The Wisconsin recall election has me very worried, no matter what the outcome is. The state is in an almost perfect condition of polarization. Neither group of adversaries will tolerate victory from the other side. Progressives made giant concessions to conservatives, but that is over. The reactionary conservatives have proved that they can't be trusted, because they are conditioned to believe that they must win every point and crush their adversaries. They will lie, cheat, spend huge pots of money in order to prevail Progressives have their backs to the wall and will be forced to fight. I predict escalating unrest, not just in Wisconsin but everywhere.
‘Over Sixty Hours without an Execution.’ When PM, the biggest tabloid in Ciudad Juárez, can’t find a corpse to put on its front page, it has to come up with something. On 21 November last year it announced that ‘the city has just experienced an unusual outbreak of peace … the longest for three years. Newspaper statistics show that from 29 December 2008, fifty hours passed without a killing. From 29 October 2009, Juárez recorded 41 hours without any violent deaths.’ Luis, a local journalist who meets me at El Paso airport, across the border, jokes about it: ‘Today, Juárez is very calm. Boring even. We used to have fifteen or twenty deaths a day. Now it’s just three, five, seven.’
That's a place where murder is just a kind of h0-hum everyday occurrence. 1/5 of the population are heroin addicts. The best job for women is part time prostitute. The traffic rolls, kids go to school and work and shopping and that's just how it is: proving that we humans are very adaptable and can get accustomed to any circumstances, even living in a nihilistic void. (I subscribe to the LRB on my Kindle.)
Luckily in my life there is Sharkey's. He sells his own coffee and chocolate. He and his wife were at Jim's birthday party. He and Jim go way back. His wife is a sculptor and I would love to have talked to her but she was on her weekly day of silence. (!) I don't need that kind of strategy with Terry, who is quiet and easy to be around, but I guess living with exuberant and outgoing Sharkey would call for some sort of retreat strategy like hers.
Here is his place on Wainuenue in downtown Hilo and closeup of the mural over the kitchen entrance:
I don't see how Starbuck's can compete!