Down on the Farm

animalfarm2-imgOut of the mouths of babes: guy on Twitter posting about Orwell’s Animal Farm, which his kid is reading for class. Dad asks “How’s the book going?” Kid says “I’m at the part where the pigs are taking over, and the other animals aren’t doing anything about it. Just like us.”

Guess I’ll have to re-read it, because I can’t remember why the rest of the livestock stood by and let the pigs take over. I understand our own human predicament better: what, exactly, can we do to stop what’s happening?

I went looking for an image of Orwell’s book and found the one at left, which if the henchpigs are supposed to be John Kelly and Steve Bannon is already dated (though I suspect Bannon still has Trump’s ear … it’s hard to keep up). Someone should re-do this graphic with William Barr and Stephen Miller. Those two seem to have staying power, at least as long as Trump is around. And the way the Democratic primaries are going, Trump may be around for a while yet.

Now that Kamala Harris is out, I’m not enthusiastic about any of the Democratic contenders. Not a single one. Donna said last night Bloomberg’s starting to grow on her. I countered with a “yeah, but” … he’s the only presidential candidate running ads on TV in Arizona, so naturally you’re only hearing good things about him. That’ll change as we get closer to Tuesday, March 17, the date of the Arizona Democratic primary … but right now it’s as if he’s running unopposed. He seems Republican to me, but old school, like from the 1980s. I’d have a hard time voting for him, and would do so only in order to change pig overlords.


On to the personal, where I can at least exercise agency.

I mentioned having mixed feelings about leaving my volunteer post at the air museum Monday, but three days have passed and relief has pushed aside the last traces of regret. If you wake up feeling good about a life decision, it’s a sign you made the right one.

B80BF270-F5C8-46A9-91C7-C0D50B36B04D_1_201_aI bought a suicide knob for my steering wheel. Part of getting old, at least with me, is a bit of arthritis in my hips and right wrist. Turning the steering wheel with one hand was getting harder; the knob provides some relief. The guy at the auto parts store said they’re illegal but was happy to sell me one. Amazon sells them as well, which made me question whether they really are against the law. So I looked it up.

Turns out they’re illegal in some states, but not Arizona. Anyway, the experience got me thinking about all the “suicide” things we grew up with: suicide doors, suicide clutches, suicide shifts. There must have been others, but I can’t remember them now. Until a couple of years ago Tucson had a “suicide lane” on Broadway: the center lane in a stretch of road with five lanes, marked one way for westbound traffic during the morning rush, eastbound during the afternoon rush, reverting to a left-turn-only lane for traffic heading in either direction during normal hours.

Almost out of bloggage for today. Will just mention the new Netflix show we tried last night, The Ranch. Donna wanted to watch it because it has that guy in it, the older actor with the walrus mustache and deep voice. We lasted less than two minutes. Why? Canned laughter. Who does that any more? Giri/Haji, a Japanese detective show (the title translates as Duty/Shame), is by contrast quite good.

With Parasite winning the Oscar for best movie, the debate over subtitles versus dubbing is a thing again. We much prefer subtitles … partly because we’ve both become somewhat hard of hearing, partly because it’s kind of fun to hear other languages spoken while getting a real-time translation (we’ve learned that “fuck” is pretty much the same in all languages). Anyway, in Giri/Haji the main character, a Tokyo detective, is sent to London to investigate a Yakuza-related murder; while he’s there everyone speaks English and the subtitles go away. We wish they wouldn’t, because one of the London detectives is Scottish and we have a hard time understanding her. Plus I feel a little bad for Kenji, who’ll go back to Tokyo speaking English with a burr.

Yes, we know there’s a setting for deaf people, but we’re not deaf and we don’t need to be told about “traffic noise in background” or “dramatic music swelling.”

I’m off to get steaks for Friday night, with an en route stop at the hardware store. Taking my co-pilot, Mister B, along for the ride. Signing off, now that I’ve offended the Scots.

© 2020, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

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