I notice the Christmas Day bombing in Nashville is already on its way offstage. There’s a fair amount of carping on Twitter about the bomber not being labeled a terrorist, etc., and I see their point, but don’t exactly agree. Crazy people are crazy, and as far as I can tell, this guy did what he could to get people to leave the area before blowing up himself and his house-car. Wrecked a block of historic buildings, yes, but terrorists want blood and bricks in the street, not just bricks.
And I suspect that 5G paranoia will end up being a part of his motive, if motive is even the right word for it. Even if it doesn’t, the tinfoil hats have folded the bombing into their conspiracy stew, and made it part of their QAnon / Dominion / vaccine catechism, so maybe it doesn’t even matter if investigators find a manifesto somewhere. You can bet your last dollar there are probably thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, of Americans who now believe the act was probably ordered by the Deep State to fuck up those voting machines stored just on the other side of the wall. They’re ordering T-shirts: ANTHONY QUINN WARNER DID NOTHING WRONG.
So what do we do about these stupid gits?
Were it up to me, and these were literal rabbit holes these people were diving down, I’d be in favor of encouraging every last one to take the leap, then bricking them up. But obviously, not an option here.
When I wrote about my troll a few years back, I reflected a bit on whether it was a mistake to ignore him for so long, whether that only egged him on. There’s a saying in public relations: If you don’t tell your story, someone else will tell it for you. But they’ve been saying that since long before social media arrived, let alone a parallel media environment in which people can immerse themselves and consider themselves well-informed without ever encountering a thought, story or position that contradicts their world view. There are millions of Americans who will go to their graves believing this election was stolen, that Biden is an illegitimate winner, and that Donald Trump won the Nobel Peace Prize. The world they live in tells them that.
But what are we going to do about them? Do we ignore them, respond to them, kick them to the curb? A long stay on an offshore island with currents too cold or dangerous to swim through would suit me, but Alcatraz can’t hold them all. So I’m open to suggestions.
One piece of bloggage today, and one more observation: First, I love Twitter because people feel free to speak ill of the dead there, including that congressman-elect who died of Covid. There are many more where that came from.
And the bloggage is a few days late, but so am I, this week: The collapse of Soul Cycle and the insane, bonkers, bananas cult of personalit(ies) it created. Come for the tease, stay for the used-tampon-in-the-purse story.
I’m off to donate blood.
basset said on December 30, 2020 at 8:59 am
And it looks like the bomber’s girlfriend told police last year that he was building bombs in a RV, he wouldn’t answer the door when they came to see him so that was that: https://www.tennessean.com/
David C said on December 30, 2020 at 9:48 am
Education camps? Something like reeducation camps but with shelter, good food from the taco trucks we’ll put on every corner, and good TV. Little tests on American history, critical thinking and there, their, and they’re that they have to pass to get more privileges.
alex said on December 30, 2020 at 9:52 am
Speaking of speaking ill of the dead, that Twitter rabbit hole gets even better when you scroll down to the Jeffrey Epstein stuff. Some speculation that Trump’s about to pardon Ghislaine Maxwell in exchange for her continued silence.
basset said on December 30, 2020 at 10:08 am
Being well behind the cultural curve as usual, I had never heard of Soul Cycle. Interesting article, though. Looking at some of the other stuff on the Vox site was like visiting a foreign land… what fashion-forward statement this year’s winter coat might make? Mine says “sale on Carhartt at Tractor Supply,” which I suppose would be as far out of context in their world as what I read this morning is in mine.
JodiP said on December 30, 2020 at 10:49 am
bassett, still behind the curve. 🙂
Carhartt is totally on trend.
alex said on December 30, 2020 at 11:22 am
My Carhartt hoodie from the farm store is warmer than my down parka from Banana Republic and hipper too. My hubs has a Carhartt leather welding jacket that doesn’t have any burn marks on it yet and I borrow it all the time when I want a snazzy ensemble.
Richard Utt said on December 30, 2020 at 11:27 am
I don’t know what to do with the crazy people either. But I’m glad I read this today, and doubly glad that I followed the links and arrived at your “farewell-joe” entry from 2011 (and 2003?).
Jeff Borden said on December 30, 2020 at 11:32 am
One small step toward national sanity would be the return of multiple civics classes at the primary and secondary levels. I remember taking at least two civics classes –one in Catholic school and one in public high school– where we were taught the basics of American democracy. Unlike the newly elected senator from Alabama, I know the three branches of government and how they are supposed to interact. But mostly I know citizenship confers responsibilities as well as freedoms. This is the part of American life the MAGAts and the Proud Boys and the rest of the deplorable “bearded infants” don’t grasp.
A second small step –likely impossible with the federal courts packed with Federalist Society drones– would be a return to the Fairness Doctrine. When you can turn on a sewer pipe like Fox or Newsmax or whatever, you may spend the entire day in a fact-free environment. In the fabled “good old days,” one broadcast opinion was required to be balanced with a presentation from another point of view. It wasn’t perfect, but it usually worked pretty well.
And that is another wonderful gift from St. Ronald of Reagan, the old bastard who I hope in my remaining years is finally revealed as the doddering doofus who set this nation on a path leading directly to tRump.
basset said on December 30, 2020 at 11:34 am
Hipster Carhartt? Guess I’ll have to buy some a size small and three inches short.
susan said on December 30, 2020 at 11:53 am
Woot! Well aren’t I just a fashion-plate, then. I’ve been wearing Carhartt jeans/pants since at least the mid-’90s, when I got them for work. And now I just wear them every day. Pockets. Lots of real pockets, deep and reinforced. And pants with extra fabric over the knee area where you can insert padding for kneeling on the ground, excavating stuff. And a pair of insulated bib overalls, along with an insulated hooded coat, for working outside in winter. Also, lots of usable pockets. Carhartt pants/jeans last twice as long as other brands.
Plus, they’re stylish, so I’m told. As if I give a damn.
Suzanne said on December 30, 2020 at 12:03 pm
I know many of you are not big fans of The Lincoln Project people, but this article from one of the founders says they are hopeless so don’t even try to engage.
My winter coat is Calvin Klein from Goodwill. It’s in mint condition & spent $25 on it. I think it’s stylish!
LAMary said on December 30, 2020 at 12:24 pm
My fairly fashion conscious 26 year old son wears lots of Carhartt. Even to his current job, which is one that would require Carharrt type clothing in its past position in the garment world. He’s clearing brush around and actually in the LA river. There are little silt and garbage islands in the river and cottonwoods start to grow in the muck. But those jeans are 30 buck Carhartts. No 12.99 Costco jeans for him.
And Reagan giving Rupert Murdoch citizenship and doing away with the fairness doctrine created a lot of the crap we’re living with now. He also gave us the TV guy as politician thing at the highest level, another toxic idea we’re paying for now.
beb said on December 30, 2020 at 1:01 pm
I’ve been wearing Carhartt for years — ever since I discovered that they carried clothes in 4XL sizes. It’s hard to think of them as “hipster.” They’re more of an anti-fashion statement.
There is something disappointing when the police are informed that someone is building bombs and they more only a curtive investigation. It seems common that when a guy goes off the rails like that investigations will eventually find that someone warned the police about them months or weeks in advance and nothing was done. Then again: there were two articles I read this morning, one was about a young black man released from prison after 14 years after it was found that the police had framed him, ignored exculpatory evidence and concealed evidence from his attorney. The other was about the Breona Taylor raid, where the police officer filing the warrant for the no-knock arrest ignored evidence from other police departments that she was not involved in anything. The department has sent him a warning letter that he may be fired. “Fired”? He ought to be arrested. His lies lead to a person’s death. The officers and prosecutor in the first case ought to be arrested for similar reasons. They’re fucking with peoples lives and will essentially get off scott free.
LAMary said on December 30, 2020 at 1:08 pm
I have a good friend, a nurse I hired years ago, who became an infection preventionist nurse. Her husband is an RN also. They both work in Florida and both have been working their asses off for months. They got vaccinated a couple of days ago and today they both tested positive for Covid. The positive test has nothing to do with the vaccine, just a sick coincidence. Both of them are usually very health conscious but the way they’ve been working has worn them down. Keep a good thought for them as they are two of the really good people out there. Funny, creative, smart, caring people that the world needs more of.
David C said on December 30, 2020 at 1:28 pm
I’ll have to tell Mary that Carhartts are hip. She has one flannel lined pair for winter and she loves them. She won’t wear them any other time because she says everyone will think she’s a coal miner. So far, we’ve been able to find vintage Levi’s (560s) that she likes but who knows when that will dry up.
Julie Robinson said on December 30, 2020 at 1:38 pm
Today I’ve learned about two deaths, one from Covid and one from leukemia, and it makes me feel like crap. One more dagger in this lousy year.
nancy said on December 30, 2020 at 3:09 pm
Not only is Carhartt cool, it’s a family-run Detroit company, too. The daughter of its founder is Gretchen Valade, who is very philanthropic and something of a free spirit. She single-handedly endowed the Detroit jazz festival to keep it free. She founded a jazz label so that musicians can get their work out in the world. And she opened a jazz supper club in Grosse Pointe Farms, of all places, to make sure they had a place to play, too. She’s very old now and doesn’t really get out, but I’m told you can find her from time to time sitting at the bar of her club, enjoying the encore set. Her son runs the company now.
I think die-hard Carhartt fans meet from time to time to share stories of their amazing clothing. I remember reading a piece in Outside magazine called “These Pants Saved My Life,” or some such. It was all about how these folks were attacked by bears and the claws couldn’t penetrate — that kind of thing.
Also, David C., I believe both Land’s End and L.L. Bean sell flannel- or fleece-lined jeans. I have a pair, they’re hideous, but man they are warm. I bring them out for outdoor activities when the temperature slips below 30.
Deborah said on December 30, 2020 at 3:20 pm
When the temps dip down and I need an extra layer, I wear fleece leggings under my jeans. I’ve never owned any carhartt items but not because I didn’t want to. They had a store in Chicago in the loop area that lasted for about 5 minutes I think. Maybe it was a pop up, I went back for a second visit for a jacket I’d had my eye on, but the store wasn’t there anymore. I don’t know, maybe I just misremembered where it was and it’s still open. Who knows?
alex said on December 30, 2020 at 4:00 pm
Mary Ann, who last made news for smoking mary jane, is in the news again:
brian stouder said on December 30, 2020 at 4:08 pm
I just saw that, too – and did what my mom always used to do when such news came around: I exclaimed “Awwwwwww!”
Really, she was the reason I watched that show. I don’t think any of my friends disagreed that SHE was the most attractive person on the island (certainly not Ginger!)….
Joe Kobiela said on December 30, 2020 at 4:16 pm
Lost Alto Reed today also.
Dexter Friend said on December 30, 2020 at 4:21 pm
I alternate 2 Carhartt stocking caps (now called beanies even we all know beanies are like yarmulkes with a propeller) , and wore a Carhartt insulated vest for 20 years before I donated it to a homeless man walking cold along the road.
And, so what else is new? Guess what. Carla Lee tested positive and was shooed out of the nursing home in Grove City and moved to a Covid19 dedicated nursing home in Hilliard. And right now daughter Lori is in surgery for yet another infection in her abdomen. Granddaughter Rebekah was diagnosed with what the Las Vegas docs call “Covid pneumonia” a few days ago. I know older people can crash quickly with this, so right now just about halfway scared shitless.
David C said on December 30, 2020 at 4:26 pm
When Mitt Rmoney was running for President, I always said he was the only man who in the great Ginger vs. Mary Ann debate was completely smitten with Lovey Howell.
Sherri said on December 30, 2020 at 4:46 pm
Worse than any of the QAnon conspiracy theory idiocy is that a signficant fraction of the country simply no longer accepts democracy, and one of our two political parties has embraced this. I don’t know how we recover from this, especially when our other political party is in denial about it.
susan said on December 30, 2020 at 5:06 pm
jeez, Dexter, all that is so shitty. I don’t know what else to say, because all that you and your family are going through is so shitty. Please let it finally get better for you. Cripes.
Suzanne said on December 30, 2020 at 5:19 pm
Oh, Dexter! How absolutely awful for you and your family. You have had enough. Prayers, good thoughts, and all that.
FDChief said on December 30, 2020 at 5:22 pm
The lined/insulated Carhartt work pants are a must in the Northwest once the rains begin in the fall and the daytime highs stop breaking the mid-forties. I’ve had several pairs nonstop since I began working in the field here in the early Nineties. They’re terrific.
The problem with the GOP/Trumpkins/QANuts – and I’m not sure there’s any actual daylight there – is that, as the joke goes, “…can’t live with ’em, can’t shoot ’em.” There’s simply too many to ignore (and they’re burrowed way too deep into public life everywhere outside the truly deep blue cities) but they’re utterly impossible to civilize.
Literally; “civilize” in the sense of civilization, order, governance, society. They’re like some sort of almost-feral, rabid, weasel-like creatures who will chew their way through the wiring even though it will electrocute them when they do simply because. They’re impervious to reason, inoculated against fact. They are by definition a cult, because when cold fact collides with their fantasy they’ll go with the fantasy every time.
You can run a dictatorship with that, even if they’re the majority, assuming that you’re the dictator and have the power to imprison or execute as many of them as you need to keep the lights on and the sewers working. They’re a nuisance, but no more than any other cockroach.
But a republic?
No. You can’t make a republic work with that level of crazy. Think of the equivalent in small-group terms, and assume that the level of crazy is where it Dick Cheney’s approval was in 2008 – about 25%.
So you have a group of four of you. Three are reasonably sane. Maybe easier to work with, many a bit more difficult, but basically rational.
The fourth is a complete whackjob. Spouting gibberish, shrieking in rage when asked to settle down and act grownup, flapping, keening, seeing things that aren’t there and making insane noise when they do. Every so often they’ll pull down their trousers and urinate on random objects.
None of you can work with that. There’s no “other option”; it’s either let the looney do what it’s gonna do – which means the rest of you are helpless – or shoot it in the head and we agreed we can’t do that.
We’re just screwed.
Unless and until the wingnuts drown their own loonies – or the useless third of the country that didn’t vote in 2020 realizes how insane they are and starts treating them like you’d treat any other looney – we’re at the mercy of the most insane, bigoted, stupid, loud racist whackjobs the Right has produced.
beb said on December 30, 2020 at 7:39 pm
I saw this on Rachel Maddow’s site
The Nashville bomber apparently believed in Lizard People and a Reptilian conspiracy. You would have to be a conspiracy nut to believe that. And you would have to be a conspiracyt nut to believe that was what he believed.
All the famous people I used to read about are dying. You’d think they were getting old or something. There must be some people who thought Tina Louise was the sexier woman on Gilligan’s Island but I think most people preferred Dawn Wells. She wasn’t snooty like the Actress. And those hot pants…. I may have said too much.
David C said on December 30, 2020 at 8:14 pm
Bernie Sanders stuffed Mitch in a locker on the Senate floor this afternoon. Reminded him that ten of the twenty-five poorest counties in the country are in Kentucky. Not that Mitch cares because they’re also some of the reddest counties in Kentucky. Go figure.
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 30, 2020 at 8:16 pm
Of all the wearily far too many who’ve died this year, who were personally important to me whether directly or by way of inspiration, I certainly hope Barry Lopez is the last. 2020 has certainly racked up a list in my circle of family, friends, and muses:
Deborah said on December 30, 2020 at 8:44 pm
Just reminding you of the story I’ve told here many times, that about 10 years ago I went to a party in Manhattan that Tina Louise attended, I regret that I didn’t ask her about her relationship with Mary Ann on the show, but I didn’t realize who she was when we chatted briefly at the bar. I didn’t know until the party host, an artist rep friend, asked me if I’d noticed her and who she was. I was bowled over and immediately went back to my hotel room and called my husband to tell him. Later I asked my friend how he knew her and he said she hired one of his artists to illustrate a children’s book she had written. He said she was a lovely person. She was a little loopy when I spoke to her, kind of new age-y.
Deborah said on December 30, 2020 at 8:55 pm
Oh no! Dexter, not again. Wow, so sorry.
Jakash said on December 30, 2020 at 9:12 pm
Pretty, pretty good:
Rep. Gym Jordan:
“60 million Americans are subject to a stay at home order or curfew.
11 million are right here in Ohio.
What would the Founders say?
Dexter, that’s truly awful. Very sorry to hear it and can only second what Susan and Suzanne said.
Mark P said on December 30, 2020 at 9:29 pm
One hope is that the Republicans turn on themselves. Trump has been doing that since he lost, trashing the Georgia governor and secretary of state, who richly deserve to be trashed, although not because there was any fraud during the election. Another hope is that the damned old white men die off, although there seems to be a significant number of non-old white men and some women who are certifiable, so that might not solve the problem.
If the wingnuts are pushed aside and marginalized, I’m afraid there will be more right-wing terrorism. We would end up like Northern Ireland during the Troubles.
basset said on December 30, 2020 at 9:30 pm
Well said, FDChief, very well said.
Joe, I remember Alto Reed. Sometimes I wonder how much of the “Live Bullet” show we haven’t heard, what didn’t make it to the album.
Dorothy said on December 30, 2020 at 9:38 pm
Dexter I’ll be thinking of all of your loved ones in the coming days and praying for their recovery. Same goes for your friends, Mary.
Remember I mentioned a couple weeks ago that one of my sister’s brother-in-law had a serious case of Covid? (That sister is married to this man’s brother). Here’s an article about his case:
Joe Kobiela said on December 30, 2020 at 9:44 pm
Live Bullet is still one of my favorite albums of all time, side four just flat out rocks. Saw Bob in the Fort in like 78, friend of mines wife threw up in my sister in laws coat pocket, ah good times.
LAMary said on December 31, 2020 at 12:34 am
Dexter, there is nothing good about any of that. You are one tough mother to be dealing with all this. I am trying to think anything I can do to help you from this side of the country. Send you some weed? Send you a new Carhartt insulated vest? Treats for Labbie? Request an autographed photo of Jurgen Klopp? I’m not making light of your trials. I’m trying to find something for you to keep in mind if it things turn ugly
jerry said on December 31, 2020 at 3:42 am
Dexter, what a lot of bad things to happen. My best wishes for full recoveries and better times for everyone.
Dexter Friend said on December 31, 2020 at 4:53 am
Thanks to all who post kind thoughts. If it gets much worse, I will take you up on a comfort gift, LA Mary. Right now I am doing OK with chain-streaming Prime movies. Some are actually good…I watched 3 tonight between phoning and Facetiming. This one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFOrGkAvjAE
was the best, about a going-deaf metal drummer.
Carla Lee is depressed , understandably; anyone would be. We just must deal with this. All we need is a new knee for her and a few negative tests.
Lori’s surgery went well, with no wound-vac machine needed, just a scar, and she’s recovering at home now already. The hospitals are keeping only the very sickest patients these days.
My buddy in Connecticut was notified he’ll have $600 in his account by Monday. No notification here, but it’s coming. Maybe the other $1400 will come someday as well.
Something I learned from Dr. Fauci: if vaccines get too warm and are still administered into arms, it will not poison the person, just lower the effectiveness of the dose, and then later the person would need an antibodies test and possibly another “start from scratch” vaccine double dose.
alex said on December 31, 2020 at 6:31 am
Mark P at 34…
Funny you should mention Northern Ireland. Its problems largely dissipated in an unprecedented wave of economic prosperity. It’s amazing what contentment will do to quell internecine warfare. Conversely, steady erosion of the middle class in this country seems to be making people increasingly combative and hostile and susceptible to political exploitation. It really is like a return to the Gilded Age, when various ethnic groups saw each other as competitors for scarce resources and those who managed to find common cause in fighting the rich were ruthlessly suppressed.
So what we need to do with the stupids is give them good jobs and health care and a fair shot at upward mobility. You know, like we used to do.
David C said on December 31, 2020 at 7:33 am
A hospital employee in Grafton, just north of Milwaukee, deliberately took 500 doses of vaccine out of the fridge so they’re unusable. How do you work in health care having so many people die in your hospital and do that? What hope most of us have for living a somewhat normal life lies in that vaccine. So one person says “I say no” and 250 people, probably at this point co-workers, get their chance at normal delayed. I just hope they throw the book, the bench, and the whole court building at them.
Oh, and tRump is returning to the White House today. There goes slinking off to Fla. Maybe they will have to drag him out.
Alan Stamm said on December 31, 2020 at 7:36 am
“Conspiracy theorists insist there’s a connection between the Nashville bombing and imagined attempts to steal next week’s runoff elections in Georgia. If there’s anything more 2020 than an explosion at the end of an already shattering year, it’s surely a fight about it on Twitter.” — Margaret Renkl, New York Times columnist and Nashville resident
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 31, 2020 at 8:30 am
A school official I work with privately venting to me about staff members who won’t take the vaccine, but who also loudly states they think there should be no in person education at the buildings “until everyone’s vaccinated.”
Our front desk person at my court offices very openly states “I won’t get the shot until most people have had it already; I don’t trust how this has been rushed through.” And who has effectively pushed us to do nothing in our building in person, even beyond our existing online protocols.
And the churches and restaurants and bars still putting large groups together in fairly restricted spaces where most are not wearing masks at all . . . where they all loudly converse about what a fascist Mike DeWine is and how terrible all these restrictions and distancing rules have been for the economy.
I’m hearing that staff acceptance rates in nursing homes for the vaccine is running as low as 40% in some, barely 70% in most. Higher with residents, but it’s not anywhere near 100%. This has really put Ohio’s plan and numbers behind where they hoped to be: no one thought as they set up initial distributions that health care worker acceptance rates would be as low as they are so far, but I’m hoping nursing home staff is not representative of hospital and clinic numbers. The problem is once their 1-A status is behind us, and direct service to care centers finishes their second round, they’re going (if they’re 20-60 and without other conditions) right to the back of the line with the rest of us. There’s no “hey, I’ve changed my mind and I work at a nursing home” line to jump into.
Julie Robinson said on December 31, 2020 at 8:37 am
Dexter, I’m so sorry about the troubles of Job your family is having. It’s quite understandable that Carla Lee is depressed. When my sister was in rehab for a broken knee I felt like that got in the way of her recovery. She was a big reader, so I bought her a Kindle and loaded it up with free books I found. It helped distract her from the pain and boredom.
Last night another elderly friend was admitted to the hospital. Her symptoms could be Covid or another serious condition, either way it’s another gut punch.
Our church is remote only. Daughter is offering outdoor, socially distanced and masked services, because many of her eldsters don’t have online access. Only a few come as the ones who can watch from home do.
JodiP said on December 31, 2020 at 9:13 am
Dexter, I’m sorry you, Carla, and your daughter are going through all of that. You’ve got my sympathy and support.
LAMary, I hope your friends weather the bout with COVID as well.
basset said on December 31, 2020 at 10:06 am
Dexter, so sorry all that is happening. It has to get better.
Our family doctor’s office just called to say they had no vaccines and don’t know when they’ll get any but they do have a list of who gets the jab when they do and in what order and we’re on it.
So there’s that, anyway… no use trying to find out how to get one anywhere else. The state “hotline” says talk to the city health department, their covid number rings to the same general assistance number you use to report potholes and broken traffic lights and they tell you call the state. Surely the six-fingered subterranean lizard people are behind that somehow.
Julie Robinson said on December 31, 2020 at 10:17 am
Forgot to mention that our pandemic relief money shows up in our credit union account as a deposit on January 4. Color me shocked.
Mouse said on December 31, 2020 at 1:22 pm
Same here Julie,mine showed up as a pending deposit about 24 hrs. after the vote.Waiting for the next $1400 now!!
Peter said on December 31, 2020 at 1:37 pm
David @ 23 – I had a teacher in high school say that as you get older, you realize the answer to the Ginger vs. Mary Ann debate is Lovey Howell with a whip. Hubba Hubba!
David C said on December 31, 2020 at 2:30 pm
I guess I’m not old enough for that yet, Peter.
LAMary said on December 31, 2020 at 6:08 pm
Did the teacher say that to the entire class? I graduated high school in 71 and I cannot imagine a teacher saying something like that and not getting in trouble. It was a very uptight high school for sure.