the difference between grief and mourning

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is dead.

The grim and sorrowful constellation of thoughts and emotions we’re experiencing right now, that’s grief. The word comes from the Old French term grever meaning “afflict, burden, oppress,” which is from the Latin gravare, which meant “to make heavy.” Grief is heavy; it weighs us down.

The outward expression of grief, that’s mourning. Mourning has a more complex origin. It comes from a Proto-Indo-European root which, because of linguistic convention, is usually written as *(s)mer. It refers to the act of remembrance, reflection, recollection. Mourning is how we use our memories and understanding of the dead to gradually reduce the awful weight of our grief.

Grief is what we feel; mourning is what we do.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is dead, and there’s absolutely nothing we can do about that. Our grief is both personal and communal. We grieve for what she means to us personally, we grieve for her family and friends, we grieve for what her death might mean for the concept of equal justice under law in the United States. It’s good that we grieve; it’s right that we grieve.

But our grief is less important than how we mourn her — how we collectively express our grief and how you as an individual will express your grief. Is making RBG your Facebook icon enough to lighten your grief? Will wearing your Notorious RBG t-shirt alleviate your grief? What about voting, will that help? What about getting others to vote? Volunteering to drive others to the polls? Donating money or labor to a candidate? What about calling both of your senators on Monday, and asking them NOT to vote on a successor to RGB’s seat until after the election/inauguration? Will that do it?

Here’s a True Thing: your grief is your grief. Nobody gets to tell you how to express it. Nobody gets to tell you the proper way for you to mourn. Nobody gets to tell you how much you have to mourn or what that mourning should include. Nobody gets to tell you what RBG would want from you. Mourn her in your own way.

But mourn her. Right now, it’s enough to grieve. Right now, it’s okay to give into your grief. Let yourself fully experience your grief. Then start actively mourning.

Obscure and Semi-inappropriate Addendum: That Proto-Indo-European root *(s)mer is also the source of the name of Mimir, the Norse god who guarded the Mímisbrunnr, the Well of Wisdom. Mimir, not surprisingly, was known for his judgment, his sagacity, his knowledge. None of that, unfortunately, prevented him being beheaded in the battle between the Æsir and the Vanir (don’t ask; we’re talking Norse mythology, so it’s complicated). After the battle, Odin found Mimir’s body and collected his head (as gods do). He did some sort of god-thing to Mimir’s head so he could tote it around with him and continue to get Mimir’s advice.

Metaphorically, we can do the same with RBG. We can carry our memory of her around with us. We can ask ourselves ‘What would RBG do?’ and then try to do it. That’s proper mourning, right there.

knuckles dobrovic is slightly dislocated

The whole Knuckles Dobrovic thing began in 2013 when I reluctantly and grudgingly realized there was some artistic value to Instagram. I created the Knuckles alias as a way of investigating Instagram without having my name associated with it. I thought it made sense back then, but sounds really silly now. So I started putting a thing on a glass-topped table on the deck and photographing it. It became a project. Things on a Table. I did that for about a year.

Eventually I started an Instagram account using my real name, but I’d grown absurdly attached to the name Knuckles Dobrovic. I decided I’d keep that account and us it strictly for photo projects. Because I tend to over-analyze things, I came up with some basic parameters for all future Knuckles projects: 1) it’s got to be simple (which means I won’t have to do a lot of planning or a lot of post-processing), 2) it’s got to be organic to my life (which means it’s something I can photograph during the course of an ordinary day — whatever that is), 3) it’s got to have at least one intellectual component (which is more accurately described as a pretentious bullshit element), and finally, 4) it’s got to be able to keep my interest over time.

After ‘Things on a Table’ I turned to Double Exposures of My Feet on the Earth and then to the Hundred Appropriated Google Street View gig. When that was finished, I felt no hurry to find another project. Some idea would eventually roll up in a ball and get my attention. That’s how these things work, mostly.

Yeah, no, not this.

Then, of course, Covid-19 showed up and parked its fat ass in the center of our society. At some point I decided the next Knuckles gig should reflect the strange new Covid reality. I tried a 16:9 moody landscape concept. Broad landscapes as a way of dealing with an increasingly closed in life. But no. Besides, it felt too similar to the Google gig. I also tried reworking a lot of old unseen street portraits in a high contrast are-bure-bokeh-ish style. The idea was to remember life without masks, but do it with a harsh, garish, blurry aesthetic that was sort of alienating. But, again, no. I really like that style, but no. Not now. Maybe someday I’ll come back to that.

Yeah, no, not this either.

But I kept noodling around semi-randomly. Taking new photos and playing with them, looking at old photos (which is something I almost never do) and smooshing them around a bit. Then one restless night I took an old photo of some lawn chairs in a suburban yard, diddled with the color a wee bit, digitally sliced it in thirds, then re-arranged the pieces.

Okay, this might work.

I liked it. It was a mundane, familiar scene but it felt a wee bit out-of-sync. It felt somewhat disjointed and almost (but not quite) unbalanced. Which is sort of how the world seems right now. So I tried with another photo. A bar that wouldn’t be seeing any customers this year.

Yeah, okay, this is starting to work.

The bar was still exactly as it was before the pandemic, but now it was just a tad off-color and slightly dislocated. Which seemed like an obvious title for the gig. It seemed like the approach would be elastic enough to use for almost any sort of photographic style. Landscapes, interior shots, still lifes, street photos.

Okay, that’s it. It’s a project.

It wasn’t until I took a rather busy photo of last year’s Planned Parenthood book sale, chopped it up, and re-organized it that I became confident the gig would probably work. I’ll almost certainly continue to use some old photos in the gig, but I expect I’ll be shooting a lot of new stuff with half an eye on the Slightly Dislocated idea (but only half an eye; I don’t want to be searching for material). I expect I’ll be stopping my bike sporadically to shoot something like this:

Slightly Dislocated — goal

This project may, of course, turn out to be awful. It may become predictable or repetitive, it could turn out to be dull–for the viewer or for me. Hell, as unlikely as it seems, the pandemic might come to a quick end (yeah, that’s not going to happen) and the entire concept of Slightly Dislocated may become out of date. I’ve no idea how long I’ll keep this up, but for now I’m having fun with it.

wake up, america

This question was actually asked and answered at Comrade Trump’s Covid news briefing last week.

Question: Mr. President, at the crux of the theory is this belief that you are secretly saving the world from this satanic cult of pedophiles and cannibals. Does that sound like something you are behind or a believer in?
Trump: Well, I haven’t — I haven’t heard that. But is that supposed to be a bad thing or a good thing? I mean, you know, if I can help save the world from problems, I’m willing to do it.

The question was about Q-Anon, of course. Everybody is talking about Q, curious about Q, focused on Q. Think about it, though. Is it actually believable that Trump is secretly working with law enforcement to stop Hollywood celebrities and Democrats from stealing European children from Episcopalian churches for perverse sexual rituals and Satanic cannibalistic feasts?

No. No, the Truth is the Q-Anon conspiracy theory is just a silly distraction devised by alien agents embedded in the Dip State to keep you from looking at real conspiracies.

Zoo-Anon — Have you ever noticed how many seemingly innocent buildings in zoos have locked doors? Locked, with prominent Keep Out signs. Some are even reinforced with padlocks. What are they hiding? What’s going on behind those closed doors? What…or who…are they keeping hidden away from public scrutiny? Could there be secret rooms lined with stacks of cages holding European children stolen from Episcopalian churches? Are those children being sold to Hollywood celebrities? Or Democrats? For perverse sexual rituals and Satanic cannibalistic feasts? It’s no coincidence zoos are stocked with tranquilizer dart guns. Wake up, America.

Hue-Anon — Why are there so many multi-colored flags out there? You’ve seen them. Some are variations on the Stars and Stripes, but with curious and unorthodox colors. Some are passed off as Pride flags or flags of supposed ‘sports’ teams, or even national flags of countries with ridiculously improbable names (like Ruritania or Peru). Isn’t it more likely that many of those ‘flags’ are actually coded messages? Messages hidden in plain sight, recognizable to agents of the Dip State traveling incognito, transporting European children stolen from Episcopalian churches to be delivered to Hollywood celebrities and Democrats for perverse sexual rituals and Satanic cannibalistic feasts. Keep your eyes open, don’t accept any flag except Old Gory. Wake up, America.

Roux-Anon — Have you noticed how many so-called ‘chefs’ are foreigners? Not just foreigners, but supposedly French? Why? Are we to believe France–a nation whose relationship with armpit hair is questionable–produces the world’s best cooks? Have you ever actually met a real French cook? Probably not. And yet the myth persists and the myth is grounded in the preparation of a thickening agent used in cooking. It’s called a ‘roux’ but it’s literally nothing more than flour mixed with some form of rendered fat, perhaps. Why did they have to make up a French-sounding world for that? More importantly, where does that fat come from? Could it be the baby fat of European children stolen from Episcopalian churches for the perverse pleasure of Hollywood celebrities and Democrats for perverse sexual rituals and Satanic cannibalistic feasts? Why do you think ‘French cuisine’ is so expensive? Learn to think for yourselves. Wake up, America.

J. Crew-Anon — This clothing retailer recently announced it would apply for bankruptcy protection. Why? They claim it’s because of the Covid-19 pandemic. But the president assures us that children are virtually immune from Covid. Isn’t it more likely that European children stolen from Episcopalian churches are sold to J. Crew as slave labor after they’ve grown too old for the perverse pleasure of Hollywood celebrities and Democrats for perverse sexual rituals and Satanic feasts? Isn’t it more likely the company is closing its doors for fear that President Trump and Attorney General Barr are on the verge of arresting the executives of J. Crew and holding them in a Manhattan jail until they are murdered by ninja assassins hired by Hollywood celebrities and Democrats? Follow the logic. Wake up, America.

Gnu-Anon — A pony is an odd-toed ungulate. A gnu is an even-toed ungulate. Why is this important? Hollywood celebrities and Democrats are fiendishly clever. They needed an easily identifiable symbol that can be worn in public–a symbol which would allow them to recognize others of their sexually perverse Satanic cannibalistic ilk (yes, they are an ilk). Ordinary decent people might wear a polo shirt with the traditional emblem of a polo pony on the front. If you look closely at the next Hollywood celebrity fund-raiser for a Democrat, you’ll notice some of those polo shirts actually feature a galloping gnu. If you pay attention, you’ll hear them exchange a ritual greeting. “Hey buddy, how’s it going?” What this really means is, “Hello fellow conspirator, have you any European children stolen from Episcopalian churches available for perverse sexual rituals and Satanic cannibalistic feasts?” This is happening right in front of your eyes. Wake up, America.

Jew-Anon — This is a false flag conspiracy theory. (Not in the Hue-Anon sense, but in the sense that it doesn’t make any sense, if that makes sense.) Does anybody really believe Jews would engage in a conspiracy of any sort? I mean, they’ve never even been able to put together a professional football team. Don’t be stupid.

The Truth is out there. All you have to do is look for it. Wake up, America. Wake up.

mawkish memorial day metaphor

Did my bit yesterday. You know…the ritual of tending the graves for Memorial Day. It’s supposed to be a holiday created by a grateful nation to honor the men and women who died while in military service. Some folks are grateful enough to visit cemeteries, large and small in every corner of the nation, to plant a flag on the grave of every veteran. It’s a pretty idea, isn’t it.

But let’s face it, the nation really isn’t all that grateful, and it’s been years since the holiday was about dead veterans. Modern Memorial Day is more a celebration of consumerism than anything else — like most American holidays. But it’s also expanded beyond its original purpose. There’s still a lot of tending to graves, but it’s no longer limited to veterans.

I’m fine with that. It’s nice to have a day set aside for remembering the dead, whoever they are, however they died. That’s especially true now, when the butcher’s bill for Covid-19 will almost certainly top 100,000 in the next week. Maybe next year somebody will plant a flag on the grave of every Covid-19 victim. I think we, as a nation, will need to find some way to express both our horror and our collective grief at the loss of so many lives. Right now it seems we’re either in shock or denial of the enormity of what’s happening. The fact that it’s still happening — that the pandemic is ongoing — makes it difficult to process. Some events are too catastrophic to comprehend until after they’ve finished, until we know how they end.

Yesterday I visited half a dozen different cemeteries — some in the city, some in the burbs, some in the middle of farmland. Some were nicer than others, some better tended, some busy with other Memorial Day caretakers, some weren’t. I helped tend to graves of family and friends, even those of a few strangers, only about half of whom were veterans.

As usual, I shot a few photographs. I generally delete most of the photos I shoot, especially on Memorial Day.  How many photos do you need of gravestones and flags?

This morning I looked at the photos I shot yesterday. I deleted all but a few. Two of them struck me. One, shot in an urban cemetery, was of the rows and rows of flags — a reminder that there was a time when it was common for American men to do a few years of military service, that it was seen as an honorable thing to do. The other photo was of the farmland just outside a rural cemetery, rows and rows of seedlings growing.

Rows of flags, rows of crops. There are metaphors in those two photos. They’re mostly trite, mawkish metaphors, almost embarrassingly sincere, but they’re also honest. Which is more than I can say for a lot of what we see on Memorial Day. 

targeted murder hornets

Okay, so, I have a plan. It’s still in the very early stages of development, so maybe it’s not actually a ‘plan’. At least not in the sense of a thought-out arrangement or method for doing something. I can’t really say I’ve thought this out terribly well. In fact, it would be more accurate to call it a ‘plot’ rather than a plan, since it’s more of a sequence of intended events rather than an actual arrangeme…well, okay even ‘plot’ is probably inaccurate. Let’s call it a thought experiment. Or wishful thinking.

Okay, so I’ve been doing some wishful thinking about those tuna-brained plonkers parading outside the offices and homes of state government officials who have implemented stay-at-home orders in an effort to reduce the Covid-19 butcher’s bill. I should say that I support anybody’s right to protest. Anybody’s, even if I disagree with the protest, and even if I think the protest is stupid beyond belief.

Yeah, THIS is a guy I’d trust with a firearm. He looks nice.

But damn. Look I know I should feel compassion for folks who are so frightened or timid they feel they need to carry at least one firearm (and preferably more, plus some extra ammo and probably some sort of tactical knife) to go to the market or to exercise their civil liberties. It must be miserable to be that scared all the time. But the sad truth is I’m finding it increasingly difficult to be compassionate for people who have to carry a firearm everywhere they go in public in order to feel safe while insisting that others who are scared of a virus should just stay home.

Anyway, I have a plan some wishful thinking about these dolts. It involves murder hornets. Have you heard about the murder hornets? Vespa Mandarina, or something like that. Big fucking Asian wasps that have found their way to the US, probably from Wuhan China (I mean, why not?). Two inches long, with mandibles like scimitars and a stinger long enough to penetrate a bee-keeper’s suit. Also? They can sting you multiple times. Multiple. Flies at 20 miles per hour, so good luck outrunning one of those angry bastards. I mean, Usain Bolt, who is like the fastest man on the damned planet, was clocked at 28 mph, and that was only for a hundred meters. Of course, if he had a murder hornet behind him, he might do better. But the rest of us are fucked. I mean, just look at them.

Their sting has been described as like being impaled with red hot thumbtacks.

Here’s a thing about hornets (well, some hornets, not all of them, but maybe including murder hornets, I don’t know, but we’re still in the wishful thought experiment stage, so don’t discourage me): when angry or attacked, they release an alarm pheromone (your basic 2-methyl-3-butene-2-ol) that incites other nearby hornets to attack. This alarm pheromone is semi-key to my plan wishful thought experiment.

Okay, here it is: we (and by ‘we’ I mean somebody else other than me) capture and breed hundreds or thousands of murder hornets, genetically modifying the brutes so they’re attracted to the smell of Hoppe’s gun oil. How hard could that be?

Hey tunahead, say hello to my little friend.

Anyway, that’s the plan wishful thought experiment. Breed them, train them, turn them loose at these protests. Then stand back. The hornets are drawn to the firearms, the tunaheads panic and swat at them (or just panic and run, the plan work…dammit, the wishful thought experiment works either way), hilarity ensues.

There are still a few wrinkles to work out, I admit. I wonder if Kickstarter would accept something like this.

still standing

I do like an early morning thunderstorm. It’s nine o’clock in the morning and it’s so dark I have the kitchen light on while I drink my morning coffee and read the news. The rain is falling with a sort of steady insistence, like it’s telling us we can stay inside and act like nothing is happening, but it is not going to stop. The cat is looking resentfully out the window at the rain, unfazed by the sporadic thunder. It’s a pretty solid thunderstorm in terms of rain and thunder, but it’s skimping on the lightning. Maybe it’s storing it up and will give us a show later.

The news tells me that on Friday the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives issued guidelines to allow federally licensed firearm dealers to provide drive-up or walk-up gun sales during this period of isolation. Why? To reduce the health risks posed by the coronavirus. The BATF has a dead solid lock on graveyard humor.

On Facebook one of my Christian senator is wishing me a happy Easter and assuring me ‘He has risen’. I hope she’s not referring to that dark, malignant force haunting the White House, ghoulishly presiding over the drown-in-the-fluid-that-fills-your-own-lungs pandemic. Speaking of which, the butcher’s bill in the U.S. will exceed 21,000 deaths at some point today.

This morning the Twitterverse is, as usual, like Jabberwocky written by the illegitimate child of Oscar Wilde and Charlie Manson (just go with me on this; I don’t need a lesson in biology). It’s clever and hateful and funny and malicious and witty and snarky and so incredibly stupid and full of fascinating information and confusing as hell. Twitter is probably like a lot of family gatherings.

~ ~ ~

I’ve forgotten what point I’d intended to make when I started writing this morning. I got distracted by this photograph. I saw it on Twitter. If Twitter can be believed — and I want to believe this is true — this is a photograph of an ICU nurse who has worked 65 hours in the last week. I’ve been looking at and thinking about this photo for about an hour.

I don’t know this woman’s name, or where she works, or who shot the photo. I don’t really know anything at all about her. But I recognize her. I recognize that look. I know she’s on the ragged edge of exhaustion, discouraged, worn down by grief and duty. I don’t know who she is, and I know she can’t save us. But I also know she’ll try. And I know that after a few hours of sleep, she’ll be back at it. So will all of her colleagues.

Today I’ll stay inside, dry and warm. I’ll read my book, I’ll cook some food, I’ll do a little housework, I’ll do a bit of writing, I’ll feed and pet the cat, I’ll continue to check in on social media. At some point tonight I’ll watch an episode of Breaking Bad and maybe an episode of some other show. I’ll fill up every hour of the day, but I’ll never be busy and I’ll never be uncomfortable and I’ll never have to make a decision more difficult than what to cook for supper.

But I know I’ll return, over and over, to this photograph. It’s that powerful; it’s that compelling. Right there — everything that can be said about the power of photography is right there. Everything that’s good and noble about humankind, right there. Everything that can be said about sacrifice and dignity and dedication and love and compassion, right there. Everything that is heart-crushing, that is hopeful, that is beautiful, that is desperately sad and deeply caring and incredibly tough and still tender, it’s all right there.

I hope my Christian senator sees this photograph. I’m glad she finds some comfort and strength in her belief that ‘He has risen’. Me, I’m drawing my strength and comfort from knowing that this woman, whoever she is and wherever she is, is still standing.

knuckles, returned to the shelf

A hundred photographs. A nice round number, and a good stopping point for the Knuckles Google Street View project. I thought about maybe stretching it out until February 18th, which would end the gig a full year from the start date, but…naw. A project shouldn’t be ‘stretched out’ just to reach an anniversary. A project ends when it feels done.

This project feels done to me. Like every Knuckles project, it began primarily as a way to amuse myself. And I mean ‘amuse’ in the older sense of the term: to cause a person to muse about something. To think about stuff. A project, for me, is just a device to engage my interest and attention. A project allows me to become absorbed, to feed my curiosity, to make me think. Granted, the thinking might seem frivolous — at least on the surface — but it’s thinking. Thinking is fun.

The GSV project made me think about a lot of stuff. The practice of curation, for example. I mean, the entire project is, itself, an exercise in curation. We’re talking about ten million virtual miles of highways, streets, avenues, dirt roads, and donkey pathways in eighty-three countries, all dispassionately captured by robotic cameras, each of which has six to eight lenses. That’s a lot of images. I only saw the tiniest fraction of that universe of images, and culling a hundred images out of that number meant some heavy-duty thinking about what makes an image interesting.

It was exceedingly frustrating to have NO control over the elements of composition. I came across a LOT of scenes that would have made a compelling image, except for some distracting element — a trash can, a parked car, a fence, a sign that interfered with the image. Stuff that would be easily dealt with in person. I knew that frustration would be baked into the project, of course. But it was still maddening.

The project also made me think about culture — how culture spreads through the world, and where it spreads from. I saw business parks in Illinois that looked like business parks in Turkey that looked like business parks in Japan. I saw a town in Indonesia that was jammed with US military surplus Jeeps transitioned into local utility vehicles. I saw a statue of a baseball player on a pedestal in Japan, and basketball courts in Slovakia. I saw American-style graffiti everywhere.

In fact, ‘America’ was everywhere. If you followed the project, you may have noticed the majority of the images are located either in the countryside or in small villages. That’s because so many cities — or large areas of the cities — were indistinguishable from each other. Aside from the signs, a city block in Uruguay looked very similar to on in Romania or Indiana. And they were all dull. The oldest neighborhoods of the oldest cities, on the other hand, were often very distinct. Unfortunately, the streets in those neighborhoods were almost always so narrow, so cluttered, so visually busy that despite how interesting they were, they simply weren’t amenable to a good image.

The project made me think about architecture. Not just the obvious architecture of buildings and homes, but also the architecture of infrastructure. Bridges, power lines, bus stops, sheds, fences. Rural mailboxes in Scandinavia look different from those in rural mailboxes in Canada, which look different from those in rural Indonesia. Telephone poles in former Soviet republics and telephone poles in Mississippi are distinct from each other. It was sometimes easy to tell what part of the world you were in simply by looking at the local infrastructure.

Local infrastructure reflects local attitudes. I mean, consider tunnels. You need to build a road through a hilly or mountainous landscape, what do you do? Some nations will build tunnels; other nations will just level the landscape. That approach tells you something about cultural attitudes.

I was also surprised by how many animals I saw on Google Street View, though I don’t know why that surprised me. We live in a world of animals, don’t we. Pets, livestock, wildlife. Dogs, goats, birds, horses, cats, cattle, sheep, chickens. And, of course, people interacting with those animals. Walking dogs, herding cattle, feeding goats and chickens, playing with cats. These were often the most frustrating images, because there’s something strangely emotional about the way humans interact with animals. But this is another of the problems of relying on a robotic camera; robots have no interest in decisive moments. Nor do animals. Animals move. People will stop and stare at a Google Street View car, but to a dog or a donkey, it’s just another car. So the vast majority of images of animals interacting with people (or other animals) were blurry and useless. Except for those of sheep and cattle. Those guys just stand there.

This has been a fun project. It’s been frustrating, of course, but it’s been interesting. And now it feels finished. It didn’t work out quite the way I’d expected (or hoped), but it did work out in ways I hadn’t anticipated. I hadn’t expected weather to be so important. I hadn’t expected cloud formations to be such a factor. I hadn’t expected telephone poles or trees to play such a prominent role. I expected people to be a more critical element.

I like the fact the project didn’t take the shape I thought it would. I like its final shape. I’m satisfied and pleased. And ready to be done with it.

With the final photo today, Knuckles Dobrovic is going back on the shelf. Not forever, obviously, but for a while. One of the things I’ve learned from the Knuckles projects is how much I like the structure that’s necessary for a project. I like the restrictions and the constraints that impose a certain discipline on me. I enjoy pushing against those restrictions and constraints. But this road ends here.

At some point, I’ll take Knuckles back off the shelf. At some point in the future I’ll cobble together some semi-lazy rationale for a project to distract me from all the other stuff I ought to be doing. Until then, if you’re interested in seeing all the photos — or any of the various Knuckles projects — you can find them here on Instagram.

EDITORIAL NOTE: It’s been pointed out to me that I neglected to include links to the origin of the project and the halfway point. I’m a putz. Fixed it, though.

a short list of things I’d like to see in 2020

Last year at this time I put together a short list of things I’d like to see in 2019. I didn’t see any of those things. I didn’t really expect to, but still. Seriously, would it kill the Universe to do something nice for a change?

Anyway, it’s been a year so I thought I’d do it again. My expectations remain low. I’ll probably include a couple of items from last year’s list; if so, I’ll put a double asterisk beside them (why a double asterisk? I don’t know; it seemed right). So here, in no particular order, are some things I’d like to see in 2020:

— More greenspaces in cities and suburbs. And not highly manicured spaces, or spaces where they just let shit grow without caring for it, but spaces that are maintained while still allowing nature to take its course.
— Brett Kavanaugh busted for DWI.**
— A remake of the Highlander television show. I generally hate remakes, whether they’re movies or tv show, because the remake is almost always worse and more stupid. But Highlander had so much potential, and it only lived up to that potential about 25% of the time. Which ain’t bad for television, but still.
— A woman president. It would be stupid to vote for a woman for president simply because she’s a woman, but lawdy there are SO MANY qualified women out there. It’s WAY more stupid that a woman candidate has to be massively more qualified than a man in order to be seen as equal.
— Which reminds me. I’d like to see the patriarchy smashed into tiny shards, those shard ground into dust, that dust buried deep in the earth, the earth above it salted so that nothing will grow there for a thousand years. Or so.
— Which also reminds me. Donald Trump and his family of grifters and traitors in handcuffs.**
— Ditto his corrupt supporters in Congress.
— More front porches on houses. And friendly people sitting on them. In rocking chairs. Or swings.
— More electric modes of transportation. More electric cars, buses, motorcycles, motor scooters, bicycles, skateboards.
— Streaming services that allow you to buy specific shows without having to subscribe to the actual service. I’ve no desire to subscribe to Disney, but I’d like to see The Mandalorian. I’ve no desire to give money to Jeff Bezos, but I’d like to see Fleabag.
— The end of single use plastic bottles.
— Quiet spaces. Both indoors and outdoors. Spaces specifically set aside in which sounds are muffled or stifled. Businesses that commit to quietness would be given tax breaks.
— A ban on firearm magazines holding more than ten rounds.
— World Bollard Day. A day in which bollards are recognized and decorated around the globe. (I sort of mentioned this last year, but only seeking more respect for bollards; now I want them celebrated.)
— Reality Winner released from prison.
— More dogs welcomed in public venues. Coffee shops, libraries, taverns, etc.
— And, of course, actual usable pockets in women’s clothes. It’s 2020, for fuck’s sake.**

As before, I’m sure there’s other stuff, but this is all I could come up with while waiting for the coffee makings to become coffee.

What about you? What would you like to see in the coming year?

Addendum: Just wanted to include this: More shows/movies/anything starring Merritt Wever. Hell, I’d even watch a remake of Highlander with Merritt Wever as the Highlander. She’s that good.