My Blog Week: October 6 to October 12

Posted by ractrose on 13 Oct 2019 in The Latest

A black cat, nicknamed Nortie, who serves as Torsade's site ambassador.

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Cartoon of governor touring nuclear plant

Cartoon of the Week: If It’s Broken, Fix It…Hmm…





A Word on the Week


Photo of a flosser

To Everything There is a Treason




I propose that America has hit the limit of opinion pieces asking, why do Trump voters stand by him? Or what can win them over? Or will the Democrats spoil their chances by failing to cater?

A propagandist campaign is always predicated on one message:

A is the scapegoat; B is the political organization (or other group) that supports A, and C is you, being treated unfairly. Due to B’s support for A, it’s you who loses.

A/B combos under consideration in the current arena: Immigrants | Democrats; Environmentalists | Democrats; The Politically Correct | Democrats…

B will tax you (unfairly) to fund A. Or deny you opportunities rightfully yours, to employ A. The tool at use is paranoia. To overcome the prejudices instilled, the recruited individual has to part ways with the notion that Someone Is Getting Away with Something, and this, not to be excessively jargony, is a variant of Can’t Not Syndrome, the fearful reluctance to undo a thing once it becomes established practice. Can we get rid of nuclear weapons? Can we stop making passengers in airports remove their shoes? Can we sell unpasteurized dairy?

Fixing the idea in heads that there is risk makes it difficult to ever unfix it.

People won’t let go of this notion of unfairness, partly because they’ve been taught variations of it all their lives, partly because A will always be visible in some respect. Immigrants will be seen working at Walmart…by people who have just lost their own jobs. Someone newly famous will have past racism or sexism rooted up, and the PC mob will refuse to forgive, many condemning forgiveness itself. (Hint: a lot of people believe in forgiveness.)

The question for pundits is the same as it was in 2016. What do the non-Trump people want? Go to the heartland and solicit the opinions of red-state liberal voters, environmental voters, humanist voters. Make them known. People on social media are saying these days they’re afraid and don’t feel safe in entire states: Texas, Florida, Ohio, Oregon… Which is surely not the true picture. To de-cult people, you have to give them daily exercises in normality.


Single Use


The image above is in re a curious observation.

I think the great majority of people brush their teeth, rinse the toothbrush and hang it up again. But when we use these little flossers, we throw each one away. It may be arguable how hygienic anyone needs to be with a toothbrush, but a flosser should not be any dirtier. Why not get three or four uses out of it?

We live with a president who seems to have actual faith in pointing to an enemy (enemyhood that in so many cases is a one-sided relationship), and suggesting that some member of the public kill that person. So I find it not a joke when people cite generations—Baby Boomers, Millennials—lumping together millions of people, with millions of individual experiences and points of view, as being collectively at fault for this or that. Casual hate-mongering has the potential to be very unfunny.

But, saying so, I will argue this: that Baby Boomers were brought up on advertising that encouraged bathing every surface in chemicals…to be clean. We were sold solutions to problems no one knew existed. (Pantie lines?)

So…do you need to bung in the dishwasher a saucer that had a couple of cookies on it, or a teacup easily rinsed and air-dried? Or why wash any garment after a single wearing if it isn’t smelly or dirty? (Especially when your jeans are stretched to the perfect fit.) Here is a list of undemanding things we can do to help the environment:


    • Eat meat no more than once a day.
    • Choose one day a week (more if it works for you) to not use the car.
    • Wear everything, outside of socks and underwear, at least twice before washing.
    • Eat off dishes again if they have no grease or liquid on them.
    • Don’t rake leaves if you can get away with it.
    • Don’t mow grass more often than every three weeks.
    • Let nature in your garden live or die by her own rules, and stop spraying, even products labeled organic.
    • Make a little habitat—you can do this even with container plantings on a balcony or patio—using native grasses and flowers, one or two fruit-bearing shrubs, an evergreen, a water source, and a suet feeder for the insect-eating birds, who are a little desperate these days. 




On Monday, “Bride to Be”, part two, in which the heroine tries leaving her minders behind. Tuesday’s Impresario, was part ten, with the title character hoping to escape the law. Wednesday, the conclusion of Baron Haussmann’s George Sand story. On Thursday, Frédéric Boutet’s short story, “The Ghost of M. Imberger”, part two, with an occurrence and police intervention. Friday, a poem from Mystery Plays, “Voodoo”. And on Saturday, some fresh comments on an essay reissue.
Images on my posts often have a link to related information (click first image), sometimes serious, sometimes whimsical, sometimes in answer to a direct reference. Since people can be leery about links, I include them here: what they are, what sites they point to.





My Blog Week: October 6 to October 12


Bride to Be (part two)
October 7

Poetry Foundation: Brian Swann, “Canon 501”


The Impresario (part ten)
October 8

European Traveler: See the White Chalk Cliffs of Normandy


Baron Haussmann’s story about George Sand (conclusion)
October 9

Wikipedia: Ledru-Rollin


Frédéric Boutet: The Ghost of M. Imberger (part two)
October 10


Voodoo (poem)
October 11

Amazon: Mystery Plays


Of Cats and Birds (non-fiction)
October 12

National Geographic: Three billion birds have been lost…



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