Are we there yet?

Seriously…are we there yet? How much further? I have to go to the bathroom, and I want a snack. We probably need gas…wait…no more gas. Electric charge. There has to be a charging station around here somewhere. What happens if you can’t find a charge? Does your really expensive and really quiet car just die in the middle of the highway? Inquiring minds want to know. Not that I have ANY yearning for an electric car. I generally want to be able to drive 300-500 miles before needing to interact with humans in some capacity in order to continue my journey, so if a charge only gets you around 300 miles tops, I’m kind of not interested. Especially if I have to sit in traffic somewhere. Thanks, but no.

Not sure why I needed to go off on electric cars, but I do feel as though I’m on a road trip and tired of the monotony. Today was really a boring day…weather was dreary. Cold, looked like snow weather, but it was a couple of degrees too warm, so all we got was pissy misty stuff. That followed freezing rain yesterday. Bleh. The dog is wondering why I’m still here and why she’s still here. We’ve only been outside for a few minutes at a time, and she is not terribly amused by that. I need to get back to walking her long haul…it might be time. The cold doesn’t really bother me, or her. I managed to wrestle her into her sweater yesterday, since it was below freezing, and she did everything but throw a paw over her brow to indicate how much the sweater distressed her. But, she was better than usual, and didn’t bolt off under the bed hiding from the evil knitted foe. She’s figured out how to squat while she’s wearing it, so I don’t have to worry that she’ll explode from holding it in. Crazy little thing.

Today, I ate nothing useful. Someone made banana bread, and I brought it home and ate a huge chunk of that. I had a big bag of popcorn, some icky grapes (not happy about that), a couplel of cups of coffee, and a little plop of leftover tuna salad. Plus the usual requisite of RiceKrispies bars and Hostess orange cupcakes. The height of nutrition unconsciousness. Meh. It was kind of a throw-away day…I did not feel motivated enough to go to service…or to do anything else. I’ll go to my 10pm meeting as usual…I suppose it’s helpful. I wanted to get more involved with them, do service work there, but it’s too hard to get them to cough up the details of when their business meetings are held. They may be kind of a closed club, but whatever. I’m not there to socialize with them, although a couple of the regulars are pretty devcent eye candy. What-evuh.

Today was Valentine’s Day, which I wasn’t focused on until everybody started buzzing about it. It’s never been a particularly big thing for me, and not just because I perennially single. I just never saw all that much use for it…I can buy Russell Stover candy any time of the year. Their marshmallow hearts are the same as the Christmas trees and Santa figures and the same as the Easter eggs and Easter bunnies and the same as the Thanksgiving pumpkins and the Halloween ghosts. They just change the mold, but it’s the same heavy fructose corn syrup and preservative concoction, covered in cheap chocolate. That always just makes me giggle for some reason, that it’s the same candy just in a different shape, and in a different wrapper, and that signifies a different holiday. Capitalism. Gotta love it.

The news is still consumed with the acquittal of the former POTUS in the impeachment trial. He’s still impeached, the fart, just not convicted of the charges. That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, but it is what it is. While the outcome was not unexpected, it was still frustrating. The GOP has de-evolved into a Q-Anon conspiracy of its own, and not one of the fun ones like drinking children’s blood in the basement of a pizza parlor. They are still about the business of advancing the Libertairan agenda, it seems…claiming they are just political conservatives who are out to defeat big government and not let us become a socialist country. OK, thanks a lot for that, y’all…but how do you plan to replace any of these legacy programs that you claim are nothing but big government? Like Social Security. Like the VA. Like national parks and transportation funding. Oh, you’re just gonna cut all that and privatize it…federal contracts. Yeah. That private contract stuff has been working really well in prisons, and in health care, and in schools. Let’s face it, the allure of privatization is making it easier to construct exclusive bastions where public accommodations law prohibits that. Ever since schools were desegregated, political conservatices and racists (sometimes the same people) have been trying to get around anti-discrimination legislation in any way possible. Ever since prisons became full of mostly black and brown inmates, let’s bump down the quality of their care to the lowest possible standard by hiring private contractors, sometimes without bid and with revery primitive service standards. Get it off your plate, make it someone else’s problem. It’s the racism, stupid, and you’re not fooling anyone.

I’m not particuolarlly thrilled about where the country stands right this second, although I have to admit it could be much worse. The new President (I almost said “our new President” but there is a significant number of people who refuse to acknowledge him as their President) is determined to keep moving on his first-100-days agenda, which is a good thing. He did not let the impeachment trial drama get him distracted, and he continues to maintain a face of confidence and decorum, and we still don’t quite know how to act with that. The Vice-President has been out of the spotlight, and I have to wonder if that isn’t for her own protection. The religious zealots are fixated on the “Jezebel” angle with her, which is funny if only it wasn’t so dangerous. Many of those folks truly believe the Bible is the literal word of their creator, their God, the one and true God. I don’t have any problem with their God, and if they choose to believe the Bible is a literal communication from God, that’s fine. I have no problem with their understanding or belief in God; it’s just some of them, who claim to be followers, that are a trifle scary. But, so be it. I just need them to keep that stuff where it belongs – in church, not in the White House, not in the Capitol. There is a separation of church and state for a reason, and that is a primary legacy of the founding of this country.

Anyway, back to the impeachment trial. Seven GOP Senators voted to convict, and that is a big deal. Last time, only one voted to convict. Unfortunately, that wasn’t sufficient to provide the quantity of votes needed to render a guilty verdict. In my mind, he was guilty. In the minds of a large part of the citizenry, he was guilty. The former Majority Leader played the process like a Stradivarius fiddle, and gave the rest of the GOP Senators a way to escape their own hellish decision of whether or not to abandon their daddy or vote according to the evidence and their conscience. You can’t give what you don’t have, and they don’t have the ability to do that, so he slithered through the narrow keyhole of justice again. Many believe that he will be held accountable in other ways, because the nekkid emperor is feeling the breeze on his butt cheeks at this point…the breeze from a flurry of legal pages turning on his tax liability, on his attempts to subvert the GA election results, on the sexual harassment/assault charges filed against him. While he was in office, nobody could indict him for anything because of DOJ policly. But now he’s John Q. Public again…an orange tinted scofflaw, grifter, carnival side-show carney without Twitter to help with his image. I don’t know if legal realities will give him a rude awakening or not, and I’ll believe it when I see it, because the rules are different for people who run in his social circles.

I don’t know how this country will be able to recover from this unfortunate, and disappointing, chapter in our history. There was harm done, real damage done…and it’s going to take a bit to unravel all of that. There is already consternation about the COVID relief bill, that was originally supposed to raise the federal hourly pay rate to $15. There is, however – and of course – resistance to that aspect of the bill, so it may have to be omitted. The President says he would be surprised if it was able to survive as a part of the relief proposal, but that he is still committed to fighting for it. His position is that getting financial relief to people struggling to survive during the pandemic response is the most important part of it all, and if necessary, he’ll go back and try getting a stand-alone minimum wage bill. I have no problem with that, and I think he’s absolutely correct – the priority is to get some kind of relief to people who are struggling to keep their noses above water. It shouldn’t have taken this long to have gotten even this close to achieving that.

In addition to the kind of harm done, and the suffering of so many who are literally at the end of their rope financially, I don’t know if the economic recovery will be the biggest part of the recovery. Unrelated to the pandemic response, there is Q-Anon. What in the f*ck is THAT all about? People running rampant on conspiracy theories…pedophiles in Congress and the White House, drinking the blood of murdered children in secret rooms of pizza parlors? SERIOUSLY??? Unfortunately, these people are very serious, and they really believe this nonsense. They are being elected to Congress, and they are dangerous. The former President lent his public face to legitimizing the conspiracy crowd, and so now they’re organized and there are a lot of them. Personally, I don’t know that he or anyone elected to office really believes all that stuff, but they garner the support and loyalty of the people who really do believe it. Those people donate money. A lot of money. He and other elected officials function like televangelists, repeating the propaganda that keeps their followers – the “base” – locked into a literal cult of personality. That cult operates on the basis of adoration of him, because his followers have been programmed to believe that only he understands them, only he is on their side, and only he can save them from the evils that the Democrats/black people/socialists/Jews will rain upon them. Only Jim Jones could deliver his flock to salvation, and they could only travel there by means of drinking posonous Kool-Aid. Only Marshall Applewhite could be counted on to guide his troops to the comet that would take them to the Promised Land, or the promised comet, but they had to be dead to do that. These are proverbial false idols, and worship of those never goes well for the faithful.

Cults of personality have existed for a long time in human history, and they aren’t going away anytime soon. This one seems incredibly vile, however, and maybe that’s because technology gives us the ability to find each other, whatever our proclivities might be. If I want to find other guitar players, I can do that very easily. If I want to find other people who believe that vaccines are dangerous and that the government cannot force us to take them, I can do that as well. FInding your people is not a bad thing, but finding them and organizing them into a coherent activist bloc is problematic. The folks who stormed the Capitol were organized; they were grouped, and had common goals. They were able to share plans, information, strategies, without needing to make physical contact or travel. They were able to converge on Washington D.C. knowing exactly where they were going and what they were going to do. This wasn’t possible with the Heaven’s Gate folks, so they were mostly localize in their impact. The People’s Temple lef the U.S. and relocated in Guyana, but they remained localized there.

So, how is Q-Anon different from other historical cults? I suppose part of it is that many other cults are focused on simply controlling people, engineering a mircocosm of society controlle by a demi-god. David Koresh was another one who constructed his own kingdom, with its own rules and its own central command (him), but ultimately they wanted to be left alone. Same with Heaven’s Gate, same with People’s Temple. They all wanted to control people, but the people had been coerced into volunteering for that. This Q-Anon mess seems to be more about the followers attempting to create an alternate society, trying to force the rest of the world into their vision of reality. I suppose even that could be tolerated, up to the point they attempt to overthrow the voice of everyone, and overthrow the government. I don’t see the world as they do, and if they would stay in their own squares, I wouldn’t care what they believed. But…they aren’t staying in their own squares any longer, and they supported having a free election overturned. OK, now you’re in MY square, and you gotta go. You don’t get to break into the Capitol, which has a lot to do with how my life goes, and decide your way is the one I should be following. Nope. That ain’t gonna work, ace. So get back on the bus, get back in your pickup truck, get back on the plane or the train or the space ship (some of them may have gotten to D.C. that way, as effing crazy as they were…how about that dude with the horns, yo?) and go back to where you come from. I don’t take kindly to having my voice silenced, so…let’s not do that. Don’t make me have to come down there. Seriously.

If the insuregents came from outer space, they would probably be Borg. Their ship is square.

Published by annzimmerman

I am Louisiana born and bred, now living in Winston Salem, North Carolina. Fortunately for me, I was already living in NC before Hurricane Katrina decimated my beloved New Orleans. An only child, I now feel that I have no personal history since the hurricane destroyed the relics and artifacts of my childhood. As I have always heard, c'est la vie. My Louisiana roots show in my love of good coffee, good food, and good music. My soggy native soil has also shown me that resilience is hard-wired in my consciousness; when the chips are down (or drowned)...bring it on.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: