And we're off: nineteen years ago today was the first entry on this here blog, then as now, a week after 9-11, then as now, just in time for the Jewish new year holiday of Rosh Hashanah.
Unusually, Israel, which Donald Trump thinks is the "homeland" of American Jews, is going to be under a Covid-19 related lockdown, just in time for the most important holidays of the religious calendar. This apparently is 100% the fault of feckless PM Netanyahu, just as it becomes clear that over 90% of the over 200,000 Americans who have died in this pandemic are the sole and personal responsibility of Donald J. Trump.
And yet despite this disastrous handling of the pandemic (which has led to over 60 million unemployment claims filed this year, and a 35% crash in GDP), because racism is so important to around 40% of voters and because the media refuses to accurately report how disastrous Trump really is, preferring to prop him up to have "horse race election coverage" rather than doing their damned jobs... this will actually be a closely contested election.
IDK. It's an insane year. In 2001, just 7 weeks after 9-11, I ran the first of what would eventually become my 18 (and counting) NYC Marathons. That race, of course, has been canceled this year in light of it being a mass gathering. I did manage to run 26.2 miles last weekend in much quieter Old Forge, NY (my 58th marathon, and only one of 2020, but it keeps my streak of at least one marathon a year since 2001 more or less intact).
Unfortunately, it is obvious that a vote for Donald Trump is a vote to put coronavirus in charge of your life for the foreseeable future. But Americans (40% anyway) are just so racist, that they don't care: they think that liberals and especially people of color are suffering more, and that is enough for them to send Trump to four more years to finish the job of destroying the United States. This is really terrifying, of course, but at this point, there isn't any other way to observe it.
I don't know anymore. Wear your masks, maintain your social distance, take your supplements, avoid crowds and especially indoor gatherings (even of your own family unless they are in your household, unless you're all wearing masks). We are in crazy times- but we have to get through it to bear witness to what happens when we lose our way. Competence actually does matter- even as our "Republican Party" insists that competence and expertise are the enemy. As wildfires in California and the Northwest and hurricanes in the South and East show us, the environmental catastrophe caused by our vaunted American lifestyle isn't going anywhere either. We have a lot of challenges going forward, and ignorance and racism are not how we will meet them.
And of course, Guantanamo is still open, and we aren't quite out of either Iraq or Afghanistan (and may never be). So... for the moment, we have to focus on the health and safety of ourselves and our loved ones, for now, and take a moment for gratitude for those who are trying to keep us safe, and for providence if we have maintained our health and safety. Alrighty then.
Hopefully, I will see all of you here next year for... the 20th blogiversary.
Update: For fuck's sake, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg picks today of all days to die, at age 87. Now even if we're rid of Trump, the fascist young justice he appoints will torment us for decades. This year just keeps giving.