Category Archives: humor

A Shot in the Dark – – –

Jack hits the spot a day early for the first time ever – – –

I’m scheduled for my first Covid 19 vaccine shot next Wednesday and the second twenty eight days later. I feel pretty euphoric about it! I should be safe to be around folks a week after the second shot.

It will have been about a year after going into strict hibernation when I emerge and it’s interesting to look back on how I’ve survived, how life changed and what kept me (relatively) sane during that time.

Wendy and I live in a rural area that, for various reasons, didn’t sign on to the advice and rules regarding controlling the spread of the virus; very patchy mask wearing or social distancing. So she kept me in the house throughout except to take the trash for re-cycling and filling the cars with gas – these were my luxury outings, but wearing a mask and gloves. And once we went to view Christmas lights! She did all the shopping, chose her times of day carefully and was meticulous about changing clothes, sanitizing bought stuff and getting even the floors in the house mopped with a bleach solution where she had walked in the house. 

That might seem like some kind of jail term but it wasn’t. Because she has been able to work from home I’ve been busy with lots of domestic chores – a house husband. So I mowed our yard, did most of the meal planning and cooking, did various long delayed house repairs etc. We have five recalcitrant cats and I’m the cleaner up of their litter trays and accidents (because I’ve no sense of smell), and a very lazy dog and they provide lots of diversion. I’ve also continued to record my radio programs and to interact on-line with friends and old colleagues, so I haven’t felt trapped or depressed at all. I also, like many musical friends, videoed many songs and stuck them up on YouTube for posterior (SP?).

I wonder what the world will look like post Covid 19? I suspect it will be very different, but sometimes, the more things change….

A famous British Prime Minister once described the uncertainty of political life as having far less to do with planning and policy than “events, dear friends, events” (Harold MacMillan). The same has been true for everyday life, this year. Wendy has to wait in line until she can get the vaccine shots – we may have to separate – –

Although several times during this year we looked at each other and said what is now our tag line: “We’ve been locked in here xx days/weeks/months now and I still love you.” Twenty three years and one quarantine later, that counts for something.

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Filed under between books, Big Stone Gap, folklore and ethnography, humor, Life reflections, small town USA, Uncategorized, VA, Wendy Welch

Elites

I broke my own self-rule about arguing Facebook the other day. A bunch of Alphas were saying if the electoral college were abolished, we wouldn’t have had an insurrection.

Even while suggesting that this was in error for two reasons, and that DC urbanites do not understand rural mindsets—immediate personal anger reactions to that were intriguing—I knew this was on their turf, inside a pack of people who need each other in their careers. It was the kind of place where you’re talking to one person, and 12 others jump in from the sidelines, like the drunk guest behind the couch who suddenly rises mid-heartfelt speech on social justice and says, “Shut up, I gotta piss!”

My friend calls Internet research “academic trolling;” lobbing a post and watching reactions to see how long it takes to turn to an inevitable conclusion: blame the victim, or hit a conspiracy theory (and that these exist on the Liberal side is REALLLLLLY hard to explain to lefties). We co-authors of the conspiracy theory book are madly capturing screen shots and threads from false flaggers, slow-waking evangelicals realizing they’ve been had, and elitists.

In that vein, several Alphas couldn’t believe that rural and urban voters have different motivations. It will be easier to reproduce one comment here than paraphrase: When my team drafted the Maryland Democratic Party 2020 Platform, we engaged people on the Shore and Western Maryland to find out what’s important in their communities: healthcare, infrastructure improvements, jobs, schools, and protecting the environment. They also want us to protect family farms from encroachment by agribusiness. Putting it simply, their real wants and needs are pretty nearly the same as everyone’s. The methods to meet their needs differ from urban areas, but not their needs. So thinking they need also to have disproportionate political power through a Byzantine electoral college is in error.

Yeah…. How can we put this? What are the different ways in which those words would be defined in a rural versus urban environment—leaving aside the charm of being engaged, rather than represented on the team in the first place? Especially when “everyone’s” is casually used to mean “people like us.”

Ethnocentrism (the assumption that others want to be like us because we are the best way to be) is rampant in many places in America these days. The domestic terrorists and rioters are inexcusable. Equally inexcusable is to dismiss the people who did not riot, who still want what they were lied to about getting with the dangerous madman we elected: to be heard. They backed the wrong horse, but to call them names and dismiss them as morally (and intellectually) inferior is dangerous.

Class is the last place in America where we don’t have to examine our condescension. That is also dangerous. We got a lot of good info from the conversation. (Permit me one personal indulgence comment? Some real Alpha gem mansplainers live in brownstones.)

Wealthy, educated Alphas living large online must by our very existence be part of the solution, not the problem; it is unfortunate that we dismiss opportunities to examine ourselves as otherwise. We will keep telling ourselves we’re right, right up to the moment that people ignored and denigrated by this dismissal set our world ablaze. There’s a reason the false conspiracy theory Q astroturfers keep using the word “Elites.” They know their audience. They listened to them, the better to manipulate them, sadly. But they listened to them.

I wish we knew ourselves half so well. And I wish we were better listeners. This is going to go badly.

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Filed under humor, Life reflections, publishing