If we can't do better, perhaps we can work on not getting worse?

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It's a strange vibe out there.

On the surface there's a return to whatever passes for normal these days. People are out and about...squinting into a sun they haven't seen in over a year. Restrictions are being eased or eliminated altogether. Restaurants and bars are filled up. The weather is turning....well sort of......this is NEPA after all (….where a guy I know cut grass and shoveled snow one day, opened his pool the next, had his roof blown off on day three, and then flooded the day after). We no longer have the highways to ourselves. Road construction is everywhere. Walkers are walking and runners are running and shoppers are shopping and vacationers are vacationing. The Railriders are coming back to the mountain, and I've never looked more forward to drinking an $8 beer in my life.

Vaccinations are plentiful, and our covid numbers continue to fall. We seem to be at the very end of the high wire.

And yet...

When you wade deeper into the current....you feel this pull....and you hear these whispers......and it's sorta jumbled and crazed and filled with no masks and conspiracy theories and rantings about the government drilling microchips into our arms right before they take away all our guns and cancel all the white people who watch Tucker Carlson and sleep on a Mr. Pillow. Trump remains the eye-in-the-sky even without Twitter......calling all the shots from his Florida bunker with a flurry of news releases and Fox appearances, and woe to anybody who doesn't kiss his ass in the precise way he expects it to be kissed. Republicans no longer demand loyalty to Reagan-esque conservative dogma. They demand loyalty to Trump. If you're not a member of the cult, you're a BLM loving socialist commie. There ain't any wiggle room left, Bubba.

These people have even turned on Liz fucking Cheney, the daughter of Darth Vader (may the 4th be with you yadda yadda yadda)......a woman who was born and raised on the Death Star and whose politics are to the right of Ivan the Terrible’s, for suggesting that a violent attempt to overthrow an election, on live television, might not have been the best look, history-book wise. And, most especially, for sharing a fist-bump with the (fake) President in the House of Representatives.

We're not exactly dealing with intellectual heavyweights here is what I'm suggesting.

And all of this kick-started by festering resentments and an abject victimhood driven by white supremacy.

In other words, these people are lousy to drink with.

***

I had a Doctor's appointment this week. The Doctor recently lost his father to Covid, and daily has to deal with patients who refuse to get vaccinated.....who refuse to wear their mask properly.....who lecture him with their YouTube medical degrees and Qanon brains. I can't imagine a never-ending cavalcade of these people streaming into my face day after day, and managing to keep my composure. Somehow, he does it. But he seemed exhausted. As I was walking out of there I had a renewed appreciation for those who devote their lives to taking care of others. We take so much for granted.....and in the midst of the lockdowns last year I really thought that we rounded a corner. We'd give so much more thanks going forward. I was wrong. We seem to be as selfish as ever.

That bothers me the most. That despite everything we've been through, nothing has really changed. We're back to being boors again. Back to bitching at waitresses and cashiers and ignoring science and embracing crazy. Back to an almost staggering level of anti-intellectualism. Everything was gonna change, and nothing did.

***

(And through all of this some of us watch what's happening in India like we watch incoming storms on radar. Three weeks ago they were where we are now. Today, they can't burn the bodies fast enough. The virus is wild there, completely out of control. It's a catastrophe. But it's not our catastrophe.....which is what we tell ourselves, right?)

If we can't do better, perhaps we can work on not getting worse? Even a promise that the dickheads would remain at their current level of dickishness would be welcome news. As it stands now Kens and Karens are trolling not only comment sections but our everyday lives.....and are losing their shit just about everywhere. There was an insane statistic from the FAA that serious disturbances on airplanes have increased like crazy.....some 1300 alone since February (before this 150 a year was average)....and that's with much less people flying than usual. Most of these are the anti-Faucis........ready to storm the beaches at Normandy for the right to kill your fucking grandmother. And so it goes.

***

As I type this, once again my section of NEPA was the bullseye for some biblical weather, this time an unannounced gargantuan tropical storm that flooded just about everything that could be flooded. Temperatures are doing their usual dance at the moment….from high 70s to the low 40s, and a quick look at the weather app tells us that we’ll get a grand total of one dry day before we get pissed on again. Of course this is the same weather app that called for “showers” last night….so who knows? We may get molten lava instead.

Here’s hoping better days are coming. Or, at least, days that don’t get worse.

In a bit..

—tf