The brooding report.

A friend of mine is going through a serious depression right now, so I don’t want to call what I had on Friday a dark night of the soul, or anything like that. Rather, it was more like a gray day of the soul, just a walking-around all-day funk, probably because I slept particularly badly the night before, the weather was indeed cold and gray, and so are the inch-long gray roots I’m sporting at the minute, having once again forgotten to make a hair appointment.

Which is to say, it was a day meant for gloomy brooding. So I did.

And I came to a few conclusions: One, that I think I’m done with journalism, at least the make-a-living-at-it model. It’s a shrinking field, and no employer has any use for a 60-year-old with all the wrong skills. I could sit in my home office and send out pitch after pitch to editor after editor, but my stomach for rejection after rejection just isn’t there anymore. And for all the talk of journalism being more important than ever, it seems like the whole industry is slipping into the sea, and we have no idea how to stop it. It’s plain what the chaos merchants in D.C. and St. Petersburg are up to – impugn every source as “fake news” until the public trusts no one, then step in with your own version of the quote-truth-unquote, and dare anyone to prove otherwise. Meanwhile, Silicon Valley sits on its vast mountains of money and says hey don’t blame us before they go back to working on building offshore tax havens or a drug that will allow Peter Thiel to live forever or whatever it is they’re up to.

So I’m kinda…bearish on journalism these days. I don’t think it can save us. Yes, there is outstanding work being done by a handful of well-funded and smartly staffed outlets, but there aren’t enough of them, and what’s being done at the local level – where most Americans get their news – is simply criminal.

What I’m saying is, there has to be a better way to help humanity. And even if journalism is it, I’ve lost my taste for it.

Immediately after I reached this conclusion, I heard from an editor responding affirmatively to a pitch I made a while back. So yeah, plans may change. But I doubt it.

That said, I’m still interested in how the field is evolving. Do any of you do newsletters? I’ve gotten into them lately, and sample them like items on a buffet. For all the shit people shovel on it, I do appreciate the Axios daily emails; I sometimes feel like I’m drowning in reading obligations, and appreciate their bullet-point summations. I subscribed to the Crooked Media newsletter. Tried TheSkimm, and unsubscribed — I’m just not a daffy enough young woman to get into that one, although I appreciate what they’re trying to do, i.e. make young women better informed.

I subscribed to Lenny, Lena Dunham’s newsletter, and will unsubscribe when I think of it, because not only is it worthless, I’m running cold on Lena Dunham these days. So.

Any suggestions for others, leave them in comments.

So that’s why I missed Friday. Brooding.

Today it’s sunny, Alan is out for a few hours and I think I may take Wendy to the dog park. I should go to the gym, but I’m thinking a need a day off from shoulds, and who will grant such a gift but me? So let it be written, so let it be done.

How about some Sunday reading?

Having just gone through a kitchen remodeling, I’m glad I didn’t read this beforehand, but it’s worth reading just the same: There is nothing wrong with your house, by Kate Wagner, who runs one of the best making-fun-of-McMansions blogs in existence. Funny and true.

Not funny at all, but even more true, and necessary to read in this era of #NeverAgain: What it’s like to survive being wounded in a mass shooting.

Rosemarie underwent nine surgeries in the three weeks after the shooting, and she spent nearly two months on life support while her organs healed.

But the woman who emerged from heavy sedation in November was not the same sunny, self-possessed person around whom the whole family once revolved.

A debilitating nausea set in. She has vomited almost every day since, and for months, doctors could not explain why. In February, after a short-lived attempt to bring her home ended with Steve taking her to the emergency room in an ambulance, the condition was diagnosed: Rosemarie has gastroparesis, meaning her damaged stomach muscles cannot push food through her system. She will need yet another surgery to treat the condition as well as to remove her gallbladder, which is infected.

The doctors must wait for her old injuries to heal before they can operate. But on Friday, her stomach wound reopened and became infected — another setback. So Rosemarie must remain at a rehab facility, dependent on an intravenous nutrient solution for sustenance and a daily dose of Ativan to keep her crushing anxiety at bay.

But hey: Freedom. And meanwhile, this is what the other side has been up to, at least one member of it:

Imagine being moved to do such a thing. They used to say that email was the problem, that being able to dash off a nastygram and hit “send” made for more of them. If you had to find pen and paper, write something down, fold it up, find an envelope and stamp and walk it to a mailbox, you were less likely to be this much of a shithead. But I guess not.

OK, it’s time to go outside. It’s 34 whole degrees. A good week ahead to all.

Posted at 12:46 pm in Current events, Media |

76 responses to “The brooding report.”

  1. Dave said on March 11, 2018 at 2:47 pm

    Neil Steinberg’s posting yesterday fits very well with the end of today’s blog. I imagine you’ve seen it.

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  2. tajalli said on March 11, 2018 at 2:54 pm

    In case you haven’t done this already, have you tried searching for communications director/manager positions – your journalism skills set probably has a huge overlap.

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  3. Minnie said on March 11, 2018 at 3:03 pm

    I read that Post article this early this morning. I’ve been more angry than ever all day.

    As for your diagnosis of journalism’s reduced future, our local daily’s decline is increasingly not-so-gradual. Its latest release of more employers onto the bread lines included the art department. The front page now shocks with tabloid heads.

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  4. Jakash said on March 11, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    Dave beat me to it, but here’s the Steinberg link, featuring a letter made even more disconcerting due to the cutesy stationery it was written on, for those scoring at home:

    As for “how the field is evolving,” DNAinfo, a hyperlocal news source in Chicago, got shut down by the owner a while back, and some of the alumni/ae are creating their own replacement. They did a kickstarter with an original goal of $25,000, which has currently drawn $183,720, so I guess that’s encouraging.

    (I think I mentioned that before — if so, sorry for the repeat…)

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  5. Icarus said on March 11, 2018 at 3:41 pm

    I’m done with journalism, at least the make-a-living-at-it model. It’s a shrinking field

    all of this has happened before and although Social Media wasn’t a thing, or was perhaps in a different form (town square soap box?), I’m sure if we could read the diaries of ancient journalists, we’d see the same thoughts.

    I subscribe to The Skimm, and I’m definitely not a daffy young woman.

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  6. Sherri said on March 11, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    As part of Slate Plus, you get a weekly newsletter that I’ve found I like quite a bit, a roundup of stories from Slate and elsewhere. I subscribe to Ed Yong’s newsletter, which is more of a science one, but since the election, he has included politics as well. Zeynep Tufecki and Felix Salmon do newsletters on an irregular schedule.

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  7. James said on March 11, 2018 at 5:32 pm

    I’ve got no suggestions about the brooding, but I do have a suggestion about the grey hair. Let it come in.

    It’s the coolest thing! It’s like I have my childhood blond hair back!

    I’m vacationing in a European capital, the one with a big tower, and I see the most elegant older ladies here, rocking the gray. It’s what all the cool kids are doing.

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  8. Snarkworth said on March 11, 2018 at 5:50 pm

    I am the author of a mystery novel, due out later this year, and one of its themes is the demise of community journalism. I had connected with a local reporter who expressed an interest in doing a review or feature when the book came out, but I have just learned that she got downsized.

    I think this is what they call meta.

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  9. Deborah said on March 11, 2018 at 5:56 pm

    I agree with James, I’m seeing some excellent grey haired looks these days and when it turns white it goes with everything.

    Yay daylight savings time!

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  10. Jolene said on March 11, 2018 at 6:14 pm

    I like my gray hair too. So much less trouble and expense than when I was coloring it, though I might not have liked the in-between stages as well as I like it now that it’s all gray.

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  11. Julie Robinson said on March 11, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    Gray is my worst color, and while I contemplate growing out mine, every time it gets close to an inch I find the way I look depressing, so, it’s not happening yet.

    Coming back from Orlando was also depressing, and then I had a little medical procedure Friday that has left me hurting.

    We also saw A Wrinkle in Time and I was disappointed at all the changes from the book. When will I learn?

    On the up side, we celebrated my dear hubby’s birthday which included a trip to Cork and Cleaver. I’m happy to report the salad bar and mud pie are still excellent. Of the meat I cannot report because I never bother.

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  12. Jill said on March 11, 2018 at 6:26 pm

    I like Long Reads. It is a weekly round up of deep dives on a variety of subjects. Most are from other sources but they seem to be doing their own stuff now also.

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  13. Jolene said on March 11, 2018 at 7:28 pm

    Both Conor Friersdorf, who writes for The Atlantic, and Don Van Natta, Jr., who writes for ESPN, also have weekly newsletters that collect what they see as the best examples of recent journalism—mostly feature articles of various kinds. I get them, though I don’t always pay much attention. I also get newsletters from the NYT, the cooking one that I think several of us get, and one called Watching, that recommends things on TV and various streaming services. I do look at these, though I can’t say they have much of an effect on either my cooking or my watching.

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  14. Jeff Borden said on March 11, 2018 at 7:30 pm

    I’m at the point where whatever hopes I have we’ll come out of this particularly ugly period of our history rest entirely on millennials and whatever post-millennials are called. The sustained assault on our norms by the Orange King and our supine Congress have revealed just how vulnerable and weak our democracy really is. The rapid disappearance of muscular journalism at all levels is part of the problem.

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  15. Deborah said on March 11, 2018 at 8:14 pm

    Brain Pickings by Maria Popova (spelling?) comes to me via email I also gave up on Lenny, ditto to what Nancy said about Lena.

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  16. brian stouder said on March 11, 2018 at 8:34 pm

    Julie – Pammy and I hit Cork & Cleaver for anniversary #25 last week, and loved it (as always).

    I s’pose one of these days we’ll hit one of the new downtown up-scale steak houses, if they ever open (Ruth’s Chris is the one I’m thinking of) – but nobody can replace Cork

    PS – I’d settle for grey hair – rather than baldness!

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  17. SusanG said on March 11, 2018 at 8:59 pm

    Nancy, color your hair or let it grow out? Follow your instincts.
    Not ready? Fine. Color it. No matter how cool, or how much money you save ditching the chemicals, you know what’s right fo you.

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  18. devtob said on March 11, 2018 at 9:33 pm

    Most of my former journalism colleagues have moved on to decent PR jobs in government, higher ed, health care, and other nonprofits.

    They generally report higher salaries, better benefits, reasonable hours, intellectually engaging work, and less age discrimination.

    Sure it’s been traditionally derided as the dark side, but journalism these days, with some exceptions, is shady too, in its own way.

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  19. Joe Kobiela said on March 11, 2018 at 10:03 pm

    Sorry your feeling blue, I know how you feel, felt the same way seeing my former way of life vanishing, the graduate high school go to work and earn enough to raise a family life.
    Things change but it doesn’t make it any easier. Flew into Vancouver yesterday and all I can say is Wow, what a cool looking city, didn’t get to stay this time but hopefully will soon. Left there and hit Seattle at sunset with clear Skies, Awesome doesn’t describe it, Mt. Ranier to the south, snow covered Olympics to the west, had a off day today so went to the Museum of flight. Its sunny and 65 just magnificent.
    Pilot Joe

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  20. Mark P said on March 12, 2018 at 12:52 am

    A bullet (or shotgun ) wound may never be fully recovered from. Just imagine a piece of metal tearing through muscle, organs and bones. There’s really no place where a bullet wound isn’t serious. I’m afraid some of the survivors of the Florida shooting will have pain and some level of disability for the rest of their lives. People who have the power to do something about gun violence and do nothing are inhuman, or possibly all too human but just plain evil.

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  21. Dexter said on March 12, 2018 at 1:56 am

    Newsletters & podcasts…as Sweet Brown says: “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” We have had a new sports radio station here for a while now. I listen to Stephen A. Smith daily and they also broadcast Toledo Rockets football and Notre Dame basketball. The ID segment say the station is based in Hicksville, Ohio, and calls itself DeKalb County, Indiana’s sports leader. Mostly it’s talk, two-person teams spouting facts and opinions with phone calls from fans too. Here’s my point: the young sports guys and women are brash, loud and argutively opinionated, totally opposite the older guard, like nance’s old friend Peter King, a gentleman sports reporter, the kind places like espn TV & Radio are firing in fell swoops. Ever since Ike was President, I have watched the evening news; first one I remember was John Cameron Swayze’s NBC 15 minute newscast. Soon it was 30 minutes, still is. Ever since computers became common, people generally smugly deny ever watching evening news . Why, they say…if they want news they can watch TV cable news on their phone. I record NBC Nightly News and immediately watch it at 7:00 without the 8 minutes of commercials. It’s concise and well put together. Anyone here a fan of Saturday’s newscaster, NBC’s Jose Diaz-Balart? He’s the best one of the bunch; I like him better than Lester Holt. Kate Snow is good also, on Sundays.

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  22. Dave said on March 12, 2018 at 7:08 am

    First one I remember is Douglas Edwards with 15 minutes of network news at CBS. We, too, record NBC nightly, it’s less sensationalized than ABC and CBS’s presentation is so very somber. Although, I confess, we haven’t checked it lately since the new anchor has been in place.

    Betsy DeVoss revealed to America how thoroughly unqualified she is last night on 60 Minutes. Much like the rest of the administration.

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  23. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 12, 2018 at 7:45 am

    Larry: “Did he just call himself ‘the talent’?”

    “Talent should dress in jewel tones — however they should not look political in their dress or attire,” one of the documents says. “Avoid total red, blue and purples dresses and suits. Avoid totally red, blue and purple ties, the goal is to look apolitical, neutral, nonpartisan yet professional. Black or charcoal suits for men…females should wear yellow, gold, magenta, cyan, but avoid red, blue or purple.”

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  24. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 12, 2018 at 9:56 am

    Jakash (and Neil, if you’re reading): I would shift the chapter heading to “The Age of Bitterness” because that’s the quality I see jutting out from the letter he posted, and what I hear around me — and am still mystified as to the complete architecture that constructed it. I’m not dismissing the racism which is the boiler in the basement, the resentment from a very real sense of displacement from the top of the heap to . . . not even close to the bottom, but to a place for middle-class working whites that’s a few floors further down.

    Trump is, to my ears, both bitter and brilliantly exploiting class and racial bitterness, in large part because he does seem to carry the same sense of grievance mixed with a certain amount of anxiety over knowing, whether in Trump Tower, the White House, or Mar-a-glitzo, that it’s all about to fall, soon to end, teetering into the sea.

    It’s the bitterness in midwest towns and villages of folks who have done better than their parents, but at a cost in debt and dead-ends that weighs on their enjoyment of a fragile retirement, a bitterness over their adult children and grandchildren who have now relapsed a third time and the little ones are now “staying with Meemaw for a little while” through grade and middle school, a bitterness that is the inheritance of every aging generation over music and popular culture which is, to them decadent and strange, but with a level of hostility I can’t quite tell is comparable to how the 20’s felt about jazz or the 40’s as to swing bands, let alone the oldster angst in the 50’s & 60’s about rock and roll and Elvis’ hips.

    People in church seem to me to be unreasonably bitter, and I speak to it with mixed results, but then I go out into the community, where church and civic life are distant shadows of other people’s daily living, and I hear bitterness that goes deep and wide and soaks into the simplest comment about the second son who didn’t get an IEP or the reasons why the daughter broke her diversion agreement by removing her ankle bracelet. I hear bitterness at Kiwanis and Rotary, in line at Walmart, and I used to on my radio until I froze it at Margaritaville, but it leaks in even there from time to time.

    Why are we all so damn bitter? As in, even before Trump? That’s the wave he surfed. Is it all racial animus over the people of color heading inexorably to the new majority that’s coming, no matter how many times King Canute tells the waves in Palm Beach to recede? If so, I’m missing the forest for the trees. But it seems like there’s some other girders and pillars that pushed bitterness up into the dominant skyscraper of today’s skyline. It decays into contempt, but that’s rapidly pushed aside by the next upwelling of dark bitter swamp water out of the depths.

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  25. basset said on March 12, 2018 at 10:32 am

    But if right-thinking citizens can just find someone to blame and punish them our problems will be over, right?

    Journalism… 19 years in tv news here and 21 as a government PIO, it is indeed a saner life but it does have its moments.

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  26. nancy said on March 12, 2018 at 11:15 am

    Jeff: Calling the people in front of the camera in TV news “talent” or “the talent” is industry jargon. It excuses the time they spend in front of the mirror powdering down just before airtime while everyone else is scrambling with graphics, editing, etc. They’re talent.

    In Fort Wayne, with its sub-100 level market position and barely-better-than-Wendy’s salaries, a couple of anchor babes negotiated clothing allowances and/or special deals with select retailers. Because they’re talent.

    I found your longer comment about bitterness in Bedford Falls sadly dead-on, however. Sigh.

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  27. nancy said on March 12, 2018 at 11:19 am

    Oh, and to Tajalli — I’m working in PR (of a sort) now, which I consider journalism-adjacent. But it ain’t journalism. It’s also not full-time (yet), and I thought I’d do freelancing on the side once I settled in. But every time I sit down to brainstorm story ideas and pitches, a black cloud forms over my head and I just can’t. I’m concentrating on my podcast skills here at the policy-research shop. I love interviewing and talking to people. I hate selling editors in distant cities on my idea of interesting stories.

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  28. Jolene said on March 12, 2018 at 11:23 am

    I have thought a lot about what Jeff is calling the pervading bitterness of our times, though, in my thoughts, I have been referring to it not as bitterness but as a sense of victimization.

    The resentment, the fear of change, the sense that things have gone wrong is everywhere, and it seems not only unhelpful, but underjustified.

    Last week, one of the steel mill workers who were present for the signing of Trump’s executive order on tariffs spoke resentfully of the partial closing of the factory where his father had worked for forty years. He clearly felt that life—that way of working—should go on forever. When, in any field, has that ever happened?

    As I’ve said before, I grew up in a family of farmers, perhaps the most ancient and fundamental of human occupations. Both my grandfather and great grandfather had farmed nearby. Yet, by the time he retired, practically the only thing the way my father ran his enterprise had in common with the way his father had run his was that they both planted in the spring and harvested in the fall.

    Everything else had changed. Different crops, different machinery, different ways of storing and transporting crops, different ways of financial record-keeping. Some of these changes were gradual, normal changes—newer equipment, for instance. But some involved real risk-taking.

    To me, a sense of optimism and willingness to take risks are essential elements of the American character. Even our greatest struggles—the civil right movement, for instance—have been driven not only by the injustices they strive to overcome, but also by the sense that change is possible and within our power to create.

    What has happened to that sense of possibility? Every day I see stories about the bombing of Syrian civilians and Rohingya refugees, and they make me angry at people who are resentful because coal-mining isn’t working out for them any more. Of course, it is understandable to be disappointed and frustrated when one’s expectations cannot be fulfilled, but so many of these disappointed people think the answer is for someone else to restore their world. That simply cannot happen. The only feasible course is to create a new world.

    Many of us need more of the kind of optimism Barack Obama espouses, optimism rooted in community and in struggle—not in nostalgia and wishful thinking.

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  29. Suzanne said on March 12, 2018 at 12:14 pm

    Jeff & Jolene, we have some acquaintances (which really means someone we knew years ago who is on Facebook) who live in Steel country in the NW Indiana/SE Chicagoland area. They were posting last week after the tariff announcement that they were so thrilled that the steel jobs were coming back to their area and thanking Trump. Many of these jobs left the area in the early 1980s, but whatever, sure, they’ll probably be back up to their 40 year old production levels by next month.
    Resentment, yes. I hear it, too, out here in middle America. All the time. “Why can’t life be like it was when I was a kid?” Because, time moves on and waits for no man…

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  30. Sherri said on March 12, 2018 at 12:20 pm

    I think that while a optimistic willingness to take risks is a part of the American psyche, there has also always been a sense of victimization built in. Maybe it comes from a failure to ever really acknowledge and deal with the racism at the core of our system, that we built this country by stealing land from Native Americans and labor from slaves, and we hate reminders of it. I don’t know. I do know that the bitterness isn’t new. Nixon certainly ran on it, and while Reagan put a sunny cast on it, he used it too.

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  31. nancy said on March 12, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    So true, Jolene. We happily absorb the changes we like — automatic dishwashers, air-conditioning in the cab of the combine — and bitch about the ones we don’t. Farming’s a great example.

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  32. Dorothy said on March 12, 2018 at 1:29 pm

    I’m sorry to hear about your friend’s fight with depression. That was a big part of our family 18 years ago when my husband went through it. He had to be off work about 6-8 weeks and then when he want back, he was on limited duty. I won’t go into anymore detail as it’s a long story (which I’ve probably shared here before.) Suffice to say I would not wish that on anyone. Support from your loved ones is so important and I’m sure you’re helping in whatever way you can.

    I L-O-V-E my grey hair. I’m weird that way. I did try dying it for awhile but then I got tired of the ‘keeping up’ phase of that. I learned to embrace who I am and what I looked like. But I would never tell someone else they had to do what I do. Each person decides for him or herself. And hey Jolene – now that the subject has been mentioned – I didn’t know you had grey hair even though we are Facebook friends. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a picture of you! (HINT HINT). Only if you are comfortable with it, though.

    I sure hope journalism isn’t a dying field. My daughter is extremely happy at her new position at the Post and is learning new tasks all the time. She is Dedicated with the proverbial capital D, and then some. In the comments above one of you said you think the millenials are the future of journalism. I’ve been saying that (well, not the term millenials but the gist of it…) since Laura got out of college 13 years ago.

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  33. Jakash said on March 12, 2018 at 1:56 pm

    Jeff @ 24, you certainly make some good points about the prevalence of bitterness these days, but that I think that particular letter to Neil Steinberg actually does represent contempt for him (and the Obamas) more than it demonstrates bitterness, in general. He’s certainly not bitter about “the glorious Trump presidency” or “our wonderful president.”

    “Why are we all so damn bitter?” There are many answers to that in a country as diverse as this one, of course. You’ve pointed out why some of the folks you know are bitter. I’m bitter because I thought that a much bigger segment of the population of this country was beyond the simplistic, xenophobic, largely racist appeal of a totally unqualified charlatan like “our wonderful president.” Because I was foolish enough to believe that many Republicans in Congress, despite my deep policy disagreements with them, actually *were* patriots who might care more about Russians interfering in our elections and being humiliated weekly by the behavior of their nominal leader than about propping up a crooked liar. Because I’ve seen a Supreme Court seat blatantly stolen, with ramifications that might last a generation, with no consequences whatsoever and not even a whole lot of concern expressed about it. Because I realize now just how fragile this republic actually is and how much it has relied on norms and traditions which can be ignored at will, if the folks doing the ignoring are brazen enough. Because, after a lifetime of hearing good Midwestern folks such as your churchgoers rail against sexual impropriety, Ivy-league pinheads, draft-dodgers, government failures, and big-city and Hollywood elites, I see so many of them glorying in the corrupt reign of a serial-cheating, thrice-married, Ivy-league-educated, bone-spur-wielding, incompetent New York City reality-TV star.

    I realize that that diatribe is not in keeping with the spirit of your insightful, mild-mannered comment, and I apologize for that. But you asked! ; )

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  34. Dorothy said on March 12, 2018 at 2:02 pm

    I knew I forgot something – Julie a co-worker saw A Wrinkle in Time this weekend and hated it. She said it was just awful. She loved the book – the story just disappeared in the movie, she said.

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  35. Dexter said on March 12, 2018 at 3:44 pm

    Our oldest daughter is due here in 5 hours, driving straight through from Las Vegas, Nevada, with her daughter and grandson along, as the daughter is moving back to Cleveland. I just bet they all will be in a jolly mood after a drive like that. Our daughter is flying back, so there’s that…a plane never looks so good as after a marathon session behind the wheel of a S.U.V.

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  36. Heather said on March 12, 2018 at 6:16 pm

    The sun came out for my last day in Sevilla–makes it especially hard to leave. That, and my neighbor emailed me that there was a shooting on our street, apparently the result of a road-rage incident. No injuries or fatalities, but two of my neighbors’ cars have bullet holes in them. Sigh.

    By the way, if anyone wants to see some of the photos I’ve taken, my Instagram account is at .

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  37. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 12, 2018 at 6:25 pm

    Jakash – I appreciated reading it! And feel much the same way(s). But you are frankly bitter, while the contemptuous bitterness Neil got . . . and I have a few of those letters, but not nicely written on lavender notepaper! . . . is a bravado that doesn’t hide very well a certain corrosiveness eating into the spirit of the writer’s claims. Neil’s not wrong, I just think bitterness is the mystery I most often scrape past in everyday life, trying not to leave much skin behind as I maneuver around those spiritual cheese graters.

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  38. Sherri said on March 12, 2018 at 6:30 pm

    My mother-in-law passed away this afternoon.

    I suppose there are few good death, but ALS is a pretty cruel one. It leaves your mind intact while taking away control of everything else. My mother-in-law was a storyteller, and it took her ability to speak. She loved to travel, and it took away her ability to move. It took away her ability to eat; she had to rely on a feeding tube for the past year.

    Despite all that, she handled the situation with grace. She will be missed, in her family, her church, and her community.

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  39. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 12, 2018 at 7:15 pm

    Blessings to you, Sherri, and all who mourn her.

    Suzanne, I’m from NW Indiana. When I was in fifth grade in 1970, the teacher asked something about the steel mills, then asked for the kids in the class to raise their hand if their father worked in the mills, whether union or management. I still remember that of some 24 or so, in that class on that day she looked around, furrowed her brow, then said “okay, everyone whose father does NOT work in the steel mills raise their hands.” I think it was 4 or 5 of us. My dad worked in lumber and finished his career working in a sawmill for Calumet Harbor where they custom cut framing for the holds of freighters to carry the stuff they were making in the mills . . . so in a way, my dad worked for the steel industry.

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  40. Julie Robinson said on March 12, 2018 at 7:33 pm

    Sherri, I’m so sorry. May you all be comforted as you mourn her. A friend just lost her dad–he went in for a routine procedure and died without warning. It’s a sad season.

    Dorothy, I got another take on Wrinkle in Time from our daughter, who ran a book club at her church and then took the group to see the movie. Like me, she was disappointed, especially at the removal of the Christian elements.

    Unlike me, she observed how inspirational having the heroine be a girl with brown skin was, especially for the two girls with brown skin. And knowing it was directed by a woman with brown skin also encouraged them. She said it was a reset for her.

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  41. Deborah said on March 12, 2018 at 8:42 pm

    So sorry Sherri, hoping you, your husband and family are coping as best you can.

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  42. Dorothy said on March 12, 2018 at 8:58 pm

    I’m so sorry Sherri. Sympathy to you and yours, especially your husband. I miss my mum every day. It’s a little over six months since she died. I’m glad I can talk with my siblings when I feel the need.

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  43. Suzanne said on March 12, 2018 at 9:03 pm

    My sympathy, Sherri. Peace to all.

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  44. LAMary said on March 12, 2018 at 9:18 pm

    I’m sixty five and still don’t have grey hair. Neener neener neener. My brothers are all either grey or balding and the ex’s hair is white. More neeners.

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  45. Julie Robinson said on March 12, 2018 at 10:31 pm

    My first gray showed itself when I was 13, peering into the mirror after gym class, trying to cover a pimple. Everyone in the locker room agreed it was, indeed, a gray hair. I have no neeners.

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  46. A. Riley said on March 12, 2018 at 10:59 pm

    I think a good part of the bitterness and contempt shown for us pointy-headed liberals comes from that good ol’ capital sin Envy (along with its colleague Wrath). Envy because some people’s kids have a good chance at a bright future and some people’s kids never will, and it’s easy to guess which kids are which.

    Lately I’ve started singing with our parish’s high-school-age madrigals choir (I like that repertoire and I can sing it) so I’m getting some exposure to the local teens. I don’t have kids myself and it’s been a long time since I was one myself, so what do I know, but these kids give me hope for the future. They are *such* nice people. Smart and aware and kind to each other. And political! One of the senior boys is organizing marches against gun violence and I couldn’t be more impressed with him than if he was mine.

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  47. Deborah said on March 12, 2018 at 11:21 pm

    LA Mary and Julie, my hair started turning white when I was in my late 30s. It was pretty much completely white by my late 40s, maybe mid 40s.

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  48. Dexter said on March 13, 2018 at 3:37 am

    Sherri,my sympathies. ALS is brutal, I first heard about it when I read Frank Graham’s “Lou Gehrig, A Quiet Hero” ,58 years ago. I have known a few sufferers of ALS over the years, but only acquaintances. Good for your MIL for her grace as she progressed through the stages of ALS.

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  49. Dexter said on March 13, 2018 at 3:40 am

    I am 68 and never have had a grey hair on my pate. I began shaving my dome several times a week 20 years ago. Goofing around several years ago I slapped on a grey wig for a look-see…I looked ridiculous.

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  50. Dexter said on March 13, 2018 at 4:05 am

    Do over. “We’re giving him a mulligan…” It’s none of our business who the President has affairs with. “The President denies having sex with that woman…”
    But then, who believes a lawyer that says he paid $130K hush money to a stripper to keep her pie hole shut (her mouth, you know what I mean), out of his own checkbook and never got the dough reimbursed? Nobody does that, nobody.
    The backwater evangelicals put Trump in, and they preach against fornication. Their hypocrite leader leers at naked teenage girls backstage at pageants he owns and probably bangs “cocktail waitresses two at a time”, ala Fredo.
    Stormy Daniels at work.

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  51. Suzanne said on March 13, 2018 at 7:46 am

    Pretty much sums it up

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  52. Deborah said on March 13, 2018 at 8:50 am

    Tillerson is fired. Trump and the GOP are shameless grifters.

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  53. Suzanne said on March 13, 2018 at 8:57 am

    I just saw the Tillerson firing as a news alert on my phone when I was pulling into my work parking spot. I assume it’s payback from Rex T (T Rex?) making a statement recently that, yes, Russia probably did interfere with the election and that Russian operatives probably did poison those people in England. I am guessing that Putin didn’t like that.
    I hope the GOP is happy with the outcome here as they sit on their a$$es and do absolutely nothing.

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  54. Peter said on March 13, 2018 at 9:30 am

    Here’s the part I don’t understand – I do think Rex has been finally cashiered for saying one anti-Russian comment too many, but hasn’t Pompeo been saying that there’s no doubt about Russian interference? I know Pompeo will be a much better lap dog, but I don’t see hm shutting up about Putin either….

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  55. Dorothy said on March 13, 2018 at 9:44 am

    You’re right, Peter. I think Trump is disintegrating and feels the need to do outrageous and big things to keep all the attention in the news on him, fake or not. The man is unraveling and I sure hope Mueller is ready to move on to the next step with an unshakable case against Trump. I used to be angry that he tweeted so much, but now I look at it as the way he is carving his own destiny, making a case for impeachment and perhaps jail time. I’m allowed to cling to my hopes, right?!

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  56. Deborah said on March 13, 2018 at 9:47 am

    There’s no rhyme or reason for it. It’s chaos. He has a temper tantrum and stomps his feet. There’s no grand plan. He hasn’t the slightest idea what he’s doing. He’s been a con man all his life. He only knows how to grift, skipping from one mark to the next.

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  57. Jolene said on March 13, 2018 at 9:48 am

    Pompeo has vacillated on Russia. Some time back, he suggested that their interference with the 2016 was pretty much like what they had done in previous elections, which isn’t what the analyses have indicated. Later, that statement was walked back somewhat, but he has been much less forthright about Russian interference than other senior intelligence officials.

    He is also much more of a Trump asskisser, a right-wing fundamentalist, and a Hillary hater. When the House select committee on Benghazi issued its report after its 11-hour interrogation, Pompeo stood outside the consensus conclusion, continuing to argue that Hillary was at fault.

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  58. Bitter Scribe said on March 13, 2018 at 9:58 am

    I think the smiley face after “stupid fucking cunt” is a nice touch. Or at least a surpassingly bizarre one.

    After having been out of work for more than a year, I have to agree with Nancy about journalism. (Although I have a job interview in three minutes.) Luckily I’m old enough and have enough in the bank so that I can coast on freelance assignments until it’s time to put in for Social Security.

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  59. Peter said on March 13, 2018 at 11:36 am

    And how about this update – WSJ is reporting that John McEntee personal assistant to Cheetolini, has been escorted from the WH; they wouldn’t even allow him to get his coat. Apparently he failed his long overdue security check big time. But don’t feel bad – it was just tweeted that he’s taken on a senior position in Trump’s 2020 campaign.

    Paging Robert Mueller….phone call on line 1.

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  60. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 13, 2018 at 11:48 am

    I have high hopes for Keith Schiller’s book.

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  61. Suzanne said on March 13, 2018 at 11:52 am

    Interviewer: Mrs. DeVos, it seems one of the president’s personal assistants was fired for not being able to pass a background check. Can you tell us anything about political appointees not being able to pass background checks? Can you pass a background check?

    DeVos: We have great background checks in Michigan and I think more people are passing background checks.

    Interviewer: Have you had a background check? Have the people who report to you passed background checks? Do you know why this is important and necessary? Perhaps you should find out about this.

    DeVos: Perhaps I should.

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  62. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 13, 2018 at 12:45 pm

    Mrs. DeVos managed to make Sarah Palin sound good. Or at least better.

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  63. Jolene said on March 13, 2018 at 1:17 pm

    Another resignation: This one is because a public information person refused to support the lies that the Attorney General and the head of ICE are telling

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  64. Peter said on March 13, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    Yeah Jolene, and one of them is the last line of defense against Trump firing Mueller.

    Just another day in paradise.

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  65. Julie Robinson said on March 13, 2018 at 1:26 pm

    The radio’s been on all day and it’s still hard to keep up!

    I may not have been paying the closest of attention because I was waiting for a call about that procedure I had last Friday, and it was the best possible news: benign. I’m more than a little giddy.

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  66. Jenine said on March 13, 2018 at 1:27 pm

    @Julie R: yahoo!! Great news and also the waiting for it is over!

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  67. Jolene said on March 13, 2018 at 1:40 pm

    And one more: A State Department official who contradicted Trump’s account of Tillerson’s firing has been let go.

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  68. Jolene said on March 13, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    Yeah Jolene, and one of them is the last line of defense against Trump firing Mueller.

    I don’t think this is accurate. It’s Rosenstein who oversees Mueller, and he has defended the Russia investigation publicly in the past few days.

    Of course, he can be fired too, but that hasn’t happened yet.

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  69. Judybusy said on March 13, 2018 at 3:40 pm

    Hooray, Julie! Waiting for those calls is hard.

    The new CIA chief oversaw torture of suspected terrorists or those who were thought to have information.

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  70. Jolene said on March 13, 2018 at 4:13 pm

    A look at the Trump/Tillerson relationship from the WSJ.

    This article is behind a paywall. If you can’t see the whole article, try googling the title.

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  71. Peter said on March 13, 2018 at 4:52 pm

    Jolene at #67 – I just saw that myself. My, my, my, aren’t some people touchy?
    What gets me is that reports say that Goldstein was hated at the White House, but they’re the ones who put him in that job – he started last December.

    Oh, and I did hear about the snit Trump had when Rex wouldn’t eat the salad – but somebody said maybe it’s because he doesn’t like Russian dressing!

    Of course, maybe he’s a closet (((globalist)))….

    Days like this remind me of the Ramones – We’re A Happy Family…

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  72. David C. said on March 13, 2018 at 5:55 pm

    Sorry to hear of your MIL passing, Sherri. It is a brutal disease. A friend of my parents died of ALS. I used to Lou-sit occasionally when his wife needed a break. He told me that the worst part was that you still itched and you can’t scratch anymore. One time he asked me if it would be wrong to ask Evelyn to scratch his balls. I said something along the lines of it wouldn’t hurt to ask. Then he started laughing. It didn’t rob him of dirty jokes, but it did rob him of everything else.

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  73. Deborah said on March 13, 2018 at 6:49 pm

    I’m in Abiquiu so my comments aren’t making it to nn.c. No big deal but I have been frustrated how things are progressing or I should say regressing. We need to be taking this all seriously, the throwing up our hands in incredulousness are over. But I have no idea what we can actually do about any of this besides writing/calling our reps, protest marching and funding decent people running for office. There is no shaming the guilty, craven GOP, they are not capable of shame.

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  74. Sherri said on March 13, 2018 at 7:37 pm

    We were lucky to be able to allow my MIL to die in her own home. It wasn’t necessarily the easiest choice, but it was the best choice for her and her husband. When her health (and his health) deteriorated to the degree that they couldn’t live there alone, we were able to get 24/7 care, as well as hospice coming by several times a week.

    There are equal parts sadness and relief right now, sadness that she is gone and relief that her suffering has ended. Fortunately, hospice provided drugs to ease the panic and anxiety that happens as you lose the ability to breathe, and her death was peaceful. She just faded away the last few months, going from being able to stand for short periods in December to not being able to leave her bed the last week and sleeping a lot.

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  75. Peter said on March 13, 2018 at 8:45 pm

    Sherri, I’m very sorry about your MIL. From personal experience, it is sad, but you’re right – it’s also a relief. When my mom passed, people said that you’re sad for the person you knew before the illness, and it’s true – I was happy she didn’t have to suffer any longer.

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  76. alex said on March 13, 2018 at 9:24 pm

    Suck it Saccone!

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