Too Much News! Northern California is in flames. Las Vegas is grieving. Puerto Rico is starving. Houston is struggling. And Hollywood is the heart of a deadly scandal.
The scariest thing is having Trump in the White House. He is not a steady hand. He does not have the voice of assurance. He does not give the impression of calm strength. He is doing an awful job of it.
But the kids see their own terrors. They don't watch the network news. They don't read newspapers. They seem to be uninformed. But I'm wrong to say that. It's more like they know differently and the world looks different to them. They don't see the same dangers. They don't seek the same solutions.
Kids meaning people under 40. They have apps. Apps are OK. I don't use any myself, but they don't scare me. I did use Lyft the other day -- it was easy.
I want to thank Harvey Weinstein for making life difficult for all the men in America. You can't tell a joke these days. It's like going through security at the airport and making a bomb joke -- you can't do that. So, thanks to Harvey, any statement about your relations with the women in your life must be made with complete sobriety. No jokes, especially no smirks. Premature apologies might be rejected. Saying nothing might work, unless they notice you're saying nothing. ..... Thanks, Harvey, you really screwed things up for the rest of us.
No Proof Reader. Jim Bertolino, creative writer, esteemed poet, frog pond watcher, and good friend, said I need a proofreader. Well, I sure do.
I write this newsletter. I read it over at least three times, and then I send it out. Some errors always escape detection because, as everybody knows, you cannot proof your own work.
The solution is for me to get my column connected to a larger organization. Send it in to the Acme News and Weather Report, 750 words every week, for payment of $85, and they can proof it. You get almost zero errors that way. But there is no Acme News and Weather Report and there is no $85, there is only me.
Pam Smith used to proof my copy at the Wilson County News and she was bulletproof, having served as an English teacher for many years before coming to work at this newspaper.
That was more than ten years ago. Since that time I have been stuck on my own, broke, lonely, and poorly spelled.
(journalistically lonely -- I have a fabulous girl friend)
Some day it will get better.
I called Stuart Welch, formerly of Rexville. Stuart ran the Rexville Store outside of LaConner for more than 15 years. Seven days a a week, 12 hours a day, he rarely took any time off, except for golf.
I called him from Santa Barbara because Stuart is an expert on everything. The words "I don't know" are simply not in his vocabulary. I asked him who will win the NLCS, either the Cubs or the Dodgers. Then I asked him if it was a good deal to order Milgard windows from Home Depot and have the Home Depot crew install them. The windows are for Laurie's home in Santa Barbara -- six windows and two sliding doors. The existing aluminum frame windows are more than forty years old and single pane.
Stuart did not answer when I phoned this afternoon. I left a voicemail with the two questions and said I would call back in the morning.
#Me Too and the Republican Rebuttal
#MeToo is flooding my feed on Facebook. A cascade, a deluge. I read them with fascination and sympathy -- highly credible statements of harassment and assault, hundreds of them.
But what I noticed was that none of these statements came from Republican women. They have not jumped on the bandwagon. They don't seem to agree with the thrust of this movement that was sparked by the dismal record of Harvey Weinstein's very bad behavior.
These Republican women might have a different take on the problem and they might say something like the following -- "This kind of disgusting behavior is a problem in California. The Hollywood crowd has always been depraved and corrupt. But here in Missouri our men respect us. And we respect them. You can't trust these Hollywood people. they do not project the honest moral qualities that make America a good country. What Harvey Weinstein did is typical of how people behave in the movie business, but it doesn't happen here in Missouri."
#MeToo and the NRA
The NRA rebuttal to #MeToo is easy to imagine. It goes like this:
"Are you scared? Are you vulnerable? The smart thing to do, the way to become truly empowered, is to put a handgun in your handbag. Put a pistol in your purse, because when you're packing heat, men will respect you, or else."
#Me Too and the White Nationalists
This is a sad and ugly thing -- white nationalists have inserted themselves into the dialog and here is what they have to say:
"Everybody knows the Jews run Hollywood, so you can expect beasts like Harvey Weinstein to do their evil deeds. He is typical of that crowd. But we respect our women and protect their honor."
The reactions depicted here, from the Republican women, from the NRA and from White Nationalists groups will be deployed in the coming days.
It will be quite a battle. Be prepared to rebuke these rebuttals.