"Do you know these people?"

Most of my magazine subscriptions have lapsed (and nowadays I have to clarify, I'm talking about periodicals published on paper), but I do like reading something — on paper — when I'm eating alone at the diner. Books aren't a good choice, as a few drips of maple syrup always land on the page.


& links

Oct. 30, 2022

In a long texting chat with my mother, I had mentioned the above, and she volunteered to bring a few back issues of Newsweek to our next breakfast together. It's a magazine of little nutritional value, but it would be something to read between bites of egg, so I said sure & thanks.

At breakfast yesterday, Mom happily put three issues on the table and said, "Here's the Newsweeks you asked for," but they were Newsmax magazines, not Newsweek.

Newsmax, you're lucky if you don't know, is a shitty right-wing website. I hadn't known that they publish an on-paper edition, but of course they do — they want to fool old people like my mom, but she's not on-line, so they lie on paper, too.

After a long sigh, I pointed at the cover and said, "Mom, what's the name of this magazine?"

"Newsweek," she said, like it was the dumbest question ever asked.

"Newsmax," I said, still pointing.

She looked at the magazine, and said, "Huh," while it sorta sunk in, and then, "Is that different?"

"Yeah, kinda different. Newsweek is a news magazine, and Newsmax is a lie magazine. It's entirely right-wing bullcrap."

"I've been subscribing for years, and I thought it was Newsweek."

"I'm sure that's why they chose the name," I said.

Then Mom changed the subject, but I changed it back, and briefly explained again. "Everything in Newsmax is designed to fool you. It's propaganda. Be smart, Mom, and stop reading their lies."

She didn't want to hear it, and seemed mildly miffed that I didn't want to take the magazines. I didn't want to belabor it at breakfast, so we talked about my father's funeral instead, circa 1993.

Mom's not an idiot, I should add. In conversations long ago, she told me that she'd voted for Trump in 2016, but by 2020 she'd noticed he wasn't telling much truth, and she voted for Biden.

She's easy to fool for a while, though. Ha! When I was a kid, I skipped school for a month, and she never knew about it until the school called to ask if I was dead.

Another Mom moment from breakfast, briefly: 

She kept pulling photos up on her cell screen (Katrina had to help, because like me, Mom's no natural at Android devices), and each time Mom handed me the phone to see another photo, she asked, "Do you know these people?"

She asked that question when showing me pictures of distant cousins and long-dead people that I'd likely forgotten or never knew at all, but she also asked "Do you know these people?" when showing pictures of my dad, my brothers, herself, and me.

You're thinking she was kidding? Mom doesn't kid. I think she seriously believes I may have forgotten what my closest relatives look like.

Does your mother do that?

From America's most respected newspaper, The New York frickin' Times, the headline is Yes, Greenland's ice is melting, and the teaser pull-quote is "A trip there changed my mind about climate change while reinforcing my belief that markets, not government, provide the cure."

No, I didn't read the article, because the headline and pull-quote tell me more than enough to know it's horseshit.

Someone who's finally decided, in 2022, that climate change is real is most emphatically not qualified to write an op-ed page about climate change. Nor is someone who thinks 'markets' are the answer. The author — one Bret Stephens — should've been double-disqualified from this assignment, and probably from all assignments.

It's a perfect example of what's wrong with The New York Times.

And now, the news you need,
whether you know it or not...

U.S. releases Guantanamo's oldest prisoner after almost 18 years 

Does it even need to be said — again — how shameful this is? Imprisoning a man for 18 years, with no charges, no trial, is unconstitutional of course, but that was always the intent. America built the prison on Cuban land specifically to be able to ignore the US Constitution.

I say, charges and then prison, for everyone involved in planning, building, managing, and running Guantanamo.

Florida medical board votes to ban gender-affirming care for transgender minors 

Facebook and TikTok are helping push Stop the Steal in Brazil 

One-word newscast,
because it's the same news every time...

• Climate change isn't 'coming', it's underway. It'll kill billions, and we're not doing squat about it. 





• All cops are bastards, or they know who the bastard cops are and do nothing about it, which is the same thing. 




• Republicans are the enemy of common sense, common decency, simple truth, and democracy. 


Other links I liked

A short history of US political violence, 2020-present 

Listen to college radio stations
Radio is almost entirely shit, and most of what isn't shit is only OK, but college radio can be interesting. That's been true everywhere I've lived. Here's an clickable hub for quick, live listening to college radio stations.

Streetlamps for hire 

What the scent of a witch revealed about the ancient world 

Peanut butter 

Andrée's Arctic balloon expedition 

Kundt's tube 

♦ ♦ ♦

♫♬  Mix tape of my mind  ♫

• "Ms 45" by Joe Delia

• "Spill the Wine" by Eric Burdon

♦ ♦ ♦ 

The End 

Jules Bass 

Lucy Simon 

Pierre Soulages


Cranky Old Fart is annoyed and complains and very occasionally offers a kindness, along with anything off the internet that's made me smile or snarl. All opinions fresh from my ass. Top illustration by Jeff Meyer. Click any image to enlarge. Comments & conversations invited.
Tip 'o the hat to Linden Arden, ye olde AVA, BoingBoing, Breakfast at Ralf's, Captain Hampockets, CaptCreate's Log, John the Basket, LiarTownUSA, Meme City, National Zero, Ran Prieur, Voenix Rising, and anyone else whose work I've stolen without saying thanks.
Extra special thanks to Becky Jo, Name Withheld, Dave S, Wynn Bruce, and always Stephanie...

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