Bus tales.

Now that the weather is fine, I’ve been riding the bus more. The pluses are what I don’t have to worry about: Parking, mainly. Parking isn’t that expensive compared to other large cities, but I resent every penny I pay for it. Street parking is cheaper, but impossible to find and when you do, you have to monitor the app to make sure you don’t go over for even a second and the enforcement pythons don’t strike you with a $45 ticket.

So when I can, I ride the bus. It’s…an experience. I take the city bus into town, the suburban bus home. Public transit is a divisive issue in a region so fraught with racial politics, poverty and sprawl, and it is highly, highly imperfect. But the inner-ring suburbs like Grosse Pointe are among the places you can make PT commuting work, and I’m grateful.

Why “now that the weather is fine,” you might be wondering? It’s because the most convenient stop for my schedule is a good (checks the app) eight-tenths of a mile from my house, which is a bit of a hike in the morning, when the buses only run every 30 minutes or so. Miss it by a minute, you’ve wasted about 45 more. In the winter, I ride in with Alan and bus home. But in the summer, sweet summer, I can bike to the stop, stow it on the rack, then reverse the process when I get downtown. I like it a lot, although I’m sweaty when I arrive. No biggie.

Anyway, the city bus going in is rarely not full by the time we’re halfway through the route. When you’re poor and work low-wage jobs, you don’t work 9 to 5. And if you don’t work at all, the bus is how you get to your doctor, to the grocery, to see your friends. Which happens all the time.

There’s a driver who’s often on my route, the sort of — if I can traffic in a mild ethnic stereotype here — formidable African-American woman with whom one does not play. Fans of “The Wire” might remember her from season four, when someone very much like her walked into an unruly gym assembly of middle-schoolers and silenced it with a single glower. So the other day, a guy gets on. She takes one look at him and says, “That stays in your pocket. And if it don’t stay in your pocket, I’m putting you off.” I looked at the guy’s pocket, from which poked the neck of a flat pint bottle. Oh. He didn’t like that, but he knew who was in charge. So he sat down next to some other guy who seemed similarly drunk at 10 a.m. The two of them struck up a conversation that was, well, drunk.

I couldn’t quite follow it, but it had all the hallmarks of drunk talk — one or two phrases repeated and repeated and repeated, including “I AIN’T PAYIN NO MORE RENT” and “LIKE JOHNNIE SAY, IT’S CHEAPER TO KEEP HER.” If either one of these guys had a Her that they were somehow keeping, I’d eat my hat, but whatever. “I WAS GIVING NINETY-FIVE DOLLARS A MONTH, BUT NO MORE. NO MORE RENT.” I tried to imagine what $95 might rent in Detroit. (Shudder.) It seemed they were spoiling for a fight with the driver, but she had no doubt sharpened her skills on scores of others, and just kept her mouth shut. But when the guy sitting next to me started listening to music on his phone without earphones, she pointed, snapped her fingers and nodded to the “no radio” sign. And that was that.

Another day, a political discussion started between two passengers sitting in different rows. It seemed to start over housing, then pivoted through public assistance and wound up with Trump, at which point others joined in and the volume increased. The driver actually turned off the white noise of the A/C so she could listen and join in. It reached a crescendo with one of the original talkers saying IF TRUMP SO GREAT, WHY ARE SO MANY PEOPLE WORK FOR HIM IN JAIL? Another squawked, HE WANT A DICTATORSHIP. Others were chiming in from all corners, and then, suddenly, it was the ringleader’s stop. He stepped down and I gave him a golf clap as the driver caroled, WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COF-FEEEEE.

This never, ever happens on the bus home. Maybe we’re all too tired.

Every day I do this, I save $6 — the difference between combined fares and the parking — and gain far more in observational details.

Other than that, the week’s been sucking. I have to take my lifeguard recertification test tomorrow, and I’m-a flunk that bitch, I just know it.

But there are fun things to read. Like this, an account of a visit to some sort of Ayn Rand fest in Cleveland, of all places:

I woke up the next morning ready to learn. It was hard to choose which seminar to attend during the triple-booked 8:40 a.m. slot. “Logic: The Cashing-In Course” seemed to be the biggest draw, but it came with a homework assignment, and “Duty as Anti-Morality” seemed a bit too by-the-numbers even for me, an Ayn Rand novice. Given the conference’s focus on establishing Randian beach heads in American culture, I opted for “Appreciating Ayn Rand’s Tiddlywink Music.”

Tiddlywink music, for the uninitiated, sounds like the score to “Steamboat Willie” or a tune you might hear on an old-timey carousel: manically upbeat and repetitive, calling to mind a sonic hamster wheel. For an hour, we listened to different examples of the genre, which seems to have been classified as such by Rand and no one else. “Pay attention to the tinkling,” the lecturer encouraged us. To me, it sounded like something a homicidal clown would listen to, or what a particularly sadistic interrogator would blast at high volume to torture his quarry.

What made Tiddlywink music uniquely pro-capitalist? It has roots in the 1890s, which Rand insisted was the only historical period of true human flourishing. It was an era of unfettered capitalism—child labor, robber barons, tenements—which she loved not in spite of those things, but because of them.

And here, as in so many other spheres, Rand’s true believers heed their master’s voice. For objectivists, Rand’s whims and fancies are inextricable from the movement’s philosophical precepts—so the assembled faithful were duly tutored in the finer points of grainy music-box melodies of the 1890s. We listened intently to Strauss’s “Blue Danube Waltz”—an inferior piece of music, we were told, because of its melancholy overtones and low “note density.” Tiddlywink music, in happy contrast, had five-and-a-half notes per second. When the hour was up, the presenter asked if we’d prefer a Q&A or another song. “One more song!” the crowd shouted back.

Pretty funny.

OK, I gotta get some sleep. Fingers crossed for me memorizing those chest-compression-to-breaths CPR ratios.

Posted at 9:44 pm in Detroit life |

56 responses to “Bus tales.”

  1. alex said on August 14, 2019 at 10:33 pm

    Heeeeere’s Johnnie. Nothing tiddlywink about that.

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  2. Deborah said on August 14, 2019 at 10:42 pm

    Busy day, I’m tired. I made a comment in the previous thread, didn’t realize there was this new post. Here’s what I said:
    Sure enough every time the Republicans are in power they break the economy. Short term they seem to make progress and then invariably the bottom falls out and lots of people suffer. How long will it take people to realize this?

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  3. beb said on August 15, 2019 at 1:15 am

    Wow, I thought Randianism was just a crank philosophy, I did not know that it also dictated style of music appreciation. None of those Rand Fans ever imagines that they will never be among the makers; that they would be confined to unheated tenements with occasional water, and their kids having to find a job at 6. These people always think they are the cream and will always float to the top.

    I think it is The Mad Biologist who suggests that board members of mass transit committee should ride their buses / trains on a regular basis. How can they make informed decisions about mass transist if they never set foot on them.

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  4. alex said on August 15, 2019 at 6:46 am

    I knew Rand aficionados in college who were always pushing her books on others with an almost religious fervor, but I couldn’t get into them at all. And as I recall I didn’t respect their opinions about books or much of anything else for that matter. One such enthusiast claimed to be a member of an Italian ruling class family during Mussolini’s reign whose parents and grandparents were forced to take refuge in the U.S. post-WWII. He was unabashedly pro-Mussolini and pro-Hitler as well. I just assumed that he had some sociopathic tendencies and had adopted this affectation for shock value. In a chance encounter with him some 20-30 years later, though, he was still talking the same shit. So I’ve pretty much concluded that Ayn Rand is for people with some seriously arrested development.

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  5. Alan Stamm said on August 15, 2019 at 7:17 am

    Scriptwriter’s gold on that DDOT coach. David Simon also would hold that dialogue or take notes.

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  6. Suzanne said on August 15, 2019 at 8:58 am

    Speaking of Ayn Randian mindsets, there is this from Ben Shapiro. https://www.themarysue.com/ben-shapiro-is-peak-privilege/

    I read The Fountainhead years and years ago. Unless my memory is all wrong, the only thing about it I remember is a sexual assault by the main character which the woman he assaulted was ok with. Or something like that. If I can’t remember more than that, I’d say it’s clear the book didn’t change my life.
    But what do I know? I work two jobs so, according to Ben Shapiro, I am an idiot.

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  7. Sherri said on August 15, 2019 at 9:29 am

    Obligatory John Rogers quote: There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.

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  8. LAMary said on August 15, 2019 at 9:31 am

    I read one Rand book and I don’t remember which one it was. What I do remember is thinking it sucked and that one male character kept throwing his head back and laughing soundlessly. This seemed like a real asshole move to me.

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  9. Heather said on August 15, 2019 at 9:58 am

    I tried to read Atlas Shrugged in college like everyone else, but I couldn’t get past the terrible prose.

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  10. Julie Robinson said on August 15, 2019 at 10:22 am

    Well, if nothing else, Tiddlywinks Music would make a great name for a band. What do you think–punk, grunge, or heavy metal?

    With fond memories of going everywhere on the bus down at IU, the Fort Wayne bus system was a big disappointment. A visually impaired friend told me about getting to his doctor’s office, half a mile from his house. He had to take one bus downtown to transfer, then a second to the docs, only to reverse the whole thing on the way home. And since many of the routes only run once an hour, it could easily take all day. No wonder anyone who can possibly afford it has a car.

    So using public transportation in NYC was fantastic. We bought a one week long Metro card for $34, and the Staten Island ferry to our Air B&B was free. Stairs down to the subway were not great on my bad knee, but we could often walk an extra block or two to find an elevator or escalator.

    A few places smelled like toilets, but we never felt unsafe, even late at night. There was only one colorful character who was rapping for cash, didn’t get any, and got off at the next stop. Everyone else seemed interested only in getting to their destinations and usually wore earbuds and were on their phones. I did enjoy all the mosaic tiles in the waiting areas, and snapped a lot of photos, like the tourist I was.

    Good luck on the lifeguard test. My pool has been closed afternoons this summer because they couldn’t staff lifeguards, so that idea of retirement employment has some merit.

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  11. Jakash said on August 15, 2019 at 12:37 pm

    “I read one Rand book and I don’t remember which one it was.” Me too. I guess that’s not a very strong recommendation…

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  12. Jakash said on August 15, 2019 at 1:26 pm

    Moseying through some of the old posts, I stumbled upon some remarks by PJ, in the midst of a spirited discussion in the comments in 2012. Actually, one of his longer and more substantive posts. A couple excerpts: “I personally wouldn’t let Obama balance my check book let alone keep spending us into oblivian. Most on this blog screamed bloody murder about the republicans spending, yet this president has spent more than all others combined and you don’t see a problem? How and the hell are we going to pay for all the spending?

    … About the the only thing left to say to othe whole world is BLOW ME!!”

    Odd, in that I haven’t noticed him mentioning the deficit lately. And, like I said, substantive!

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  13. Scout said on August 15, 2019 at 1:27 pm

    My favorite personal Ayn Rand anecdote: At a small dinner party at the sons’ house in LA, their one and only friend who could totally get away with such a thing spied Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead on the bookshelves. He stood up, plucked the books off the shelf and tossed them in the trashbin. He said, “You don’t have to keep every book you read in college, you know, especially ones that would give people the wrong impression about you.” Yes, wine was involved, but he was right, and it was hilarious.

    I have never ridden the bus in Phoenix, but I have availed myself of the lightrail fairly often. I quickly learned no eye contact is the best strategy. There is always one crazy asshole who thinks the merest acknowledgement of their presence is their opening to engage in what is almost always an inappropriate monologue or worse, license to ask a bunch of personal questions. Once when riding with my wife, one of these tweaky dudes asked us, “So, how long have you two been together?” That was his opening. We got up and moved to another car. Even with that factor, I would probably ride it to work except that it costs three times as much as it does for me to drive since we have a hybrid and an electric car. It just doesn’t make economic sense. (Something I think I have more of than the self proclaimed billionaire stable genius Putin installed.) However, lightrail is great for the airport and for downtown sports, entertainment, festivals when we don’t want to deal with parking and traffic.

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  14. beb said on August 15, 2019 at 2:23 pm

    Nancy mentioned a while back that her employer was looking into space as a Wework site but decided against it. Wework is trying to launch an IPO. here’s some interesting reading for potential investors.

    Like too many Tech companies it seems to think losing millions of dollars month after month is some kind of road to success,

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  15. Jeff Borden said on August 15, 2019 at 2:42 pm

    In the end, Ayn Rand was a hypocrite. She decried government assistance as immoral, but accepted Social Security benefits. In that, she was a tutor to Paul Ryan, the former House speaker who required anyone working in his Congressional office to read “Atlas Shrugged.” Ryan used his father’s Social Security payout to attend college, then spent his political career trying to destroy SS and Medicare. Having never worked in the private sector in his adult life, Ryan is now giving speeches and is on the board of Fox News Corp. So, yeah, he’s a real “maker.”

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  16. beb said on August 15, 2019 at 3:59 pm

    This headline on Salon caught my eye
    FBI: Ohio teen arrested for online threats had 10,000 rounds of ammo, 15 assault rifles at home

    He’s a teenager, probably doesn’t have a job but bought 15 assault rifles? Where did he get that kind of money. A quick search finds that AR-15 go for $500 to $600. So we looking at between $7500 and $9000 for the guns and who knows how much for the ammo. That’s not money teenagers generally have.

    OK, reading the article makes things a little murkier. The boy’s parents are divorced. He lives with his mother while most of the guns (including a further 10 semi-auto handguns) were found at his father’s house. Unanswered is whether the guns belonged to the boy or his father, and if the father’s did the 18-year old boy have ready access to them.

    So, while the headline is somewhere misleading you still have to wonder if anyone who owns that many guns has their head screwed on right.

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  17. alex said on August 15, 2019 at 4:38 pm


    I think Joe coined us a new adjective for deplorable, which has become a noun.

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  18. Suzanne said on August 15, 2019 at 4:39 pm

    “you still have to wonder if anyone who owns that many guns has their head screwed on right.”
    I wonder that, too, but owning tons of guns here in rural ‘Merica is probably more common than most of us know. My own brother has said to me that “ you can’t own too many guns.”

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  19. Sherri said on August 15, 2019 at 5:30 pm

    Some great suggestions in this thread.


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  20. Dave said on August 15, 2019 at 5:34 pm

    At a meetup with old college friends some six years ago now, where we met and shared a meal, one of them, who had seemed perfectly reasonable when he was a good friend in school, told me he owns 92 guns. Why. Well, he just liked having them and collecting them. Funny how some people turn out differently than what one would have thought or maybe I didn’t know him as well as I thought.

    I wonder how many he’s added to his collection since then, I don’t know.

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  21. Deborah said on August 15, 2019 at 5:36 pm

    I read The Fountainhead because it was about an architect, an asshole architect to be exact. I saw the movie too.

    LB is quite excited, we got the business cards this morning at the print shop that I designed and she sold 52 lavender wands today for $10 each, at a couple of shops and to individuals who happened to see her carrying her basket full of them around town. They really are quite pretty and of course they smell fantastic.

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  22. David C. said on August 15, 2019 at 6:18 pm

    My favorite comment I read about Ayn Rand was that she wrote about sex like she’d heard it described once.

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  23. susan said on August 15, 2019 at 7:26 pm

    Wow, the Wall Street Journal was punked by the Onion…. No, wait. Apparently not.

    Trump has asked aides about possibility of US acquiring Greenland: report
    BY CHRIS MILLS RODRIGO – 08/15/19 05:50 PM EDT

    President Trump has privately asked aides about the possibility of purchasing Greenland, an autonomous Danish territory, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

    Two advisers told the Journal that Trump asked them and other advisers at dinners and in passing conversations whether such a move would be possible, listening intently when they talked about its resources and geopolitical importance.

    He also reportedly asked his White House counsel to look into the idea.

    Some of his advisers were supportive of the move, the two sources told the Journal, saying it could be a good economic play. Others dismissed it as just a fascination.

    As the Journal noted, it is unclear how the U.S. would go about purchasing Greenland, the largest island in the world.

    Roughly 56,000 people live on the mostly self-governing island. Foreign and security policy is handled by Copenhagen.

    The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the Journal’s report.

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  24. Deborah said on August 15, 2019 at 8:07 pm

    Typical bad writing of mine, I didn’t design the print shop obviously. I designed the cards we had printed there. 250 cards for $25, not bad.

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  25. Mark P. said on August 15, 2019 at 8:26 pm

    “Others dismissed it as just a fascination.”

    I think “fantasy” is the more correct word. What would trouble me is if anyone took it seriously enough to look into it. Maybe they said, “Wow, good idea, Mr. President!. You’re thinking like a big boy now. Would you like a Big Mac? And then it’s nap time.”

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  26. Sherri said on August 15, 2019 at 9:17 pm

    MarkP, I think by this time anybody still around has clearly established themselves as a gutless coward.

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  27. Dexter Friend said on August 16, 2019 at 1:23 am

    I took my first solo bus ride to the county fair when I was 9 years old and have always been fascinated by public transport since. Dad trained for a job in Chicago and knew the CTA so when we’d go there we’d ride the street buses; later when I was 17 I’d ride the NY Central there and take the el trains around by myself. Of course when I’d go to New York, the way to go was by subway. In my three months in San Antonio I figured out the city bus routes in a few hours,easy-peasy. In San Francisco, I’d ride buses and Muni Railway electric cars that would go through the Twin Peaks and Sunset tunnels…nice riding cars. When I was there the BART was still incomplete.
    I also have ridden Amtrak to NYC, DC, Chicago. Since 9-11 I have only flown a few times and I realize it’s necessary, but I rather hate it, and I much prefer a long-ass train haul. I have some kind of syndrome in which I believe I was born into the wrong century. This explains my love of steampunk and my romance for long-gone steam trains. Ayn Rand? Not for me, but what the hell, the movie was pretty good, the acting anyway. “The Fountainhead”. https://www.sfmta.com/getting-around/muni/muni-history

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  28. lisa said on August 16, 2019 at 3:29 am

    Best of luck with your recertification tomorrow!
    My daughter moved to NYC last year for her dream job and my husband and I are going there in September for our first visit ever. I’ve always loved public transportation so I’m looking forward to people watching while there. I enjoyed your descriptions of the people you’ve seen as you’re riding the bus. I can just imagine how the bus driver must speak as she’s laying down the law on her bus.

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  29. alex said on August 16, 2019 at 7:28 am

    So now it has evidently become a thing to dress up like a sniper for a visit to Walmart. https://www.wane.com/news/local-news/armed-walmart-shopper-raises-social-media-concerns/

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  30. basset said on August 16, 2019 at 7:40 am

    Armed and “shopping with a woman who appeared to be his mom”… that says a lot right there.

    Last deer season I walked into a Walmart outside Nashville in full camo with a pistol visible in a belt holster and nobody appeared to notice. Guess I just look innocent, or at least non-threatening.

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  31. Suzanne said on August 16, 2019 at 8:57 am

    Personally, I walk into a store and see someone roaming around with a visible weapon, I will walk out of the store and go elsewhere or go home and order online.
    I must not be alone because last time I was in Arizona,which I am pretty sure is an open carry state, I noticed many of the restaurants & stores had signs on the door that said, in a nutshell, guns are not welcome in here.

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  32. Connie said on August 16, 2019 at 9:11 am

    Scout, I have ridden the bus in Phoenix! From a bus plaza near my hotel down a long straight street with lots of bus stops to the Heard Museum and back again. Some twenty years ago though.

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  33. LAMary said on August 16, 2019 at 9:32 am

    Gallup, New Mexico, not known for being ahead of the curve, has had those “no guns allowed” signs on restaurants and bars for years.

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  34. Deborah said on August 16, 2019 at 1:14 pm

    Me too Suzanne, if I’m out and about and see someone carrying a visible gun I will get away as fast as possible. There’s a gun shop in a mall not far from our Santa Fe apartment and occasionally someone will be walking around with a gun slung over their shoulder. I leave as quickly as possible even though they’re probably just going to or coming from the gun shop. It creeps me out.

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  35. Sherri said on August 16, 2019 at 1:41 pm

    I remember when I was a young teen working as a scorekeeper at the local Little League, lots of the parents got upset when one of the coaches showed up to a game wearing his gun, and he was a police officer coming straight to the game from his shift still in uniform.

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  36. Jakash said on August 16, 2019 at 2:47 pm

    I see that the banner at Il Douche’s “rallies” these days says “Keep America Great.” It’s hard to keep up, but somehow I missed the point at which America returned to greatness, at long last, after those 8 horrible years under the Kenyan. Was it on election day, inauguration day, or at some ineffable point since then? At any rate, it sure doesn’t seem to have required much effort, other than hiring and appointing a laughable crew of incompetent cronies and lickspittles, not to mention a fair number of criminals, and tweeting whatever BS came to mind. Oh, and giving a huge tax break to rich people so that it can trickle down into blowing up the deficit and starting trade wars that harm the “real American” farmers who most support the guy, of course. I suppose all that was really required was to make sure that immigrants were demonized and punished as often, and in as many ways, as possible. That seems to be the “accomplishment” that Hair Furor knows is the most important of all.

    The banner *is* in the fine Republican tradition exhibited by “Mission Accomplished,” though, so there’s that.

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  37. Dorothy said on August 16, 2019 at 2:53 pm

    How spot-on is THIS:


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  38. Suzanne said on August 16, 2019 at 4:01 pm

    I started reading Jeff Sharlet’s book The Family. Netflix just came out with a documentary based on it. I am not very far but am already in turmoil from it. These people are better connected, more entrenched, and crazier than I ever, ever imagined. The rot goes so deep. And religious zealots the likes of which I have not encountered.

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  39. Julie Robinson said on August 16, 2019 at 4:25 pm

    Suzanne, that’s exactly what our daughter said about the series. I feel like I should watch it but I don’t want to. Of course, that’s exactly how I feel about the sh*tshow in DC too.

    Congratulations to Little Bird on the entrepreneurship. Lavender wands sound very soothing.

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  40. Deborah said on August 16, 2019 at 8:27 pm

    One of these days I’ll tell you the long drawn out saga of what’s happening with my husband’s younger daughter, the religious zealot. She went way, way off the deep end again, not getting the help she needs for her bi-polar condition. Turning to Jesus to pray away her problems instead of getting the medication and counciling she so desperately needs. We are at our wits end to know how to help her. We thought for a while there that she was getting help but she was deceiving us. It’s very sad.

    When I read all of the crazy stuff about extremist evangelicals I want to scream, because it can have dangerous implications for people with mental health issues.

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  41. LAMary said on August 16, 2019 at 9:48 pm

    A relative of mine was telling me about her daughter in law who has gone off the deep end. Not religion, but Dr. Oz, anti-vaccination, germ phobic. It’s seriously damaging her marriage and her relationship with her kids, who are in their teens. She only eats a few kinds of food, refuses to go out or travel and quit her job which was going to make it easier for the older kid to pay for college.

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  42. alex said on August 16, 2019 at 10:56 pm

    Watching a British version of The Sound of Music on PBS. It differs from the Hollywood version in that Captain Von Trapp and the Baroness break up over politics just like you might imagine a Dem and GOP couple right now. The Captain takes up with Maria because, well, anarchy.

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  43. Sherri said on August 16, 2019 at 11:12 pm

    Deborah, white evangelicals create mental health problems. Authoritarian cultures are abusive.

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  44. Julie Robinson said on August 17, 2019 at 10:40 am

    What you saw is the stage version, Alex. I like it better than the movie.

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  45. alex said on August 17, 2019 at 11:13 am

    Agreed, Julie. I didn’t realize just how sanitized the movie was, or that some songs had been left out of it.

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  46. LAMary said on August 17, 2019 at 11:44 am

    Alex, the film versions of Carousel and Oklahoma were less dark than the stage versions as well. I would bet South Pacific and the King and I were tidied up too.

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  47. Sherri said on August 17, 2019 at 12:54 pm

    If you do watch The Family, which is scarier than any Epstein murder conspiracy theory because everything in The Family really happened, mostly right out in the open, pay attention to the small group in Portland. That group is largely sympathetic and has no power, and is still all kinds of fucked up.

    Another take on this history, from a little earlier than Sharlet covers but does mention, is One Nation Under God, by Kevin Kruse. He gets into more detail about how the National Prayer Breakfast came to me, the specific intent of a lot of this stuff being anti-labor and anti-New Deal and pro-business. If you grew up Catholic, you may not grasp just how different this amalgam of evangelicalism, nationalism, and capitalism is.

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  48. Suzanne said on August 17, 2019 at 2:45 pm

    I didn’t grow up Catholic but the unholy alliance of evangelicalism, capitalism, and politics is eye opening even to me.
    I recently read George Lakoff’s Don’t Think of an Elephant and realized how much the right has reframed the discourse. Taxes are no longer seen as investment in society but a burden on individuals, for example. I am also reading Sharlet’s book which goes into great detail on the influence of Calvinism on the thought processes of people like Jonathan Edwards and his role in the Great Awakening and how he and others pushed the idea of being of “the elect”.
    So interesting and so terrifying because the term Christian has become a marketing tool so people hear something is Christian and they think it’s gotta be good, moral, pure, and true. It’s not necessarily so.

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  49. Deborah said on August 17, 2019 at 5:37 pm

    Since we’re talking about stage plays and things that aren’t necessarily so. Here are some lyrics from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess:

    It ain’t necessarily so
    It ain’t necessarily so
    The things that you’re liable
    To read in the Bible,
    It ain’t necessarily so.

    Now David was small but oh my
    Little David was small but oh my
    He fought big Goliath
    Who lay down and dieth
    David was small but oh my.

    To get into heaven, don’t snap for a second
    Live clean forget your faults
    I take the gospel whenever it’s possible
    But with a grain of salt

    Oh Jonah he lived in a whale
    Oh Jonah he lived in a whale
    He made his home in
    That fishes abdomen
    Oh Jonah he lived in a whale

    To get into heaven, don’t snap for a seven
    Live clean forget your faults
    I take gospel whenever it’s possible
    But with a grain of salt

    Methuselah lived 900 years
    Methuselah lived 900 years
    Who calls that livin’
    When no gal will give in
    To no man what’s 900 years

    It ain’t necessarily so
    It ain’t necessarily so
    The things that you’re liable
    To read in the Bible,
    It ain’t necessarily so.

    Ain’t necessarily so
    Ain’t necessarily so
    Ain’t necessarily so


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  50. Suzanne said on August 17, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    Perfect Deborah! Just perfect!

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  51. Sherri said on August 18, 2019 at 12:24 pm

    Three things I’ve learned about campaigns and politics:

    -Everybody thinks they are a moderate
    -Everybody thinks they make a rational choice based on issues, while others choose for crazy reasons
    -It’s all about turnout, not converting people.


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  52. Sherri said on August 18, 2019 at 12:30 pm

    I try not to react to rando state legislators doing shit like this, because there are so many of them that you’re bound to get some nutcases, but the governor of a state, walking around the state fair?!


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  53. Connie said on August 18, 2019 at 1:02 pm

    So my husband was out with the dog this morning, and as he came out the back schoolyard gate on to the dead end street next to ours he realized there was a young woman lying in the road. He checked her out and she was breathing but non responsive. He saw a neighbor come out across the street and hollered at him to call 911. Neighbor yells “no way, I’m not getting involved with any heroin addicts.” And he drives away.

    So Tom runs down to the house of someone he knows and banged on her door. Jackie was quick to call 911 and Tom went back down the street to wait with her. Two police cars and an ambulance show up. Once the medical uproar calms down the officers want to talk to Tom. He says “Officer Gallagher, we’ve met before. Officer says “ good or bad?” Tom says “I was the photographer at Touch a Truck day and you were helping the little kids sit on the police motorcycle.

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  54. Deborah said on August 18, 2019 at 3:51 pm

    Connie, good for your husband being a Good Samaritan and probably saving someone’s life. Hard to imagine that other guy refusing to call 911.

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  55. Dexter Friend said on August 18, 2019 at 6:04 pm

    This heroin/fentanyl epidemic is still raging. A few days ago I had to call 9-11 , cops and ambulance came, cop busted out his car window…driver was “out” with car engine on, car in reverse, foot on brake. Driver was loaded onto stretcher and rushed away for Narcan injection. Cops showed me the bindle found in driver’s wallet. I do know the user…this was his 5th Narcan episode; he’s so messed up he wants to die at times, then he doesn’t want to die. He also drinks IPAs like a fish, smokes weed pretty much constantly, vapes tobacco and weed too, and smokes Marlboros as well. If I left anything out, he does that too. I took him to a recovery meeting years ago, he’s been in halfway houses as well as the best, most expensive and extensive rehabs (his grandmother is a millionaire widow who paid for it all), and he just uses rehabs to make drug connections…and…my wife is related to him, and now he is crashing on our couch. Oh yeah…I am nervous, as I know he’s sure to fuck-up again…he’s been prayed over, baptized in the ocean, talked to, counselled, whatever else, and he is still on every goddam drug he can get his hands on. At 28, father of a little girl, he was recently kicked to the curb by his baby-mama in Toledo, hence…here now. I have been in alcohol recovery now for 27 years and so far nothing shakes my recovery foundation and program, and this doesn’t either, but it’s damn nerve-wracking…plus, now we’re marked as a drug house by the cops. Shit!

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  56. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 18, 2019 at 8:49 pm

    Bless you, Dexter. Maybe this is the time.

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