I had my first vaccine shot today. HAH HAH BILL GATES IN MY HEAD JOKES yeah, yeah. It’s a pity I’m so late to this; all the good memes have been worn out.

The appointment was 3:20 at Walgreens in Uptown, and figured I’d go early in case there was some excess paperwork. Passed the new library:

Good, I might need paint:

Daughter's Target was boarded as well.

I found a parking spot right away, and was sitting in my car when another auto rolled up; the driver rolled down the window, honked her horn, and shouted GUILTY

What? Checked Twitter: the jury had come to a verdict, would be announced in a bit. So she was presuming.

I went inside, thinking "just get the shot. Don't make this a performance." This was Daughter's voice in my head, since she had to live all her formative years watching Dad "have fun" with clerks and strangers. I plead guilty. Why not make every interaction a bit more enjoyable, a bit merrier? It's a performance! Really? Am I any different with them than I am at home? No.

Still, just get the shot. DON'T MAKE IT A BIG THING.

I put my papers across the counter. The pharmacist took my information, looked, and said:

"Are you The Lileks?"


Well, so much for my resolution.

AND IT WAS FUN. ("My mother is obsessed with you," she said, which is not something I hear every day.)

After I got the shot I said I was glad I got it in before the verdict.

"If the store burns down we will find you another place for your second shot," she reassured me. I also noted I was happy to get right in, even though I'd arrived early

"Good thing you did," she said. "We're closing the store now. If you'd come at your time you wouldn't have been able to get your shot."

No sitting around for 15 minutes to see if I was okay, because the verdict was in.

Traffic was heavy. Everyone was heading home. I took the lakes route, and took a nice cruise around the beautiful city.

Went home, turned on the radio, and waited. After all, America was on trial in the eyes of the world. The System was on trial.

The first verdict produced instant relief. But what of the second? Guilty: relief. But what of the third? Because you had the feeling it had to be unanimous. Guilty: relief.

I was stirring some crumbled chicken on the stove - well, in a pan on the stove, it’s less messy - and thought: I got the vaccine shot and the trial is over. It was as if the weight of an entire year lifted, right there.

Now let me say something unpopular, perhaps. Several things are possible:

The jurors were well aware of the possible, if not likely, consequences of acquittal. (I discount the Maxine Waters and President Biden remarks, because nothing anyone said has as much impact as the memory of what was done, last summer.)

We do not know how they dealt with that, personally or collectively, or whether their eventual resolution of that matter was something they arrived at with clarity, or the reassuring self-justifications people make all the time, particularly when engaging with morally thorny dilemmas. Or both.

It is also possible, and I would say likely, that they took their responsibility seriously and delivered a verdict based on their understanding of what they had seen and heard. In other words, they wanted to do their civic duty.

This morning on the Op-Ed page:

That was the author’s response to the boarding up of everything. A defense of Whiteness.

You can't move through this city without noticing the hardware stores with floor-to-ceiling wood coverings,

Oh, it’s more than the hardware stores.

the shuttered restaurants that didn't survive COVID or last summer's fires


and the brunch spots and boutiques that have hired local artists to soften their fortifications with strained messages like "In This Together," "Know Justice, Know Peace" and "Love Is All Around," which reads like a cringeworthy homage to the theme song from "The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”

It’s better than another line from the song, “You can have the town, why don’t you take it.” Note: if the plywood was unadorned, it would be a sign that no one cares, or measures have been taken to prevent community expression. If the boards are painted, it’s “strained.”

In the lead-up to Chauvin's trial, city officials and business owners often talked about "bracing" for the public reaction, their focus seemingly on protecting the city's buildings from any harm that might come from a repeat of the demonstrations against police violence that took place last summer.

Seemingly? What other reason would there be to put up the boards? Also, put me down in the “protecting the city’s buildings from harm” camp, if we have to take a stand on these things.

Across the metropolitan area, contractors drilled plywood into place, all to protect structures from violence being done to — and in the name of — neighbors. All to protect the city from the unyielding reality facing its Black citizens.

Actually, if you look at the videos of last summer, a hell of a lot of destruction was caused by white people - either loser anarchist mayhem-tourists interested in Revolution! because the alternative is working at Office Max, or garden-variety losers who just wanted to see stuff burn for lulz. The author seems to presume that everyone else presumes the violence will be committed mostly by African-Americans. I don’t.

You hate to point out the culpability of white rioters, because you wonder if you’ll be accused of minimizing the understandable reaction of black people.

Actually, white people are greatly complicit in urban destruction.





It’s 1954. There’s always this nuke thing simmering, and you hated to see it in the headlines. You just wished it would go away.

A and H weapons. You wonder how that headline would’ve struck someone ten years earlier.


And this bastard was . . . .

Andrey Yanuaryevich Vyshinsky (10 December 1883 – 22 November 1954) was a Soviet politician, jurist and diplomat.

He is known as a state prosecutor of Joseph Stalin's Moscow trials and in the Nuremberg trials. He was the Soviet Foreign Minister from 1949 to 1953, after having served as Deputy Foreign Minister under Vyacheslav Molotov since 1940. He also headed the Institute of State and Law in the Soviet Academy of Sciences.

A contemporary recalled him:

He spoke good French, was quick, clever and efficient, and always knew his dossier well, but whereas I had a certain unwilling respect for Molotov, I had none at all for Vyshinsky. All Soviet officials at that time had no choice but to carry out Stalin's policies without asking too many questions, but Vyshinsky above all gave me the impression of a cringing toadie only too anxious to obey His Master's Voice even before it had expressed his wishes.

Died of a bum ticker in New York.


  Prowling reported, loot dropped:

There’s still a gas station on the spot, which is somewhat, but not entirely, surprising.

He’s getting into the spring out-of-doors, to coin a peculiar phrase:

Googling about indicates he’s still alive, in his early 80s, and living in town. Just not here. where the picture was taken:


In other words, people really expected a lot out of milkmen, with scant consideration of the burdens implied:

Reg Manning. I think we’ve discussed him before. Nice work, but it has the institutional character of the 50s.


The local unnamed columnist who does the “Thoughts While Shaving” routine. He doesn’t exactly open with his snappiest material, but perhaps a lot of people felt that way. Drizzly March took a toll.

What the hell is that fourth item about?



News from all over: a car goes into a house in far-off Ohio, and the Goods moved into Toutle.

Wonder if the Goods were surprised to see this. Who the hell told them? Who the hell cares? What business is it of anyone’s?


"I'm short 16 cents. We'll have to go to the Columbia."

The Kelso, here - an old postcard. It’s a “theater pub” now. “Saadia” was an MGM movie, and I’ve no idea if it’s been seen in decades.

As for the theaters in Longview . . . well, that’s for tomorrow.


That'll do. See you tomorrow. Suggestion: make this comments section completely unique from everything else that will populate the Discus realm today.




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