The unexamined majority

Finally back to my election post-mortems! Here’s the prior in the series:

Anyhow…

So, one of the things that’s been pissing me off this election season is all the calls for liberals and progressives to dig deeper and understand the Trump voter. NY Times think pieces on how we don’t understand America if we don’t understand Trump’s appeal. CNN op-eds on how we need to listen differently. Politicians and pundits alike have been telling liberals to reach out, to empathize, to build bridges.

And why has this been pissing me off? Because 4 years ago, after Trump won in 2016, democrats, liberals and progressives were inundated with the exact same advice. Listen. Learn. Understand. Build bridges.

It’s almost like there’s certain groups of (*cough*white*cough*) people who want to make sure they stay at the center of the universe and the center of all American discourse.

Hogging the spotlight, as it were.

A black and white of three spotlight beams merging to form an illuminated circle on an empty stage.
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The way things are now

This post feels a bit like a cross between recent meditations on living in these COVID times and on calling things by their real names.

Or maybe, I should just call it: I may be a sad sack about my solo Solstice, but I am NOT going to be a selfish, solipsistic, self-destructive shithead.

(That kind of alliteration has to be kind of impressive, right?)

A 1970s era pattern made of titled S'es in orange, hot pink and purple.

Basically, this is me riffing further to expound on a comment from yesterday’s post. Someone’s initial response to my sadness from last night was to go see my family anyhow—cos life is short and nothing is guaranteed, anyways.

And I know that advice is coming from a place of individual compassion for me and my pain. But it is not counsel I can take in good conscience. ‘Cos I only have the tiniest bit of epidemiological understanding, but I know enough to know the importance of public health and to know how important it is to listen to public health and medical experts when you’re in the middle of a global pandemic.

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The Truths We Hold by Kamala Harris

Contextual set-up: aside from Shakespeare Project the Second, my 2020 reading has been deeply preoccupied with sociopolitical analysis—both anti-racist texts, and exposes of the Cheeto POTUS’s administration. This book doesn’t fit clearly in either of those sub-categories, but it’s definitely part of the same reading family that has been so front-and-center for me since I emerged from my first bout of “pandemic brain” and started actively reading again.

An screencap from MezzoSherri's Libby shelf, showing the thumbnail for Kamala Harris's book The Truths We Hold.
Thank you, Libby!

It wasn’t till I started writing this post that I realized The Truths We Hold is a campaign book.* But of course it is. Released about a week or two before Harris launched her Presidential campaign in January 2019, and with the flag-waving subtitle An American Journey, it has all the hallmarks of the genre.

And no shame on that. This sort of book has a long and respectable lineage, from JFK’s Profiles in Courage to Obama’s Audacity of Hope to Warren’s This Fight is Our Fight.** Good on Harris for writing her own, and I hope she continues to earn healthy royalty checks throughout the remainder of her long career in public service.

Still, I think I’m glad I read the memoir when I did rather than during the heat of the primaries.

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Bell, book and candle

There’s a meme that’s been going around FB lately:

A toy company makes an action figure of you. What two accessories does it come with?

I haven’t shared it yet on my own feed—I kinda feel as if I should be able to answer this question for myself before asking it of anyone else.* I have, however, been enjoying the threads on different friends’ pages, and even helped do some hypothetical problem-solving for someone who had listed “Bell, book and candle” as their accessories and hit against the arbitrary two items rule:

The bell is suspended from a ribbon of fabric also being used as a bookmark. #ProblemSolved

We pagan types gotta help each other out.

Silhouette of a witch against a multicolored sky with bats and a crescent moon. The image is surrounded by this slogan: "I just took a DNA test, turns out I'm 100% that witch."
As always: WWLD?
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When your only tool is a hammer

I’m still not exactly sure what I want to say about Oldboy.

Let’s start at the beginning, I suppose. Some good long time ago, I hung up the 100 Movies Bucket List in my office and began very slowly working my way through the titles that I hadn’t yet seen.

And I mean VERY slowly. ‘Cos after watching and posting about Guy Ritchie’s Snatch, that was it.

And that was it because I kept looking at the next little square on my poster.

6 squares on the 100 Movies Busket List poster. 3 are all the way scratched off: Blade Runner, A Clockwork Orange, The Deer Hunter. 1 is halfway scratched off: Snatch. 2 are untouched: Old Boy and Leon: The Professional. The square for Old Boy is marked with a post-it flag.

It’s no great mystery why I was dragging my feet here. I’d heard the film was ultraviolent—which it is—and I’d heard it was disturbing—which it also is, though not in the way I was expecting.

It’s just the kind of film that is very much not my bag, and I couldn’t summon the gumption to watch it. Especially once 2020 became…. well, 2020.

And I know I could have skipped over this box and gone onto to something I was more in the mood for. Except I didn’t. Not 100% sure why. I think in part I was imagining that I’d keep skipping this one, again and again, until it was the absolute last film to scratch off my poster, and I didn’t want that.

So, once our library system opened up enough that we can get interlibrary loans again (woot!), I asked for the DVD to be shipped to me from Groton. And now I can say I’ve checked off this box on my poster.

Spoilers right below the jump!

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Black girl magic, holiday style

It’s the start of the weekend chez Mezzo. Not only do I have another 3-day weekend ahead, but I’m taking most of Thanksgiving week off, too.* AND Mr. Mezzo has tomorrow off so he can power through some more of his NaNoWriMo project.

So, even though we’ve been keeping a good habit of getting the TV off between 7:30 and 8 PM most nights, to support our separate writing habits—me here on JALC and him on his NaNo book—tonight we made an exception and kept watching later into the night so we could enjoy a movie on our “Friday night.”

A picture of 5 main characters from Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Story: Jeronicus, Journey, Buddy, Gustafson, and Grandma. The words "Netflix Official Trailer" are superimposed over the image.
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey

Four thumbs up: would recommend.

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The way we live now

I’m moving back into the bedroom tonight.

Mr. Mezzo has been feeling a bit not-quite-okay since last week. As of Monday morning, the symptoms included a tiny bit of shortness of breath.

Cue the obligatory telehealth appointment and COVID test.

Now, I was cautiously optimistic that he’d turn out to be okay. We’ve been super-careful, what with only going out for essential errands and staying masked all the while. But, we’ve all seen stories about those rare cases here and there, where someone has done all the rights things and stayed masked and still gotten that 1-in-a-million chance infection.

So in the same way we knew that getting tested was the right choice, out of an abundance of caution, we decided to play it extra safe inside the house. Mr. Mezz stayed quarantined in the main bedroom suite, and I set up on our living room couch.

A "sleeping nest" of blankets on a grey couch, with a TV table in the foreground holding a CPAP machine and a basket of bedside essentials (cough drops, meds, eyeshade, etc.)
Not so much a blanket fort as a blanket NEST
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Stringing the lights

I started putting up our Christmas/Solstice village the day after Halloween.*

Close-up of a decorative light-up ceramic building.

And I’m not alone in this. The Boston Globe has reported on this phenomenon all across our region—and, I’d suspect, more widely across the country, too.

So many people started decorating for Christmas on the Sunday after Halloween — before the foam tombstones had been respectfully packed away —that Nov. 1 has rightfully turned into the kick-off to Christmas this year.

And I don’t blame us.

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