Chapter 95: COVID Chronicles

July 1, 2020

By Karen

Day 112

Roc May Feel Guilty & EU Shunning Gets to Me

I call this Roc’s “Hall of Good Intentions.” For the past week, he’s been bringing presents to my bedroom that never quite make it all the way (of course, Tony was on hand to photo-bomb)…

Maybe Roc’s trying to make it up to me for his sleeping in the living room with Max as their contest to determine King of the Couch continues. Meanwhile, Tony has been coming to bed with me and seems to enjoy having me all to himself (I’ve been taking lots of pics of him because he’s currently helping a good cause and hopes to become a star, details coming soon)…

Last night for the first time, Tony cuddled in the crook of my arm, which meant I spent that time lying on my back, a position I can’t fall asleep in. But it seemed like an affection breakthrough, so I stayed put as long as Tony did.

In yesterday’s comments, talking about the EU ban on Americans, I mentioned to our Danish reader the song about Copenhagen that Danny Kaye sang in the movie Hans Christian Andersen

I got teary-eyed watching it. Americans becoming unwelcome pariahs in much of the world, thanks to Trump fostering spread of COVID-19 here with unbridled glee and doing NOTHING to help the states contain it, makes me feel hopeless and almost worse than this fucking lockdown.

If you’ve never traveled outside the country, you don’t miss it. But after once having strolled around some of the most beautiful cities of Europe, finding yourself cut off from them because your country’s leader is a demented, murderous monster is crushing.

It brought to mind this song from the show, Do I Hear a Waltz?, which I believe to be an underrated musical. Richard Rodgers composed the music and produced it in 1965. It was originally intended to be a Rodgers and Hammerstein show, but Oscar Hammerstein died of cancer. One of his final wishes was to have a young composer he’d mentored, Stephen Sondheim, write the lyrics.

Neither Rodgers nor Sondheim thought the book, The Time of the Cuckoo by Arthur Laurents, made good material for a musical, and it ultimately ran for only 220 performances on Broadway.

You know the story if you ever saw the 1955 movie Summertime with Katharine Hepburn and Rossanno Brazzi. Hepburn plays a spinster secretary who, while on a once-in-a-lifetime vacation in Venice, meets and falls in love with a semi-married shopkeeper. Elizabeth Allen and Sergio Franchi had those roles on Broadway.

This song you’ve probably never heard, This Week Americans, is sung by the proprietress of the Venetian pensione where the spinster stays. Sondheim managed to work in just about every cultural stereotype you can think of, but it reflects how, once we dump Trump, I hope the world can think of Americans again…


We Need to Take Notes from Brexit

July 5, 2016

By Karen

Uninformed, nonthinking British voters’ bigotry was stoked by sleazy politicians. Next thing you know, they’ve tanked their economy, shredded their standing as a trusted, responsible ally, and sent worldwide stock markets into a tailspin.

That’s what happens when a country tries to make itself “great again” by being more unpredictable.

If Great Britain’s catastrophic Brexit from the European Union did nothing else, let it teach us some lessons before November so we don’t follow it down the crapper. We should learn…

A fact-challenged buffoon with a bad haircut isn’t your best source of information.

BorisJohnsonFormer London Mayor Boris Johnson (who could play “Dumb” to Trump’s “Dumber”) was a Brexit cheerleader, appealing to racism and selfishness. His personal agenda was apparently to oust current Prime Minister David Cameron (which he did) so he could have the job himself.

Google your homework BEFORE you vote.

When Brits woke up after their Brexit celebration, their money was worth less and their stock market in free-fall, with recession predicted to follow. THAT’S what made them Google, “What does it mean to leave the EU?” and “What is the EU?”

The answers made them start a petition for a do-over.

When the situation unravels, don’t expect the buffoon to clean up his mess.

Once Great Britain’s economy and trade deals were reduced to rubble and other EU members want to kick the UK out on its arrogant arse pronto, Boris Johnson decided he didn’t want the PM job after all. So, buh-bye to any promises he made to halt immigration, save jobs, and replace all that ails England with “something terrific.”

Our own carrot-faced loudmouth is on track to tank our economy and revive massive unemployment when the many nations he’s already alienated tell him to stick his “art of the deal” on trade renegotiations straight up his ass. And perhaps, just for fun, he’ll drag our southern border states into a pointless war with Mexico over paying for a stupid wall.

And what will he do? He’ll blame Congress for everything and quit, if he’s not impeached first. And so will the hapless schmuck who ends up being his VP.

Don’t expect your so-called friends to stick around, either.

Northern Ireland and Scotland voted to remain in the EU, but England and Wales dragged them out, so they may secede from the UK. Against France, Germany, and 25 other EU countries, a diminished UK will have all the clout of Rhode Island as a voice in Europe’s destiny.

Never underestimate the power of ignorance.

Trump is cultivating an unthinking, fully-armed militia to do his bidding with violence. We’ve already seen it at his rallies. For example, if he decrees that Hispanics or Muslims belong in internment camps so they can be watched (like Roosevelt did to Japanese Americans during WWII), he’d just have to say the word. His supporters would gleefully put on their bedsheets, grab the ammunition, and kill more than they capture in the name of patriotism.

Britain has cut its own throat and may never recover. If we don’t stop Trump, the AmerExit he’s planning could easily turn into a bloodbath.


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