This is how I often feel talking to folks who are on either end of the left / right political divide.
Hi I'm Sean Reiser, this is my Personal Blog
Can anything think of a word to describe someone who uses intimation and physical violence to get what they want? Not quite a bully, who intimidates for the sake of violence. Someone who uses intimidation and violence as a means towards a larger goal. Think of The Sopranos. The word used to be “thug” but that now carries a racial implication that doesn't need to be part of this thing I'm writing.
I posted a shorter version of this, commenting on a friend’s post about replacing the Star Spangled Banner because Francis Scott Key was a slave owner.
I can separate an artists' background from their creations. It’s why I can still read Harry Potter without thinking of transrights or watch The Usual Suspects without thinking of Kevin Spacey’s crimes. In my heart I know that every beautiful thing, every funny thing, everything that makes us feel something has been created by an imperfect person who has done something in their life that would disgust me.
All that said the problem with the Star Spangled Banner isn’t Francis Scott Key. The song itself celebrates slavery. It starts off fine enough…”we made it through the battle! the flag is still there, ain’t we great!!!” Then in the third stanza it takes a rather dark turn:
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
You might say to me “I didn’t know there was a third stanza, we don’t sing that part”. Yeah I know, but it’s part of the song and a little too close. I mean it is an accurate representation of the pre-civil war south, but doesn't represent what I want 2020 America to be. And with both "America, the Beautiful" and "God Bless America" just sitting there, waiting to be used.
The article my friend posted suggested John Lennon’s Imagine. I can’t sign off on that. Honestly, right now, I think the world would be better if most people imagined there was a hell below us.
Plus as far as the SSB is concerned, let’s be honest no one can hit that High F at the end.
Spent a half hour this morning reading the competing conspiracy theories about the rouge firework displays we’ve been seeing across the country. I have to admit that sometimes the conspiracy theories are better than the actual fireworks. If I have my tin foil lined conspiracy hat on, I think it might be Shapeshifting Lesbian Reptoid Nuns from Planet-X. But as I remove that hat let me lay out a more realistic scenario:
- Fireworks celebration planning begins a year in advance. In order to produce the explosives they need, fireworks companies begin producing fireworks on July 5.
- Fireworks have a limited lifespan. The longer any piece of ammo exists, the more likely it is to have a failure due to physical damage or moisture. So holding onto fireworks for an additional year is probably less than safe.
- Due to Covid-19 a lot of firework shows have been cancelled. I’m not talking the super-professional shows that are televised, but the smaller shows that are in our town squares and over our ponds across the country. The ones that use middle tier ordnance.
- Fireworks manufactures across the county have a glut of inventory, which they need to liquidate. So they are selling it for pennies on the dollar in legal, quasi-legal and maybe underground markets
- Heck it might not the companies pushing it to the underground market. Many people fled the cities at the beginning of Covid and might be just heading back now…. Buying fireworks from states where they are legal and brining them home for fun and profit.
- People, especially teens and young adults have been cooped up for months, are looking to get into trouble and have access to cheaper fireworks. Kids in that age group always know somebody who knows somebody who can get get fireworks.
I know some people are blaming the Cops, BLM, The CIA, The Shadow Government, The Chinese or Shapeshifting Lesbian Reptoid Nuns from Planet-X. But I prefer to blame basic supply and demand economics.
I just wish more people knew the name Nancy Green then Aunt Jemima.
As the markets continue to climb to a level near the pre-pandemic levels I wonder what it is telling us. It’s either:
1) We anticipate the reopening going well and things will be better.
2) Things are going just fine during the shutdown. The non-essential employees really aren’t essential and we don’t need them working.
As I've gotten older I've gotten more scared of number 2. Anytime I’ve worked as an employee and there was a message that went out that due to weather only essential people should come to work. I would come in (or do my best to do so). Unless I’m told personally not to come in, I’ll go to work Why would I announce to my superiors that I thought myself or my job was non-essential? I’ve also said if I were a very senior person at a firm, I’d walk around take notes on the departments that were light or empty and seriously look to see how necessary they really were.
Thank you all for your birthday wishes, they were appreciated. Between working from home til 6 and the citywide 8PM curfew, I had to spend it alone. Anne and I are planning on celebrating over the weekend.
Since it's become traditional to ask for donations to a non-profit for someone's birthday I'd like to ask that people give to the Little Shelter, the animal shelter where Anne and I got Frosty.
I don't want to ask people to give facebook their financial information so I'm linking to their site where there is a donation page.
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The thing about smart people is that they always seem like crazy people to dumb people.