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Easy button

I kind of miss the man. I have to confess, as traumatized as I was by the last four years - and particularly the last year or so - it has been difficult this week, surfing the headlines, looking for the next sign of Armageddon and finding nothing but cautious optimism. It's not that I dislike cautious optimism; I like it a lot. It's just that my central nervous system has acclimated to ridiculously high levels of cortisol and adrenaline during the pandemic-soaked election cycle, and so excuse me if I wake up every morning LOOKING for something to be desperately wrong. But there hasn't been, until today. Today the other shoe dropped. The headline said, "Joe Biden Removing Trump's 'Diet Coke Button' From the Oval Office..."  Say what, now?  Yup, so I'm not sure how I missed this, but former President Trump (take a moment, let that sink in) had a button installed in the Oval Office that, when pushed, summoned a butler with a glass of Diet Coke on a s
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When the levee is dry

 A long, long time ago, when I can still remember how the music used to make me smile... *** We all collectively know it as the opening lyric to an iconic, historical song, a true mile marker across our popular culture landscape: American Pie , by artist Don McLean . But if you were a Martian, only here for a short time to observe, or perhaps a Gen Z dweeb who doesn't acknowledge anything before, maybe, Justin Timberlake, you might just think it's the first line of a blog about life in January 2021 and the heavy, inescapable weltschmerz of post-Trump America.   Both would be correct. American Pie is one of, if not the, most celebrated, analyzed pop songs in Western culture. It was released on the album of the same name in 1971 and 49 years ago this month began a solid four weeks at the top of the Billboard charts. McLean, who grew up in the suburbs around New York City, wrote the song in Cold Spring, NY, and here in Philadelphia, where he first performed it on March 14, 1971

View from the bottom

Bless me, Readers, for I have sinned. It has been – I don’t know, a very long, dark time – since my last communication. During that extended period I have used profanity almost constantly, harbored anger and vitriol in my heart and eaten enough carbohydrates to sustain a small metropolis. I have waited, in vain, for a calm to overtake my guts so that it felt safe to talk again. About things that matter, like Trader Joe’s and Taylor Swift – not about civil war, sedition and incomprehensible betrayal. My earliest guiding principle when I began this blog was to avoid talking about politics, per se , because of two foundational beliefs: Anything that adds to the noise disappears in the noise. Life – and I guess survival, though it didn’t really appear to me in those terms at the time – is experienced in the spaces we share, not the echo chambers we choose. And I’m here to tell you, I did a really, honestly, mediocre-bordering-on-shitty job. I talked about politics a little. I mean, anyon

Thanks, Obama.

As I've said in an earlier post, I did not vote for Barack Obama - not once.  It was never because I didn't like him, or respect him. I just didn't like his platform, his agenda. It wasn't him, it was never personal. I thought it was great that a black senator, someone young and articulate, could energize the younger vote. I was just conservative, and didn't agree with liberal policy. I still push back on a good chunk, 50% or more, of liberal policy. But the last four years have resulted in the suspension of reality, not just tradition. As I mentioned before , I am not willing to subjugate my humanity to support the political tenets I believe in. People come first. Basic logic. Lizard-brain stuff. So yes, there have been many times during the past four years when I've looked in the rear-view at Barack Obama and admitted to myself, as well as others, "I was never once ashamed to have him as the President, even when I didn't agree with him." Feeling

Kill Kellyanne, Vol. II

Don't let the headline fool you, I am not advocating killing anyone, least of all former Trump mouthpiece Kellyanne Conway .  I am just continuing my homage to the force of nature that is her daughter, Claudia Conway . The headline is just a cheap play on the Quentin Tarantino Kill Bill series, which - if you read one of my earlier posts about Claudia - reminds me of the bloodthirsty way this teenager has been torching her famous parents, the White House and virtually everything else in her path. It's awesome! As long as she's not my daughter, I am 100% down with Team Claudia. She is truly the pop culture gift that won't stop giving. No matter how much you want her to - ask her mother! It's crazy to imagine that anyone could be more effective at demonizing Kellyanne Conway than SNL's Kate McKinnon . (Watch the "It" parody, "Kellywise," here. It's the best thing ever.) But when the call is coming FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE, well, that's

No Hope

If anyone is not convinced that, somewhere, a seal has been broken and we are full-on in the middle of the actual Apocalypse, here's proof. According to CNN , a baby zebra (they say ZEH-bra, by the way) in the UK that was born in the early days of the COVID-19 outbreak, has died after being frightened by local fireworks set off by neighbors to commemorate a national holiday. The baby, unfortunately named Hope, was spooked by the fireworks and ran, panicked, into the wall of her zoo enclosure, dying "immediate(ly)" from injuries sustained.  If there's ever been a better metaphor for this particular moment in time, I can't think of one. Election didn't go your way? Awww. Favorite watering hole can't stay open past 10 PM? Damn. Zoom Thanksgiving?! Terrible! But next to whatever you're grousing about right now, hold this up: An adorable baby zebra NAMED HOPE committed accidental suicide running into the wall of her cage because the fireworks people were sh

I'll take Robert Downey, Jr. for 200, Alex

"There's all kinds of people dying who never died before." Some people remember Donald Trump saying this early in the COVID pandemic. Some attributed it to Joe Biden . Personally, I have a clear memory of my Nana saying it - maybe ironically, maybe not - when I was little. As I got older, I remember thinking she may have been quoting Yogi Berra or maybe a Borscht Belt comic. The fact that none of these are true tells you a little something about how smart Ken Jennings is.  (The quote was said by none of those people, but rather written by Ernest Hemingway , that famous comedian, in a letter in 1930. He was being ironic.) Ken Jennings is arguably the smartest guy who's ever been in my living room. Which is to say, he is the GOAT (Greatest of All Time) of Jeopardy , coronated after a no-holds-barred tournament earlier this year between him,  James Holzhauer and Brad Rutter . I don't know if he's smarter than those guys, but he's absolutely more likable th