I’m sure at some point I’ll total up what I’m writing about this and find it wanting, for the same reasons others might. Why are you writing about this instead of writing about that. It’s a tiresome game. Let’s just say the week isn’t over. Don’t presume. But that would be acting for good faith assumptions, and the great thing about 2020 is that extensions of good faith, waiting for all the facts, assuming common purposes and goals that will unite us when the smoke clears - these are signs of weakness. The times demand Men of Iron!
By “waiting for all the facts” I do not mean the the killing of George Floyd, which - and I’ll go out on a limb here - was exactly what it looked like, and is indefensible by any decent human being.
It may be unwise to write about it at all, since you swing between all sorts of moods that harden the heart and anger up the blood. But there’s just so much that just deserves a kick in the yarbles. Hey, on that we can all agree, right?
Speaking of yesterday - I posted this, but screwed up the image upload.
DFL House Majority Leader.
He later deleted the tweet and said he had erroneous information. Imagine someone posting, without confirmation, that a driver who wandered into a Fourht of July parade had an ISIS flag and Muslim insignia.
Consequences? Surely an editorial or two. Surely some tut-tutting on the ol' social media.
I think a lot about the After of all this, and I suspect that all the predictions about reckoning and accountability and Taking a Good Hard Look at Ourselves will be subsumed into general numbness.
People will be happy to see the neighborhood pharmacy open again. The summer will be stripped of its usual pleasures and simple joys, because the dead hand of COVID will have shut down the means by which people enjoy being people in places where it is good to be human. The state will ensure that the beaches are closed, just as the state ensures that the right to gather by the thousands on the Capitol grounds is essential business. And it is! Don’t get me wrong. They have the right. But the same squad car that was absent when punks were breaking into a Dollar Store will roll up and whoop-whoop on a family sitting on the beach.
Or maybe it won't, and another law formed for strict enforcement for our own benefit just evaporates, and the lesson's learned: they can be safely ignored.
Or maybe not. Maybe they’ll give up on the beach bans and say so and recind, the machinery of the state in full view.. It was a bad look then, but it was necessary, because a family on the beach might possibly lead to Grandma in the nursing home getting sick. Grandpa must be protected; it is who we are. If Grandpa was a bit more hale, and wandered out of his store to tell looters to go away, and he called the cops, and they swung a 2X4 at his head, well, cue the narrator:
He ain’t playin’
They getting into it now
And then post that shit on the gram.
I’m paraphrasing the narration a score of videos I’ve seen. There’s always a sense of delight and approval familiar to anyone who’s seen a lot of these public-fight videos - there are subreddits devoted to them - and they have the same tone, a florescence of delight. Not that there is a beating, necessarily - that’s certainly part of the appeal - but that the person holding the phone has captured it. He has something good now. He has something to share.
We can talk another day about how “share” has been drained of its moral meanings. How its primary definitions these days are related to disease and various forms of video debasement.
Anyway: I think a lot about that video I showed on Monday, the white losers breaking into the Dollar Store, getting angry with the resident who was filming them and telling them not to do it because he was stanning for a corporation, you fucking cunt.
The moral and ideological incoherence of these useless punks is remarkable. There's a plate of soft Jell-O where a firm brain ought to be.
Capitalism sucks, man!
Because it oppresses people!
Okay, give me an example.
It’s all corporations!
Okay great fine but here’s the thing, you miserable little shit. Has your flat spotty ass ever been in a Dollar Store? I’m guessing your retail experience mostly consisted of sullen trips to Target with Mom because she needed some stuff, and wanted you to come in the store to see if there was anything you needed for school, and you shuffled around and looked at your feet and rolled your eyes because Target, man, it’s so Mom, I can’t wait to get out of this suburban hell and go somewhere you know, real, and she’s like, do you need a new backpack, your old one’s kinda beaten, like it’s important? Like I’m eight and want Power Rangers or something?
And then Mom bought you what you wanted and also food for dinner and paid for it and you were looking at your phone while she swiped the card, and you’re like, are we done, already
You know why they call it the Dollar Store? Because that’s what stuff costs, and the people who go there know it, and when they have X numbers of dollars for the week, that matters. Oh by all means everyone joke about how they chose the wrong place to loot, what do they want, lousy party goods?
A person can get a bottle of shampoo or soap for a dollar. A person can get a six-pack of sausages for a dollar. A person can get a kitchen tool for a dollar. A person can get a toy for their child for a dollar. A person can get a book for a dollar.
You stand there dressed in bespoke black gear to demonstrate your auth-en-tic-ity and you loot a Dollar Store and upbraid someone who lives in the neighborhood for “stanning” a chain store because you hate CAPITALISM, MAN, when it was that very system that brought food and goods to the neighborhood.
oH bUt iT drOve oUt a lOcAl BuSineSs
Even if that was the case, let's just say you're not the best person to make that case, having participarting in the elimination of all the other local businesses.
Here, dumbass. Talk to this woman.
They will suffer no consequences. Years later, in the proper circles, they will regale their peers with tales of their involvement of the Revolution. If they apply for nice jobs they will never fear that an arrest record will taint them, or admit to their bosses that they believe the system should be dismantled at 1 AM by men in masks if the zesty zeitgeist of the evening demands it.
That's assuming they don't get their revolution. If they do, they will be purged in the first wave, since the new regimes generally get rid of the weak and the useless. Sorry, Comrade. It's not personal. It's just business.
This is a boring newspaper without a lot of stuff to show you, and I’m not sure why I picked it.
Take a look at that masthead:
Nice work. Custom, too.
An ad from the inside, with typical 20s graphics. Whish! They die!
When it’s made by Standard oil, you have to think it’s some noxious byproduct that probably killed everyone who handled it. But not right away.
The standards for “Society” reporting are, of course, relaxed in small towns.
The faculty dinner sounds lovely. There’s absolutely no reason anyone had to remember that this event occurred, but there was this notice, and now it’s in the Google Brain for all eternity.
Remember, she’s about 58 years old. But she can still behave modern!
Now you’re cooking with . . . electricity! Later the phrase would shift to gas, not because people had shifted to gas, but because gas was getting competition from electricity.
I can’t find it on the Google Street View, which is odd; small towns usually saved these structures, if only because nothing else was going on.
Wait a minute - does this cover things that don’t fall under the aegis of “Society”?
The building today. Looks wider, but perhaps that was part of the renovation. Note the details on the buildings to the right - it fits, but it doesn’t, but it does.
That'll do. The Decades section moves to the Forties today. Another time of considerable violence where, nevertheless, life went on.