The New Abnormal

Some folks think they’re getting the business.

The American attention span, ordinarily measured in nanoseconds, is fraying around its all-too-short edges as the walls start closing in on the homebound.

Relief payments have gone walkabout. The SBA ran out of money to loan. And almost no unemployment aid has made it to the self-employed.

Is patience a luxury we can’t afford, or a necessity we can’t live without?

For some folks, it’s just one more thing that they’ve run out of, like beer, beans, and buttwipe. But Your Humble Narrator still has a personal stash, and if you can bear about six more minutes of social distancing, he’ll let you have a little taste.

Yes, yes, yes, it’s another socially distant episode of Radio Free Dogpatch!

P L A Y    R A D I O    F R E E    D O G P A T C H

• Technical notes: This episode was recorded with an Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB mic and Rogue Amoeba’s nifty little app Piezo. The trail-walking portion was recorded on a Tascam DR-10L. Editing was as usual, using GarageBand on a 2014 MacBook Pro. The background music is “Easy Day” by Kevin MacLeod, taken from the YouTube audio library, as was the angry crowd. The squeaky bike is from jamesrodavidson at The yappi corgis are likewise from the YouTube. The Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote are, of course, from the glory days of animation at Warner Bros. And the centurion calls us weird from “Monty Python’s Life of Brian.”

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16 Responses to “The New Abnormal”

  1. Herb from Michigan Says:

    Here in Michadumb they did indeed lay siege to the statehouse including our own district rep, Julie Alexander. She , like others, had no mask, gloves or safe space between other morons. Now that is leadership I tells ya. The Trumpers, gun nuts and Tea Baggers boiled out of their holes, stumps and trailers to have a grand old time brandishing weapons and burning fossil fuels to show how mad they are. But it’s good to get a real hard look at the opposition now and then, take notes and plan for combat. That is, if there are any of them left after they infect each other. Long before Covid 19, those of us who “think instead of stink” learned to cross the street when we saw someone with a MAGA hat/shirt. The epidemic brought out the true meaning and selfishness of Trumpers.
    Mine! And God Agrees! (MAGA) Clearly they must feel ordained to rescue the economy instead of lives. I’m sure if I scrutinize the Bible I’ll find that in there? It’s not? Are you sure..

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      It reminds me of kids on a car trip.

      “Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? How’bout now? Now? NOW?”

      “Goddamnit, don’t make me stop this government and come back there. …”

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      Cultists. Tao te Ching – “When people lose their sense of awe, they turn to religion. When they no longer trust themselves, they depend on authority.” If Trump loses, they can all become scientologists.

  2. khal spencer Says:

    One of my best friends from college lives up in Alpena and had this to say:

    “It is good to see the common sense and observations about our blind pilot or fearless leader saying one thing and then tweeting to liberate Michigan and others. Beyond ridiculous.

    The protests at the state capitol here were pretty lame, most stayed in their car and a lot walked around armed, because we have open carry in Michigan and they felt like it. Whitmer has released some detailed orders, and there are some provisions that seem a little silly, but no way are they a step towards dictatorship. The DeVos family is funding some of these groups, and Whitmer was unpopular with the right wing after she beat the religious nut running against her in 2018. The more I see her at work the more impressed I am. Liquor is easy to buy in drugstores, gas stations, grocery store, and the recreational pot stores are still open, although it is curbside service.

    We have a few cases here now, and there has been a death at a nursing home where the patient tested positive. That has goosed the mask.glove use, and there is less of the “this is ridiculous”: talk around. The newest terror is all the people downstate fleeing Flint and Detroit for their cottages on Lake Huron and the many little lakes here, bringing the virus with
    them. The cottage owners are a bit miffed after supporting the area for years. Year round vs summer people, just with a bit of pandemic thrown in.

    We are healthy enough, and my nearly 12 year old lab is chugging along, with the burden of old age showing a lot. Keeping him comfortable seems to be my life’s work right now.

    Glad that no one has gone too shack happy yet, and the warmer temps and less snow will help.”

  3. Dale Says:

    Seems like the Trumpers are the snowflakes. They can’t take a little bit of “don’t congregate” common sense, because that have to live in their minds (dark, dark places).

  4. khal spencer Says:

    Between Radio Free Dogpatch, David French’s Sunday column and a breakfast burrito, its starting out to be a nice day!

    I probably should not have tempted The Fates by saying that.

  5. Pat O'Brien Says:

    And, it was a fine podcast. Thanks, I needed that.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Thank you, señor. They’re not exactly “This American Life,” but at least they’re short. Unless you listen to them a couple dozen times trying to unfuck yourself, like I do. Words in a row are ever so much simpler. …

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      I haven’t listened to “This American Life” in over a year. You used to have a nice balance of stories, some dark, some light, and some humorous. I think he went to the dark side over a year ago, and the program got to be depressing. Is it just me?

      • khal spencer Says:

        This American Life is still cool but I rarely hear it all through because it comes on at four on a Sunday. We turn it on and promptly fall to sleep.

        I stopped listening to the Debbie and David Downer Shows (Alternative Radio, Democracy Now) on NPR for the same reason as you. I get all the depression I need reading the NY Times, Abq Journal and People’s Republic New Mexican. Any more bad news and I’ll be headed for the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I haven’t been keeping up with Ira and the gang myself. “This American Life” airs at 4 p.m. Sundays here and I’m usually otherwise occupied. Plus, no commute, so no drive-time opportunity.

      I don’t think Ira has a naturally dark turn. We’ve caught his act a couple times (in Bibleburg) and he doesn’t seem that sort. But speaking as someone who also writes for an audience, albeit on a much, much smaller scale, I will say that the temptation to concentrate on the Dark Side is stronger than ever, if only because it seems to be everywhere. Ripe for the picking, as it were.

      I recall reading somewhere that Adm. James Stockdale once said that it wasn’t the optimists who made it out of prison camp.

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