I swear, when this presidency is over, I’m going to turn off Twitter, turn off Facebook, turn off this damn blog (for a while, anyway). And I’m going to go to a cabin in the woods with a nice wood stove or fireplace. I’m going to bring a stack of novels and Vogue magazines. And you won’t see me until I’m damn good and ready.
This shit is exhausting. Even on a “good” weekend, it’s almost impossible to keep up with everything. The analyses. (Very good one there.) The outrages. (Very outrageous one, yes.) The WTF-we-are-doomed / thanks-deplorables reports from the field.
This was a wonderful read — a dispatch from Trump country that somehow wasn’t about politics — but of course you couldn’t help thinking about whether this event, a free-for-all amateur boxing…thing, would even exist if the whole county wasn’t poor as dirt and has nothing better to to:
One weekend every March, almost every resident in this town crowds the tan-and-gray bleachers of the local armory to watch their friends and neighbors beat each other bloody. The boxing-brawling event — known as “The Rough N Rowdy” — draws more than 2,000 spectators a night in a 3,000-person city nestled so deep in the mountains that your cellphone won’t ring. The winners leave with a trophy, a jacket and a check for $1,000 — the same take-home as a few weeks of soot-covered work in the local mines.
“People love violence. You’ve got a bunch of people down here who just want to show they’re a badass,” said Breyer Morgan, 21, who has been coming to the fights since he was a little boy and has worked the bell at the event for the past three years. “They see that $1,000, and you’ve got people coming out of the woodwork. There is nothing else to do out here … and that $1,000, that’s a whole lot of beer, man.”
And the above is only a fraction of the reading I did this weekend, very little of it recreational.
Gray and overcast, and I’m starting to get peevish about it. But the financial well refilled with Friday’s payday, Kate blew through for a quick visit/practice sesh with her band, we had Chinese takeout with friends in their brand-new house and so there was very little to complain about, all things considered. A few pounds found their way back into the house over the long winter, and I’m setting about shooing them back out. I’m finding the question, “What am I really hungry for?” is useful. Sometimes I just need a glass of water and 15 minutes of quiet time.
Any other bloggage? Well, let’s see here…
You could read Mitch Albom’s modest, self-effacing column marking the 20th anniversary of “Tuesdays With Morrie,” if you like. I don’t recommend it, but maybe, like me, you enjoy a good hate-read.
Tanned, rested and ready, the Obamas enter their next chapter. Not a minute too soon:
…While other recent ex-presidents have devoted their retirement years to apolitical, do-gooder causes, Obama is gearing up to throw himself into the wonky and highly partisan issue of redistricting, with the goal of reversing the electoral declines Democrats experienced under his watch.
Both the continued interest in Obama and his desire to remain engaged in civic life place him in an unusual position for a former president. George W. Bush left office with low approval rates, retreating to Dallas to write a memoir and take up painting. Bill Clinton decamped for New York on a somewhat higher note politically but downshifted to a mission of building his family’s foundation and supporting his wife’s political career.
Can the Obamas put their heads down and build their ambitious presidential center while living only blocks from the White House? Or is it inevitable that the former president will get pulled back into the political swamp?
Time to make dinner, make a to-do list, maybe watch some Jack Russell videos.