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Showing posts from January, 2021

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

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