3 Comments

Countdown.

Regardless of the outcome, I will be happy when the 2020 Presidential Election is behind us. Of course I prefer one candidate over the other, however, the stress of all of this election related crap on the news channels is enough to make me want to hide somewhere until it blows over.

The outcome will affect how I feel about this country, but the uncertainty of it all right now is the stress of the moment. I’ll worry about the rest once I know what we’re in for.

Why.

I’m still on Facebook. Now look it, before you throw red paint at me or point at me and scream “shame!”, I will say that I have no idea why I’m still on Facebook. It’s not particularly innovative. It’s a gross perversion of development skills. It’s an abuse of network connectivity and it’s an abomination of technology, essentially raping society of all its useful resources.

But it’s how people keep in touch. I hang my head in shame.

For the past 48 hours the big kick on Facebook has been to show your support for the United States Postal Service. People are posting avatars and photos and showing other signs of support by saying things like, “if you live in a very blue neighborhood, drive to a red leaning neighborhood post office to mail you ballot!”.

Oh golly gee isn’t that a great idea.

Here’s the thing, how about we convince the elected officials we’ve put in office to do their job and get the postal service working the way it was intended to work.

I have a package coming to me from Cincinnati, Ohio. I have no idea what this package is but I got some email with a tracking number proclaiming the arrival of this Priority Mail package from Cincinnati, Ohio last Monday.

Cincinnati, Ohio is 295 miles from where I sit right now. We are on day 10 and the damn package still hasn’t arrived. I don’t know what the package is, I don’t care what the package is, but quite frankly it was sent by Priority Mail and it basically hasn’t found its way across the state of Indiana in 10 days.

The folks at the Post Office know nothing. I know nothing. The tracking number app knows nothing. No one knows anything.

This is what makes America Great. Right? Susan Sarandon and her friends say there was no difference between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton so you might as well vote for the woman that sat on crystals. What was her name? Jill Stein? Yeah, it took a Google search for me to remember that. And I have a memory like a steel trap.

Susan Sarandon can go rotate on a lawn sprinkler shooting out boiling water for all I care.

It’s 2020 and we don’t even have a functional post office. Yet I have friends and families declaring that things are wonderful under Trump and life is great again in America. What the hell is wrong with these people?

Things are not great. When we need to publish guides for voters to drive to “more white” areas of the country to reliably mail their ballots we have something seriously wrong with these “United” States. Small wonder Angela Merkel is now considered the most powerful world leader.

But people post things on Facebook like it’s going to make a difference. Wreath wrappers on their picture. Ribbons. Rainbow colors. Postage stamp graphics. It doesn’t make a difference. Posting your protest on Facebook is a feel good maneuver and nothing more.

You know what makes a difference? Making phone calls. Screaming at switchboard operators that don’t want to forward you to voicemail. Voting. Putting up signs. Going to protests. Making your voice heard.

Facebook? It’s a waste of time. Your update is like screaming into an echo chamber. It’ll generate ad revenue and nothing more.

Do something. Make a phone call. Make someone cry. Make a difference.

Dun Dun.

Walter and Maude Findlay’s neighbor Arthur Harmon was a staunch Republican. Now, he didn’t use many of the words that his contemporary Archie Bunker used, though he did use some, but like Archie he had a Republican view on the early and mid 1970s. When discussing municipal laws around the arrival of a gay bar to Tuckahoe, N.Y., Arthur proclaims the Republican Party is the party of Law and Order. There are laws in this country and they must be obeyed.

Trump likes to tweet in all caps. LAW AND ORDER! We’ve never had a president that lived by Twitter before this fiasco began. It seems like a really crude way to communicate to the American people. As if having Twitter becoming a publicly traded company made it any more legitimate. But an illegitimate president tweeting and barking orders makes sense here in this Age of Chaos.

LAW AND ORDER!

Who the hell knows what Trump is talking about with these barks formulated by his tiny little hands. I’d say maybe a third of the American populace really cares what he has to say but the news channels hang on every tweet, every character, every slip, every indication. I gave up trying to understand Donald Trump back when Julia Sugarbaker was telling him off in Prime Time.

Here in the late 2010s and into 2020 the Republican Party is the complete opposite of what they were back in the 1970s. Oh, there’s plenty of them that are trying to Schlafly their way through life, twisting words, spinning sentences, and hating just as hard as they can, but the Republican Party can no longer claim to be the party of Law And Order. That went out the window years ago. Law and Order is complying with subpoenas. Law and Order is not raping American tax dollars for personal gain. Law and Order is respecting the United States Constitution.

So when Trump bangs out LAW AND ORDER in a tweet, we are left to do one thing.

Respond with CAGNEY AND LACEY.

It’s just as ridiculous.

Again, No Words.

I don’t want to live here anymore. Take your pick: Chicago or United States or Earth. My heart weeps for our country. My heart weeps for our planet.

Not my photo

Draining.

I had a small epiphany this morning during my morning walk. During this COVID-19 crisis that has gripped the planet for the past couple of months, I have done my best to keep abreast of what’s going on in the news. Follow the news outlets during this crisis, coupled with the ramped political unevenness we’ve been riding for the past several years, is like getting bludgeoned with a sledgehammer on a daily basis.

Honestly, my time and mental health are worth much more than I have allowed them to be.

I freely admit that I’m not a fan of a Trump (to put it mildly). The guy has been an asshole since entering the public eye way back in the 80s. He was an asshole, he is an asshole, and he will always be an asshole. The mere sound of his voice makes me want to punt our very large television off the balcony.

So why the hell am I subjecting myself to news about him or from him? He rarely adds anything constructive to the national dialog. He is constantly boasting and bending the truth and being prideful. I can’t understand how his followers can tolerate his incessant pridefulness. My attempts to rationalize his behavior to ultimately filter out some news about the pandemic have been futile. And more startling, my rationalization has been a huge distraction to my way of life.

We’re going to get through this just fine, with or without Trump. There is very little about my life that is going to change whether or not I hang on every word belched out by the news media. I don’t need to know the minutia of Trump said this or Pelosi said that for my life to continue.

I don’t need the distractions. My mental health can’t take the distractions. So I’m allowing myself a quick summary of the daily news twice a day and then I’m going to focus on my family, my friends, and my work.

Twitter is also a big contributor to the decline of civil discourse in this country. My problem with Twitter is that I also have a lot of aviation and other geek friends on there and it’s an outlet for me since I can’t get to an airport and hang out with other pilots right now. So I’ve eschewed the official Twitter app (again) and turned off all notifications. Twitter is not worth the time sink. Like the news, I’ll periodically scan and contribute but under no circumstances will I go down the tweeted replies rabbit holes. They’re an endless pit of despair.

I’ve been feeling a little more uneven this week when compared to the past couple of weeks during these uneven times. I feel like more weight is building on all our shoulders. It’s time to shake off what we can, tune out the unproductive noise, and stand up straight again.

I’ll be better off for it.

Enough.

I’m burned out on politics. Are you burned out on politics yet? We still have nine months to go to the U.S. Presidential Elections and already I’m sick of reading about candidates, hearing candidates voices, and see ads from candidates. My YouTube feed is full of ads, the television is full of ads, Twitter is full of its typical shtick and Facebook is full of its typical propaganda. I started talking about politics tonight at the family dinner and Earl asked me to stop. He’s burned out too.

Plus, I get loud and emotional.

I just want good times to come back. I want people to stop being mean to one another. I want sanity. I want stability. I want people to stop promising things they have no hope of delivering on all to get votes. I’m tired of news channels and pundits and opinions and shenanigans and ad clicks and hashtags. Everyone claims to know what everyone needs but no one seems to be able to get there.

I could go on but I’m tired of this blog entry. You should be too.

Be kind to one another.

1 Comment

CLOSEd.

I’ve posted this image on Twitter today.

Back in the days when cash registers had 7-segment LED displays, this is how they spelled out messaging indicating that particular checkout lane was closed. I always thought this was quite the nifty way to relay a simple message and I like the retro look to the message.

I posted it on Twitter because I’ve checked out of the dialog for a little while. A minute? An hour? A day? A week? Who knows. After seeing tweets praising Trump for posting photoshopped images of Senator Schumer and Speaker Pelosi in Middle Eastern type religious garb, insinuating their conspiring with terrorists, I came to the realization that Twitter hasn’t learned anything, despite the PR claims of being a better Internet citizen. Trump can post outright hate speech and Jack Dorsey and friends will never do anything about it.

Why should I contribute to any dialog on the platform, let alone lending my response to any political discourse.

I’m often too emotional in my responses to political discussions and debate. I am emotional because I’m passionate about doing the right thing in and for society. Belching and barking on Twitter isn’t going to change anyone’s mind and it just feeds the trolls.

So I’ve checked out. I’ve closed my lane for a bit. I’m on break.

Choices.

I deleted the blog post that originally occupied this time slot. It was the first thing I did upon waking this morning. It wasn’t like it was making me sleepless or anything, I simply woke up, decided I didn’t like the original post and deleted it. Because, of course I don’t want a Giant Meteor to wipe out the planet. I wouldn’t mind a close call, just to scare everyone a lot and to reboot perspective of our place in the Universe, but extinction? Not my jam.

The original post was about the choices thus far in the 2020 Presidential election, the associated monotony, and commentary on the general chaos gripping the United States. You see, I’m tired of people saying Pete Buttigieg doesn’t have enough experience to be President. I’m tired of candidates making promises they have no intention or capability of keeping. I’m tired of people promising “free stuff” to win votes. And I’m really tired of this narrative of demonizing people that are successful and thus living a very rich life.

I have always believed one must work hard. You give more than you take from society. Of course I believe in safety nets; everyone in the United States should have some sort of healthcare that is reasonable and affordable, but I don’t believe every citizen should have the same healthcare. I also don’t believe college should be free. Trade schools? Yes. Vocational programs? Yes. But my tax dollars shouldn’t fund some hippy dippy individual that wants to study something frivolous for four years just so they can declare they have a degree. Do you want to become a teacher? I’ll help fund that, as long as you promise to use your degree for education for (solve for X) number of years after obtaining the necessary education.

The majority of candidates for the Democrats are swinging way too far left. And of course the failure in the Oval Office is a nut job that really doesn’t know where he is, let alone where he’s swinging.

We need reasonable candidates in the center. Don’t hug the far left and then say you’ll drift to the center closer to the election. When I’m watching the endless litany of debates and town halls and every other ad generating ploy for the news media, I want to see who you are. Period. Full stop. End of story. I’m taking you for your word, right now, that you’re going to do what you’re saying you’ll do and if you’re too far in one direction or another, mark me down for not interested.

Theatrics, hysterics, grandstanding… all of these things must come to an end. Perhaps a close pass by a really big meteor will help get things back to a more reasonable timeline.