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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