Hot and smoky here in Seattle. And most of us don’t have A/C.
Signs of hope:
Signs of shenanigans:
Trump wuz here:
I wouldn’t normally trust such a prolific author, but she’s right about this. What the hell, Missouri:
This is good:
Trump signs Russian sanctions bill, under protest. Writes in his signing statement that parts of it are obviously unconstitutional, and points out in that same official statement that he himself built up a great business worth billions of dollars.
Russia writes mean tweets. Then Ukraine trolls Russia:
Been down so long, it feels like Trump to me:
The White House unleashed Stephen Miller (C+ Santa Monica Fascist, h/t Jon Lovett) on the viewing public this afternoon.
The number of likes and retweets that stupid “Trump beating up CNN” video had as of this morning. And that was twelve hours ago. Not sure our republic even deserves to survive.
Spent all day (off and on) discussing with one person the nuanced ins and outs of a snafu regarding a comic book and messaging and identity politics and whether “virtue signaling” is a thing, and what constitutes giving platforms to hate speech. Then at dinner someone (another Democrat) went full-on anti-semitic. I stepped up to the plate and said something. It felt gross and it feels like I did it wrong, and the words came out all mushy and mangled. But at least I didn’t go into full paralysis. That’s all I have to say about that.
I had an encounter on the way home from zumba tonight. I can’t even tell you how silly zumba feels to me now, like fiddling while Rome burns. Still I tell myself, “Now is no time to be soft in mind and body” and heave myself in the direction of the gym. And then the whole time I’m doing light-hearted dance moves I’m thinking, “Later we’ll see ourselves as naive in these days. I guess this is our life now. Trying to preserve something of the U.S. from creeping autocracy. Trying to keep autocracy to a creep.”
At the end of summer, in sunnier times in these United States, I was walking down the street in my neighborhood in something that could only be described as a get-up. It was layers, and flouncy, and competing patterns.
I heard a cheery voice call out “Great eye for color!” and looked down to see a wizened, nearly toothless man in a heap of colorful rags, sitting cross-legged on the sidewalk and smiling at me. He seemed to be genuinely hailing me as one aesthete to another.
Tonight I saw him outside the drugstore. He asked me for a quarter because he wanted to buy a bottle of nail polish for his artwork. He had a feathery staff and a woven, feathery hat. No one would doubt that he really did need nail polish for an art project. So I gave him six bucks, which was all the cash I had on me.
In exchange, he gave me a card-sized print of a piece of artwork, and told me about himself. “I’m an artist,” he said, “but I have no patience for the academy. I would rather live in quietude in the woods than surround myself with rich people and their rabble.” He had dirt-blackened fingernails, fingerless gloves, and he swished his hands around artily while he talked. He smelled like tobacco and unwashed human. The card was a color photocopy pasted to a magazine cover for stiffness.
It wasn’t until I got home that I saw the words he’d written down in one corner: It’s better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.