Archive for September, 2012

A concatenation of events
September 5, 2012

Last night I was beginning to feel better from a series of upsets that began with my latest move, or maybe even with the first of my series of moves that began four years ago. I had made my lunch and breakfast for the week. I had exercised and grocery shopped. Finally I had unburdened myself of some of the cognitive dissonance between what I saw, and apparently others saw when the movie star started talking to the chair last week.

I stood up to make my homey preparations for bedtime, and stepped in a pool of water. It was a pool of water almost as big as this room (not very big, but still, almost as big as it could be) and it had spilled over from the bathroom, where it had begun because I had left the sink tap running, rinsing a pair of tights.

As I threw every absorbent thing I had (a quilt, sheets, towels, pillows) into the pool, to keep the neighbors’ ceiling from caving in, my heart thudded with dread far beyond the immediate disaster — I am not fit to live alone, unassisted, I am an attention deficient imbecile, and by the time I finish paying for whatever damage comes of this, I will be dead. I told the building manager — he said: I will get you a couple of paper towels. So help me. I explained it wasn’t like that, and he called the janitor. I called my mother and main squeeze and they both were kind. The janitor came and  told me not to be stressed. He told me he had just had to attend the funeral of a dear girl, died young and violently — and gave me specifics I won’t mention here because they probably were in the newspaper. I said that put things in perspective. He gave me more details. The church where she tithed wouldn’t hold the service. We agreed churches seem to forget what they are there for sometimes.

By the time I finished washing and drying all the things I had used to sop up the water, it was nearly midnight, so I set my alarm an hour later than usual. At six a sound like an air-raid alarm began, slowly waking me up, and as I woke up, I felt certain the sound was the result of something I had screwed up, forgotten to do. I finally clambered down from the loft bed to see what it was, upon which it stopped. I suspect now it was an alarm clock set to rouse a neighbor who sleeps with the help of coma-inducing medication, because 15 minutes later it began again, as if suspended only by a snooze button, and continued, again, until I clambered down from the loft again, this time for good.

It was a long day, not the refreshed, rested kind I thought the holiday weekend would give me. I worked late to make up for working slow. When I got home, I opened my mailbox, although I never get mail and found a letter from my new health insurance plan. I opened it in the elevator, to see that it was something about the plan fulfilling its obligation under a 1998 act to notify me of all the services I would be eligible for in the event I need a mastectomy. I don’t, as far as I know, but am glad to have insurance, and be eligible for all the further surgeries and prosthetic devices I apparently deserve by virtue of having insurance.

I hope, however, that the rest of the week brings no further deviation from the most mundane routine.

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Romney to country: Go f*ck yourself!
September 4, 2012

That is what it comes down to, when a presidential candidate hires people who: insult the president’s competence because he’s black (the aide who confided to British media that Romney could relate to them better than the President of the United States because he gets “Anglo Saxon culture”), a spokesman who finds “shove it” and “kiss my ass” closer to the tip of his tongue than “no comment,” and, now, advisers who say, Oh wow, an actor who has fathered eight children by five different women, even though he’s only been married twice — let’s let him talk right before the candidate is introduced, without even knowing what he’s going to say. Que sera, sera. It’s only a multigazillion dollar campaign. In the Romney campaign, decisions are made, it seems, the same way they might be at a frat party. “Go out and get more beer? Yes, let’s do it.” That’s the amount of thought we’ve seen behind efforts to get this billionaire, who, presumably could afford experienced and diligent help, get elected.

Again. This is the guy who wants the chance to appoint a Secretary of State along with the rest of the cabinet, and at least a few Supreme Court Justices.

And he may pull it off because if you look at the response to the latest episode that in most humble circles would be called an embarrassment, critical thinking was the consistently missing element:

  • The issue most frequently mentioned? “Eastwood, who is 82 . . .” as if that is a commonly accepted expiration date for brains, and as if he was on a day pass from a nursing home. He wasn’t. He took time off from making a movie. He is an actor. Actors are not policy makers, speech writers, historians, public policy experts. They tend to be people with egos that take up a disproportionate amount of the space inside their skulls. That’s why, when people hire actors, they put a piece of paper in their hand and say: “read this.” Not the Romney campaign. No. They said, “whatever.” No reason to find out what this guy, who we were only recently pleasantly surprised to find out endorsed our candidate, plans to say, or how much he knows.
  • “He killed it.” That was the grudging admiration from the hilariously funny (Not) Bill Maher, who tipped his hat to the  . . . What? Humor derives its funniness from truth. The “funny” part, apparently was the idea that the absent Obama would be so lost for words in the face of Eastwood accusing him of STARTING THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN, that our famously eloquent and collected President would say “fuck yourself.” Twice. To Romney and then to Eastwood. That would have been kind of funny if the brunt of the joke was a different public official, say, Dick Cheney, who said that on the floor of the Senate in response to a policy question.
  • The implied racism of the interrogation in absentia, as a dear friend of mine pointed out, of the “invisible man” this routine reduced a prominent speaker’s view of our President to, the incitement to violence — the “Make my day” quote refers to  . . . oh, right, shooting someone in the face — that was ignored.

And the candidate, who just doesn’t care who says what, who does what to who, what happens, as long as he gets elected   — well, yes, the silver lining to the cloud of frivolous incompetence, arrogance, entitlement, age-ism, racism, irrelevance that was the Eastwood endorsement and response to it — the silver lining was that the candidate, in all of that, he was ignored too.