Showing 1 - 10 of 126 posts found matching keyword: rant
Wednesday 16 February 2022
I went grocery shopping yesterday. Walking in the door, I passed a sign very clearly instructing all customers that masks were required in the building, but I was the only shopper I saw who was wearing one. I hadn't realized so few people in my town could read.
Two weeks into February, Coweta County has reported already more deaths from COVID-19 this month than December and January combined. I know that death is a lagging indicator (by approximately two weeks), but I don't know how anyone can look at those numbers and think, "Now is the time to stop wearing masks!"
When I was a kid during the Cold War of the 1980s, I used to wonder how long people would stay in their underground fallout shelters after World War III before emerging to see if the world was once again inhabitable. The answer, I now know, appears to be not quite 2 years. After that, hey, radiation poisoning doesn't seem so bad.
One day, when we send people to Mars, will some significant percentage of the colonists decide that they've simply had enough and walk outside of their protective environments without masks? Is that what happened to the Roanoke Colony? "I don't care that it's snowing outside; I'm not putting on another pair of pants!"
Look, I get that wearing a mask sucks. *I* think it sucks. But so long as an ongoing pandemic continues to kill thousands of Americans — and several of my immediate neighbors — every day, I think I can do at least the least I can do to help prevent further spread.
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Thursday 4 November 2021
My neighbors already have a Christmas Tree in their window, and I want to smash it. The window, that is. The tree should be set on fire.
A wise man once said, "I think there must be something wrong with me, Linus. Christmas is coming, but I'm not happy. I don't feel the way I'm supposed to feel." Hear, hear, Charlie Brown. I like peace on Earth. I like the idea of good will toward men. I even like candy canes, gingerbread houses, and getting gifts. So why don't I like Christmas?
I'm sure some of it has to do with the fact that Christmas is a disruption of my regular schedule. That's not fun for me. And maybe I don't like seeing other people enjoy themselves. Keep your happiness in Whoville, you jerks!
But I think what I hate most is how commercialized the holiday is. The mindlessly rapacious American consumer is encouraged — nay, expected! — to buy a whole bunch of tchotchkes and gewgaws they don't want or need, crap like this:
We're tearing down forests and melting the icecaps so that someone can grow some faux hair on piles of poo? Bah, humbug.
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Saturday 25 September 2021
Dad has been in the hospital since Tuesday.
His colectomy surgery to address lingering problem from his 2018 diverticulosis episode had originally been postponed because the hospital was full of COVID patients (but they later found room after calling in support from the National Guard). Measures designed to prevent the further spread of COVID within the hospital mean that he is allowed only one visitor per day. COVID is stretching hospital resources so thin that staff have been forced to leave Dad lying on soiled sheets because clean and sanitized sheets were not immediately available.
One thing I cannot blame on COVID is Dad's hallucinations, presumably resulting from a combination of medications and lack of sleep. In the midst of a waking dream, he removed all his catheters and drips and tried to tear out his drain. This last bit may have damaged his sutures. He's now subject to a more robust watch by the nursing staff
, which in practical terms doesn't mean as much as it might because the staff is already overtaxed tending to patients suffering from COVID*.
The point here is that I'm finding it increasingly difficult not to be rationally furious at every idiot who has participated in extending this fucking pandemic that for 18 months and counting continues to make life both more difficult and more perilous for everyone on the planet.
As I waited to pass screening into the hospital yesterday, the lady working the front desk was trying to be apologetic about the hospital's restriction procedures. "Numbers have been going down the past two weeks. It may be over soon," she said. I said, "I've heard that before." She gave up trying to make small talk with me, a lesson everyone should probably take to heart, at least until we can all talk to one another safely without masks on.
*UPDATE: I've been sitting in the hospital room all afternoon, and the staff couldn't be nicer or more attentive. I should not impugn their Herculean efforts. The COVID era sucks for them, too.
UPDATE 2021-09-26: Today, Dad developed a case of hospital delirium and escaped from the hospital on foot. Full credit to the entire staff, including the nurses who were bowled over by a fleeing, bow-legged senior citizen and the security guards who peacefully returned him to his bed. I mention this so specifically because the hospital staff continues to do a great job under the most trying circumstances. (Personally, I would have let him just keep running, which is the best argument for why I should never work in a hospital.) Comments (2)
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Saturday 18 September 2021
Twitter very helpfully reminds me that today is Batman Day 2021. Explains the site: "Fans pay tribute to the DC Comics superhero on Batman Day, which is celebrated each year on the third Saturday of September." The only problem with that description is that it is not true.
Maybe Batman Day is held on the third Saturday of September since 2018, but it wasn't always. As I have documented elsewhere, Batman Day has been all over the calendar since it was first recognized in July 2014. But that's not the part I'm really bothered by.
The word "fans" in that description is misleading, unless you'd describe the corporations who own the Batman intellectual property as fans. Unlike Star Wars Day, which began as a genuine celebration of its source material before being taken over as a marketing exercise by The Walt Disney Co., Batman Day has never been anything other than a marketing exercise by WarnerMedia.
I wonder if whoever crafted that description for Twitter wasn't having a little fun with the wording. The phrase "pay tribute," which has come to mean a figurative giving of praise, was originally meant quite literally. A tribute is a tax levied on conquered peoples. Give your thanks (and dollars!) to your corporate masters, Bat-fans!
Which is not to say that I don't like Batman or think it's uncool to say how great the Caped Crusader is. I'd just like a little honesty in why we chose today to do it, is all.
Batman #119, October 1958
Honesty! It's what Batman would want.
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Wednesday 1 September 2021
Welcome to the 16th Annual Wriphe.com Batman and Football Month, now with 166% more disease!
A year ago, I looked upon the approaching college football season with trepidation and wrote
I get that the players want to play. As a fan, I want to watch. But just because we *want* football doesn't mean we're in a position to have it. If you're old enough and smart enough to go to college, you're old enough not to let your wants hurt you. If getting this pandemic under control, if ensuring that we break the chain of infections to protect ourselves, our families, and our neighbors means we have to stay in our homes (or dorms) and forego one football season, we should do that, even if we don't want to. Any other behavior is just irresponsible.
Oh, how naive I was in my youth. Let me show you how much things have changed in the state of Georgia in one year. This is August 2020:
And this is where we are in August 2021:
A year-to-year gain of +7,000 cases on a graph that is still climbing! To get numbers like that, you have to be actively trying!
Just like in 2020, I bought UGA football season tickets in the early spring under the assumption that this whole pandemic thing might be under control by fall. Fool me twice, shame on me.
Granted, some things have changed in a year. In theory, the players have all been vaccinated (right?), so they should be safe enough (from COVID if not brain damage). But can the same be said for the fans? There's a non-zero overlap between the group of people who love to watch live football and the group of people who would rather kill children than wear a strip of cloth over their faces.
I'm fully vaccinated and have been since May, but vaccination is no guarantee that I can't get the virus. (If you like to be depressed, Google "breakthrough cases" and "vaccine efficacy decline".) Since we have yet to see any sign that this latest pandemic surge is ready to turn any corners, it looks like I'll be missing out on another season.
I guess I should have spent that ticket money on a new, larger television. I may be in my bunker for a long time yet to come.
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Saturday 28 August 2021
My father was supposed to have surgery this past Tuesday to finally address complications resulting from his diverticulosis in October 2018. It didn't happen.
We've spent most of the past three years dealing with his heart issues, which made doctors uneasy about intestinal surgery. First an artificial valve, then a pacemaker, then another pacemaker.... Now that those are resolved, Dad was all set to finally put (most of ) his abdominal issues to rest. Unfortunately, things continue to work out not as planned. This time, the hospital had to cancel. It seems they ran out of room.
Late this week, Piedmont Hospital Newnan was forced to call in the National Guard for help against the latest surge against COVID-19. They didn't need that help back in January, so that tells you how bad this wave is. According to one report, they are booked to 125% of capacity, with the Emergency Room waiting room converted to temporary overflow COVID-patient holding.
(Side note: They say that most of those currently ill with the Delta variant weren't vaccinated. I wonder what the overlap is in Georgia between those who chose not to vaccinate and those who have no health insurance? I'd ask a high school student to draw that Venn diagram, but masks are optional in Coweta County schools, and I don't want to end up in the hospital myself.)
Both Dad and I like to think that one day he'll finally be fixed enough to avoid his current monthly visits to a urologist and surgeon. Maybe so. But the way things are going, it doesn't look like it's going to be any day soon.
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Saturday 24 April 2021
A regular op-ed columnist in the local newspaper — a former police officer — recently decried potential firearm regulation legislation using the justification that more people die annually drowning in swimming pools (2,616) than in mass shootings (446). That's a great point.
His argument convinced me. I mean, who cares how many innocent people are shot to death when there are people drowning? Obviously, if you don't want to drown, don't get in the water. And if you don't want to get shot to death, don't go to the grocery store. Problem solved!
You know what else kills people? Falling down. According to the CDC, falling killed 39,443 people in 2019. It'd be ridiculous to outlaw gravity, right? Handrails and walls are for pussies! If I want to wear shoes made from banana peels and K-Y Jelly tubes, that's my God-given right.
The next time someone assaults someone in a massage parlor or movie theater with 10,000 gallons of chlorinated water, I promise I'll support swimming pool control legislation.
Remember, kids: It's not guns that kill people. It's swimming pools.℠
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Thursday 18 March 2021
Dictionary.com made news this week by defining "supposably" to mean "as may be assumed, imagined, or supposed." That's the same definition typically ascribed to "supposedly" ("according to what is accepted or believed"). There was a time in my life I would have been bent out of shape about this.
Where I come from, "supposably" is not a word. At least, it's not that word. According to my trusty Websters New Twentieth Century Dictionary of the English Language Unabridged (2nd Edition), "supposably" should mean "in a supposable manner." However, it has been used as a mispronunciation of "supposedly" for so long that some 21st-century lexicographers have finally thrown up their hands in defeat.
I have a personal connection to this word because my father has always uses supposably when he means supposedly. In his case, I think he does it because it bothers me. Dad's a real tease that way. (See? It's not my fault. I have been trained to be argumentative by a parent who thinks its fun to fly red flags in front of bulls!)
The reason I'm not a raving basket case over this new definition is because A) I've been reading a lot lately about the bizarre and often counter-intuitive developmental history of the English language, and B) the world is in such a state that if I let myself get worked up over words these days then I'm really going to need to start drinking. The meanings of English words have been meandering for centuries and will continue to do so for so long as someone is still speaking the language. I need to remember that the important part of language is understanding one another, not clinging to arbitrary rules of pronunciation.
That said, I will continue not using "supposably" in my own writing. Even in the 21st-century, a man's got to stand for something.
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Thursday 4 March 2021
I feel like the recent announcement that Hasbro is dropping the "Mr." and "Mrs." from their Potato Head toys is something that I should be blogging about. It's exactly the sort of inconsequential bit of nostalgic pop-culture bullshit for an overgrown man-child to rant sarcastically about.
However, in 2021, if I make a joke about a plastic potato no longer having a penis, that means I qualify to be a panelist on Fox News. Good grief. (Fun fact: Fox News much prefers their plastic potatoes to have vaginas as God intended.)
These days, everything is a political weapon. From which fast food you have for lunch to which comic books you read to whether you take steps to prevent the spread of disease, every goddamn thing is now a cudgel that someone will use to drive their agenda against you.
Has it always been this way? Was I just not paying attention before? When did everyone get so sensitive? Wokeness is fucking exhausting. We could use some laughter to break this tension, but someone is sure to take that personally.
Way to suck the fun out of a toy, everybody.
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Tuesday 22 December 2020
Four days before Christmas, while the nation was busy with other, bigger problems, the Virginia-sponsored statue of Robert E. Lee was quietly removed from the U.S. Capitol.
Each state has two statues in the Capitol, most in the National Statuary Hall. But the hall isn't large enough for 100 statues, so some had been moved to other locations, including the Crypt below the Rotunda. It's called the Crypt because it was originally intended to be the final resting place of the mortal remains of America's patron saint: George Washington. That made it a fitting place for a statue of Washington's great-grandson-in-law.
The statue is being moved to a history museum, which is frankly a far more suitable location for the man famous as leader of the slave-owning armies in the War Between the States. It'd be nice to say that Lee's statue was the last Civil War remnant in the Capitol. However, Statuary Hall still includes monuments to Confederate Colonel Zebulon Vance (sponsored by North Carolina), Lieutenant General Wade Hampton (South Carolina), General Joseph Wheeler (Alabama), Vice President Alexander Stephens (Georgia), and Jefferson Davis (Mississippi). Maybe you can see a theme there.
Prior to this year, I believed we should preserve all works of art, even those that could serve as political propaganda for causes of hatred. While I never thought such pieces belonged in the same building as the working seat of government, the current political climate has me thinking that maybe museums are also too public. There are very clearly too many in this country willing to use the imagery of the past for their own political purposes without regard to the damage they inflict on others. That's just plain wrong.
The ancient Olmecs, like us, used to make giant statues of their leaders. Then, when the leaders fell from power, the statues were disfigured and buried so that the people could move on without being encumbered by old grudges and failed ideologies. I'm increasingly of the opinion that might not be such a bad idea.
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