Stay inside, stay healthy, order takeout.
It's Memorial Day! Donald Trump has no doubt said or done something terrible, but let's just forget about him for one day like Melania probably does every night. If you've a brain in your head and a human soul in your possession, you have no plans worth sharing. You're aren't taking part in Zombie COVID-19 parades on Maryland boardwalks or other highly contagious, public spaces. You aren't soaking in coronavirus at Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks, which is a real place. You're at home and you're so bored your sanity's in question. That is true patriotism worthy of the holiday.
Later today, you might grill a hamburger or two in your backyard. Maybe invite some friends and family over on Zoom if they remember to bring the watermelon. Then you'll wonder why your dried-out bricks on stale, oversized buns don't look anywhere near as appetizing as what “burger scholar" George Motz serves up on YouTube.
A Burger Scholar Breaks Down Classic Regional Burger Styles | The Burger Show www.youtube.com
OMG! I'm want to deep fry a burger Tennessee-style. This is what 2020 has done to me. On the other hand, I recently fucked up one of our stainless steel pots making french fries because I forgot we owned a dutch oven, so why don't we all just save ourselves the hassle and potential catastrophe and order takeout from a local restaurant that could use our help right now. This is the year to cater your cookout.
Memorial Day weekend is normally a big time for movies, usually blockbusters that are big, dumb, and expensive, which is truly the American way. Last year, everyone saw the live-action Alladdin yet no one thought to wish for a plague-free 2020. It was a tragic lack of foresight. But the Internet is streaming free goodies for stay-at-home viewing. Charge yourself $20 for the popcorn you made yourself and watch Gillian Anderson and Vanessa Kirby in the 2016 Young Vic production of A Streetcar Named Desire, one of my favorite plays because I'm secretly Tennessee Williams. It's available until May 28 and is worth a watch.
I should point out that neither Anderson nor Kirby are Southern (they rarely seem to cast Southern women as Blanche and Stella). Nor do they sound like they learned English in the same household. However, Kirby at least pronounces New Orleans “New Or-LONS" and not “New Or-LEENS" like Anderson does. This Southerner is willing to look the other way, though. We're in quarantine.
Official Young Vic's A Streetcar Named Desire w/ Gillian Anderson | Free National Theatre Live Play www.youtube.com
Memorial Day weekend holds a special meaning for me personally because that's when my wife and I met in 2007. We all honor her sacrifice and service to her nation. Our actual anniversary is Halloween because of course it is, but we usually made a point of celebrating around Memorial Day, even going so far as to leave the house. This is the first year we've not done anything personally exciting, but we're content that we're helping keep people alive. That's something.
This year, we'll just fondly remember this bottle of wine we had during our trip to Paris in 2009. It's from 1985 and it's dusty!
Now go order some burgers and stay safe. This is now your open thread!
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Happy Memorial Day?
How did you spend your Memorial Day Weekend? Me? I baked some cookies, I worked, I hung out with my family, I tried to find non-gross things to put that Trader Joe's Watermelon Spread on, and that was about it. Because I don't totally suck as a human being. Other people, who do suck, went to the beach, went to parties, or went to Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear's house to hang him in effigy and then tried to claim that was not a psychotic thing to do.
Yes, at least "patriots" from all over Kentucky showed up to the Take Back Kentucky rally yesterday, to rally for their Second Amendment right to own tanks and missiles (just guessing since they can already have guns) and their 42nd Amendment right to get a haircut during a pandemic. That's a thing, ok?
Also to say a lot of dumb shit, seems like.
Well, it's not like he had anything more pressing going on.
Donald Trump had a big, big weekend. He started it by going golfing, which you will recall is a thing he was very mad at Obama for doing during the Ebola crisis.
Trump's press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, also once criticized Obama for golfing right after Daniel Pearl was beheaded ... in 2002. When he was not president. Probably wasn't golfing that day either, as this mostly seems to have been some kind of pipe dream McEnany had.
Nevertheless, McEnany was very clear in saying that she believes it is not good for a president to be golfing in a time of national crisis.
We're reading A Paradise Born in Hell, by Rebecca Solnit
On a weekend where America will mark 100,000 deaths from COVID-19 and the New York Times print edition's front page is dedicated to listing some of them (about a thousand), this seems like a good time to talk about the questions Rebecca Solnit asks at the beginning of in her 2009 book A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster: "Who are you? Who are we?" And in times of crisis, she says, those are life and death questions.
Here is some of who we are:
Unfortunately, here too is another snapshot of some of who we are, in reply to a tweet of that front page:
There's also been a bit of rightwing crowing over an error in the front page list, which mistakenly included a murder victim, so perhaps the pandemic isn't real. And others just said hurr-hurr, you said the losses are "incalculable" but you put a number on it, hurr.
But look at the small number of "likes" for those tweets up there. Polls consistently show Americans are not on the side of the idiots, however much noise they make. While it's easy to forget that the noisy jerks aren't representative — good lord, I've just given them too much attention already here — that noise-to-signal ratio illustrates a misunderstanding Solnit wants to dispel.
When things fall apart, most people don't become frenzied mobs, and the post-disaster landscape isn't a hell world of survivors who are as dangerous to each other as the disaster was. Most people just quietly get to the business of helping other people, and out of disaster can come solidarity and new ways of seeing the world.
And if that's who we are — or can be — in a disaster, Solnit asks, why aren't we more like that all the time?