flotsam, peeves


The week leading up to the 4th, there were firecrackers every night.

I would say, people are bored because COVID and lockdown, but we are open again. Or, mostly. With masks and distance. But open. Probably more than we should be.

But a lot is still closed, restricted or limited. People have to be more careful than usual. Travel plans are cancelled. People who would normally be out of town – maybe even to towns where shooting off your own fireworks is a bit more legal – are at home, missing the joys of blowing stuff up.

So people with no infants or pets or horses or members of their household with PTSD, thought a little extra crash-boom would be fun for everyone.

The night of the third, a small display went off here for a while. Solidarity for the Rushmore clusterf*** I suppose, where someone – not saying who – slurred words and conflated a broad level of public support for removing symbols of confederate treason and white supremacy (“states rights” even then was a dog whistle — funny how important states rights are to him when it’s about maintaining or glorifying civil rights inequities but not so much when it’s about a state’s ability to prosecute crimes that the DOJ for some reason isn’t so interested in having move forward), with a fringe movement to remove other statues, and the very real grievances of the Lakota who were deeded the Black Hills “in perpetuity ” by treaty only to see our govt seize the land, settle large swaths of it and carve out a national park. That we also put faces we wanted to honor into a mountainside that was sacred to them is just icing on that cake. People protesting holding the July 4 celebration / Trump rally at that site are protesting for a different reason than people calling for removal of statues. Nuance, ya know?

But, sure. I guess it’s fair to lump it all together under the heading of “parts of the American story that we don’t have tons of reason to be proud of, and maybe shouldn’t put on display without the context.” So in that respect, perfect for its purpose, and highly apropos that he would be railing in the direction he does. There it all is on display, and the people happily taking it in are choosing to ignore the full history, cherry-picking the parts they want to focus on. Sigh.

And, while he did all that, he basically tried to ignore and distract from the real story, which in addition to no end of scandals and corruption, include the Americans he was actively killing by having the event at all during a pandemic in which 50,000 people a day are being newly diagnosed, OR the ones he’s passively killing by not ensuring guidelines are clear & PPE is available & testing is affordable OR the troops he’s still allowing to be murdered by Russian contract.

Happy birthday, America?


Clears throat, takes deep breath.

The polls are meaningless. They have as much opportunity to distract as the July 3 hoopla. I am not a Democrat but I still must say: Every last vote counts if we want him out of office. Trust me, as much as his actions may shake loose a few, there is a base of Trump voters who cannot be shaken no matter what he does, active gerrymandering and voter suppression, and foreign powers that are more than willing to keep him in power to their own ends. A divided America is a weaker America, and he actively seeks to divide us to his gain, and theirs.

Complacency will kill our democracy.

Register to vote. Confirm your registration hasn’t been “purged” for any reason. Consider taking Election Day off, if you will vote in person (because it could take a while). Bring your mask for while you wait; stay safe. If you vote by mail, check the dates and the instructions and sign where you’re supposed to. And do not be distracted into thinking we don’t need every last vote laser focused in the other direction to get this thug and his gang out.

You don’t have to love the other choice. A vote is not a marriage, to paraphrase my friend. You don’t have to tie yourself in loyalty to that person for all time. A vote is more like getting on a city bus. It doesn’t have to be taking you exactly where you want to go; it just has to be taking you in the right direction, where you catch the next one.

What direction has Trump been leading us in?

The direction of botched pandemic response and conflicts with allies and support for US enemies. The direction of grift and division and hatred rather than unity and justice and restoration.

I for one want to go the other way.

Jumps down off soapbox.


As I was saying…

Come the 4th, the fireworks were really hopping. The usual display visible through the trees out back.

More down the street. I can hear but not see what’s happening out front. Though the moon was putting on an impressive show of its own.

But it’s amateur hour after a certain point. Neighborhood dogs are losing their minds. There’s no longer any rhyme or reason to it, just people who have been (probably) drinking a bit today and feel like they’ve been cooped up too long, literally blowing off steam by blowing up everything on hand. Which means I’m actually a little concerned and sleepless, thinking about injuries and accidental fires being set.


If you’re a person of prayer, pray for our nation, which desperately needs healing. And for our now-and-future leaders.