All over the place.

At Eastern Market Saturday, I saw a familiar face – a downtown homeless guy, temporarily relocated to a higher foot-traffic area.

If I recall correctly, he’s an addict, and he looked even worse than the last time I saw him, pre-pandemic. He’s also fairly young and pretty smart. Once he asked for money from my editor as we walked back from lunch, and my editor, the softest touch in the world, stopped to peel off a couple of bucks for him. He rarely just forks over the cash, however, and as a true journalist, likes to engage in some small talk at the same time. Soon he was offering to help the guy get a state ID so he could apply for jobs, and I ducked into a coffee spot for an espresso while they hashed it out. When I came out, the homeless kid was saying, “…but there’s an opportunity cost for me in that situation, too,” and all I could think was: Kids, don’t do hard drugs.

Tuesday is election day, and I’m working again. Same precinct. This will be my fourth one there, and I think I’m going to ask for a transfer to the absentee counting boards for 2022, where there will at least be constant work, rather than the long stretches of ass-numbing crickets in our sleepy little precinct. The area we serve is pretty poor, hit hard by depopulation, and turnout is generally abysmal, even by Detroit standards. I think we had 35 voters, total, in August.

But I’m doing my part. I got my Covid test, copied my CDC vax card, printed out my assignment, and will be there at 5:45 a.m. ready for 14 hours in a mask. It’s important.

I know the crowd here skews older, but I have to ask: Do any of you watch comic-book movies? I made it through “Black Widow” on the flight home a couple weeks ago, and at the end had the same reaction I have to all the previous ones I’ve tried: Well, that was a movie. They’re so, what’s the word? Boring. The hero’s journey, spiced with several action sequences, ending with the sequel setup. Plus, if you haven’t followed the Marvel franchise through however many films they’ve squeezed out of it, you get the sense you’re missing in-jokes and backstory the producers simply assume you are familiar with. It’s like millions and millions are spent on people who go to various Comic Cons around the country and stand in line for four hours to listen to colloquia on Spider-Man.

Honestly the most interesting part of “Black Widow” was examining Florence Pugh’s remarkable heart-shaped face. Talk about a movie-star mug. Now to see if she can continue to deliver performances.

If I seem a little aimless today, it’s because I just finished a long story and feel like I’m finally caught up with everything I missed during my time away. And I had too much to drink last night – didn’t rip the knob off, just poured two cocktails into an empty stomach – and feel like my best strategy for today is a bike ride and a nap and maybe some TV. So here’s my new favorite picture: Kate and the band at their show Friday night (which we missed). They were Josie and the Pussycats! I love it. See you later this week.

Posted at 1:01 pm in Detroit life, Same ol' same ol' |

53 responses to “All over the place.”

  1. tajalli said on October 31, 2021 at 2:17 pm

    The Marvel Universe! What fun! I’m going through the whole collection in chronological order (by story line, not production date), gazing off into space during the fight scenes (meh) with one eye peeled for the resumption of the actual story. Enjoy the fannish game of watching for Stan Lee’s cameo and other meta commenting. Currently on tenterhooks at the end of season 2 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – Jemma Simmons was sucked into the alien artifact – how will she be rescued? what angst will Fitzpatrick go through having been stood up for dinner? Have to convince my library to buy season 3. Geek soap opera!

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  2. Deborah said on October 31, 2021 at 3:07 pm

    The band looks spectacular!

    Watching movies on transatlantic flights is how I’ve seen a lot of movies, I watch them one after the other, after the other. I’ve watched some tearjerkers which is embarrassing, but most of the people around me were asleep anyway. I haven’t watched any comic book movies that I know of unless Black Panther is one of them, I saw that one.

    Most of the costumes I’ve seen people wear around the city are puzzling to me, I have no idea who the character is, probably movies, tv or video game related which I’m not up to speed on at all.

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  3. Julie Robinson said on October 31, 2021 at 3:21 pm

    Ah, to be young with a flat stomach!

    Comic book movies put me to sleep. I used to go along in the spirit of shared experience until I finally gave up on the genre. I expect Dune will be the same, despite all the pretty people in the cast.

    We hosted our first party here at the house for my birthday, first gathering of any kind since Covid, and it felt both weird and good. Our neighbor, Anna, was telling us about leaving Hungary after the 1956 revolution, and my mother remembered that as monopolizing the news while she was in the hospital with me.

    Anna spoke of how good everyone in this country was to the refugees, giving them furnishings for their apartments and giving her a college scholarship including spending money. But first, she was sent to a language school, again with all expenses covered, and how she loved that time at Indiana University. I told her we were both proud graduates of IU, and it was a very small world moment.

    Alex, aren’t your folks from Hungary?

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  4. ROGirl said on October 31, 2021 at 5:26 pm

    I deposited my absentee ballot in the drop box today. Then I got my covid booster shot (I turned 65 3 weeks ago).

    The first Wonder Woman movie was kind of fun, not the second one.

    Perestroika in Paris by Jane Smiley is delightful. I didn’t think I would enjoy a story about a group of talking animals in Paris (a horse, a dog, a raven and a rat), but I could hardly put it down. And it was an escape from our current reality.

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  5. jerry said on October 31, 2021 at 6:29 pm

    Went to see Dune this afternoon with one of my sons, Myra wasn’t interested. We both enjoyed the film. It made a good job of converting a dense and complex book and there were some good performances, although Timothee Chalamet’s hair really annoyed me by the end of the film. Certainly a much better attempt than the earlier one. My only concern was that the film didn’t cover enough of the book.

    It wasn’t too hard to follow, although I had the benefit of having first read the book back in 1963/64 when it was serialised in Analog. I’d recommend it.

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  6. basset said on October 31, 2021 at 7:26 pm

    Thirteen trick or treaters so far at 6:24 Central, and I hear a few more coming.

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  7. LAMary said on October 31, 2021 at 8:19 pm

    With you 100% on comic book movies. I used to work with one of the creators of Josie and the Pussycats. She’s A healthcare recruiter now. I think she wrote the theme song. And I’m looking forward to the new Wes Anderson movie. It looks amazing.

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  8. Julie Robinson said on October 31, 2021 at 8:21 pm

    jerry, they are making the second half of Dune.

    Our candy went down to church for a neighborhood trick or treat there. I had a headache and foot cramps so I begged off, but wouldn’t you know people are knocking on our door even without any lights on!

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  9. Ann said on October 31, 2021 at 8:27 pm

    I’ll second the recommendation for Perestroika in Paris. I’ll always associate Jane Smiley with one business trip during which I realized there were at least three of us on the plane reading A Thousand Acres. Something I miss about our Kindle era–knowing what other people are reading. It was always a good way to start a conversation if you’re an annoying person like me who likes to start conversations.

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  10. basset said on October 31, 2021 at 8:54 pm

    28 so far, and coming up on 8 pm so I think we’re close to done. Most years we leave a bowl on the steps and go to a party, usually the candy and the bowl are gone when we get home.

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  11. Deborah said on October 31, 2021 at 8:54 pm

    I read Dune in the early 80s and saw the David Lynch movie when it came out, I didn’t think either was so bad. I tried reading a sequel but couldn’t get into it. I suppose I’ll watch the new one eventually.

    I definitely want to see “The French Dispatch” movie. I’m still mixed on going to a theater though.

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  12. LAMary said on October 31, 2021 at 9:04 pm

    When the first Dune movie was filming I worked at DDL Food Show in Beverly Hills. Dino DiLaurentis owned that place. It was an over the top ridiculous food store that barely lasted a year before going out of business. One of his daughters, not Giada, was at the filming location and she called every day to request Italian goodies to be fedexed to the site in Mexico. I’d pack up prosciutto, mozzarella, bread, pastries, wine, pasta, etc. I was told to include an invoice. That was for show. She never paid.

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  13. Suzanne said on October 31, 2021 at 9:36 pm

    I got my booster shot this afternoon and 7 hours later, just a bit tired. I am not 65 yet, but last week, the state health commissioner said that anyone who was 6 months past the 2nd shot and wanted a booster could get one. So, I did!

    I love Jane Smiley. A Thousand Acres is exceptional as is her Last Hundred Years trilogy is also quite good! I have not yet read Perestroika in Paris but it is on my to read list!

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  14. Colleen said on October 31, 2021 at 10:21 pm

    My uncle Laci left Hungary in 56. He deserted the Hungarian Army….jumped into a canal (he couldn’t swim) with his buddies and made it to Austria, then New Jersey, then Lorain Ohio, when one of the churches sent a bus to Camp Kilmer to fill it up with refugees to bring back to Lorain. He didn’t know English, and boarded with a family while he worked and learned the language. Somewhere in there he met my mom’s sister and they got married and had two daughters. He’s had a good life. He’s always been a bit of a hero to me, because I can think of few things braver than what he did…knowing things were so bad in the only home you had ever known that fleeing the Army for the unknown was a risk worth taking.

    I did my Independent Study in college on the 56 uprising. The Hungarians kept waiting for the Americans to come help before the Soviets crushed them, but we never showed up.

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  15. alex said on October 31, 2021 at 11:29 pm

    Julie, my dad’s from Hungary. He got resettled here post-WWII, got a full ride to a teacher’s college and then IU law school. He met my mom at IU and she was from here.

    As someone who benefited tremendously from the generosity of strangers as a refugee, my dad was more than happy to give back, and he did a lot of pro bono lawyering and volunteer work helping Hungarian refugees who escaped in 1956. He had some interesting barter relationships with some of these people and I remember them from my childhood. One guy was both a butcher and a barber. He gave us kids haircuts and gave my family homemade Hungarian sausage and my dad took care of his family’s legal and financial issues.

    My dad and his siblings all got college scholarships and their family got settled in a Hungarian neighborhood in Detroit with plenty of social service help. When I think about the nasty campaign that Governor-cum-Veep My Pants waged against the Syrians who fled the horrors in their homeland just a few years ago it makes me wish him ill in the worst way.

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  16. alex said on October 31, 2021 at 11:32 pm

    And Colleen, yes, the ’56ers felt betrayed. They managed to hold the Russian Army at bay at great risk to themselves and fully expected an intervention from the west that never came.

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  17. beb said on November 1, 2021 at 12:32 am

    I’m not used to the first Tuesday of November being the 2nd. Had to hurry up and fill out our mailing ballots. Took it to the PO on Saturday where the clerk promptly timestamped it. I wonder if Nancy is working our precinct because elections with only 35 voters sounds about right. Does Denby High sound familiar?

    We have turned the porch light off from Halloween ever since a group of teen age boys not in costume appeared trick or treating. Didn’t feel safe since.

    This “morning” I was waken by someone knocking on our door. I’ve become a night person so 11 AM is not a friendly hour but the person was the wife of one of the man running for city council. It was the man I had voted for the day before. As much as I hated being woken up so earlier in the afternoon it was nice to see someone going door-to-door canvassing. She, in turn was happy to just see someone answer the door. More so that I had voted for her husband.

    I was a big comics fan back in the day but I have rarely gone to see any of the super-hero movies. Probably because I’m the kind of guy who would get upset if there were five circles on Captain America’s shield instead of four. I just went to my first in-theater movie since the pandemic. It was The Addams Family II. I liked the first animated movie but this second one was too episodic, weak on humor and ended with a big super-heroesque battle.

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  18. Dexter Friend said on November 1, 2021 at 2:11 am

    I heard the hype and way too much discussion about “Dune”, so I tried watching it. I didn’t know what the hell was going on and I exited after 20 minutes. I am not into make-believe planets and such. I never even made it through “The Matrix”, and I rarely quit on a movie once I start it. I did watch “Game of Thrones” until the last 2 seasons when it lost me. It’s just a matter of likes and not-interesteds. Right now I am back into BritBox which just listed some shows I have not seen. Now it’s “The Bay”, a murder serial.

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  19. jerry said on November 1, 2021 at 3:42 am

    Julie at 8

    Are they making a second half of Dune. I imagine if they make money on the first part they will. I hope so as David and I both enjoyed the first,

    I thought the first book was very good but then Frank Herbert wrote five sequels. After his death his son wrote a dozen (!) more. I thought the five sequels went down in quality and gave up after a couple. His sons books I suspect are even worse!

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  20. Randy said on November 1, 2021 at 9:06 am

    I am a huge fan of Batman, but only when Michael Keaton played the role. My daughter and I are fans of Spiderman, but only when Tobey Maguire played the role. Otherwise, I can’t get into these movies.

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  21. Jeff Gill said on November 1, 2021 at 10:38 am

    My family enjoys the “comic book movies,” but all three of us (me, spouse, now adult son) have noticed that the new mantra is “more is more” and I think it’s going to end up killing the Golden Goose, but what do I know? I date it to 2005 & “Revenge of the Sith,” which was the first CGI-heavy movie for me to open with “too much” and escalating from there. My wife calls it “Mariah Carey-ing” where what was once the finale is now the opening and you just pile on the production and melismas and high notes to where you’re just pounded into submission.

    “Avengers: Endgame” is the kind of culmination movie that I think had earned its huge climactic battle, but even then, Feige et alia knew to focus back down at key moments to just a few people (the moment when Cap summons Mjolnir, of course Tony’s “I am . . . Iron Man”). And that’s where Marvel has the working edge for now over the DC & Star Wars franchises, I think: they still can do a legit, sincere, human moment at a key transition, with warmth and humor (I will always salute the recurring “on your left” device in “Winter Soldier”).

    But watching “Black Widow” I wondered if they’re losing that touch. Okay, the closing (semi-spoiler alert) cemetery in Ohio was a grace note, but in the body of the narrative it was just bigger, higher, more implausible, increasingly all CGI’d except maybe the faces, and I’m not always sure about that.

    Making a quick skid turn at that — did anyone else see the ABBA piece on CBS Sunday Morning yesterday? And is that the future of major entertainment events? I just dunno, and all youse kids get off my lawn . . .

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  22. Dorothy said on November 1, 2021 at 10:52 am

    Ann @ 9 – you are not an annoying person. You’re a person who’s never met a stranger (which describes me, too). If people don’t want to engage in casual conversation, they don’t have to. THEY are the annoying people, though, in my book.

    The Wes Anderson movie is coming to the Neon here in Dayton this weekend and I’m determined to see it, despite the fact that we’ve been working like rented mules to pack up stuff in the house. Hubby has a very large collection of tools we are going to take to Habitat for Humanity and hopefully some local builders can use them. Nothing is broken – it’s just he has too much after being married for 42 years. I have 4 brothers but none of them are ‘handy’ so Mike got all my dad’s stuff and his own dad’s stuff. Seeing dad’s handwriting on little jars with miscellany inside always makes me smile. He didn’t smoke but he had friends who did, so of course there are cigar boxes among the mix. We’ll pass those along to our son, who’s going to have a son to pass them onto come March!

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  23. Julie Robinson said on November 1, 2021 at 11:09 am

    Oh Dorothy, how exciting! And you should be in your new house by then, right?

    jerry, I have indeed read that Dune has already done well enough to green light part two.

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  24. Dorothy said on November 1, 2021 at 11:19 am

    We really hope to be moved by mid-January, Julie.

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  25. Bitter Scribe said on November 1, 2021 at 11:26 am

    I’m not much into superhero movies, but I have noticed that ever since Marvel was bought by Disney, they’ve really been cranking out the product—three or four, or more, a year. Disney means to milk that cow for all it’s worth.

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  26. Jim said on November 1, 2021 at 11:54 am

    Jerry at 19: The second half of Dune is a bunch already shot.

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  27. Deborah said on November 1, 2021 at 12:31 pm

    Speaking of Disney, they closed their store on Michigan Ave, a week or so ago. They did it literally over night it seems. I walked past it all the time and one day it was there and the next day it was not. For those of you who had seen it, it had quite an elaborate exterior decor with terra cotta patterns that were very Louis Sullivan like except with Mickey Mouse iconic shapes. It was actually very well done I thought. Louis Sullivan was an important architect in Chicago who did the Carson Pierre Scott building etc, with wonderful ornate detailing. They removed all of the facade at the Disney store lock, stock and barrel, there is nothing left at all that lets you know what once was there. It was strange seeing it stripped like that. I don’t recall any signs in the windows before it disappeared that it was going out of business. Walking by again a couple of days ago there was a grandmotherly type woman with a young child standing in front of the former store looking confused.

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  28. jerry said on November 1, 2021 at 12:38 pm

    Julie and Jim, thanks for the news about a second part to Dune.

    I was tempted to start this post with “Jules and Jim” but decided the genres were too far apart!

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  29. Deborah said on November 1, 2021 at 4:16 pm

    Jules and Jim, now there’s a good Truffaut movie that I haven’t seen in a long time. We have the DVD, we’ll have to rewatch sometime.

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  30. tajalli said on November 1, 2021 at 4:35 pm

    Avengers: Endgame inspired me to re-watch the entire Marvel series since I found the references in Endgame confusing.

    We were not permitted comic books, or Dr. Suess it turns out, when I was a kid, although when I lived away from home in 5th and 6th grade I gobbled up Superman, Batman and Spiderman along with Archie and Veronica and Little Lulu. What a revelation when I bumped into Will Eisner’s massive graphic novel, A Contract with God. Then a friend turned me on to Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series and I’ve been catching up since. Just discovered that Gaiman’s novel American Gods was made into a TV series, so that’s on my list.

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  31. Julie Robinson said on November 1, 2021 at 4:57 pm

    No comics for us either, though I don’t remember why. Mom was a librarian and never censored anything else. I suppose she thought comics weren’t highbrow enough for us.

    My crew just got back from Dune and all three gave it an enthusiastic thumbs up.

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  32. Deborah said on November 1, 2021 at 9:02 pm

    I’ve been reading the WaPo investigation of 1/6 before, during and after. It is quite damning of TFG and others, how will this end?

    Saturday at LB’s bank in Santa Fe there was a robbery, she was there depositing a check 11 minutes before the robbery happened, which is scary. Lots of folks were commenting that because of mask wearing there has been an uptick in bank robberies in NM. However I read about 3 weeks ago in the local Santa Fe paper that while there has been an uptick in 2021, that actually in 2017 there were twice as many bank robberies in NM than this year and no one was wearing masks then. They attribute the latest robberies to drugs not lack of funds for food or rent because of Covid and they say their success rate in finding the perps is 80%, if true that seems pretty good.

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  33. LAMary said on November 1, 2021 at 9:52 pm

    Disney will bleed all their franchises for as long as possible. Marvel, Star Wars, Winnie the Pooh, Toy Story.

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  34. Jeff Gill said on November 1, 2021 at 10:02 pm

    Will Eisner! YES. My day is made just seeing him come up here.

    Can’t recommend enough Jules Feiffer’s 1965 “The Great Comic Book Heroes,” for the essay at the opening, and the assorted origin stories. Some nice paperback reprints are available out there.

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  35. Deborah said on November 2, 2021 at 7:01 am

    As a kid we never had comics at our house probably because of the cost, my parents had to be very frugal. But a neighbor girl had dresser drawers full of them, because she had reading issues her mom encouraged her to read properly by buying her comic books. Now we know she was probably dyslexic or something like that. Whenever my sister and I went to her house to play we made a bee line to her comics drawers which frustrated our little friend, but her mother liked that we did that because she hoped it would influence her daughter to read. That’s the only way I got to know some of the marvel characters, little lulu, Richy Rich, Nancy and sluggo and all the rest. Later when we started getting a meager allowance we saved up for Archie comics that we treated with reverence.

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  36. alex said on November 2, 2021 at 7:45 am

    My mom always made sure to bring a big stash of comic books to keep the kids occupied on long road trips, but otherwise I didn’t take much of an interest in them. She also made sure to bring her portable bar-in-a-suitcase from which she made whiskey sours and passed the time by getting sloshed. She’s going to be 93 next month but these days she just does beer and wine.

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  37. Connie said on November 2, 2021 at 8:34 am

    Mitch Albom’s new book gets a bad review from the Washington Post. Superficial spirituality.

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  38. Dorothy said on November 2, 2021 at 9:21 am

    Deborah my daughter was the final copy editor on that WaPo series and I’m slowly reading my way through it. Each section was 10,000-15,000 words. Seventy-five reporters worked on it. It’s very impressive.

    Did anyone else see this on Maddow last night? I had it on just before we went to sleep. We could NOT stop laughing about it. We watched it again this morning just to get our day started by laughing again!

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  39. LAMary said on November 2, 2021 at 9:34 am

    Tales from the Crypt Jeff? I had a comic book fanatic friend in art school. My nickname was Kirby Mouth because he thought my mouth looked like the mouth of the Fantastic Four woman.
    Reed, don’t say it. Don’t even think it.

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  40. Suzanne said on November 2, 2021 at 9:49 am

    I had another one of those beat-my-head-against-the-wall conversations yesterday with a woman I know who is a successful business woman. She saw a presentation over the weekend about the women’s suffragette movement, Susan B Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, etc. She said it was quite good but that she was surprised that women didn’t get the right to vote until 1920. Then she asked about the whole bra burning era. “What was that all about? Was that in the 20s too?”

    She’s in her mid-sixties. She lived through the time of Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, the fight to pass the ERA but remains utterly clueless. I am convinced that remaining that ignorant requires a willful effort and many of my fellow citizens happily do so.

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  41. Jeff Borden said on November 2, 2021 at 9:57 am

    I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat. — Will Rogers

    It certainly looks like the Republican gubernatorial candidate in Virginia, who preached moderation when campaigning in the suburbs and bloody shirt when in tRump country, is going to win tonight based on the enthusiasm levels. This, no doubt, will revive the tRump brand a bit and throw the Dems into even more of a tizzy.

    Meanwhile, that asshole Joe Manchin, D-Fossil Fuels, insists the Dems are moving too fast on Biden’s plans and is putting on the brakes. It’s as if he wants the party to lose the House and Senate next year.

    The Democrats could louse up a two-car parade.

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  42. Heather said on November 2, 2021 at 11:01 am

    Disney is also doing a ton of Marvel and Star Wars TV shows too. Not a huge fan of the company but I thought the first two, The Mandalorian and Loki, were really well done. The Mandalorian was certainly better than most of the Star Wars movies. They should probably just put Jon Favreau (the director) in charge of everything.

    I thought Black Widow was OK, but yeah, a bit of an outlier. Kind of like they realized they had to give the character her own movie–just checking off a box. I do like David Harbour though.

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  43. Deborah said on November 2, 2021 at 11:01 am

    Oy, that Albom book sounds awful, not that I would even consider reading any book by him.

    I hope the Dems don’t lose in VA but I really haven’t got a clue about what is happening there. I don’t really get why that particular election is so important, I keep seeing the headlines about it as though its the most crucial thing to happen in the last 100 years. Can someone explain it to me?

    Here’s something I’ve been reading about that interests me I don’t know if it’s out there in the mainstream news or if I just know about it because I’m interested in design. In a nutshell, a 97 yr old billionaire, amateur architect donated 200 million for a dorm at UC Santa Barbara but the string attached to the donation is that they have to build it exactly the way he designed it. 94% of the rooms have no windows, so no natural light or freshair. It’s the size of a giant warehouse and will house over 4,000 students with limited egress. It looks like an ugly prison and will feel like that I’m sure, by its inhabitants. The windows you see around the perimeter are in common spaces not dorm rooms. The toilets abut the common spaces, ewwwww. apparently the university is going ahead with building it because they’re desperate for dorms and don’t want to offend the donor. Sad

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  44. Jeff Borden said on November 2, 2021 at 12:11 pm

    The Virginia gubernatorial election is seen as an early bellwether for 2022 and beyond. The GOP candidate has been running against Biden and critical race theory, which isn’t even taught in K-12 in the state. The Dem is running against tRump, but has seen his polling numbers swoon over the past few weeks.

    If the Republican wins, you can be assured CRT will be a defining issue in the mid-terms. It will also buttress the idea that a tRump endorsement really works, which will lead others to emulate whatever it takes to get his backing.

    Between the inability of the Dems to sell their wildly popular proposals, the ongoing efforts of state GOPs to limit voting and the tradition of a sitting president’s party to lose Congress in the midterms, it’s a grim outlook for progressives.

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  45. Sherri said on November 2, 2021 at 1:43 pm

    I can’t decide which is a worse sign for the country, that GOP voters can be galvanized against CRT without the slightest clue as to what it is, or that there’s a crowd gathered in Dallas today expecting JFK, Jr to make a speech declaring Trump is the real president.

    Neither has any grasp on reality.

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  46. Julie Robinson said on November 2, 2021 at 1:59 pm

    Deborah, I read about that dorm; apparently a similar but smaller one has already been built for graduate students at a Michigan university, I’ve forgotten which one. I wonder if it comes with an on-site counselor for everyone experiencing claustrophobia. I can’t stand being in rooms without windows that open and often have trouble in hotels. I really, really like being able to walk out the door and put my feet on grass in five seconds.

    I just voted as a Floridian for the first time and since they expect historically low turnout, my vote could be important. It’s an off-off-off year, with only one race being contested, for city commissioner (councilperson).

    Not only that, there were three in the race so there may be a runoff in a month. This doesn’t strike me as efficient use of my tax dollars.

    Plus, they combined precincts and our daughter spent the morning turning away people who are used to voting at her church. She put a big sign on the the door to let people know. It’s kind of odd, because the other church had no parking, just a few spots in front of people’s homes, and to get in you had to go down stairs or a very steep ramp. I could only think how my sister would be howling at the inaccessibility. We spotted Mom in front and behind.

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  47. Sherri said on November 2, 2021 at 2:27 pm

    Or maybe the worst sign for the country is the existence of Joe Manchin in the Senate. Not only did Manchin want to know about work requirements for paid leave (you know, from a job), apparently now in his role as chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, he’s suggesting that the solution to the West’s water woes is to pump water from West Virginia across country.

    Can’t be that far, right?

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  48. David C said on November 2, 2021 at 2:38 pm

    The windowless dorm reminds me of a guy I used to work with who was a submariner in the Navy. He said even with all the evaluation they do, one or two of the crew goes a little bit nuts, like anti-anxiety drug nuts, during the two or three months they’re under water. Our billionaire overlords who start having neat ideas should probably bring it down a few notches.

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  49. Deborah said on November 2, 2021 at 3:40 pm

    Since I commented about my ignorance of the VA governors race I’ve been looking into it. The only thing that gives me hope is how wrong the media was about the CA recall of Newsom.

    LB voted in Santa Fe for the incumbent mayor, he’s probably the lesser of three evils. He’s not great but he’s better than the other candidates. They don’t declare party affiliation in that race but it’s clear the other two candidates are Republicans.

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  50. Julie Robinson said on November 2, 2021 at 7:51 pm

    Moving to Florida hasn’t changed one thing: my candidate lost. There are six districts in Orlando and only 8000 voted in our district. I should be used to it by now.

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  51. Dave said on November 3, 2021 at 12:04 am

    Julie, you’re never going to like Florida politics, in some ways I thought it worse than Indiana politics but here I am back in Indiana living, apparently, in a full blown Orange admirer’s district.

    Did I ever bring up the story I read the other day that said 50% of the adult population of the U. S. reads at no more than a eighth grade level? That would explain Suzanne’s encounter at 40, talking to a 60-something who must not have known anything, despite her success. Oh, and if I brought that up before, forgive me.

    My last remaining member of the previous generation, my dad’s sister, passed away yesterday at 96 and I’m really feeling it, I felt she was my last link to the past family history and she explained some things to me about the family that no one else ever bothered to tell me. I’m going to miss that so much.

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  52. alex said on November 3, 2021 at 8:31 am

    There are lots of incurious but otherwise successful people in this neck of the woods. I work for some. The militantly ignorant, on the other hand, are a different breed altogether.

    Disappointed in the Virginia governor’s race but not surprised. The Dems have never figured out how to inspire off-year turnout. In recent decades they’ve had good midterms only when we’ve had exceptionally bad Republican presidents.

    The GOP, on the other hand, keeps its vast army of piss-ants constantly in attack mode by coming up with new and ever more ridiculous threats to the nation, e.g., CRT brainwashing in the schools, trans rapists in bathrooms, the Dems coming for your guns, the Dems replacing the constitution with Sharia Law, welfare queens devouring your paychecks, Hispanic gangbangers (with Middle-East Muslims hiding amongst them!) arriving in giant caravans at the border, ad infinitum. Plus they have the benefit of their own media ecosystem to hammer home their messaging. Plus the GOP has also coopted God and the flag as their brand identity for the benefit of those too shallow to consider anything else when making decisions.

    But we’re only a year out from the last election and the wheels of justice are slowly putting the screws to Giuliani & Co. and maybe Trump will be wearing an orange jumpsuit instead of orange makeup come 2024.

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  53. David C said on November 3, 2021 at 8:51 am

    But we’re only a year out from the last election and the wheels of justice are slowly putting the screws to Giuliani & Co. and maybe Trump will be wearing an orange jumpsuit instead of orange makeup come 2024.

    Form your keyboard to God’s ears, Alex.

    The problem with Dems is they don’t know who their base is and try to craft a message to get whites who are never going to vote for them to vote for them. You’re not going to reason away the dogwhistle and overt racism. You just can’t and they piss away a shit ton of money trying. It’s a lot easier and cheaper to craft a message to get your base out. The Rs know that. Cycle after cycle the Dems at best give it lip service. At worst they kick their base in the shins to hope they’ll get their Sister Souljah moment that will un-scare the reactionaries. It’s not going to work.

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