the news — it ain’t for sissies

See, here’s the problem: there’s just too much shit happening. I have some very simple and very general criteria for selecting topics for this blog. They include (but are most certainly not limited to) the following:

  • shit I find amusing
  • shit I find infuriating
  • shit that alarms me
  • shit engages my interest or curiosity
  • shit that makes no sense
  • shit I think people ought to be thinking about but aren’t
  • shit that usually makes sense but doesn’t in this particular instance
  • shit that’s hilarious
  • shit that makes me want to punch somebody in the throat
  • shit that ought to be in the news but isn’t

It used to be I could read the news in the morning and it was usually fairly easy to pick out one or two things that fit several of those criteria. And then I’d think about that thing for a bit, then start banging out words in a row. Easy peasy Socrates-y. It was all blue sky and fair winds.

But then Comrade Trump got sort of elected. Now everything is happening all at once, and all the time. Shit has got out of hand, so to speak. Now I read the news and I’m screaming “Bank left! Bank left! Don’t turn this corner, Rick!” Now I read the news and what I see is this:

  • shit I find interesting, but alarming and infuriating, that makes no sense, but is somehow hilarious and yet makes me want to punch somebody in the throat.

Shit has become complicated. I’m talking about shit like this: Devin Nunes steps down from simultaneously leading and deliberately undermining the House investigation into Comrade Trump’s multitudinous connections with Russian agents who actively engaged in dozens of covert and illegal operations designed to subvert the U.S. election in favor of Donald Trump after it is revealed he (and we’re back to Nunes here) willfully misled the public and the members of his investigative committee about information he secretly obtained that he claimed supported Trump’s unfounded claim that he’d been illegally wiretapped by President Obama (but which didn’t actually support that claim at all), said information which came from White House operatives (one of whom apparently used to work for Nunes) whose names he refused to release.

And that’s just Nunes. Hell, that’s just Nunes on one particular day. Toss in similar news items about Steve Bannon, Jared Kushner, and just about every venal sumbitch on Trump’s Cabinet of Nazgûl PLUS the fact that Comrade Trump can’t seem to go for more than about 75 minutes without doing or saying something that’s so profoundly ridiculous/incompetent/offensive it makes your eyes water — and hey, it’s sort of paralyzing.

It used to be that I read the news in the morning and I felt informed. Now I read the news and I feel like I’ve escaped after taking fire from all directions. I feel like plucky Flying Officer Terry Waine — I’ve made it through today’s bombing run, but the fuselage is rapidly shredding around me and flames have erupted in the cockpit. And I still have to turn back and try to rescue Boots.

And then, after I crash-land back at base, I’ll have to do it all again tomorrow. It’s exhausting, is what it is.

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13 thoughts on “the news — it ain’t for sissies

  1. Ah, dear Greg- what is all of this ‘shit’, you ask?

    Its the culmination of a 15-20 years of plotting and planning by the Ruskies.

    Its the culmination of 40 years of plotting and planning by the evangelical & fundamentalist ‘xtians’ (as opposed to Christians who actually embrace Jesus’ message of social justice, the golden rule (not the golden shower).

    Its also the culmination of 8+ years of an antagonist Congress (as now so eloquently and blatantly stated by the members of the “freeDUMB caucus” (aka Tea Party) coupled with 8 years of crony capitalism and WS insanity.

    There’s no guarantees that the US survives as we have known it. With folk like Bannon (and Bannon hisself) who are trying their damndest to attack our nation’s foundation, we are being attacked from the WH.

    We’re now having to deal with our own conspiracy theories re trump. As disgusting as the gas attacks are in Syria, I have strong reservations in believing that trump suddenly ‘got religion’ and truly cares about their safety. (will he also suddenly call out for sane gun laws based on the executions of 20 innocent kids at Sandy Hook along with the MANY others? He did, after all, talk big about making America safe again… oh, wait- he already signed an EO allowing those with mental issues to purchase firearms.. never mind!)

    Lets not forget that vp Dense said NO to allowing Syrian refugees into Indiana. Like he gives a crap about anyone who is not ‘born again’…

    The ‘media’ has its hands full. There’s a LOT of shit flying, for sure. There’s things we CAN explore and investigate and the ‘rest of the shit’ that’s just insane. Kuschner, this Cohen cat, whose wife is allegedly a publisher for Putin! (is there anyone in trump’s camp who ISN’T on Russia’s payroll?- McMaster and Mullin aside).

    Justice is blind and the toilet is overflowing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Normally, when a student asks my thoughts on current events, I can give a direct answer without seeming to force my world view upon them. I start by asking questions to gauge their thoughts and then give them another viewpoint to consider.

    Today, a student asked for my thoughts on current events, and the only question I could think to ask is, “Which current event do you want to discuss first?” Even then, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t come up with anything to say that didn’t seem like forcing my world view upon her. In the end, she did what anyone with a curious mind will do. She asked her own questions. It gave me hope.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s not even about current ‘events’ anymore, is it. It’s about current crises. Which crisis do you want to discuss first? And even then you have to specify which specific area of crisis. Economic? Immigration? Constitutional? And even that’s not enough; you have to ask which particular Constitutional crisis. The Emoluments crisis? The nepotism crisis? The Russian interference with the election crisis?

      It’s hard to blame anybody for just wanting to give up and keep their head down.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve finally decided to read up on only one main news story a day – reading background information and about the people involved, going to a wide range of sources. I hate this flood of nonsensical stories and the often shallow reporting that accompanies it. I’ve found that this approach keeps me informed, but not overwhelmed by the shit storm that is this administration, which just feels like a fan blowing crap on the world indiscriminately.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That sounds like an intelligent plan. But how so you decide WHICH news story to explore? My problem is I start to pay attention to one particular story, then get sidetracked by three or four other horror shows.

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      • Therein lies the trick. I find myself having to deliberately filter out a lot of stuff. So much of this administration and media reporting is a smoke screen (all the Tweeting, media gaffes, infighting). But you’re right, there’s a lot of shit happening all at once.

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  4. I hate to sound like a lazy pansy-ass, but I just can’t read it. My head spins too hard and I get dizzy. I have to look at one thing at a time, so I choose to look at things that don’t make me queasy and angry at the same time, things I can’t control. Guess I’m getting old, but really, fuck this country, let me off this bus to hell. And thanks, Greg, for hanging in there for those of us who can’t! Love you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s hard NOT to say ‘fuck this country’. In my state, the Republicans have just made it more difficult for a woman to get an abortion, just made it easier to buy and carry guns, and actually forbade towns and counties from passing a higher minimum wage. It’s all so incredibly fucked up.

      All this shit makes me more determined to resist, but there are times when it just overwhelms me.

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  5. Although I haven’t watched TV in almost 14 years I do watch Saturday Night Live on the Internet. Best line is Trump’s court challenge with the TV judge saying: “I want one day without a CNN alert that scares the hell out of me”. According to Statistica advertising revenues have tripled with the non-stop Trump gossip. When I read stories on the Internet it is 99% innuendo and hearsay until the $100 million dollar Tomahawk missile launches against Syria. In 2004 a US military report said there were no chemical weapons of any kind in Syria. The media appears to have missed or never read the report.

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    • In 2013 Assad perpetrated a similar chemical attack, with a much higher body count. Obama asked Congress for authority to launch a middle strike (which he sort of needs, constitutionally), and the Republicans denied him. Instead he worked out an arrangement with Russia to have them destroy Syria’s chemical weapons. I know it’s hard to believe, but it appears Russia and Syria lied about that. Go figure.

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      • What right is granted to the USA by the people world wide to strike any country? Iraq was a lie along with Libya and let’s not forget Vietnam. Do you really want a nuclear war over innuendo and media gossip? Good thing about a nuclear war would be the fact it would be over in 20 or so minutes. All 7.5 billion people dead within a few weeks. The first billion who die in a flash of light will be the lucky ones. A world without people because the US passes on a steady stream of lies in conjunction with the “no evidence” media.

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  6. The artist is not in control of the meaning of the public art they made. That is public art 101. The meaning of the bull was already changing. And who cares where the money came from for the Fearless Girl? Not all advertising is bad. Not all products are bad. Throughout history the sources of funding of art has been so much worse yet it’s criticized when SHE does it too. GMAB. Look up the purpose of the Gender Diversity fund, it’s sorely needed in a landscape of patriarchy. I hope she stays, though her meaning will also change overtime.

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