The featured photo is a screenshot of the Facebook post in the Exploring Virginia group that inspired today’s rant.
As you probably know, yesterday was the 22nd anniversary of September 11th, or “9/11”. That was the horrifying day in 2001 when terrorists attacked the United States using airplanes. Every year, people remember where they were and what they were doing on that dark day in US history. And every year, certain people crawl out from under their rocks and post conspiracy theories about why 9/11 is an elaborate hoax.
Because I am the wife of someone who was actually in the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, I don’t believe the conspiracy theorists. I think their “theories” are 100 percent bullshit. Moreover, I think posting their contemptuous lies, especially on the anniversary of that act of terrorism, is incredibly offensive and distasteful… especially to those who were there to see the horrors of it firsthand.
My husband was in one of the innermost rings of the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. He was there to do his job as a U.S. Soldier, something he was very proud to do for about 30 years of his life, on active duty, as a reservist, and later as a full-time member of the National Guard. He was there to see people who were injured or killed by the jetliner that crashed into his workplace. He heard the screams, the alarms, and cries of people as they rushed out of the building. He later heard the silence when the airports shut down, the metros stopped running, and people were stunned into quiet. He smelled the burning fuel, the destroyed and burned building materials, burning flesh, and spilled blood.
After September 11, 2001, my husband was there to help take care of grieving families who lost their loved ones forever. In his case, it was a family whose beloved matriarch was killed while she was working as a civilian in the Pentagon. He was there to help her family when they all came to Washington, DC for a memorial service to honor the many dead, just from the Pentagon strike. He saw their tears and anguished as they realized that their family member was killed by strangers from faraway lands just for being at work. And those people who carried out their suicide mission also took a couple hundred innocent passengers and crew members with them as they crashed that airplane into the Pentagon.
Yesterday, someone in the Exploring Virginia Facebook group posted a photo of the Pentagon’s 9/11 memorial. I haven’t seen it in person myself, because we left the Northern Virginia area years ago. The post, which was meant to be respectful and reverent, quickly turned into an epic shitstorm as a couple of conspiracy theorists started posting antagonistic comments about how 9/11 was all a hoax and we’d all been “lied to” by the U.S. government. Before I blocked the offenders, I noticed that one of them wrote that it was really a scud missile that hit the Pentagon, not a plane full of people. I’d love to know where that idiot thinks all of those people on the airplane went if they weren’t on the aircraft. Are they all in the witness protection program, living in Roswell, New Mexico? Perhaps the Bermuda Triangle?
This morning, I see an admin in that group had to turn off commenting. I’m sure it was because of the insensitive assholes who felt the need to push their conspiracy theorist bullshit on a day when so many people are still grieving. A few people did take on the conspiracy theorists. One person even outright stated that she felt it was in very poor taste to be pushing that agenda when so many people are still mourning lost loved ones. There are still people whose friends and family members vanished without a trace. They didn’t even have anything left to bury! Even in 2023, 22 years after that day, they’re still identifying the DNA left in the remains. Two more victims were identified just a few days ago; they were the first since 2021. 9/11/01 was just an indescribably terrible day, and for some people, the horror is still evolving.
Yesterday, Bill came home and told me that, for the first time, he’d seen a video of that day. He said he’d wished he’d never seen it, because it showed a man who jumped from one of the World Trade Center’s towers. The man must have realized he had a choice of waiting to die from the fire, smoke inhalation, or the building’s inevitable collapse, or simply jumping from the building and ending it right then and there. He chose to jump. Can you even imagine the absolute horror of that situation? He must have been terrified! And imagine how this man’s family members and friends feel, knowing that’s how he went out of this world!
I realize that not everyone believes the official story about September 11, 2001. I also know all too well that you can’t argue with people who have stubbornly made up their minds. I just wish these folks would give their conspiracy theories a rest on the anniversary. There are 364-365 other days per year to push nonsense conspiracy theories. September 11th should be a day when Americans come together and mourn the people who died on that day, or on a later day, due to illnesses or injuries stemming from that day… or those whose lives were permanently changed for the worse because of that day.
Conspiracy theorists need to “zip it”, but especially on the anniversary of September 11, 2001. Have some respect for those who really lost something on that day… there were so many of them! And I’ll bet not a single one of the people who experienced such profound losses gives a single shit about the preposterous theories some of these tin foil hat wearing morons are pushing. The theories they push don’t change anything. All they do is frustrate, annoy, and anger people who have already been through enough because of that day. Give it a rest, please. For America.
Salutations, y’all. Today’s post comes courtesy of the Exploring Virginia Facebook group, a group that is supposed to be about celebrating the beautiful state of Virginia, but often ends up with people arguing politics among themselves. I guess it makes some sense, since Virginia used to be a staunch red state, but it’s now turned purple, as more people from the North move to the South.
I know there are a lot of people out there who don’t think of Virginia as a southern state. Those people are just plain wrong. In fact, Virginia is not just a southern state. It’s where the Confederacy was based for the longest period of time. Spend some time south of Northern Virginia, and you will soon see why it’s a southern state. Lots of people in Virginia are still very staunch Republicans, and many of them are still very proud of their southern roots. And, some of those people are still fighting the Civil War, which supposedly ended on April 9, 1865.
Virginia boasts a lot of Civil War sites. Lots of people come to Virginia to see those sites. Some even go there to do Civil War reenactments. George Carlin famously quipped about how some people still enjoy fighting a war that ended so long ago. See below…
George Carlin really was a genius. But, I digress. Also, I wouldn’t want to encourage more people to use live ammunition in the United States. All too many people are quite willing to open fire on their neighbors.
In any case, this morning, I came upon someone’s post about the Civil War Graffiti House near Culpeper, Virginia. Someone happened to visit there recently, and decided to share their photos with the group. Lots of people who fought in the Civil War on either side of the issue covered the house’s walls with graffiti. That’s cool, right?
Well, naturally, that post sparked controversy. Behold…
Now, I was born and raised in Virginia, so I’ve been hearing the southern version of events for most of my life. Many southerners insist that the Civil War was 100 percent about states’ rights. And today, in 2023, if anyone in their presence dares to say it was about slavery, they suddenly become “Civil War scholars” /sarcasm, and it turns into a hostile argument. Check this out…
I don’t actually remember learning a lot in school about the Civil War. Granted, it was a long time ago. But I went to a public Virginia high school in the mid to late 1980s, and back then, there wasn’t as much political correctness as there is now. My guess is that I learned the state approved version of events regarding the Civil War. I did have a very good teacher. His name was Mr. Zuger. He also taught my older sister, who is eight years my senior. Mr. Zuger is a UVa graduate. He probably knows his stuff. *shrug* He also used to eat chalk.
I do remember there were a lot of things we had to cover in history class, so I doubt we spent a whole lot of time poring over historic documents or having in depth discussions about what the Civil War was really about. I doubt it would have gone over well, though, if a teacher told students that it was about slavery. Where I went to school, there are many proud southerners who are very rigid in what they think and believe. In those days, quite of a lot of them were comfortable openly displaying Confederate battle flags. They saw nothing wrong with it. To them, it was a symbol of “southern pride”. While I admit I don’t know for sure, my guess is that where a person went to school has/had a lot to do with what historical perspectives regarding issues like the Civil War are taught. I would imagine it’s taught differently in Alabama or Georgia versus, say, California or Vermont.
I didn’t take any history classes in college, beyond Western Civilization. But– as an English major, I was exposed to a number of historic works in literature, and there I did have occasion to read slave narratives, poetry, novels, and other works that were either written during the Civil War era, or were by Black authors. So, although I didn’t read much about official 19th century era state government policies, I was exposed to the stories passed down by actual slaves. And having had that experience, I can’t help but not give a flying crap about why the Civil War was fought. I care about the end result, which was that slavery was officially abolished, and it became illegal for U.S. citizens to buy, sell, and own other human beings and treat them like livestock. Granted, officially ending slavery did not fix everything for Black people, but it was an important start. And that, to me, is what is most important.
But not everyone is like me, as I continually find out on a daily basis. Because these guys continued to compare swords. Have a look.
Notice how the dude in the above comment addresses his opponent as “sir”, but does so in a belittling way. He doesn’t really think of the other guy as a “sir”. He’s not being respectful. He’s being a bit patronizing, as he lectures the guy who disagrees with him about the cause of the Civil War. I’m not sure why it’s so important to him to insist that people up north didn’t care about slavery, or that Democrats circa the Civil War era wanted to maintain slavery. Clearly the version of the Democrat Party that existed back then does not exist today.
I’m not saying the Democrats are perfect. They definitely have their problems. And I’m not saying that Republicans don’t have cause to be irritated by far left thinkers. I find some of what they say and do rather insufferable, too. But it’s pretty clear that in 2023, Democrats are more interested in promoting and maintaining human rights and fairness to everyone. Republicans are focused on maintaining cheap labor, low taxes, and white male supremacy. And they champion leaders who are nothing like Christ, even though they claim to care about Christian values.
Personally, I think a lot of “Civil War buffs”, who are obsessed with proving that the Civil War wasn’t about slavery, are really just a bunch of white guys who want to divorce themselves from the reality of what slavery actually is. They bring up economics, and the fact that in the South, there were vast plantations where cotton was grown. It was a labor intensive job to grow and pick cotton, and the plant thrived in the South. But we didn’t have the modern machines back then that we have today, so a lot of manpower was needed in order to be able to send the cotton up North, where it could be turned into textiles, which were then sold for money.
The way they phrase it, the southerners were team players, doing a solid by growing cotton for the United States, and slaves were a necessary part of the plan, because no one was immigrating to the South. Because they needed the labor, and no “white” people who could be paid were moving down there, they had to enslave black people to get the job done. Or, at least that’s what one of the above commenters wrote. The way he frames it, those liberal northerners were trying to use the government to take over and turn their plantations into government owned communist paradises, and if only more white people had moved down South, they could have had well-paying jobs!
Now… I wish to reiterate, I don’t actually agree with that take on things. One commenter writes that “slavery was on its way out” and slave owners were letting their slaves go. But as I sit here and think about it, I wonder… Was this really a situation in which wealthy white men with FREE labor and access to female enslaved people for sex were suddenly having an attack of consciousness and saying, “Gee. I’ve owned these people for long enough. It’s time I did the right thing and let them go so they can pursue their own interests.”? That doesn’t seem very realistic to me.
Seems to me that even if some people were actually doing that– having a change of heart and turning their slaves loose– that wouldn’t stop other people from recapturing freed enslaved people and forcing them back into slavery. So even if a former slave owner decided to be decent and stop enslaving people, the people they freed would still be in great danger. Because, clearly, not everyone felt that way about ending slavery. Greedy people still abound today, and we still have many business leaders who, if they could get away with it, would continue to pay as little as possible and offer no benefits to workers so that the business owners and stockholders can get richer. Meanwhile, the working poor who don’t have enough money, even though they work three part time jobs with no benefits, are told they should stop complaining, and simply “work harder” or get another job.
When I think about the Civil War era and slavery, I do feel emotional. I think about what it must have been like for the Africans who were kidnapped and forced in chains on a boat, taken across the Atlantic Ocean in deplorable conditions, and then required to work very hard on plantations, while living like livestock. I think about women who were used for sex and forced to give birth in chains, then separated from their babies, as they were forced to be “wet nurses” for wealthy white women. I think about enslaved mothers watching their children being sold.
My guess is that the Confederate fans don’t like to think about those things. They’re focused on money, much like the people today who will happily champion a criminal like Donald Trump so they can have $1.89 gas again. They don’t want to talk about what that would mean for the people who aren’t courted by Trump… which, really, includes all of us. Donald Trump doesn’t care about anyone but himself. Whatever promises he makes are made only to score votes.
Otherwise “decent people” who admire Trump don’t want to think about what happens when the focus is only on money and commerce. They overlook the concept of greed, and the sins that many people will commit in the name of being greedy. When there’s the prospect of wealth and power on the table, some people find it easy to ignore the pain and humiliation suffered by people who are less wealthy and powerful. They don’t have time to think about how they might feel if it were them wearing the chains, being brutally whipped for some transgression, after performing twelve hours of backbreaking labor in the hot sun. And this, all because they have dark skin and were born somewhere far away, with different cultures, mores, and customs…
Granted, the United States is not the only place where slavery has ever existed. In fact, slavery continues in some places even today… even within the United States, actually. But to continually argue with strangers about what caused the Civil War is, to my mind, a ridiculous waste of time. To me, the main point is that the Civil War officially ended slavery, and the U.S. government slowly started recognizing people of color as human beings, worthy of basic human rights. Certain white people have been pissed off about that ever since. Some of them continue to try to make themselves feel better by not thinking about the actual horrors of slavery, and empathizing with how they might have felt if it had been them in chains. They just want to minimize the horrors by talking about economics and arguing about what events caused the Civil War.
Well… part of me wonders if I should stop following the Exploring Virginia page. It seems like so many posts turn political, and then they quickly become insulting. But, I can’t deny that those posts do offer some food for thought.
If you have the time and inclination, I highly recommend watching the brilliant actress, Azie Dungey, on the YouTube series, Ask A Slave (produced by Jordan Black). It’s very interesting and entertaining, and the episodes are based on ACTUAL questions she fielded when she was a living history character at Mount Vernon. Below is one of several videos she made.
Guten Morgen, y’all. Two more days before we jet off to Norway. I will probably bring my laptop with me, but I don’t know how much or how often I will blog. I expect to be busy, and I may not have the best Internet access. And anyway, it probably would be a good idea for me to take a break from blogging. Maybe it would improve my outlook on things.
Yesterday, I recorded a couple of new songs. I think they turned out pretty nicely. I mainly did them because I felt like it. Singing makes me forget my troubles and helps me express my creative side. It literally makes me feel physically better to sing, especially when what I’m doing turns out nicely. This week’s songs are pretty good, if I do say so myself.
I got a comment on one of the songs from someone I “know” from the Recovery from Mormonism messageboard. I have been actively avoiding that site since March, when we lost Arran and I had an unpleasant interaction with a couple of people on the board. Although it certainly wasn’t the first time that had ever happened on RfM, I was feeling a bit “fed up” with being disrespected by total strangers. That was kind of the straw that broke the camel’s back.
I decided to take a break from ex Mormons for awhile. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I’d ever be back to RfM, since there are a few people on that site that I find insufferable and it’s hard to avoid seeing their posts. I did need the break, though, because I was finding RfM a toxic place to be at a time when I couldn’t handle the toxicity. Still, it was hard to stay away from that site at first, since I’d been lurking there for about twenty years. After a couple of weeks of concerted effort, I did fall out of the habit of wanting to visit RfM. I won’t say I completely forgot about the site, but I did find other places to go, and other things on which to focus my energies.
Anyway, I figured that since I got a comment from a prominent RfMer, someone must have mentioned me there. And, because I was feeling pretty strong yesterday, and because I’m about to go on vacation, I decided to take a peek. I noticed that someone did, indeed, link to one of my new songs on YouTube.
One person said they’d thought of me recently, which I found kind of surprising. I don’t think I was one of the more popular posters on RfM, especially recently. Mormonism means somewhat less to me now, even though Bill’s daughter is still a very active member of the church. I used to blame Mormonism a lot for Bill’s situation with his ex wife. I still think she misused the church in her parental alienation campaign, and some of the church’s policies facilitated her ability to do that. However, I no longer feel as angry at the Mormons, because ultimately, it was church members who helped Bill’s younger daughter get away from her abusive and manipulative mother.
On the other hand, although I no longer really care as much about the LDS church as I used to, I have noticed a lot of traffic on an old book review about an ex Mormon that I reposted here, on this blog. I had originally posted my review of Lynn Wilder’s book, Unveiling Grace, on Epinions.com. There was a time when I read and reviewed a whole lot of “ex Mormon lit”, and I had a huge list of book reviews with brief synopses and links to full reviews. When Epinions went defunct, so did many of those old reviews that I worked so hard to write. But I did manage to preserve some of them through the magic of reposts.
I reread that book review yesterday and thought it was pretty good. I guess the book’s author has launched a somewhat new Web site. She’s an evangelical Christian now, and thinks that people who are LDS are deceived. I disagree with her, but I respect her right to share her views, and I appreciated being given the chance to consider and express how I felt about her story. And lot of people do agree with her opinions, even if I don’t. That is certainly okay… especially in supposedly free thinking countries. Unfortunately, I don’t think the United States will be considered a free thinking place for much longer.
Which (finally) brings me to the title of today’s blog post…
I have never made it a secret that I don’t like the trendy “karen” moniker. I think it’s a very stupid and tacky thing to take someone’s first name and hijack it, turning it into an insult. And the “karen” insult now gets thrown around “willy nilly”, to describe anyone who has a complaint, whether or not it’s valid. You don’t like someone’s take on things? Just call ’em a “karen”. I think it’s a lazy, unfortunate trend that ultimately isn’t going to lead us to better places. Silencing people who speak up about issues, whether or not we agree with their viewpoints, is not productive. Moreover, it kind of goes against the spirit of freedom, doesn’t it? Aren’t we supposed to feel free to express ourselves?
Yes, I know that in a free society, a person is always allowed to react as they choose regarding someone else’s opinions, even to the point of name calling. I just think that it’s unproductive to issue a response that is intended to squelch freedom of thought and expression. Instead of having an honest examination and discussion, leading to considering whether or not the views have any merit, a lot of us simply call the person a “karen”, and call it a day.
I think we should be allowed to maturely examine and discuss all viewpoints, even the ones that are extremely unpopular or distasteful. Of course, people should do their best to consider the appropriateness of the time and place when they speak up. But sometimes, speaking out at an inappropriate time and setting is a person’s only opportunity to be heard.
This morning, I was in the Exploring Virginia Facebook group. Someone had shared photos of old coins he found while using a metal detector at a Civil War campsite. I own a few very old American coins from the 1800s myself. I inherited them from my dad. I don’t know where he got them, but he had them when I was a very young child. I was interested in the guy’s coins, since I had a few myself. Then I read the comments.
Quite a few people wrote that it’s illegal to take things from state and national parks. The guy hadn’t indicated that he got the coins from a park, so I have no idea where he actually found the coins (if it was on public or private land). The people who made the comments about the parks– maybe they were “party poopers”. But they were also labeled “karens” for speaking out about the laws regarding taking things found in parks. I don’t even think that was an appropriate use of the “karen” insult, as “karens” are supposedly middle-aged white women of means who act in an entitled way, and demand to “speak to the manager” over something considered trivial. There was nothing entitled or trivial about speaking up about laws regarding national parks. I guess if I were going to criticize, I’d say that the comments about “theft” from the parks were kind of negative, which was a pity in a group about the beauty of Virginia. But the people who made them weren’t being “karens”.
But then it went further south, when someone brought up Joe Biden. Below is a sample…
Another example of this “anti-karen” no complaining trend has to do with Christians. Over the past couple of days, Katie Joy on Without a Crystal Ball has posted two videos about reactions to the new Amazon docuseries, Shiny, Happy People. I get the sense that Jim Bob and company are terrified that more people within their repressive belief system are going to wake up to the truth about the IBLP and abandon the movement that keeps them in power and money. So, in response to the new docuseries, “pastors” within the IBLP movement– one of whom is Jim Bob’s son-in-law, Ben Seewald, are preaching about how it’s wrong to “gripe”, “complain”, or “whine” about problems in the church, or life itself. However… that message is one of “toxic positivity”, which is the idea that a person must be positive at all times, even when a situation doesn’t warrant it.
I dare say that being a child sexual abuse victim of one’s perverted brother is something to complain about! But these folks in the evangelical movement are saying that the abuse should be forgiven and forgotten and swept under the rug. As I have pointed out before, sweeping stuff under the rug will eventually make a mess that people will trip over.
Speaking up about being mistreated or abused is NOT being a “karen”. Being silent about abuse is not a sign of strength, and it isn’t helpful. These pastors in the IBLP are saying that good Christians turn the other cheek and maintain a “contented attitude”. But when doing that means submitting to being exploited and harmed, it’s simply WRONG, and it allows abusive predators to keep doing evil things to good and innocent people. It amazes me that, to these supposedly Christian people, Jill Dillard is “toxic” and “dangerous” for speaking up about being abused, but Josh Duggar deserves grace and forgiveness for doing the abusing!
Even people who follow Duggar Family News have criticized Jill for speaking out, claiming that what she and her husband, Derick, are doing is just a “money grab”. Well, first off– what the fuck is wrong with that? Jill and her siblings were exploited for YEARS by her avaricious father, who didn’t even deign to pay them for their work! People need to make money to live! Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar did NOT prepare their children to be able to have thriving and fulfilling careers. They were trained to be Jim Bob’s SLAVES! Most of Jill’s siblings are still practically enslaved by Jim Bob.
I have absolutely NO ISSUE with Jill making money off of her story. She totally deserves whatever windfall comes her way, especially since she and Derick had to live on food stamps for awhile, thanks to her greedy father. I don’t understand people in the USA– especially those who are Republicans and all about making money– calling what Jill is doing a disgraceful “money grab”. Isn’t that kind of the way of Republicans? Especially the Christians!
Anyway… I’ve ranted for awhile now, so I guess it’s time to close this post. I just wanted to point out that sometimes it should be perfectly okay to complain. No one should fear being called a “karen” for speaking up about legitimate issues, even if speaking up does spoil someone else’s fun. That doesn’t make someone a “karen”. But “karen” is a stupid insult, in any case, and it needed to go out of style yesterday. People should be allowed to complain if they feel so inclined to do so. And then we can all determine for ourselves if we believe their complaint has any merit. We can’t make any progress if everyone acts like things are always “hunky dory”, when they’re clearly NOT!
If you want to see someone who epitomizes the stereotypical “karen”, you can watch the below video… I wouldn’t call her a “karen” myself, because I hate that term. But she sure is acting like an entitled bitch.
Featured photo is a screenshot of the Exploring Virginia Facebook group’s landing page.
Sunday, already… ugh. As I mentioned in yesterday’s travel blog post, we had a busy Saturday sprucing up the backyard. We bought new umbrellas– one for the backyard/garden, and the other for the back balcony that we seldom use. We also have a front balcony that I only go out on when there are rainbows or fireworks. 😉
Setting up the new umbrellas was not that easy. We had to take apart the old setup, which was pretty messy and kind of a pain in the butt. Then, we had to move the new umbrella stands, both of which are big granite stones. One weighs 50 kilograms (and thankfully has rollers), and the other weighs 25 kilos, and had to be hauled up a flight of stairs. But the job was done by mid afternoon, just in time for rain. I decided to peruse Facebook, as is my typical way of killing time.
My eyes landed on a post in the Exploring Virginia Facebook group. I am a member of that group because I was born and raised in Virginia. I like the photos people share. It’s like a taste of home. But yesterday, someone shared photos of the Trump Winery. The winery, which was once known as Kluge Estate Winery and Vineyard, is currently owned and operated by Trump’s son, Eric. According to the company, it’s currently the largest winery in Virginia and the largest French vinifera on the East Coast.
The photos of the winery did appear to be very beautiful. It looks like a gorgeous estate. However, as might be predicted, the post very quickly became political, with people on either side of the political spectrum commenting about the winery’s affiliation with Donald Trump. It was getting nasty when I finally navigated away from the post. I told Bill that I was pretty sure that post was going to get “schwacked”, as Bill would put it.
Sure enough, later when I checked the group, I found no sign of the Trump Winery post. I noticed that the admins had highlighted this group post from March.
I don’t think this is an unreasonable policy, although it did appear that a lot of people were unable to help themselves. Most of the comments, while political, were basically respectful. Some were below the belt and/or obviously attacking.
All I could think about is how this man, Trump, has so many people who would ordinarily be nice, reasonable, and civilized, fighting among themselves and with perfect strangers on a social media platform. Some people are dying to see Trump re-elected so we can have more of the same behaviors in the future. Others are terrified that he’ll get back into power. To me, that kind of polarization really makes him unfit for leadership… but then, I think he’s unfit for a whole lot of other reasons. I strongly believe that Trump is a criminal; there is ample proof; and that should disqualify him from foisting himself on the United States and the world as a whole.
Some people compare Trump to Christ. I’m very serious. They would compare the pushback against Trump to what Christ experienced. I’ve seen people equate Trump’s “sacrifice” of his business career and forfeiture of a salary (neither of which he actually sacrificed) as something heroic and Christlike. I fail to see how a man who gives up his $400,000 salary as president, yet requires his Secret Service detail to stay in his hotels, is sacrificing anything. I don’t see how a man who tries to overthrow elections, brags about molesting women and cheating employees, and regularly insults anyone who crosses him has anything in common with our Lord and Savior. 😉
In any case… I did think it was sad that the post went south so quickly. It did appear to me that the Trump Winery is a beautiful estate. I would never go there, nor is it likely that I would ever buy wine there… and it’s not necessarily because of the name on the label, either. I used to wait tables at a fine dining restaurant in Virginia, and I’ve never really cared for Virginia wines as a whole. But, the fact that I live in Germany also makes it unlikely that I’d visit or taste the wines. I can appreciate the nice photos, though.
As I write this blog post, I took a look at what’s going on in the group right now. Someone posted a picture of a shop offering “organic firewood”. A responder apparently was offended by the photo and said, “don’t be making fun of” the guy whose shop was photographed. A few snippy comments ensued, with one person noting that people are always looking for insults these days. Several more rude comments followed… Remember, this is based on a picture of a storefront offering organic firewood…
This post will probably end up deleted or edited, too…
I miss the days when people were more cordial, and kept their politics to themselves. Or, maybe it just seemed that way, because I lived in Virginia, which used to be a very “red” state. Virginia has some pretty intelligent and educated people, though, and the state has become a lot more diverse. So now, it’s become less civilized, as the “bluer” folks come in and change the status quo. People on either political side are threatened by the prospect of change, especially when it involves local culture.
I guess I don’t have anything earth shattering to add… other than to say that I think it’s too bad. Virginia is a beautiful state, and I miss it. I don’t miss it enough to sit on a plane for eight hours, but I do miss it, and it will always be my home. I think it’s too bad that people are so on edge these days that we can’t just admire beautiful and interesting photos. I think Trump is one big reason why we can’t have nice things…
I am, by the way, also in several similar German groups. I never see this kind of political crap and rudeness posted in those groups. Maybe the Germans were more like that around World War II.
Just a thought. 😀
Well, I think I’ll sign off. We need to make a run to the nearest military installation for supplies. 😉 It’ll be my first visit to the commissary since 2020.
I’m sitting here on Bill’s 58th birthday, reading the headlines that flash across the computer screen, along with the comments that go with them. Once again, I’m tempted to join the conversation with a comment, but I just know it will only end in an unpleasant interaction with some stranger. So, since I don’t have time or patience for such nonsense, I will just say these things here. You can agree or disagree with me. You can leave me a comment. If you’re a new commenter or using a new account, I will have to approve it. Any shitty comments will be deleted.
I just read a headline– haven’t gotten to reading the article yet– about how Cyprus has now reintroduced indoor masking because of “surging” COVID numbers. Fines will be about $305 for those who don’t comply. The comments are full of the usual preachers about how excellent face masks are at containing sickness. And, if they are worn properly, they probably are very useful in some settings. One person posted this comment:
I want to tell this person that in Germany, FFP2 masks were required in indoor spaces for many months. FFP2s are akin to N95s. They are hot, thick, and uncomfortable. Guess what. COVID was, and still is, still spreading in Germany. Face masks aren’t a panacea, especially since few people wear them properly, or change them as regularly as they should. And no matter what, you’re not going to get a N95 mask or FFP2 on every face. As we know, some people will just flat out refuse to do it. There’s nothing you can do about it, sport.
It’s not that I don’t think COVID is scary or dangerous. I know it is, and have been saying so from the get go. I just don’t think that perpetual face mask wearing is going to stop the virus. It hasn’t so far, even in places where heavy, “high quality”, face mask wearing is imposed. Face masks went away in most venues in Germany back in April, but they’ll probably be forced on us again in the fall. And people will still get sick, just as they are getting sick right now.
The local health minister thinks we need to use masks like we’d use snow tires (which sadly, are becoming less necessary in Germany as the climate changes). What that will mean is that I won’t go to places that require them. That means I won’t spend as much money. I probably won’t be alone in that decision. Instead, I will just go to places where COVID rules are less onerous. I’m not the only one who feels this way.
A few days ago, I read a very interesting opinion piece on The Local: Germany by a guy who has experienced riding the train from Liege, Belgium, where masking on trains isn’t necessary, to Cologne, Germany, where they are required. As soon as the train goes over the German border, the train staff comes around and forces everyone to put on a mask. Like me, he thinks this is bullshit, as everyone was happily maskless until they went over the border, and masking isn’t required if one is eating and drinking. But here, you’re liable to be reprimanded if you “take advantage” of eating and drinking in order to shirk wearing a mask. It’s ridiculous, and it makes no sense whatsoever. Either make people wear masks all the time, or just dispense with the fucking things! And if you make people wear them the whole time, be prepared for more people opting to drive!
Below are the first two paragraphs from the op-ed by columnist Brian Melican. I can practically see and hear this scenario:
If you’ve always dreamt of being able to travel in time, there’s now a surprisingly easy way to do it: just take the ICE from Brussels to Cologne. When you get on at Midi station, things are just like they were in Germany in July 2019: friendly guards greet passengers at the doors and, soon after departure, someone from the BordBistro comes through to first class with a tray of coffee; the weather is fine, the train is punctual, and everyone is beaming ear to ear. You can see they are, of course, because they’re not wearing masks.
Then, in one of the tunnels between Liège and Aachen, we speed into July 2022 Germany: “Meine Damen und Herren…” The jarring announcement tells passengers in four languages – and in no uncertain terms – that they have to wear a medical face-mask on public transport in Germany; they may remove it to eat and drink, but must not overextend the break, and must make sure that it always covers both their mouth and their nose; any deviation from this rule will result in them being removed from the train. Suddenly, the guards and waiters reappear – and this time, they’re not smiling…
He continues pointing out the irrationality:
Okay, so this may not be genuine time travel, but it’s certainly a good piece of absurdist theatre and, what is more, a graphic example of just how dysfunctional the German approach to dealing with Covid has become. It’s not that Germany is the only country with an irrational fear of people catching corona on trains and buses (but not, say, in pubs, gyms, or shops): in the UK, France, and Belgium, public transport was one of the last non-clinical settings in which masks were still required; in Sweden, trains were the only one in which they were officially recommended. Yet, everywhere else, common sense eventually prevailed.
In Germany, meanwhile, the world’s largest beer festival and proverbial germ-den, the Oktoberfest, will be returning on 17th September, from when each of the 16 largest tents will be welcoming up to 10,000 guests belting out Schlager (and virus particles) from 11am to 11pm daily for two weeks straight. It will, however, still be illegal to take the underground to the festival site without wearing a mask.
Lately, I’ve been complaining a lot about obnoxious right wingers. The COVID issue shows us that people on the left can be just as insufferable about pushing their views. But you can’t talk to these folks about this, because they’ll just tell you you’re “wrong”, or accuse you of being an antisocial monster, “laugh” at you, and assume you’re a far right winger who doesn’t know anything. I actually do know something about this, though… probably more than a lot of people do, because I have an actual master’s degree from an accredited public health program and professional background in public health, rather than an “education” from the Google School of Public Health. 😉
I notice that the few comments on this editorial are the usual tripe about how we should be doing “everything possible” to stop COVID. I just want to say that it’s probably a lost cause at this point. And, more good news… thanks to global warming, there are billions of other microbes that have been trapped in the tundra for thousands of years, just waiting to escape their “icy prisons” and potentially unleash more disease and death on earthlings. In other words, we probably ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
Which isn’t to say that I don’t think we should do what we can to prevent disaster, if we can. It’s that I don’t think masks are going to be the magic bullet, and we need something better. Making people wear masks as they travel over an international border, when they haven’t been wearing them before that point, is just nonsensical bullshit posturing. It’s absurd, and serves no useful purpose.
Frankly, if I die of COVID, so much the better. I’m pretty sick of this life, anyway, and reading daily about the awful shit happening on planet Earth. From mass shootings to sickening politicians and even sicker policies that seek to take freedom from others, I’ve had enough of this bullshit. And I’ve also had enough of most people. Sorry… I did mention in other posts that I suffer from depression, right? Maybe I am antisocial. Anyway, on to the next point…
2. Last night, I was in the Exploring Virginia Facebook group, and someone shared some lovely photos of my mom’s alma mater, the former Southern Seminary Junior College in Buena Vista, Virginia. Southern Seminary, or “Sem” as it was called back in the day, is now Southern Virginia University, and it’s run by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I actually used to know the wife of one of the Mormon businessmen who bought the school as it was foundering in the 90s.
When I was a high school senior, I toured Sem, and I really liked it. In their pre-LDS days, they had a fantastic horse program, and back then, I was all about horses. But it was a two year school, expensive, and all women… I probably would have done well there. My mom had a full scholarship, because she played piano for the glee club. She was also a “townie”, so she lived with her parents as she attended.
For a lot of reasons, I was kind of sad to see the school taken over by Mormons, mainly because the religion has infiltrated the culture of the city of Buena Vista, which was previously a cute town full of protestants of Scots-Irish-English stock. I’ve softened up on the Mormons lately, though… even if I still don’t like Mormonism, and never will. Still, I had to chuckle when someone wrote:
Sorry ladies. You won’t be drinking any iced sweet tea at SVU. Mormons don’t drink iced tea. They don’t drink hot tea, coffee, or alcohol, either. They also don’t smoke, but a lot of them do wear special underwear. I was tempted to point that out last night, but decided not to, because I didn’t want to be an asshole. I did just now add that they’d be more likely to get a glass of lemonade, and added a little wink. Sorry, I just had to do it. 😉
Just wanted to say those two things, so thank you for indulging me… It occurs to me, just now, that both of these issues relate to people drinking when or what they “shouldn’t”. No excessive drinking to circumvent mask mandates in Germany (or Cyprus), and no drinking iced tea or any other “illegal beverage” at a LDS run university.
It IS Bill’s birthday. I probably should cook for him. But we didn’t plan for that… Maybe after I do my usual Thursday vacuuming, I’ll see if there’s something I can throw together for him. Or maybe not. He’s got a hot date with his Jungian therapist tonight, anyway. I’m sure they’ll talk about subjects that are deeper than this post.
The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.