random thoughts

Okay, first, what the fuck is this about?

This happened last night at Comrade Trump’s rally in Ohio. I’m hearing it’s either some sort of QAnon salute (you know, that whole ‘where we go one, we go all’ bullshit) or some sort of obscure but not recent Nazi thing. Whatever it is, it’s fucking weird and more than a little unnerving. In any event, it seems pretty obvious that Trump is priming the pump so that when he’s indicted (and yeah, I said when, not if) this crowd will respond with unfocused stochastic violence. A cult that believes Trump is the central figure in a secret war against an international Satanic cabal of pedophiles is capable of just about anything so long as it doesn’t require focus or logic.

Second, I generally have a low cuteness tolerance. But for some reason I’m ridiculously fond of public gardens that have — and this is difficult for me to admit — little pixies scattered around in the shrubbery. Not a LOT of pixies, on account of that would be cuteness overload, but just a few quietly concealed among the plants and pathways. I mean, a person should be able to walk through the garden and not see any of the wee creatures at all, but knowing that there may be a few of them there, lurking cutely, waiting to be spotted — well, that’s probably a good thing.

This ornament is about the size of my thumb (which, I assume, is an average sized thumb). I don’t know if these are actually pixies or fairies or some other mini-supernatural being. I’m sure there’s a taxonomy for these things, and there’s bound to be some internet database detailing the differences between pixies and fairies, but I can’t research it because, as I said, I have a low tolerance for cuteness.

Third, I keep getting credited by friends for the phrase Jesus suffering fuck. I wish I could take credit for it, but I first heard it used by Billy Connolly, the Scottish actor/comedian. He said he’d first heard the phrase in Glasgow. So my guess is it’s likely something somebody uttered in a pub when confronted with something impossibly, ruinously stupid.

Billy Connolly

As an expression, it’s close to perfect. It just rolls well off the tongue. Jesus suffering fuck. There’s a purity to it, a unity; a complete protein comprised of equal parts of the poetic and the profane. I try to use it deliberately but sparingly. I mean, you don’t want to bring your Amati to a hoedown, but you still need to use it regularly to maintain the harmonics.

Fourth, I was thinking about the hateful and profoundly idiotic stunt in which the governor of Florida thought it would be clever to spend state funds to hire a plane to fly Venezuelan immigrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, but then I let myself get distracted by a less obvious question: who in the hell was Martha?

She was either the mother-in-law or (more likely) the deceased daughter of Bartholomew Gosnold. This guy, I declare. He was born in Suffolk, England in born in 1571, graduated from the University of Cambridge, studied law, but decided he’d rather go sailing. In 1602, he took a 39-foot bark crewed by 32 men and sailed to the coast of Maine where, and I am NOT making this up, he was met on the beach by a native wearing imported European shoes and pants. That’s 1602, and Europeans had already begun fucking up the local culture.

Bartholomew Gosnold

In any event, Gosnold and his crew worked their way south, spent some time fishing (they were the folks who decided on the name Cape Cod because of…well, the cod they caught) and stayed for a couple of days on an island where they ate strawberries. Gosnold named the island after his mother-in-law/deceased daughter (pick one, they were both named Martha), then moved on. After about six weeks in the area, during which they loaded up their ship’s hold with furs, cedar wood, and sassafras (which was exceedingly profitable because it was thought to be a cure for syphilis), they sailed home. Eighteen years later, the Mayflower followed Gosnold’s route to Massachusetts, thereby establishing the conditions for four centuries of Europeans fucking over the natives.

I doubt any of the Venezuelan immigrants know that story. If they heard it, I’d like to think they’d look at each other and say, “Jesus suffering fuck.” Only, you know, in Spanish.

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