The Quarantimes Week 34: The Aftermath

November 5th, 2020

I’m not mad. I’m just disappointed.

The American public is a petulant toddler with myopia. (Not you. But them. Unless you’re one of them? Then, yes, you.) 

It’s Thursday and we still don’t know, but either way it comes down, in the end, we now know that roughly half of the American voting public is okee-dokee with racism, rapiness, and repression. Not to mention, they think the past four years have gone pretty well, I guess?

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Yesterday was a difficult day for me and probably for you, too, no matter your leaning. The teachers and parents I ran into at school looked shell-shocked. A friend put it well when I asked how she was: “Morally repulsed,” she responded.

I’m not stoked on humanity, and I’m frankly terrified about our future. But here in my little bubble in the woods in Vermont, I am certain of one thing. 

All I can do is take care of the people I love. And I’m lucky to love a lot of people. And trees.

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This poem is exquisite.

There is no art in this White House.

There is no literature or poetry in this White House. No music.

No Kennedy Center award celebrations.

There are no pets in this White House.

No man’s best friend. No Socks the family cat.

No kid’s science fairs.

No times when this president takes off the blue suit-red tie uniform and becomes human, except when he puts on his white shirt- khaki pants uniform and hides on the golf course.

There are no images of the first family enjoying themselves together in a relaxing moment –anywhere.

No moments like Obamas on the beach in Hawaii, or Bushes fishing in Kennebunkport, no Reagans on horseback, no Kennedys playing touch football on the Cape.

I was thinking of the summer when George H couldn’t catch a fish and all the grandkids made signs and counted the fish-less days. And somehow, even if you didn’t even like GHB, you got caught up in the joy of a family that loved each other and had fun.

Where did that country go?

Where did all the fun and joy and expressions of love and happiness go? We used to be a country that did the ice bucket challenge and raised millions for charity.

We used to have a president that calmed and soothed the nation instead of dividing it.

And a First Lady that planted a garden instead of ripping one out.

We are rudderless and joyless.

We have lost priceless cultural aspects of society that make America great.

We have lost our mojo. Our fun, our happiness.

The cheering on of others.

The shared experiences of humanity that makes it all worth it.

The challenges AND the triumphs that we shared and celebrated.

The unique can-do spirit Americans have always been known for.

We are lost.

We have lost so much

In so short a time.

— Elaine Griffin Baker

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

What else I’m reading:

Do you love trees? Do you think in many ways trees are superior to people? If so I highly recommend the great novel The Overstory, which I fought my way through to victory.

What I’m listening to:

Bruce Springsteen’s prosaic reading of the above poem:

 What I’m watching:

Finally started watching David Letterman’s great series of interviews on Netflix, and I cannot recommend highly enough that you watch the interviews with Barack Obama and Dave Chappell. Both legends of our time.  

What I’m eating:

On election night I did something I haven’t done in years. I ate Häagen-Dazs dulce de leche ice cream straight out of the carton. Fuck it.

What I’m working on:

Event Streaming at the Core of Industry 4.0 — a white paper for Confluent 

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3 Responses to “The Quarantimes Week 34: The Aftermath”

  1. Thanks Joslyn,

    We share these feelings. And in truth, it is some comfort to hear them reflected back. We are still waiting and hoping. But there is no moral uprising. So disgusting.

    The poem is so true. I used to give a writing prompt that urged the use of “negative space” in the poem. This list of absences is that. We see what isn’t there, and we feel what is missing.

    I have The Overstory beside the bed. The PRINT IS SO SMALL! I want to start reading it at bedtime (I just finished Natasha Trethewey’s memoir, Memorial Drive, which is good, but not uplifting.)

    I’m down with the dulce de leche. Have you seen “Queen’s Gambit”? We just bought a chess set. More home entertainment!!

    As always, you rock!

    JB

  2. Thomas says:

    Catching up on your blog. I always appreciate your voice, your perspective, your insight, your recommendations.

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