My Blog Week: February 23 to February 29

Posted by ractrose on 1 Mar 2020 in The Latest

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

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Cartoon of person worrying

Cartoon of the Week: What Have I Done?





A Word on the Week


Digital drawing of fake coronavirusRunning Rife  





Public response to the potential pandemic seems fairly orderly in the United States so far. I live in a place of about 25,000 people, where large-scale intermingling would be rare, if this were not a university town. I don’t myself have reason to go up on campus, but in the suburbs everything looks just as usual. I wouldn’t personally buy a mask to shop for groceries.

The TV pundits have been pointing out the Republican party’s contradictory spins, their stock market panic-induced conspiracy theory: that the Democratic party somehow invented the virus to discredit Trump. How the cruise ship sagas—by willing playactors, you’d have to assume—were produced, who knows?

But then, on the other hand, they say coronavirus is no big deal, only a variant of the common cold.

Now, if the disease gets dangerous enough that Trump rallies seem like an unreasonable risk, and we no longer have to see or hear anything about them, excellent…as silver linings go, and disclaiming as we must these days, that our thoughts and prayers are with all the victims. (Well, they are, of course. All actual victims.)

We’re just sliding into allergy season, a few warm days expected in the coming week. Fungus spores will be blooming. Which should make it all the more difficult to tell if you’ve got a mild case of COVID19, or just stuffiness and sore throat. And those who aren’t prostrated pretty much have to go about their business anyway.

China’s severe air pollution has likely contributed to the number of fatalities there. So thank the administration mad enough to talk about cutting taxes again, to goose what they believe is the economy, for also wanting to remove America’s regulations protecting our air quality. 


Playing Gotcha


Why, in political interviews, is there so much fascination with: “You said this in 2000; but now you say this…?”

Media people must have a purpose in mind when they choose to ask a question, a place it’s meant to be going. What sort of villainy, though, do they imagine such questions expose?


It was what I thought at the time. It was what I thought my followers wanted to hear.

I was less informed on the issue then…


Or, more confessionally, but far from earthshakingly, if the truth were told:


The party wanted/pressured me to take that position. I hadn’t thought in those days of running for president, so I tried to please people from my district rather than tailor my message to the general public. I did not have the financial backers then that I have now, so I was not required to promote their message.


How about, for interesting things to learn about a presidential candidate: “Of all the presidents in your lifetime, who had the best foreign policy, and why?” “Who appointed the best cabinet?” “Have weapons systems evolved to the point that a nuclear arsenal is no longer worth maintaining?” “What do you feel is the best way of providing for an unprecedented number of very elderly people?” “Is a multiparty, coalition-style government feasible in America, and if not, how best to reconcile deep divisions?”

There is one gift Trump has given us—that his handlers can’t introduce him to any onetime clever, propagandist trick of establishment politics, without his using it, boasting about it, in such bull-in-the-china-shop fashion, that people on whom these tricks might have worked know about them now, and view them with contempt. The Shady Crowd won’t soon recover from this looting of the stores, though they opened the door themselves.

An example of the machine legacy: Bernie Sanders has walked back his use of the term “revolution”, but he is still being painted with it as though no other word had ever, or ever could, come out of his mouth. If you claim you can understand revolution to mean only riots in the streets, you should at least be consistent. When you see an article entitled: “The 5G Revolution“, or a one about a “revolutionary SUV” you ought to call these threats to national security. Or you may just refuse, no matter what Sanders himself says, to believe he’s telling the truth. That’s the nature of gotcha tactics.

I think a great part of the population, globally, looks to the future, and sees themselves part of it, not dusting their hands of immense challenges before they die and leave them all to someone else. They see the sacrifices theirs, and not the old men’s, and have a thin margin of patience for chicanery, for labels meant to terrify.

In America, they want, and want to vote for, M4A, student loan forgiveness, environmental initiatives pumped to war-readiness level, and the candidate who’s with them.




On Monday, Cartoon Stories. Some notions given the fleshed-out treatment. Tuesday, a Jumping Off poem, “Overcast”. Wednesday, “Benevolence” a poem belonging to the Eight series. On Thursday, Frédéric Boutet’s “A Playboy’s Scandal” complete, about fixtures of the spa-going population. Friday, the fifth part of “The Recalcitrant One”; the Totem-Maker gaining help in the house, and some mastery over the Seeds. Saturday, a new “What It Takes to Fly”, from Yoharie, with Savannah learning a few independent steps.
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: February 23 to February 29


Cartoon Stories: Riffing
February 24


Overcast (poem)
February 25

Poetry Foundation: Ciaran Carson, “Labuntur et Imputantur”


Benevolence (poem)
February 26

Poetry Foundation: Louise Bogan, “Women”


Frédéric Boutet: A Playboy’s Scandal (complete)
February 27


The Totem-Maker: The Recalcitrant One (part five)
February 28


Yoharie: What It Takes to Fly (part five)
February 29




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