Yeesh, it’s almost over. I think now is the time to remind everyone — because this campaign has been SO long and SO heated — that campaigning is not governing.
I’ve read a lot in recent weeks about young people and how they’re getting into working on campaigns, having their voices heard, all that. You surely read this thing that flew around last week, about the youngsters who aren’t voting because they can’t figure out which corner of the absentee ballot the stamp goes on, or whatever. A few of them say something I’ve heard from a couple of Kate’s friends — that they’re not “inspired” by the candidates. I want to tell them — I do tell them — that inspirational politicians come along once or twice in a lifetime, that they were lucky to have Barack Obama as the president they came of age to, but also cursed, because brother, that guy was a unicorn. And even he disappointed people, because? Campaigning is not governing. He did what he could with what he had, he made mistakes, he had terrible people willing to do awful things to hold him back, but he still passed significant legislation. When the history of our era is written, surely Obamacare will be seen as the first, tentative step toward single-payer. That’s something.
I guess what I’m saying is, if the campaign is the heady early days of a relationship, the time after the oath of office is taken is when your partner starts farting in bed. S/he’s the same person you fell for, just…different.
So, fingers crossed. In 48 hours much more will be apparent. Hang in there.
Another work-hard weekend, and now I can’t even remember what we did. Oh, right — Costco, Kroger, dry cleaner, library, leaves, lawn, all that shit. In between, watched “Isle of Dogs” and four episodes of “The Haunting of Hill House,” both of which were enjoyable, although “enjoyable” is maybe not the word for the latter. Skillfully done, maybe. I saw the first HoHH, c. 1963, and it scared the crap out of me. Didn’t see the second adaptation; all I know about it is, Catherine Zeta-Jones played a beautiful lesbian in a furry vest. The TV version kept the beautiful lesbian and dropped the furry vest, and it’s more of a story about grief and loss, but it works.
Of “Isle of Dogs” I can only say that Wendy has been speaking Japanese to me all day.
As we lurch into the bloggage, I have to start with two of my own — a visit to Janet’s Closet, a Metro Detroit store for trans women and cross-dressers. And this column, about my experience taking mass transit this summer. Feedback welcome.
But on to the good stuff! How many of you are familiar with Jordan Peterson? I had a bad feeling about the guy when I heard about all the young conservative men who were flocking to see him, because he was helping them Become Men. I also heard one of his rules for life is to clean up your room, which is honestly hilarious, because I assume most of these guys had mothers who probably told them the same thing about a million times. Well, as they say: When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. I couldn’t get through any of his writing, myself — contemporary philosophy isn’t my game, folks — and the stories about him seemed to single out his nuttiest ideas, like that women are somehow cheating by wearing makeup in the workplace, because something something “the flush of orgasm,” or some bullshit.
But the latest I heard is that he went on an all-beef diet, on the recommendation of his untrained but self-styled nutrition expert daughter, and it fixed everything that was wrong with him, except maybe his dumb ideas about makeup. And by all beef, I mean ALL beef, plus water. I mean beef for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks and nothing else. But just to get an idea of what we’re dealing with here, enjoy this passage from a recent Atlantic story on the beef diet, quoting Peterson. I’m suspending my usual three-paragraph rule so you an enjoy this anecdote, beginning to end:
“Both (Peterson’s daughter) Mikhaila and I noticed that when we restricted our diet and then ate something we weren’t supposed to, the reaction was absolutely catastrophic.” He gives the example of having had some apple cider and subsequently being incapacitated for a month by what he believes was an inflammatory response.
“You were done for a month?”
“Oh yeah, it took me out for a month. It was awful …”
“Apple cider? What was it doing to you?”
“It produced an overwhelming sense of impending doom. I seriously mean overwhelming. There’s no way I could’ve lived like that. But see, Mikhaila knew by then that it would probably only last a month.”
“A month? From fucking cider?”
“I didn’t sleep that month for 25 days. I didn’t sleep at all for 25 days.”
“What? How is that possible?”
“I’ll tell you how it’s possible: You lay in bed frozen in something approximating terror for eight hours. And then you get up.”
The longest recorded stretch of sleeplessness in a human is 11 days, witnessed by a Stanford research team.
I remind you, for maybe the dozenth time, that the people who follow Peterson’s philosophy are fond of calling the rest of us snowflakes.
Anyway, this recent column about Peterson is a stitch, and you should read it.
With that, it’s time to hit Publish and go heat up some chili for dinner. Also included: Apple crisp. Hey, stop by! And don’t forget to you-know-what, tomorrow.