By MICHAEL DAVIDOW, Radio Free New Hampshire
The wind has just knocked over my recycling bin. There was recently snow in the sky. I am wearing a turtleneck sweater. It must be spring.
Further proof of spring: People in Washington are getting excited about their cherry blossoms. This, even though the annual Running of the Blossoms (or whatever they call it) has been canceled owing to concerns about covid.
That’s too bad. Washington needs its cherry blossoms. They cover the barbed wire and help people forget that the Republican Party recently declared war on the federal government.
In lieu of cherry blossoms: Merrick Garland has returned to town. Garland has the personality of a sock, but boy, is it nice to see him again. Because with Merrick Garland as our new attorney general, I am almost certain that our Department of Justice will not be staging a coup, or otherwise acting in ways to get its senior officials disbarred. That’s a nice change of pace.
Another nice change of pace: the New York Times recently devoted its entire Sunday magazine to the Grammy awards. It had been a long time since I was able to throw away an entire section of the Times, without at least pretending to read it. But the Times seems intent on making that happen more and more often these days.
They recently fired their senior science writer because he offended some teenagers with blunt talk on race. Actually, he denies having spoken bluntly about race. He felt that the teenagers in question were a bit too sensitive about things, and they therefore misunderstood whatever he said. But it’s the New York Times, which is run by sensitive teenagers, so there you go.
Also run by teenagers: the New Hampshire legislature, which likewise seems very busy these days asserting its own personality, just because it can, and to show its contempt to an uncaring world.
It must be nice, to be so sure of your own virtue, that you can run the New York Times, or the New Hampshire legislature, and sleep so soundly at night regardless of the damage you do.
Things-That-Never-Change Department: our new vice president, a former prosecutor from San Francisco who works very hard to be whatever people want her to be, seems glued to the elbow of our president. Not sure what else she does but follow him around. He must want her there. Learning the trade, I suppose, which is a good thing. For the Republican party, which can only be licking its chops at that prospect. (See above; they are still living down that whole “armed rebellion” fiasco.)
Things-That-Change-A-Lot Department: Joe Biden’s nominee for managing his budget office had to withdraw her name the other day. Too many congresspeople objected to her past, because she said rude things on Twitter. Saying rude things on Twitter used to be the Republican Party’s entire platform. But now we have standards again. This woman was an old friend of Hillary’s, anyway. Nice to see more sediment settling on top of that wreckage, even if the reasons were ludicrous.
Lovely recent news item: diary pages of Lady Bird Johnson detail how hard Lyndon took the bad days of his presidency; how often he was tempted to give it up, and how carefully she worked to shore him up. I always knew that she ran their business interests. I had not known how greatly he leaned on her in these other important ways. Lyndon, of course, was a terrible racist, who said awful things about people of color in a pronounced Texas twang, and who would not last one day in the editorial section of today’s New York Times. He passed the Civil Rights Act.
Miserable recent news item: Meghan Markle has come to believe that the British royal family did not welcome her entrance into its affairs, in the whole-hearted and sincere fashion required by Hollywood. There is talk of institutional racism, and how to defeat it. And whether or not she acted wisely in her attempt to transform a thousand year old monarchy overnight, some deny the existence of that racism, which is preposterous.
For the record, however, one should also note that there is institutional anti-Semitism (must Christmas be a national holiday?), institutional anti-science (why do so many people still believe in Christmas, anyway?), institutional anti-religion (why must nasty people make fun of Christmas?), and institutional stupidity in general (sometimes called “the army,” “business,” “professional sports,” or “I am very sorry, but life is not fair”).
Perhaps people should be less surprised by these things, less interested in them, and more concerned with tending their gardens.
Because it’s spring.
Michael Davidow is a lawyer in Nashua. He is the author of Gate City, Split Thirty, and The Rocketdyne Commission, three novels about politics and advertising which, taken together, form The Henry Bell Project. His most recent one is The Book of Order. They are available on Amazon.
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