Posting from the corner of a thrift store in Mc Call, Idaho, where I can get 3G. Barbecues, swimming in the lake. True summer fun. Tropical storm spares Hilo.Pix and such tomorrow. Enjoying being out of touch.
We are visiting friends David and Laura. While we were sitting on the patio outdoors last night a squall came up and lifted the patio umbrella, which flew right into my face! No damage, but what a surprise. It's a good example of when unexpected things happen unexpectedly!
The range and reach of Trump’s voice will be inescapably limited by all the people he does not speak to. He does not speak to those rising and thriving in today’s America. He does not speak to entrepreneurs and business owners. He does not speak to people who work in creative industries or the sciences or technology. He does not speak to those who feel emancipated by the lifting of inherited cultural and physical limits. He does not speak to those who feel that this modern age, for all its troubles, is also a time of miraculous achievement and astonishing possibility.
Our view of the canal is gone. As is true in every desirable place to live in the Northwest, more and more building is going on. Of course we are part of the problem, so this is not really a complaint. We would never use our place as an Air B&B, but friends and relatives use it a lot. We come here every other month or so, and it really feels like our second home.
It's warm and muggy this a.m. Last night we ate steaks and salad at a fine but not overpriced Italian restaurant. It was pleasant on their outdoor terrace. Ballard is known for its many good restaurants, and they are always full of happy diners. All around us people were discussing the Republican Convention and mostly laughing at the stupidity of it all.
It seems to me that, gradually but inexorably, people are losing their fear of the all-American nutjobs in Gooberville.
I'm pretty well done with trying to see things from the point of view of Republicans who still support Trump. What excuses can they come up with for Trump saying he won't defend NATO partners who don't pay their bills?
Jeff Sharlett, the foremost expert on the American goober, says that the fundamentalist excuse for Trump is that he is the modern King David: once a sinner but eventually the leader of his people and the instrument of god's will. Well, Cruz refuses to endorse him, and Cruz is a Christian Dominionist.
While Donald Trump’s theological underpinnings are as madcap and unstable as the man himself, Ted Cruz believes that not only is America God’s chosen country, but that he has been chosen to guide the country back to its Christian moorings. Ted Cruz is a seven-mountain guy and those mountains have nothing to do with Everest, Kilimanjaro, Whitney or any of the world’s renowned peaks. Cruz’s seven mountains have to do with reclaiming, rebuilding, and reestablishing America as a Christian country, which means Christians taking dominion over seven aspects of culture: family, religion, education, media, entertainment, business and government.
The movement is called Seven Mountains Dominionism and its origin comes from Isaiah 2:2: “Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains.”
Doesn't that sound like fun!
So it's not just that Trump insulted his wife but that he, Cruz, believes that he is the one to lead us out of the wilderness of sin and degradation that is America today.
The advice above is from Judith Newman, writing in the Sunday Times about various glamor, health and self help books for the ladies. I think it's time for us all to step back and stop taking ourselves so damn seriously. Hang out with little kids. Learn to admire people who keep on going even if they are not young, beautiful and perfect and rich and who manage to enjoy life, even if that strikes some of the more self important humans among us as risible or even disgusting. Ignore, make fun of, or avoid ambitious people with an agenda whose seriousness they insist on in the face of general indifference to their hobby horses. Above all, keep away from bores and monomaniacs.
I'm not happy that we have to alter our plans and may not make it to the Washington coast and will probably miss seeing our friend who lives out there. Terry has to get an emergency root canal, so we are grounded for the next couple of days. We are thankful that we have our condo to retreat to instead of being on the road somewhere.
We had a fine visit in Vancouver with Marja-Leena and Fred Rathje. I first got to know Marja-Leena through following her blog (see sidebar), and now have had the pleasure of visiting her three times. We had a lot to talk about!
We came for a late breakfast, and Fred made a delicious fritatta, and we ate raspberries and blackberries with mounds of whipped cream. Their house and yard were heaven on a day that was almost too warm. I got photos, but Marja-Leena forbade me to put one of her here, which is too bad, because I really like the one I got of her with her great smile.
Fred is an avid bicyclist, and he has bikes with electronically activated gears that automatically kick in when you bike uphill. He has two of these bikes, so he took Terry out for a spin, and Terry says biking this way is absolutely great, and he might even get one of these machines.
So pretty and sunny today. Later on we'll go and eat outdoors at a restaurant. There are a lot of good places here within walking distance.
I've been puzzled by the behavior of Trump and his family and followers. Now it's clear to me. Although they are utter clods, they want to be looked up to.
It takes a Hollywood gossip sheet columnist, Micheal Wolff, to point out the obvious:
The most scripted and traditional part of the Trump Republican convention was supposed to be the rollout of the Trump family. Nobody named Trump might ever have been elected to office, but the plan was to present the Trumps here with all the stature and power of a political dynasty. Not just to soften the edges and put a kinder, gentler face on the candidate, but to emerge, full born, as the Bushes or Kennedys.
This all backfired in an uproarious parody of the ladylike behavior of a Jackie Kennedy or Michelle Obama as delivered by a surgically and cosmetically enhanced bimbo in a tight dress.
This plagiarism scandal offers a perfect example of how people try to convince themselves that there are no real rules in our country. That is not true. For instance, paraphrasing and plagiarizing are two different processes, one legitimate and the other not, and it's important to know the difference. If Melania Trump wanted to use the mundane ideas expressed in Michelle Obama's boilerplate speech, they needed to be tweaked a bit to make them sound original, not quoted word for word! That was all that was called for, all that was necessary. So what should have been a sideshow has turned into a scandal.
During my brief stint as a freshman English teaching assistant I had a student who was desperately struggling in my class. Like many foreign students he did not have the English skills he needed for college but had developed strategies. He handed in a paper with large stretches of good prose held together with short connecting sentences and phrases full of prescriptive errors. This was odd enough for me to take it to my supervising professor, who quickly pulled out a paper he had written and distributed to his "remedial" English class a term ago. The poor student, who had been in that class and apparently got a passing grade, had copied the professor's paragraphs word for word. When cornered, he claimed this was the way it was done in "my culture." Did that fly? No, alas. He got an F on the paper and was dropped from the course.
There are some cultures, I suppose, where the need to survive overrides all other considerations: things like honesty, fair dealing and so on. If that's what we want to live with, what we want our country to become, then we should vote for Trump.
The atmosphere was pleasant, I would say, and except for one firebrand poet excoriating us from the big stage for our evil ways, politics were not on display very much, not directly anyhow. We all know how bad it is and need a break from the awfulness. There were some amusing takes from the Wainwright Sisters on the trials of motherhood and so on. Terry and I were not very enterprising and just kind of enjoyed the mellow scene without taking in much, really. We did like Mike Edel.
There was a Hawaiian group there that we missed all together, but that's how it goes.
We heard much thumping and banging from the side stages, and the racket from the main stage on Friday evening was so overwhelming that we just left. The older folkies, the people we were with, claimed that this sort of stuff was taking over in order to accommodate a younger crowd. None of what I heard along those lines of loud and booming had any finesse at all. The bass line needs to be flexible and ever changing, with pauses for melodic lines and dynamic shifts and so on, as in dub step. This was just boom boom thump thump.
Bruce Cockburn performed on Sunday night. He played his old favorites and a few new numbers. He is obviously enthralled by his young wife and four year old daughter and has become a great philosopher in the manner of all those old roués. Protest songs sound somewhat (shall we say) odd, considering his present highly privileged position as a rich celebrity.
A few pix:
Terry, Bettie, Mary and Jerry at the beer garden. Bettie and Jerry were at the very first Vancouver Folk Music Festival, 39 years ago, and have been to almost all of them since.
Nice set on Sunday afternoon by Mike Edel on a side stage.
Our friend Alice wore a wrap that bore an amusing resemblance to the Sunday evening light display on the big stage.
Sunday afternoon sky. It was mostly overcast or sunny during the festival, but we did get some rain on Sunday evening.
The main stage on Friday evening, just before we left [because the music was too loud]. Surprising how well the I-phone does here.
Melania's speech, for instance. It was as if her handlers did not think anyone would be paying attention to what she said, because who ever listens to what women say anyway? That's not what women are for!
I think a catastrophe of the Obama era has been the effective silencing of Michelle Obama. I can understand why this happened; not everyone has the ability to stand up to the kind of attacks that can be launched on women in the public eye. She is no Hillary Clinton. Clinton shows a remarkable ability to persist in spite of all the viciousness directed at her.
I'm old enough to remember what a figure of fun Eleanor Roosevelt was to her enemies as well; the attempts to belittle her on the basis of her looks, voice, do-goodism, etc. were endless. Melania Trump is a parody of womanhood, and her function is to prove to the base that women are not worth bothering with as serious human beings.
If it weren't the future of our democracy that's at stake, this would all be very funny!!!
Our neighbors to the north are witnessing this disgrace on their televisions and have got to be appalled. It's downright embarrassing.
We had a wonderful time at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival. I have photos and such which I'll post tomorrow. Most pleasant was socializing with relatives and friends. We are taking tomorrow off, going to a pizza party with our Seattle family members in the evening and then heading out to Long Beach, Washington and Portland, etc. etc. on our grand road trip.
Really really tired after the drive back and need to recoup.