A tweet from @0dette on December 31, 2020 reads:
“January 3rd - watch the Persian gulf
January 6th - watch DC
July 1- FY2022 starts for most states and massive predicted budget cuts
2021: British territorial waters, Sudan, great food scarcity, South China Sea , extraordinary military plane technology
Happy new year.”
So this weekend, and today—Monday, January 4—is our brief respite from world events. Actually it was a year ago today—Saturday, January 3, 2020—that Donald Trump authorized the drone assassination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, inaugurating a year of miseries and blood with a blast, and he assured us that the baddie “died like a dog.” Americans, whether they agreed with the assassination of Soleimani or not, largely didn’t know who he was before his death.
Michael Brooks did, and he was one of the few people in the media—independent or corporate—to not only recognize the significance of world events, far more obscure than Soleimani, but to speak freely and intelligently about them. His sudden death last July left a huge void in American journalism that has yet to be filled. Will anyone else from his generation—born 1983—stand up?
It’s only 22 minutes past midnight on Sunday, January 3—I guess I should go watch the Persian Gulf. Ominous missives from Twitter are a good source for leads—not always reliable, but always fun. Despite all the michegoss around coronavirus vaccinations (specifically for COVID-19, a type of coronavirus), I’m looking forward to some measure of comfort and easing of anxiety as more and more of the willing population gets their shots. Lots of people won’t, and there will be blood, unfortunately, I’d really like to talk to anyone who’d dispute that—but this year will go well. I know this because I speak it into existence. I am God—for today.
I’m sick of calling it “Covid,” or “COVID-19.” In 2021, we’re going back to calling it coronavirus. It sounds better, it’s not as evil, and if we’re really trying to be proactive we should remember the common cold is a coronavirus. I’m not sure why certain people are struggling and at a loss for better things to do than rat on restaurants that are suing the city of Baltimore for its inconsistent indoor dining restrictions, which have completely tanked all of their business, as we all know. It’s between them and the city—I’ve no idea what the margins look like at Orto or Foraged, two of the restaurants “we should be mad at,” according to someone on Twitter.
As if Orto, Foraged or Matthew’s Pizza have a special relationship with money and paying rent—no, these are things that only evil consortiums like the Atlas Group, much hated, do regularly out of avarice and greed, while the place that you eat commits itself to honest business practices and fair working conditions. And in a pandemic? Well, they’re as flexible as comfortable individuals—or should be.
Matthew’s needs money as much as any Atlas Restaurant, and the city and the federal government haven’t given enough money to anyone, including restaurants. Pity the petit bourgeois who writes this, but really recognize the alarming abundance of peers eager to act like community cops, always mad and ginning up support for focused outrage and negativity, in the service of… love?
There’s a masochism to some of this—comfortable people with nothing better to do reacting to that spiritual crisis by putting themselves into disastrous situations—but I haven’t seen much of it first hand. “Unfaithfully yours,” should all the cards, checks and direct deposits sent from the government read next week, and I don’t need to say why. Imagine standing up and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in your room on Zoom. That’s North Korea shit. I don’t think more time to read books is bad, far from it—in fact I’m surprised how many people say they “can’t find the time” to read more now. What’s going on, are you an EMT now? Stay inside and occupy yourself. We’ve got another year or so to go.
Planes flying over skies gray and molten can see the New Year rising, new day falling, old days piling up and never disintegrating. The days that pile up and get in the way. Like so many cactus cones. Planes interrupted the symphony of drones where I live and the trumpets blare: “This is a new day.” The newest day. A day for recuperating, a day for numbing. Balm all agents of neuropathy and massage their palates to the nasal brim, bringing them all some relief from a negative coronavirus test swab.
Bring them, eliminate the MK-ULTRA program and all of its descendants, and commend the accomplishments of actor Melanie Mayron, featured in 1976’s Car Wash and star of Claudia Weill’s superb 1978 film Girlfriends. Mme. Mayron and I share the same birthday, and I thank her for that. It’s a good one, and she’s a good representative. We have Snoop Dogg, Arthur Rimbaud, Arlene Francis, Dolores Hart, and… Kamala Harris.
We’ll see how that one shakes out! Not looking forward to sharing my birthday with a vice president, but I guess I’ll live. We’ll see. I’d prefer she not talk about being a Libra and how it inspired her to enter into “law and order.” Harris may work out as VP, but what does she know about justice, the Libra’s core principle? How many Libras has she locked up, fined, and persecuted for “truancy”? The people—meaning me—want answers! And preferably before the inauguration on January 20. Don’t I have the option to change my vote until then if I want? I mean, I should. Right?
—Follow Nicky Smith on Twitter: @nickyotissmith