Wednesday, February 24, 2021


To overwhelm or bewilder, as with magnitude, complexity or strangeness (

What boggles Anthony Fauci about covid-19?  The ease of contagion, the array of symptoms, the rapidity of viral mutation, the still-mysterious origins, the lingering after-effects for many people?  Nope.  It's "how reality can just be put aside in denying the seriousness of the situation we are in."   I've lived through SARS and H1N1 and AIDS and various kinds of "regular" flu.  I've read about pandemics from "Spanish flu" to the Black Death.  Nobody knew what caused them but neither did anyone dismiss them as hoaxes.  I'm sure there was plenty of denial -- "I'm fine, I have a cold, I'll be back at work in the morning" -- but not a completely fractured reality.  The dead are pretending?  The doctors exaggerate the numbers for a cash prize?  The vaccine is worse than the disease?  Intellectual dysfunction on that scale should doom us as a species.  If we can't agree on what's right in front of us, how can we agree on anything else?  It's a conspiracy, all right, and its aim is to make everyone as crazy as an anti-vaxxer who keeps expecting some Q event to execute all the lizard people.

What boggles me?  Lots of stuff.  Like why do I keep seeing commercials for funeral directors?  Don't they have more business than they can handle?  Wouldn't it make sense to use those advertising dollars to hire more embalmers?  Or those people who apply cosmetics to the dead, a job I could never do and,  if my father was anything to go by, doesn't do the dead any favors either.  I understood why my mother insisted on a closed casket.  I also had no wish ever to re-read The Loved One.  I'm getting cremated.

Has anyone considered the possibility that Ron Johnson is an Antifa sleeper, assigned to make Republicans look like morons?  They're cunning like that.

America can never have enough right-wing media, apparently, but Al Jazeera?  Former Fox Newser Scott Norvell launches Rightly (how much thought went into that?) tomorrow for "Republicans who feel left out of mainstream media."  Al Jazeera is funded by Qatar, which did who-knows-what to secure next year's World Cup, so maybe they want the 2024 Republican National Convention to be held in Doha.

Is there a way to block your phone so that even in a moment of stress you don't unthinkingly call 911?  Angelo Quinto, a thirty-year-old Navy veteran, was having a psychological crisis at home in Antioch, California, so his sister called the police.  They came over and knelt on his neck until he died.  This happened in December.  Yesterday we learned that the Rochester, NY, police who restrained Daniel Prude and put a hood over his head will not be charged in his death because he had a small amount of PCP in his system.  St. Paul and Minneapolis are being fortified by National Guard two weeks ahead of the trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd.  If America's police are not prepared to abandon this particular type of informal execution, perhaps they could occasionally kneel on the carotid of a white thug in a MAGA hat?  

What could you do that is so awful, even Kristi Noem thinks you should quit?  Hit someone with your car so hard that his bloody faceprint is on your windshield and his glasses are in the front seat, then drive home and lie about it.  That's what South Dakota attorney general Jason Ravnsborg did last September.  But he's not resigning, he says, and anyway he's only charged with three misdemeanors, not vehicular homicide or anything.  Will the rest of the Borg come to his assistance?  Speculation is irrelevant.

She's got three passports, couple of visas, you don't even know her real name -- oh, wait, it's Ghislaine Maxwell.  She's tired of living in the no-rent part of Brooklyn (the federal lockup) and says she'll turn in her French and British passports if granted bail.  Could there be other passports?  Gallic shrug.

Liz Cheney says it's important "for us as Republicans to make clear that we aren't the party of white supremacy."  Will she be the first member of Congress to be censured twice?   It's not as impressive as being impeached twice but you get in the record books any way you can.

Slammed by the pandemic, the Metropolitan Museum of Art may have to sell some artwork.  I've had my eye on this Hokusai landscape for years...

Let's talk.



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