Democrats vs Republicans — It’s the Hatfields vs the McCoys

I did a quick check of how my Trump supporting friends were doing yesterday and saw that one of them had posted about a letter from Ted Nugent to Biden, ranting about how dare he call for unity after … and I stopped reading quickly.

First, Ted Nugent cannot lecture anyone about unity and civility. And I thought, no one who supported Trump can lecture anyone about unity after the last four years. Trump did everything he possibly could to sow discord in our country. For eight years before that republicans said that all they cared about was making sure Obama never had a win, not whether or not what he was trying to do was good for the country (these were the republicans in congress, and I hope they weren’t speaking for everyone, but they were speaking for some).

When I start fuming like this on any issue, not necessarily political, what I try to do is imagine myself having this conversation with one of my oldest friends, but I imagine them on other side of whatever it is I’m fuming about. Then I ask myself, how would you discuss it with them? I wouldn’t attack, although I would probably still rant. But I’d expect to be listened to, and I would listen to their rant as well. The important thing is, in my imagination at least, I realize that I definitely do talk differently to them, and if I expect to get anywhere, I should talk to everyone as I would with my friend.

And so I did this with the whole argument about unity. Here’s what I realized. Why go on about who rejected unity first, or was the worst about it? Is that really useful? Like the Hatfields and McCoys, you’re never going to come to an agreement about who started it. Or whose side has the biggest assholes, or caused the most damage. I’m not both-siding it. I’m just saying we’re not going to agree. I do realize some people want to battle to the death and never give up. But not everyone. I hate all the hate. There’s got to be people who didn’t vote for Biden who feel the same. In my imaginary conversation my friend and I agreed we would never agree. Instead, I asked, “How can we fix this?” So if I ever work up to courage to try to start this conversation, I would skip what I said above about Trump and how Obama was treated.

Biden has a lot of experience working effectively with people on the other side of the aisle. I’m allowing myself a little bit of hope. I also think if he can do the things he wants to do, people who didn’t vote for him might be happy with the outcome.

A picture from a New York City snowstorm in 2016. We’ve only had one snowstorm this year, and it didn’t compare. (Another reason to be happy about Biden. Climate change.)

Blizzard New York City, 2016

Hi! And, I really don’t understand people, it seems.

I haven’t posted in a while, I realized yesterday. There’s been so much going on I don’t know where to start. First: Thank you, Georgia! You saved the day again. Second: How on earth can any reasonable person still support Trump (I know why racists and others support him, but not decent people)?

Third: I really don’t understand why McConnell passed on proceeding with a trial. If the trial happens when the democrats are in control, it will be a real trial, unlike last time. They will call witnesses. They will search for and examine evidence. They will investigate the possibility that some senators had a hand in this riot.

I could see McConnell being fine with destroying Trump, but his fellow republican senators? If the trial happened now, he could have ended it quickly, like last time, without actually doing anything.

Last, I’m attending a zoom funeral shortly. Another friend has died (not COVID). Another decent, wonderful human being is gone. Fucking death. Too much death. Give us a god damned break already. I was telling his widow (I hated typing that) I loved how he followed my blog and would ask specific questions about my cats. Not simply “how are the cats” (which is fine, by the way, I am always touched when people ask) but he would ask, “how is the behavior issue going,” or he’d ask about whatever health issue they were experiencing at the time. We went to all the Loser’s Lounges together and I don’t know how I’m going to feel the first time, and every other time he’s not there. I think it can’t help always being sad.

I took this picture because it was genuinely cold out that day and people were still sitting outside to eat.

Goodbye 2020

Of course I am home, doing nothing. I really should be working on my book proposal today, but I didn’t and I’m going to have to let that go for now. Live to fight another day. Like tomorrow.

But I feel good about staying in. A friend, who is a medical examiner, posts a lot of COVID news and reactions, and his latest post about the new strain properly scared me. I’ve been good about following all the guidelines, but we’re all going to have to do even better. And a high school friend of mine just died, on December 22. He lived in Colorado, so I’ve been thinking more about the new strain (it has shown up in Colorado). His name was John Arnold, sweetest guy in the world. We spoke on the phone a couple of months ago, he was helping me understand some concepts I needed to learn about to write this proposal. And now he’s dead. While the president golfs. Fucking fuck.

I was in Chinatown recently, getting new lenses for all my glasses (best prices are in Chinatown). The streets are always famously packed, but when I took a long walk through Chinatown a few months ago it wasn’t like this. People have been getting lax. Not so much lax really, I think, as weary. But we need to go back to being super vigilant again. I was very happy this day in Chinatown. The new lenses in all my glasses made the world sharp and bright again. All was well. Ish.

Who is this choirboy?

I’ve posted about this before. In the movie The Bishop’s Wife, the Mitchell Boychoir perform a hymn called O Sing to God. I love the arrangement. But every time I see this movie, and I watch it every holiday season, there’s one boy who always gets my attention. Every once in a while I try to find out who is he is. The movie was made in 1947, and I’m guessing he was around 15 years old, maybe a little older. That would make him 88+ now.

I just tried a Google image search, but no luck. Maybe I can find programs for Mitchell Boychoir performances in 1947 which list all the boys in the choir. Who is this boy??

Here’s a screenshot of him, but you can also see him here. I cued it so when you click on the link it starts at the moment he appears.

I don’t know why, but I just want to know how his life went. What did he do? Where did he go? Did he keep singing? Was his life mostly happy? (Are most people’s lives mostly happy?)

When Zoom Works

My friends David Schwartz and Anne Dorobis have this amazing holiday party every year, amazing because they are great hosts and they have a lot of talented musical friends. There is always a line-up of gifted performances at their parties. This year the party was on Zoom and it really worked. They made it fun, (with a limerick contest and the traditional musical performances) but they also made it special by inviting everyone to say a few words about what they missed this year and what they were were looking forward to when things get more back to normal. I loved hearing what everyone said. Choked me up.

I said I missed singing great music in harmony every week with other people, but I was loving reading books again for the sheer pleasure of it, and not because there was something I needed or wanted to learn, or for research.