotten in the basement. Before psychotropic drugs, psychiatrists used to calm mental patients with occupational therapy. Build a birdhouse, an ashtray, a paint-by-numbers gorilla — all of this unhooks the mind from that which is making it so upset.
I did read this clear, sober Fact Checker column on the new email story, or, as the GOP nominee would say, the biggest thing since Watergate. And I read this Susan Faludi column on the Democratic nominee:
It was my third day at the Republican National Convention in 1996, and my notebook overflowed with a one-note theme: “You do know that Hillary Clinton is funding the whole radical feminist agenda?” “She had Vince Foster killed.” “She’s behind many more murders than that.” “It’s well-established that Hillary Clinton belonged to a satanic cult, still does.” The consensus among Pat Buchanan’s supporters seemed ardent and universal, though the object of this obloquy wasn’t even on the opposing ticket.
One of the mysteries of 2016 is the degree to which Hillary Clinton is reviled. Not just rationally opposed but viscerally and instinctively hated. None of the stated reasons for the animus seem to satisfy. Yes, she’s careful and cagey, and her use of a private email server, which the F.B.I. flung back into the news on Friday, was a big mistake. But no, she’s not more dishonest than other politicians, and compared with her opponent, she’s George Washington. Her policies, even where bold, are hardly on the subversive fringe.
Yet she’s cast not just as a political combatant but as a demon who, in the imaginings of Republicans like Paul D. Ryan, the speaker of the House, and Representative Trent Franks, would create an America “where passion — the very stuff of life — is extinguished” (the former) and where fetuses would be destroyed “limb from limb” (the latter).
Indeed. My alma mater, that excuse for a newspaper that should be made to surrender its Pulitzer Prize, used just that argument to justify its endorsement of Trump on Friday. I knew it was coming; I mean, the editorial page editor has been pee-dancing (Roy’s priceless phrase) around Trump, mainly over GUNZ, WHICH HILLARY IS GOING TO TAKE AWAY, JUST LIKE OBAMA DID. But the final endorsement, which I suspect he didn’t write (I have an ear for prose styles, and this hits a little flat), uses the subtle headline, Let’s keep Hillary Clinton out of the White House. It’s a pathetic argument, which seems to run this way: Yes, Trump is a problem, but Pence! And Hillary is SO BAD. So vote Trump, because Pence.
I’m so embarrassed to have ever worked there. My new resume line is that I worked at “the News-Sentinel, a Knight-Ridder daily which, sadly, no longer exists.” It’s true. What’s left is a shopper.
I think I need to clean a few closets. Join me? And have a great week. Boo!