Hell ain’t half full

Through a glass, darkly.

You can’t spell “Memorial Day” without “me.”

The other night we revisited one of the great plague movies, Terry Gilliam’s “12 Monkeys.” A line delivered by Jeffrey Goines (Brad Pitt) has long been a favorite observation around El Rancho Pendejo:

“There’s no right, there’s no wrong, there’s only popular opinion.”

How do I feel about something? What’s in it for me? If enough people think the way I do, it must be Truth, yeah?

So count me among the unsurprised when I see people packing Maryland’s Ocean City boardwalk, standing shoulder to shoulder in pools at Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks, or crowding around some tool tossing money from a car in Daytona Beach, Fla.

“Disney’s closed, Universal’s closed, everything’s closed. So where did everybody come? On the first warm day with 50 percent opening, everybody came to the beach,” Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood told CBS Miami.

It practically goes without saying that Il Douche spent the weekend tweeting like a fat orange budgie on Adderall and urging Americans to go to church while he air-mailed divots to Jesus from one of his own golf courses. Dude brings a whole new meaning to the term “a bad lie.”

What does surprise me is that no matter who is “in charge,” or whether the enemy du jour is a Saudi with a box cutter, a highly communicable disease, or some other threat most Americans have never seen, some of us continue volunteering for and serving in the armed forces, or signing up for less celebrated duty at emergency rooms, cop shops, nursing homes, fire departments, pharmacies, sewage treatment plants, grocery stores, appliance-repair shops, hardware stores, restaurants, and delivery services.

I’m guessing that a lot of these folks would rather the customers hadn’t spent the Memorial Day weekend playing Beach Booger Bingo with a few thousand of their closest friends.

But hey, what do I know? There’s no right, there’s no wrong. …


24 Responses to “Hell ain’t half full”

  1. SAO' Says:

    Folks just don’t understand math. Our stats are ass-over-teakettle because NYC was hit first. So “we” surged in March/April and are now trending down. But the US of A is not one big evenly-distributed thing, and viruses don’t know from state lines. Subtract NY and N.J. from the numbers, and the charts paint a different picture. Half the states are plateauing or heading up.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      It’s like military service, I think. I can’t quote any stats off the top of my head, but most Americans have not served in the military, and a fair number don’t even know anyone who has, and yet everyone has “an idea” of what it’s like from TV and movies. There are plenty of bad ideas out there. Some of us are working for them, promulgating them, or watching them commit golf when they should be on the clock.

  2. khal spencer Says:

    NYC got nailed badly since it was a destination point where people got off the planes with The Curse. But here in the Land of Entrapment, it varies by location, poverty, education, etc. Fanta Se has flattened the curve and had a doubling time close to a month lat time I checked. The Four Corners region has been hit hard considering the low population up there and cases are still powering up. Its been ravaged. Other parts of the state have seen next to nada. That’s why rural folks are excoriating our stubborn governor.

    So sure, not all locations are equal. But one has to be an idiot to be crowding a beach, bar, or other place where you don’t know shit from Shinola about the guy or gal who just coughed in your general direction. The Curse could give a flying f*ck if you are liberal, conservative, GOP, Dem, or politically agnostic.

    And this ain’t the kind of story one wants to read on Memorial Day. My first father in law landed on Omaha on D+3. He was barely five feet tall so they put him on…ahem…cleanup duty. He occasionally had flashbacks when he saw raw meat, even in the 1980’s.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I wonder how many of these Beach Booger Bozos are wearing stars-and-stripes masks. “Murka! Yeah, bay-bee! USA! USA! USA! FREEDUMB®!”

      • khal spencer Says:

        Word, O’G. This is one time when the fake news business can really cost lives rather than make people temporarily stupid

        And even without the fake news or the POTUS who is full of shit (PWIFOSOTUS), you know what The Professor said.

    • Shawn, ... respectfully Says:

      My Father was also part of the June 6th invasion. He had the fortune (a comparative wartime term) to be landing Canadian and British troops a little farther up the coast on Juno and Sword Beaches that weren’t as well defended. His duty kept him landing troops and equipment on the beaches for several days. His memories also describe the horror of the aftermath of the landings.

      Let us all remember the idiocy of allowing our popular-elect system to be hijacked by an electoral system that places control and the future of our world in the hands of another inept crusader that drags us again, into the demise of war and suffering.

      Memorial Day is for the thought of the past and the bettering of our future.

  3. Stan Thomas Says:

    Or, if you prefer, “Hell is other people” (either interpretation).
    I’ve seen the pictures from Missouri and other locations. I wouldn’t go anywhere near a crowd like that even absent the plague. But it’s their choice and a little natural selection might be just what the World needs.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      An attention span measured in milliseconds is not a survival mechanism.

      “Next on ‘Short Attention Span Theatre’ we’ll be right back after this message from ‘Woodshuck: Three Days of Peace, Love and Death.”

  4. Shawn patiently awaiting the November "Flush" Says:

    I’m in a state that has surprisingly witnessed only modest diagnosed cases of which I think a large reason for was the more responsible actions taken by people in our largest city. I’m in a little more rural area and although our numbers are low, I consider that we are only at the beginning of our virus adventure. I made a quick visit to one of recently re-opened thrift stores yesterday clad in face mask and nitrile gloves and was impressed by their implemented changes. They had two employees at the entrance with masks and face shields on and required everyone coming into the store to wear a mask and to use hand sanitizer. When I was departing, a large family (perhaps two families together) were refused entrance because they did not have masks on. I heard one of the family members arguing something about not needing a mask. With human behavior like that, I plan on continuing to wear a mask and gloves and staying as far away from other people as possible for a considerable time.

    • khal spencer Says:

      Not all those to the right of center are stupid on this. There is a really nice gun store near my house where I shop when I need to buy such things that support my hole punching tools. Big sign on the door: Do Not Enter Without a Mask On. All the shop denizens are wearing masks and they have a couple big spray bottles of sanitizer on the showcases.

  5. Pat O'Brien Says:

    A virus is not an enemy. A pandemic is not a war. Apples ain’t oranges, even if an orange, draft dodging, veteran insulting, spoiled brat tries to make us believe so. The guy showed up in Maryland for a ceremony without a mask when everyone else in town was under a stay at home order. I think they should send him a citation, you know, like a ticket written by a cop.

    The only uniforms that punk should be around are doormen and prison guards. When I see him in Arlington, I want to puke, right on his shoes. I know Herb, another dose of cheer from Arizona.

    • khal spencer Says:

      I’ve heard to much of the war on this and the war on that. War on Drugs. War on Poverty. War on Crime. War on Whatever the Fuck We Want to Fight a War On. But it is the wrong metaphor.

    • Pat O’Brien Says:

      Yea, I’m waiting for the war on climate change. The we can fight ourselves. People smarter than me are already saying it. This pandemic is not the biggest problem the science deniers are responsible for. If this pandemic is a 9mm pistol pointed at us, then climate change is a Vulcan cannon. There’s a war metaphor that fits.

      • khal spencer Says:

        Climate changes (humans survived the Pleistocene) and we will have to eventually adapt to what comes, if we survive as a species. To me, the height of naivete is to think we could burden the globe with close to ten billion people wanting to drive cars and eat Star Kist Tuna and not fuck things up for Ma Nature and all those other critters. CO2 isn’t responsible for climate change. Unchecked humanity is the culprit. CO2 the smoking gun.

        But you are right about the Vulcan cannon: with global emissions closing in on doubling pre-industrial CO2 and humanity closing in on ten billion mouths to feed and amuse with cheap shit from elsewhere, we have accelerated change to a time span of a century rather than a millenium or ten (I think we have neutered the Milankovich Cycles). Plus, the world is a No Vacancy place now; it will be interesting to see where folks go when Florida has to worry about being underwater literally rather than in mortgages. Not to mention places like Bangladesh. I seem to recall the last time a national leader talked about lebensraum, it led to serious worldwide problems.

        Will be interesting to see how our descendants handle it. My hunch is wars and famine. This is a good time to be old and not have had any kids of my own to worry about. That said, I have nieces, nephews, and they have kids. I took a Geezer Spare Time class on climate change last year. The instructor said the most important thing to do to reduce one’s own climate footprint was not have American kids. Bingo.

        • Dale E. Brigham Says:

          Khal, I had one of them Milankovich cyles, but it kept wobbling on it’s rotational axis. Couldn’t stay upright on the darn thing. And always running hot or cold. Dale (one glacial geology grad course is a dangerous thing to waste) Brigham

          • Patrick O'Grady Says:

            I remember Milankovich Cycles. Nice little hole-in-the-wall shop in Chicago. Now and then the owner’s grandma would drop off some cabbage rolls for the customers. They were either too hot or too cold.

          • khal spencer Says:

            Yeah, mine overheated and blew a head gasket.

            But Back in the Day, there used to be the Big Six: Harley Davidson, Indian, Milankovich, Triumph, BSA, BMW. None of them optimal. The Harleys and Indians broke down. British bikes had Lucas electrics and vertically split cases. Milankovich very unstable and tended to that bad wobble. BMW cost too much and the Earles forks were ponderous.

          • Pat O'Brien Says:

            I used to go to a bike shop in Waukegan that always had Brooks Saddles in stock, all model. I think it was call Numb Nuts Cycles. They also sold a lot of Bag Balm. That was probably because we were close to Wisconsin, heh?

          • khal spencer Says:

            My brother in law, Jack, from My First Time Around is a large animal vet. I do recall Bag Balm from those days bombing around the NW Adirondacks in the veterinary pickup truck.

            Just found this link. I used to hunt deer with Dave Reese and Jack and Steve Zeh down near Pine City, and he was Jack’s DVM mentor.


          • Hurben Says:

            I remember reading in an Australian motorcycle magazine that the old Triumphs were proof positive that the Poms could not be trusted with anything more viscous than window putty..

          • B Lester Says:

            Yes, we are still using Bag Balm here in Wisconsin. Got a tin sitting with my riding bibs. I buy it in the agri department of my local Blaine’s Farm and Fleet store.

            They also sell an equine liniment called Bigeloil that is like high powered Absorbine. Good stuff, there Roscoe!

      • Herb from Michigan Says:

        Too..much…of everything. You are right. But $$$ allowed us all to expand our fleet of gas guzzlers, enlarge our McMansions, take airplanes all over as if we really needed to see what we didn’t appreciate when we got there. It is almost too late to play small ball but the more people that cut back on EVERYTHING, the better the quality of life becomes. Amazon might be the worst thing that ever happened to us. Now you can shop 24/7 for shit you don’t need packaged in fossil fuel clam shells.
        Yup the pandemic is nothing compared to what global warming is bringing.

  6. khal spencer Says:

    Interesting story here, given this was Memorial Day.

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