Why so ordinary?

Leftovers & links
Click any image to engorge.

♦ Driving my usual route to the diner once a week, there are several blocks of construction. There's an ordinary intersection where two streets cross each other, controlled by a traffic light, but the street running east-west is completely ripped up, closed off, and barricaded on both sides. 

Turns are impossible, and obviously there's no cross-traffic, so are you going to stop when the light’s red?

I’m not. I checked for pedestrians, then blitzed on through. There’s nothing to stop for.

And the guy behind me honked like I’d cut him off on the freeway, and flipped me off through his window.

Why so ordinary?

♦ Texas's draconian anti-abortion and anti-woman law is now in effect. It's everything Republicans want, and more: No abortions after 6 weeks of pregnancy, which is earlier than women even know they're pregnant. Any person in the state can now file a civil lawsuit against any woman who has an abortion — or if they think she's had an abortion. They're also working to ban abortion-inducing meds.

The US Supreme Court wouldn't block this law, so it smells like the end of Roe v Wade, at least in Republican-controlled states. Other blood-red states can build their laws to match Texas's, and they will.

♦ September 1, 1971: “We’ve got all brothers out there.” For the first time, an AL/NL team put nine black baseball players on the field. The all-black Pittsburgh Pirates won, 10-7, fifty years ago today.

This line struck me as short on context: 

“There was so much discussion in baseball circles, in the locker rooms, in the front offices — can a team be predominantly Black, in its player roster but also in culture and in its leadership, and succeed?” said Burgos. “And what the Pirates showed is that, absolutely [it can].”

As a baseball fan from that era, I don’t think there was any doubt after Jackie Robinson (except from hardcore racists) that black players could succeed and lead, coach, manage, do it all.

No, as I recall the only question was in the grandstands — would white fans buy tickets if “too many blacks” were in the game? Would white kids buy a black player’s jersey?

I had a Jabbar jersey when I was a kid, so I knew the answer.

Ed Asner, damn it. He was on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, sure, but for me he’ll always be Lou Grant on Lou Grant, a good show about good journalism. It was cancelled despite solid ratings, because Asner spoke out about political things off-camera, which angered the network, CBS. Same network that fired the Smothers Brothers, for the same reason. Asner and the Smothers were politically outspoken, and to-the-left, so buh-bye.

I watched Lou Grant when it was on, and I’ve watched the first three seasons via streaming, and they hold up quite well. Seasons 4 & 5 have been impossible for me to find, though. Drop me a note, please, it you know where to get those episodes.

Adios and auf wiedersehen, Mr Grant, and also Mr Asner. Sorry you're gone, but you both did a lot of good work. 

♦ The September issue of Harper’s, which arrived in my box in mid-August, has several articles about 9/11/2001. Took me a bit to piece together why, but of course — it'll be twenty years, this 9/11.

Expect a flood of retrospective journalism, which is not journalism, and expect a buttload of boring bullshit & backslapping about how resilient America is, or maybe how we’ve won the war on terror. Sigh.

Look, Middle Eastern terrorists attacked America on 9/11/2001 because the USA has been shitting on the Middle East since at least World War I. That's also why terrorists attacked Americans in Kabul last week. What goes around, comes around. During all the upcoming 9/11 20th anniversary ‘coverage’, remember that.

♦ In the summertime, flies can be a problem. I had a fly infestation at home in June, and restaurants get flies, too, but a restaurant needs to give a damn, more than I do at home.

One fly in a restaurant, maybe two, I’ll tolerate, and take a swat at ‘em. They come in with the customers through the front door, and can't be stopped. More than a few flies in a restaurant, though? That says something about the restaurant, and it’s not a recommendation.

Therefore, sadly, what had been my favorite cheap Chinese place here in Wisconsin has been permanently axed from the menu, because the dining area had dozens of flies circling. You’ll never see me again, Hy-Vee Food Court.

♦ The countdown continues: After 8½ years, my job and my department are coming to an end on January 1, 2022.

Four months remain, and it takes six months to train a new worker to general competence in what we do. We haven’t yet begun training the outside workers who’ll take our jobs. It hasn’t even been mentioned. Who's gonna train 'em, when everyone who knows how to do what we do is gone?

I appreciate the company's advance notice of my termination, but what they're doing is stupid, and they’re doing it stupidly.

♦ Nations, religion, and money all exist only because we agree to pretend that they exist, and because anyone who tries to opt out faces retribution or devastation. This consensus-pretending makes such concepts feel very real, though, maybe more real than electricity or the coronavirus, or other aspects of real reality.

End of lecture. Remember, there’s a test on Friday.

♦ “The nightly argument I have to have with the cat.” 

♦  Mystery links  — Like life itself, there’s no knowing where you’re going:


Sincere tip 'o the hat to Becky Jo, Dave S., BoingBoing, Captain Hampockets, and One of the Butt Sisters but definitely not the other.

🧁 ☕ 🍩
You’re always invited
to add anything below,
about anything at all.
🍩 ☕ 🧁


← PREVIOUS          NEXT →


← PREVIOUS          NEXT →


  1. The baseball thing is very interesting. It went over my 15 year old head at the time. Most players of color now are from places like the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Korea or Japan. Not as many blacks who choose to play baseball here. I hope blacks in America will return to the stands in the game I love like they used to in the 60’s and 70’s.

    1. It has been known for quite a while, African Americans have been declining in baseball for years. I can't say why - perhaps other sports are available for athletic kids who AREN'T 7 feet tall, like NBA players? Instead of baseball, the black kid who's 6'3, 220 pounds, and skilled, has opportunities in other sports that he didn't before?

    2. I'm stumped for a reason why. I wonder if Little League and high school ball has dwindled in black neighborhoods?

    3. George, you said "in the stands"? I simply don't go to MLB baseball any more; have you noticed fewer blacks in the stands, as well as on the field?

  2. The law against abortion is so vile and sneaky and mean I have no words. no words.

    1. "Stunning": Read the dissents on the Supreme Court Texas abortion ban ruling.

      This law is flagrantly unConstitutional, based onthe last 50 years of precedent, and it's inventing a whole new system of enforcement specifically to keep the state of Texas from being sued. It's brilliant in its evilness, but also obvious. Letting this law go into effect, as the Supreme Court has done — it's in effect now, forcing women to continue their pregnancies and have babies — is an abortion of Roe V Wade. It's over, unless one of the monsters on the Supreme Court has an unexpected and impossible change of heart.

    2. That's it for Roe Vs Wade you think? Jesus and holy fuck. Just holy fuck. I am so angry. I hope millions of us are angry.

    3. Yes, be angry.

      This law is structured differently than most laws. Enforcement is left to private citizens, not government officials, so there's no gov't entity to easily sue.

      It's not "merely" overturning
      Roe v Wade and blocking abortions, it's nullifying the whole concept of rule of law.

      And the Republican Supreme Court seems to be OK with it.

      I want to march and carry a picket and probably I will, but I no longer believe pickets and protests accomplish anything. Not since at least the 1990s, when millions marched against the first of many Gulf wars...


🚨🚨 BY THE WAY... 🚨🚨
The site's software sometimes swallows comments. If it eats yours, send an email and I'll get it posted.