Annus Horribilis

2020. Not anybody’s fault in particular, despite all the blaming and shaming, despite all the rage and despair. Still, everyone I know will be glad to see the end of it. We resolve never to forget its victims, nor fail to honor the good people who went to work every morning or afternoon or evening through the worst of it, who risked their lives for the rest of us every single day of this accursed year.

The modern engines of distraction turned out to be something of a mixed blessing, but as we beeped and booped our way through seemingly endless landscapes of streaming video, or succumbed to compulsive nocturnal doomscrolling on twitter, we counted ourselves lucky to have them. Let us pray that in the coming year we won’t need them as much as they need us. Amen.

Election Postscript: A Brief Note on Masculinity

Real Men™ shouldn’t need to:

1. Call themselves boys, even if they have fond memories of once having been one.
2. Take steroids, or cultivate patriarchal beards.
3. Own bulletproof vests or camouflage-patterned caps, hats, jackets, shirts, cargo pants, underwear, jock straps or socks.
4. Store 10,000 rounds of ammunition and a crate of hand grenades in their garages.
5. Buy or carry any device or appurtenance labeled tactical, including knives, flashlights, dog-tag holders, hip flasks, and roach clips.
6. Wear machine guns in public the way Donald Trump wears a tie.
7. Strike Rambo poses in front of fifty American flags.
8. Decorate themselves or any of their possessions, especially trucks, with Confederate battle flags, swastikas, or Nazi slogans.
9. Mistake mobs of vicious degenerates for patriots.
10. Bully their wives and beat their children (or vice-versa, or both.)
11. Go home at night and lick their AR-15s.

Quarantinations

I’m pretty sure that Christian Education and Socialist Realism were assembled in the same oxymoron factory.

Sauve qui peut, or salsipuedes? Seems you must pick one or the other (though neither of them are to be what they claim.)

Twitter has its virtues. Preparing a table for us in the presence of our enemies isn’t the least of them.

A pity our American Nazis don’t speak German. If they did, we could maybe teach them a little Goethe, a little Rilke, a little Brecht.

We live in a golden age of unintended consequences. A cliché, but what about those armies of raccoons ambushing hapless Whole Foods delivery drones in dimly-lit urban alleyways, or your Tesla backing out of the garage and driving to MacDonalds without opening the door for you first? You anticipate any of that, did you?