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There I Was in Mister Orpheum's Office
 
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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Video Deteriora Sequor's LiveJournal:

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Tuesday, February 21st, 2017
6:41 pm
Drive-By: Pooh Pooh
As a book about children's literature reminds me, Winnie the Pooh was living in the Hundred Acre Woods "under the name of Sanders." Explains a lot, really.

Probably will not be on the t-shirts for the Science March: #Black Holes Matter.
Monday, February 13th, 2017
6:36 pm
Drive-By: Allo Allo
MICHELLE FROM THE PERSISTENCE: Listen very carefully. I will say this over and over again until I get through to you.

It just occurred to me that Trump considers the phrase "Great Depression" a personal challenge. We can have a Depression that's Greater! Bigly!
Thursday, February 2nd, 2017
6:51 pm
The Whiteboard
One of my coping mechanisms is sacking out on the bed reading thrillers (and in fact have written Jack Reacher Yuletide fic). I also like Jeffery Deaver, especially the Lincoln Rhyme series. The way that Rhyme eventually finds the correct solution (generally after at least one equally plausible but incorrect solution) is to maintain a whiteboard where each new clue is enrolled as it develops.

My current events version is to keep track of some of the totally unimportant people and entities, who have no capacity to do anything to him, that Trump has already pissed off.

Partial list:

* The intelligence community
* Mexico
* Australia
* The Pope
* The Old Guard of the Republican Party
* Republican members of the House of Representatives who think Trump should tell them about his plans before, say, their 11-year-old reads about them on Twitter
* Most of the diplomatic corps

I mean, obviously, a lot of other people, but with fewer options for biting him in the ass.

At some point, Trump's voters are going to figure out that of course his populism was a lie, and that the reason they don't have good jobs at living wages is that they are systematically underpaid by the rich--and that Trump took away benefits from his voter base for the benefit of the 1%.

I think Congress is going to proudly take credit for freeing people from the chains of PPACA--effective AFTER the 2018 election, so if the voters point out that no, actually, they preferred having inefficient and expensive health coverage to no coverage at all and no controls over medical costs, they can un-repeal.
Wednesday, February 1st, 2017
7:16 pm
Oh Jersey City Never Change Part Whatzis
City Hall, a not-unattractive Gilded Age building, is over on the next block from my house. It is surrounded by lampposts with gigantic clear glass globes that are the most 1970s thing you've ever seen (well, except for the thermoses in the second episode of Blakes7)). Today, as I walked past on the way to the gym, I saw a couple of trucks with cherry-pickers so the municipal workers could install new and perhaps energy-efficient light bulbs.

THEY ARE RED. (The lightbulbs, not the municipal workers, although I can hope.) Because what better use of the city budget than to make City Hall look like a discount bordello? (For the British and britaboos among you, the phrase "pound shop" springs to mind.)

I am cheered by, after a period of several years, being able to walk on the sidewalk to get to the gym. The barriers and scaffolding have finally come down because they're almost finished with the outside of the hotel, which is a truncated oval building that looks like most of a racetrack. Perched on top of the glass cylinder that is one of the exits for the PATH train. Because who wouldn't want to stay in a posh hotel that vibrates every few minutes and admits and disgorges rush hour crowds?
Sunday, January 15th, 2017
9:50 pm
Drive-By: Do You Feel Like a Hand of Solitaire, Donald?
These days it's tough to figure out what's real news*, so I'm not sure if it's true the President Trump's first diplomatic meeting as president will be a meeting with Putin in Reykjavik. My first thought was whether we could build a wall in time to keep him from coming back, but I guess not. My next thought is that maybe he's going to defect, but we couldn't be that lucky, could we?

Oddly enough the thriller "The Manchurian Candidate" is about a red-bashing politician who turns out to be an unwitting, brainwashed Communist sleeper agent whose spymaster is his mother (played in the movie by Angela Lansbury at Peak Evil, although she wasn't much older than the actor playing her son). It would explain a lot really.

*OK, fake news about the Russian hookers, but I wouldn't mind if it *was* true, I have a problem with Putin paying Trump to piss on the Constitution.
Thursday, January 12th, 2017
1:16 pm
Drive-By: Picket Sign
I guess "Hyperion to a Satyr" would be a little too subtle, so I guess I'll have to add Obama and Trump photos and "Look upon that picture, and on this."
Monday, December 26th, 2016
12:25 pm
Drive-By: Shocked, Shocked!
I am appalled, I tell you, that anyone would have the effrontery to post a link to the GBBO Christmas special on YouTube, and if you are just as upset as I am you can see for yourself what terrible things are happening in the world:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfaubyGfzhs
Friday, December 23rd, 2016
12:06 pm
Drive-By: Ancient Fanfic
Cleopatra's magnum opus: A Terrible Asp?
Saturday, December 17th, 2016
5:04 pm
Main or Madness?
Every time I think I'm out they pull me back in...err, I mean, once again I did not sign up for Yuletide, because I don't really LIKE Yuletide. But once again I am doing a couple of treats. This means I get to write what I want, only for prompts that I think I can do something with. And the prospect of not getting a story...well, it's like your Aunt Ethel NOT giving you any socks. You can survive the absence better than having to do the Dance of Gratitude.

I think each of the treats will be over 1,000 words. One of them is utter farce, the other a sweet sentimental little slice of life vignette. I saw both of them on the pinch hit list, so their main gift will be written with great speed, but sometimes that means the writer's mind has been Concentrated Wonderfully. If either one goes on the pinch hit list after a second default, I'll try to pick it up, of course. But if that doesn't happen, should I post both to Madness? Or the sillier one to Madness and the less silly to main?
10:44 am
Drive-By: It's Hamleting Out There
A couple of inches of snow fell overnight, and it's raining now--the too, too sullied slush is melting, thawing, and resolving itself into a dew. I still had to Keep Up With the Joneses and go out and shovel an hour ago because the maintenance man for the apartment building a few doors down was shoveling.

I didn't around to buying another bag of rock salt, but I found that there was an almost-full bag in the rock salt bin (it's a metal cylinder with a hemispherical top; the circular push-in part has fallen out though--it still looks like an embarrassing Dr. Who prop).
Tuesday, December 6th, 2016
1:27 pm
Drive-By: B7 Prescience
I'm clearing out old paper files. I turn over the pages and print on the blank side, so some sheets of paper, like Melanie Griffin in Working Girl ("a head for business and a bod for sin") are business on one side and fannish on the other.

This is from the script of the B7 episode "Horizon":

KOMMISSAR: So you're a Resister. Some malfunction of the genes, I suppose. It throws up a Resister about every hundred thousand. Mostly they're detect in infancy.
BLAKE: I was a late developer.
Saturday, December 3rd, 2016
11:52 am
Drive-By On the Balcony of the Casa Rosada
I've been humming all morning: "And the money kept rolling in from every side,
Donald's tiny hands reached out and they reached wide."
Sunday, November 13th, 2016
10:59 am
We All Take a Bow, Including the Cow, Though Business is Lousy and Slow
If you have access to PBS.org, I really recommend watching the London production of "Gypsy" before they cycle it off. Imelda Staunton is just amazing, and it's a very fresh interpretation. Usually everybody just does what Rose* wants either because it's easier to go along, or because they're genuinely afraid of her, but Staunton is incredibly sexy. She sings wonderfully, although she's kind of uncertain in her first number, which made me nervous when I first heard the CD.

However, because of contemporary conditions (reminds self that this is not FFA, so I don't have to go to the US Elections post) I can't help thinking of this production as an allegory, with Staunton as a tiny insane Hillary Clinton dragging her terrible act around an America that is sick of vaudeville and prefers the cheap thrills of burlesque. OK, not a perfect allegory, AFAIK the real Gypsy Rose Lee was a pretty cool person and not at all like Donald Trump.


*Ethan Mordden has a whole riff about how stupid it is to refer to the character as Mama Rose, because her daughters call her Mama and everyone else calls her Rose or Madame Rose. I'm not sure this is valid--I mean, nobody in Hamlet ever calls the King Claudius but that's still his name and title, but whatever.
Saturday, November 12th, 2016
10:22 am
Link: NY Times article on Contraceptive Coverage
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/11/upshot/no-birth-control-coverage-wont-go-away.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fus&action=click&contentCollection=us®ion=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=8&pgtype=sectionfront&_r=0

Conclusion: contraceptive coverage under health plans will be attacked, but won't vanish on Day 1.

My own take is that men who consider constant access to sex with any woman as an entitlement program don't actually want to be hit with 18 years of child support every time they score.
Friday, November 11th, 2016
9:59 am
S'Mores
https://go.berniesanders.com/page/s/keith-ellison-dnc?source=em161110

Link is to a petition to support Keith Ellison as chair of the DNC; obviously it's going to make a big difference to conventional politics who administers the Democratic party.

If you have the chance, consider becoming a member of one of two groups with a well-earned poor reputation:
1. Union officials
2. Civil servants.

Union members earn a lot more and have much better working conditions and benefits than non-members. However, in the past unions have done a lot to keep those good jobs for white men, and to hold back useful technologies. Union officials who aren't thieves, racketeers, or bigots could do a lot to improve unions' reputation and profile. Remember what I said last time about going for jobs nobody wants? Every union local has a ton of gruntwork and a perpetual shortage of new grunts.

Agencies are going to face budget cuts, and the only way they can get through their workload is with smart, energetic, hard-working people. Errr, which is not 100% of their current census. Even if they're not hiring now, take the test, they have to hire from the list, so if you get a good score they have to hire you even if they don't like your race, sex, or orientation.

Oh, yeah, forgot to mention--block associations have ALL the information about local things, and if they hand a clueless city councilperson an explanation of how to vote about something complicated, there's a good chance that the city councilperson will agree.
Thursday, November 10th, 2016
8:40 pm
Things to Do in America When Your Party's Dead
Nobody could do all of these things, and I'm not sure what I'm going to do, but there are some things that can be done right now, and things that have to be done over the long haul.

1. It really shouldn't to the same extent, considering the amazing ability to connect with anyone with an e-mail address, but politics basically runs on money. And if you don't have any, well, you can put the loose change from your pocket in a change jar and give away $5 when you get to $5. Believe me, any campaign or organization or cause you were planning to donate to will happily take $5 every two months from you. And once you get on one sucker list, you will never be alone, because every other sucker list will hit you up daily or several times a day. Just ignore them when you get annoyed.

2. I learned a Valuable Life Lesson when I was a high school senior. For reasons that now escape me I wanted to work on the yearbook. I immediately secured a power base as the Senior Pictures Editor because nobody else wanted to do it. And later on I earned actual money doing paste-ups and mechanicals, which I learned how to do because of those goddamn pictures. Which were, as we now say, about the size of an icon.

3. Every September, without fail, Vogue magazine runs a gushing editorial about how thank goodness, now you can wear frilly ruffly clothes instead of those awful plain ones! followed the next year by thank goodness, now you can wear elegantly tailored clothes instead of those awful frilly ruffly ones! And the readers fall for it EVERY TIME. The electorate is constantly engaged in Throwing the Bums Out, forgetting a) who elected them and b) that the new Bums are probably not that different from the old bums. But to the extent of genuine Bum superiority, we have two years to work on who we want to run for the House in 2018; there's a passable chance of the Democrats being able to take back the majority.

4. A cunning conspiracy is in place to make local politics REALLY boring, but, as they say, All Politics Is Local. If you can stand going to City Council meetings, you will be one of the first to know that a proposal has been made to give lavish tax abatements to the rat poison factory to be built on the pontoon over the lake. Which means you can help mobilize opposition.

5. In Batman's origin story, he camps around in a bat costume because he thinks it will frighten criminals, who are a "superstitious and cowardly lot." Well, actually, that's politicians for you. Most of them will cheerfully switch directions more often than a zumba class in a tornado if they think they can get two votes or $3.22 in campaign donations out of it. On a prominent issue, they might pick a position and stick to it, but on an obscure issue, enough signatures on an e-mail petition can move the needle.

6. This is America, so whatever it is you're interested in, there is probably at least one organization doing it. Probably there was one and a bunch of people stalked out in disgust. Check first to see you're not inventing the wheel. Of course if the people are SUCH wankers you can't stand it, then you may have to be the one to ankle.

7. Electoral politics isn't the only way to go. If you don't think you have a reasonable chance of getting government to provide benefits to people in need, there are a LOT of organizations working to get food to hungry people and improve the food system. Right now, I'm liking Food and Water Watch for their opposition to fracking, and Union of Concerned Scientists for their climate change work.

8. Right now, there probably is enough STUFF to go around, but it isn't distributed equitably. If we keep wasting and fucking up, there might not be enough stuff to go around, in which case we are going to have to learn to waste less, share more, and develop skills.

9. It's not the eighteenth century anymore. Smile Less, Talk More.

10. DON'T MOURN, ORGANIZE!
2:10 pm
Drive-By: Eat Your Chana Masala, Children in America Are Starving
I'm planning to be back later with some actual posts, but I just got the Quaker Action magazine from the American Friends Service Committee (afsc.org) which has a lot of interesting materials on community work and being an effective ally.

Worldvisiongifts.org's catalog has options of donating for "urgently needed clothing and more", for chldren in America, "nutritious food for hungry kids in America," and "school supplies for US classrooms." It's a Christian organization, so if that's a DNW for you I suspect Heifer International will also have options for donating in the US. There are also US-based anti-hunger organizations like Feeding America.
Sunday, November 6th, 2016
7:47 pm
Drive-By
I've decided that The Crown is actually the third part of a trilogy about British politics: Yes, Minister, followed by Yes, Prime Minister, and now Yaaaas, Queen.
Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016
4:25 pm
Drive-By
Looking forward to Tuesday, when Littlefinger loses the Game of Thrones.
Sunday, October 23rd, 2016
12:05 am
Drive-By
Much Ado About Nothing Fantasy AU: Don Johns and Dragons
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