Are we feeling more optimistic yet, between new pills for treatment and studies that make it seem less lethal than previous variants?
It's really striking how much slower the news is under the Biden administration than under the Trump administration, and thus how much more manufactured and noisy the news is. (At least the type of news that gets widely distributed in the US. Obviously worldwide there is plenty of news that is deemed booooo-rrrrring by the powers that be, here.)
On another note, my mom had My Friend Dahmer sitting around, and so I read it, and it is a disconcerting graphic novel by a cartoonist who happened to go to high school with Jeffrey Dahmer and whose life intersected Dahmer's as closely as anyone's. It does a good job of conveying the darkness and complexity of high school and home chaos that teenagers can face, laid over the troubles internal to Dahmer. His style of drawings sets me on edge, but is maybe deliberate to the topic.
I didn't know it was made into an indie movie until I went to find the link, but it was. In hindsight, it's kind of prime Indie Movie-bait. Grim storyline with a veneer of teen frivolity, in 1970s costumes, and an unresolved ending? check, check, check.
Minivet writes: So there's ample evidence of these generals and officials using various tricks and tactical newsworthy reveals to whitewash their actions on and around January 6th.
With that prior, does this hold up, that the inexplicable lack of quick support that day was them holding them back because they feared once troops were at the Capitol, Trump would order a putsch?
From what we know, it seems like a reasonable objective worry at the time, but there's probably more to the story at a minimum.
Heebie's take: I don't have a conclusion to Minivet's question. Both the version where this is true and the version that it's not true run counter to the how I'd imagined Jan 6th to have gone.
In my head, the way it had gone is that everyone was frantically trying to get Trump to give the greenlight for the national guard, and he was single-handedly holding the whole thing up. This entire article - true or whitewashing - rests on the premise that the generals and officials could have done an end-run around him and didn't.
For this version to be true, Trump would have to believe that the National Guard had placed loyalty to Trump above loyalty to country, and the generals and officials would also have to believe that to be true. If generals and officials were slow-playing things, that only makes sense if they feared that once on the ground, their authority would be leapfrogged over for Trump's authority. That means that they chose abdicate their actual responsibility in the moment and let known Trump loyalists continue to run all over the capital, in order to avoid a potential situation where they had to take a confrontational stance against Trump. That doesn't pass the sniff test to me.
For this to be false, then the generals and officials were sandbagging things of their own accord, because they wanted the insurrection to progress further and didn't yet consider things to be out of control. I had thought they were fed up with Trump enough that they were kind of ready to move on.
I suppose a third possibility is that they just kind of froze and shat the bed and decided to act like Trump alone must give the greenlight, and now they're trying to whitewash this, because it's a bad look.
Here's how I think it ends up going for the generation of Republicans whose minds have been poisoned by Fox and Trump into a different reality - Planck's Principle:
A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it. . . . An important scientific innovation rarely makes its way by gradually winning over and converting its opponents: it rarely happens that Saul becomes Paul. What does happen is that its opponents gradually die out, and that the growing generation is familiarized with the ideas from the beginning: another instance of the fact that the future lies with the youth.
-- Max Planck, Scientific autobiography, 1950, p. 33, 97
In other words, they're never going to change their minds and at some point it will stop appealing to younger Republicans because they'll come into a sufficiently different world*, and the old guard will die off. Scientists are people who have at least, in their youth, made an earnest commitment to the discovery of truth and reality, and they can't change their minds on a deeply held, deeply invested belief, and they're not subject to a barrage of disinformation on the scale and authority of Fox and Russian troll farms on the topic.
The problem is that the timeline for adopting new ideas under Planck's principle will run out the clock on the rest of us.
*there's no reason to assume that the current Trump-Republican worldview will be replaced with something better, mind you.
Well, if no one is going to post, how about sharing our favorite TikToks? Maybe the problem with the privacy-intrusive American apps is that they're not intrusive enough, because TikTok reliably shows me stuff that makes me laugh.
Meeting megachurch pastor Joel Osteen.
These rating are way off, and it's a tossup wether this is deeply sexist or deeply anti-sexist, but it's completely inspired.
So, masks are nice for the invisibility they grant you in a crowd. You can mutter to yourself as you wander around the grocery store, you can yawn during a meeting. They are good at inhibiting communication.
I had an idle thought imagining what if eye contact were inhibited instead of nose and mouth cues. Now, there's no virus for which this could possibly make sense, so don't go down that rabbit hole. But I had a whole imaginary world for a bit where we all had weird blinders on and could only see each other from the nose down, for safety. I was picturing a visor that came down from your forehead and shielded your eyes from others. (Now of course, with your family and other people you trust, you could remove your visors and let in the intimacy of eye contact.)
It would really inhibit our ability to detect where someone is putting their attention, I concluded. They'd be clearer to understand when they spoke to you, but it'd be harder to gauge if they were speaking to you.
I can't say this was a shower thought, because I was sitting through a children's piano recital, but same diff.