Here are my 7 photos from last week, week #6 of 2017. I’ve decided to take a short break from complaining about President —–.
Here are my 7 photos from last week, week #6 of 2017. I’ve decided to take a short break from complaining about President —–.
I’m getting a little behind in keeping my New Year’s promise to myself to shoot and post a photo each day. (Shooting – yes. Posting – late) I’m going to blame the new President of the United States for this, because he and his yes-people have been sucking a lot of my mental energy over the past few days. I’m going to have to figure out a way to get my retirement work done with the current regime in power. Right now, it’s tough. Before too long, it will be golf season. I hope that by then I can concentrate enough to get myself to the course and play.
Here is a photo from each day last week (Week 5).
I’ve had an annoying little song playing over and over in my head for a few days. When I was a little kid back in the ’50s, we had a 45rpm record called “Topsy-Turvy Town”. It was one of those silly kids’ songs about a place where everything was the opposite of the way things really are. Of course the reason it’s popped back into my consciousness is because it feels like Topsy-Turvy America right now. The new administration wants us to believe them when they tell us that “When you look to the front, you see to the rear”, or “When you open your eyes, that’s when you can hear”. Have a listen to to “Topsy-Turvy Town by clicking here. (Warning: Don’t listen to it more than once or you’ll still have it in your head 60 years from now, like I do.)
Little kids laugh at the ridiculous. They find a backwards, upside down, world funny, precisely because they know what the truth is. Even a 4-year old understands this kind of humor. Of course the trees are not blue and the river brown, as the song tells us. Now as adults, we laugh at the Donald, KellyAnne and Sean characters on Saturday Night Live. But then frustration, even anger, take over, because the SNL version of Topsy-Turvy Town is not fictional — it’s really happening. So after a good laugh, we get serious and try to figure out what we can do about the mess we’re in.
TrumpTweets are now part of each days news. Because his opinions are not often based on facts, the tweets range from laughable, to self-aggrandizing, to mean-spirited, to jingoistic, to offensive, all the way to downright dangerous. This President’s use of Twitter is perhaps the most noticeable way the he is different than his predecessors, because he’s the first POTUS to expose his impetuous and narcissistic nature so immediately, publicly, and vociferously. He has no filters and he sees no value in getting any.
His other forms of communication are no less troubling, however. We’ve all seen plenty of wince-worthy (if not scream at the TV-worthy) moments already. Even many of his supporters hoped that President Trump would act a little more “normal” or “presidential” after he was elected. It hasn’t happened. His staunch supporters say that an unpredictable rogue is what they wanted, his lukewarm, but-he’s-better-than-Hillary voters are getting increasingly uncomfortable, and the rest of us are horrified.
Because he (and his hench-people) are SO outrageous, and so consistent in their level of outlandishness, I’m worried that there’s a danger that some of us will become accustomed to this noise, this distractive clutter, this barrage of blunders, and the lack of connection to facts. I fear that some in the Republican Party have already adjusted their level of acceptable lies and pernicious attacks from their President. Too many seem to have found a place in their minds where this President’s tenuous relationship with the truth is somehow manageable to them. David Brooks wrote an opinion piece in the New York Times last week calling out the “Republican Fausts” who have made a deal with him to get what they want. To quote Mr. Brooks, “The Republican Fausts are in an untenable position. The deal they’ve struck with the devil comes at too high a price. It really will cost them their soul.”
I hope we don’t lose our soul as a nation. I hope we don’t adjust our standards of decency, fairness, human dignity, and pursuit of the truth. I hope we don’t get warn down — not the slightest bit — by the daily bucket of bullshit being dumped on us by this administration and change out standards for how big of a bucket is acceptable.
When I restarted this blog on the first day of this year, I hadn’t intended it to be a political diatribe. But, since January 20, we’ve begun to see how serious our situation is. If I really am committed to “pay attention”, then that YUGE elephant in every room in America has to be paid attention to. He really is as bad as we thought he’d be. “Give him a chance” is not an option now, if it every was. Every day’s news makes it more difficult to see our way out of this. But we can’t stop looking for a way forward, can’t stop speaking up, can’t stop calling nonsense by its true name.
Oh, and one more line from the song:
“They call it a crowd when there’s no one at all, in Topsy-Turvy Town.”
How did they know about that 64 years ago?
The Emperor undressed, and the swindlers pretended to put his new clothes on him, one garment after another. The Emperor turned round and round before the looking glass.
“How well Your Majesty’s new clothes look. Aren’t they becoming!” He heard on all sides, “That pattern, so perfect! Those colors, so suitable! It is a magnificent outfit.
It’s been only 9 days since his coronation. We’ve all been watching him perform self-proclaimed amazing and alarming feats of strength each day. His opponents have been vocal, and his supporters have been oddly quiet (at least my Facebook friends who supported him, anyway). In a way, I get it — there’s no need to stick your neck out right now in support of his impetuous actions and crazy words, because he doesn’t need you anymore. He is now the king, and he will rule. He’s going to do what he said he was going to do for as long as he can do it, and none of us can feign surprise. He’s what we thought he would be.
Many voted for him because they wanted a “strongman” — someone who would put a stop to all this compassion, fairness, and unalienable rights nonsense. Most wanted him in power because he said he would shake up the status quo and “drain the swamp”. But many Americans didn’t bother to vote at all. Others chose a third candidate who had no chance of winning. Did they do that because they didn’t mind the idea of being ruled by a narcissistic bully? Because now we have one. We have a president that fancies himself as an emperor. To those of you who didn’t try to prevent this, aren’t his new clothes magnificent? To those of us who see him for what he is, and find nothing but the world’s yugest ego, we need to keep calling out what we see, as loudly as we can, for as long as it takes.
And in alternative news . . . . it’s been a quiet week here in Lake Wobegon.
Continuing my photo-a-day project, here’s week #4 . . . . . of 1984!
So . . . . President Trump.
How does that sound to you . . . . ?
No, I can’t do it. I can’t talk about it right now. Everybody’s yakking about it, and for one of the few times in my adult life, I want out of the conversation instead of in. We all know where we stand, and we now pretty much know where everybody else stands. I will say that the enormous crowds at all the marches and rallies yesterday made me feel better. The videos and photos of all the people were truly inspirational and uplifting. I regret not going to the state capitol and being part of it all. But I’m really proud of all my friends who did.
Even with yesterday’s boost, I’ve not emerged yet out of the damp, dark, gray week we just finished. It’s going to take more than a few million people marching together and vowing to fight the good fight to shake me out of what I was hoping was just the fog of a dream. But with each day, each action, each utterance from the new guy or from the people who got him to the White House, I am going to build my strength and resolve to do my part in fighting back. It’s time to wake up and get busy.
In the mean time, here is a photo from each day last week — week #3 of 2017. Did I mention we had a damp, dark, gray, foggy week?
The second week of January is alway pretty quiet in this part of the country. Everyone is solidly back in the daily grind after the holiday season.
The bulk and the brunt of winter are still ahead, which can be a daunting thought. A small percentage of Minnesotans actually enjoy going outdoors in the bitter January air. We all like to brag about being hearty souls, but honestly, most of us merely survive the winter — relatively few embrace it. .
If you venture out in single-digit “high” temps, you might see a runner on Minnehaha Parkway, a cross-country skier on Hiawatha Golf Course, and increasingly over the past few years, grown, intelligent-looking men and women riding bicycles with big fat tires on the snow and ice.
Seemingly every time I shovel the front sidewalk, the ever-chipper neighbor walking her dog with its little boots comes by and says something about what a nice day it is. Not to be argumentative, I find my self mumbling a semi-agreement. It works for a moment, long enough anyway to remember the bigger picture, that life really is pretty darn good right now. One day, I even found myself thinking (for a split second), “I’m thankful I can still shovel snow”.
Being retired brings other, more predictable, moments of gratefulness. We had a mild snow storm earlier this week and a voice on the radio said the usual, “There have been hundreds of accidents on Twin Cities roads already this morning. If you don’t have to go anywhere today, stay home”. I did, and I liked it a lot.
I’ve managed to keep my photo-a-day resolution going for two weeks. According to a survey by a site called StatisticBrain.com, 68.4% of those who make a new year’s resolution keep it going for the first two weeks. I thought that percentage would be lower, but I’ll take it. I’m already ahead of 31.6% of the resolution-makers!
With my back still stinging from that self-pat, here is one photo from each day of week two. You’ll that see I did manage to get my butt outside a few times. And OK. . . .yes, it was a good thing.
A week ago, I made resolution to revive this blog and post observations from time to time. So far, my most profound thought is that it’s been very cold here in the Twin Cities. Of course, I’m not surprised by this, nor am I freaked out by it. It hasn’t even been an especially bad cold snap for January in Minnesota. But a couple of days this week when I decided to go out for a walk, even at the “warmest” part of the day it was downright uncomfortable. The sun just mocks you when it’s 7 degrees and windy at 1:00 in the afternoon. I’ve lived here all my life. I’m “used to it”. I don’t want to move to Florida or Arizona or California. But this morning, I find myself tempted to throw my golf clubs in the car and just start driving south. I know nothing is more boring to read than a Minnesota native complaining about cold weather in January, but I’m not really writing this for you, I’m writing it for me. Thanks, I’m done now.
My second New Years resolution was to bring back another idea that I’ve tried a couple of times before — to shoot and post one photo each day. One thing I learned the first time I did this is that I need to keep in mind the reason for doing it. That is, to help me remember one thing from each day by saving a visual representation. Photos-of-the-day don’t have to be works of art, but they do spur a memory of something or someone. It’s actually a pretty cool assignment, because I’m always searching for a photo. Occasionally I have a pretty good idea ahead of time, like last night’s picture of friends I knew we’d be visiting. Other times something just catches my eye, like Thursday’s picture of the little snowman lights hanging in front of the stained glass window that Karen made. Sometimes I take a different route while driving, hoping I’ll notice something interesting, like the wild turkeys near the old Veterans Home on Monday. Other times, I’m motivated to get out of the house just to go get a photo, like on Friday, when I braved the cold to walk to Minnehaha Creek and saw big sheets of ice tilting up out of the water.
This projects reminds me to notice interesting and the beautiful things that are all around in our every day lives. And . . . it reminds be to be thankful for good friends, family, and neighbors.
Here are my 7 photos for the first week of 2017.