Most years I hate this season; less light every day, and with every gust a whirl of summer leaves torn from winter branches. Maybe I dislike the resonance with my life’s own greybeard season. Maybe it’s the trio of huge Pacific storms we’re dealing with. Let’s be honest: Mostly, it’s shitty US politics. Some of the colors are beautiful though.

These days, it needs an effort of will to look away from America’s slow titanic electoral trainwreck. We should make that effort. All it takes is going for a walk and leaving your mobile in your pocket. At least for a few minutes. Long enough to look up, and stay looking up, because these won’t be here for long.

Autumn leaves

I think there’s a song about those.

But it’s impossible to not think about That Election. The attractions of the public burnout of a pathetic bozo rich-kid attention junkie on the world’s largest stage aren’t to be denied.

The good news is, the bozo will soon retreat from the mainstage back to a minor-league freakshow that you only have to look at it if you want to.

One red leaf stands out

That’s really the way it looked.

But wow, poor America really needs an explanation for why 40% or so of its citizens are going to cast a vote that seems incomprehensible and insane. Something a little more convincing than “flyover victims” or “racists, basically”.

Chestnut on basket

Touching chestnuts makes me happy.

I have my own theory: “Fox-heads, mostly”. Where by “Fox” I include all the other right-wing talk radio too. I bet a lot of readers have never listened to it, but I do sometimes. These days I drive to Seattle regularly, in an old car without much but radio to listen to. In the north corner of Washington State, that’s often conservative talk.

Two things about it are striking. First, the endless drumbeat of lies taken as facts: Obama hates America, Hillary is a criminal, the Iran deal enables more bomb-building, Black Lives Matter is racist. Serious-toned grown-up voices with nationwide reach, saying these things over and over. After a while, I think it’s really hard to not start believing them.

Life in those leaves

When it’s dark, bright things stand out.

Here’s the other thing about Fox and its ilk: The ads. It’s just scam after scam after scam: Get rich quick, fix baldness, more male vigor. (There’s a light springling of medical ads aimed at one condition or another, mostly pathologies of the elderly.)

It’s not surprising that people who might buy the crap on sale might also like the “Great Again” scam, which is of about equal depth and quality.

Silly mushrooms

I thought these were only in Tintin.

Have these autumn clouds any silver lining? Perhaps a very public demonstration that certain classes of bad behavior, while they may be rewarded on “reality” TV, are not in civic life.

Also, male chauvinism isn’t abstract any more, it has a face. A repulsive one, with bad hair.

It’s not much, but it’s something.


Comment feed for ongoing:Comments feed

From: Soph (Oct 16 2016, at 09:12)

Well, after the Brexit and Columbian peace referendums, I will only believe the bozo is out a few days after the election.

I don’t think polls are reliable, and I don’t know what will come out of ballot boxes.

The two votes I refer to where won by demagogues who had no idea what to do after winning the vote. Reminds you of someone?


From: John Roth (Oct 16 2016, at 21:52)

Well, the political divide in the US is pretty easy to see if you abandon a few preconceptions. Trump's supporters come from a few groups.

By far the largest is older white males who don't have a college education. They see the end of their dominance in US politics approaching, and they're not going to go quietly into the night.

Another chunk is religious Evangelicals. They became a subsidiary of the Republicans some time ago, and most of them are split between their political affiliation, which is tied to their religious affiliation, and someone who they regard as morally repugnant.

There's also a large chunk that's simply interested in sticking it to The Man, and don't care what the fallout is going to be.

The big thing that pulls a lot of the incomprehension together is that people who have secure jobs just don't seem to understand how the deck is stacked against people who don't. All you have to do is look at the income inequality stats and realize that, if you've got a secure corporate job that's paying you more than about twice the minimum wage, the people on the bottom regard you as the problem.


From: Chris (Oct 17 2016, at 05:18)

If it's any consolation, many inhabitants of the UK are really hoping Trump get's in. Some as they are stupid, and the rest as they'd hate the UK to be regarded as the stupidest country.


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