Bread and Circuses

These guys.


Donna was in Phoenix yesterday, so I was on deck for dinner. I made a pot of my favorite chili but didn’t have the energy to bake cornbread to go with it. Since there was a loaf of crusty bread in the freezer, I took that out instead, putting it on a countertop to thaw. Then I took a nap.

While I was thus occupied one of the pups, most likely Fritzi, jumped high enough to snag the bread, and all three feasted on it. I say all three because when I didn’t feed them dinner later none of them seemed too upset. They did watch me eat my chili (see fig. 1), but without the usual begging and whining. This morning they woke us up at 0530 and ate a normal breakfast. Life is back to normal. Note to self: never put food close to the edge of the countertops.

I suppose the Virginia gubernatorial election is a harbinger of something or other. If President Joe and the Congressional Dems don’t start delivering on the promises that won them the 2020 elections, I expect we’ll lose the House  and Senate next November, and everything in 2024. And I’m rapidly losing faith this gang will ever deliver. In fact, I’m starting to think they never intended to.

A big part of Younkin’s appeal to white suburban voters, they’re saying, was his relentless drumming against critical race theory in the state’s primary and secondary schools. Dems fought against that with a lame technicality, pointing out that CRT isn’t taught in elementary or high school, but they don’t get it — CRT, to Fox Nation, is an all-encompassing term for any teacher, class, assignment, or textbook that doesn’t push white supremacy and American exceptionalism. Appealing to tribal racism always works. I honestly don’t know what Dems and progressives can do to counter it.

The racist nature of the Republican Party’s campaign against CRT is another gift to book banners. It gives them permission to start rooting through school libraries, textbooks, and instructional materials, looking for subversive material and teachers. It’s one of the reasons I’m going to start posting You Can’t Read That! book-banning news roundups again. Book-banning has always had great appeal to racists, fascists, and white supremacists, and with what I see as an inevitable return to Republican governance, there’s going to be a lot more of it in our future.

I’m rushing to re-read all eight novels of James S.A. Corey’s “The Expanse” series before the ninth and final novel, “Leviathan Falls,” comes out at the end of November. I’m now through “Babylon’s Ashes,” the sixth novel, with the seventh and eighth installments still to read on my Kindle. These are all 500-plus page novels, and every time I start one I think to myself there’s no way I’ll finish it quickly, but they’re such engrossing reads I always do. Still, reading two more big novels by the end of the month will require uncommon devotion. I’ll have to defer streaming TV most nights, except for the few shows Donna and I like to watch together, like “The Rookie,” “Big Sky,” “Borgen,” “Sex Education,” “Homeland,” and “Dickenson.”

Speaking of “The Rookie,” does it seem to anyone else the current season is watered down, a “lite” version of what came before … or has it always been that way? Don’t bother pointing out that it’s trash TV, as far removed from actual policing as “The West Wing” was from how things really work in Washington DC. The fantasy element of “The Rookie” has always been part of its appeal, but maybe it’s gotten too fantastic?

I mean, we all need some sugar in our diets, but we need protein too. “The Rookie” is starting to give me cavities.

© 2021, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.


One thought on “Bread and Circuses

  • Hiya Paul,
    Surely Joe Biden, of all people, can figure out a way to pay off a couple of Senators…if he wants to.

    Frankly I’m not hopeful. The political Right is correct, we do have too many soft, out-of-touch academic wonks in the party. More John Fettermans, fewer Elizabeth Warrens (and I LOVE Liz, but she has the political instincts of a mollusk.)

    If dKos is any barometer, I think the tide is beginning to shift. Saw a couple of diaries recently essentially calling out the site management for running a gossip blog instead of a tool for effective political change. I may actually have to cheat, create a new account and start writing diaries. (I got banned years ago for celebrating a bit too boisterously that a white nationalist got his butt assaulted and ended up in the hospital.)

    Bleh anyway, I enjoy your writings, and I need to remember to read more often.

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