December 28th, 2017
2017 was more than interesting; it was fascinating … in the same way that watching somebody’s house burn down is fascinating.
If we can snap out of it next year, maybe we put it out before we lose the whole thing.
As published in The Memphis Daily News, December 29, 2017, and in The Memphis News, December 30-January 5, 2018
EVERY DAY, AN EMBARRASSMENT OF CHOICES
This year is, thankfully, coming to a close.
Early in the year, a group of us from here and there set about documenting the actions of an administration already out of control. We thought we would produce a calendar with an example for each day of something outrageous reported in mainstream media. Our research didn’t produce one such example for each day; we were buried in examples for each day. We divided them up and here are a few of mine.
Only Two Days, And That’s No Lie
(March 12, 2017) According to The Washington Post’s Fact Checker, today is only the second day since his January 20 Inauguration that our president hasn’t lied to us – the other whopper-free day was March 1. There have been, in fact, so many rearrangements of fact into pure fiction in just over 50 days that the paper had to color code the calendar – white for no false claims, light pink for 1 to 2 lies that day, pink for 3 to 6, dark pink for 7 to 19, and dark blood red for mendacity at the stunning rate of 20 or more incidents in 24 hours.
The two white dates were offset by two in blood red.
One wonders if a medical team is standing by on those days when no lies have been detected so that they can rush into the oval office to see if the president is breathing.
Coal Mining Powered By Irony
(April 10, 2017) Vox reported today that the Kentucky Coal Mining Museum in Benham in Harlan County is the midst of installing a new 60 kW system to power not only the museum but the town’s municipal utility as well. Citing the Louisville Courier-Journal, Vox said the power bill has been running about $2,100 a month, “but this initiative is expected to save between $8,000 and $10,000 a year.”
The power will come from solar panels the museum is installing on the roof. Really.
Stream Of Consciousness Becomes Official
(June 6, 2017) In his own tweet, President Trump declared today that tweets are now official statements of the White House and his administration. No word yet concerning bathroom wall graffiti, notes on cocktail napkins, and conversations overheard at Mar-a-Lago or The Kremlin. Typos, emoji and number of exclamation points will now dominate talking head analysis. Since the president is a non-drinker, he will be unable to rely on the rest of the world’s reliable excuse for outrageous tweets at three in the morning.
Since Twitter will now be an official channel, one must assume that a new official title will follow - Twit In Chief.
Health issues on our team and like efforts by others caused us to put the project aside by mid-year. After all, 2017 was a record year for outrageous, and we were but a few of so many tilting against it.
2018 may well determine if we were tilting against windmills.
I’m a Memphian, and next year let’s prove we’re better than 2017.