What we don’t know

I have spent the last 10 days writing a column about the recent electoral unpleasantness. I made really good points. I excoriated the Democratic Party, which certainly deserved excoriating. I discussed the failures of the Clinton campaign, its weird impersonality, its pointless evasiveness. And I discussed the press, its reliance on people with whom it shared a set of common assumptions. (Assumptions are more important than opinions).  Oh, I was really sailing in that section.

The post was over 3000 words, and I felt I could easily have written twice that. I had Salient Points! At least, they were Points! Perhaps one Point. Something told me that I was not being useful, that I was writing out of a conviction that I needed to say something. Because, that’s the job. I Say Things. I have experienced trepidation before.  I have trained myself to walk toward the fear.  Sometimes the truth lies in the middle of the fear.

But sometimes fear is just nature’s way of saying “get the hell out.” The nagging feeling I was having eventually took shape: The column was irrelevant. It might be right (or “right”), but it didn’t really apply. It was a disservice to the readers to plunge them back into the election, and the massive failures of analysis and tactics on the part of almost everybody. So not the point.

Besides. I said what I had to say back in March: “Why we are dopes”. I was prescient. I love when that happens.

(In my former life, I didn’t have that much time to think about relevance and utility. Getting the idea five times a week was hard enough. It wasn’t that I had bad facts — one can always find facts — but there were implications, subtleties, a third way of looking at something, or a fourth. I was supposed to be a thought leader, but too often I was a thought follower. Everyone is — there aren’t that many new thoughts in the universe — but not everyone has the blessed opportunity to think twice, to rip it all up and start again.)

So I thought: It’s my blog, no one’s paying me, the least I can do is erase  my own bullshit before it harms others. I know it’s been a long time since my last post (I had a pretty good excuse: I was in Patagonia!), and I’m sorry, and I pledge to do better. But really, I have no interest in getting you riled up about stuff that happened yesterday. It’s the stuff that’s going to happen tomorrow that’s relevant.

So that’s my first bit of advice, boiled down from its initial 1450 words: Get over it.



We proceed to the dilemma. During the recent unpleasantness, people in the media biz did what they were trained to do. They dug. They looked into stuff. They found all sorts of awful things about Donald Trump. Lies, fraud, an insane amount of self-dealing. He was in fact the corrupt oligarch he was campaigning against.

They laid out the facts. They revealed the primary sources. They published reproductions of damning documents. They interviewed the aggrieved; they interviewed the people who said aggrieved had nothing to be grieved about. They took to social media. They retweeted each other. They had that sucker nailed.

But the paradigm had shifted. We were supposed to be hip to the shift. Our ears were to the ground, or at least to a spokesperson for the ground. The pieces of the jigsaw puzzle were all there, but they went together in a counter-intuitive way, suggesting that our intuition might need a tune-up, or transmission work, or an entirely new way of thinking about everything. And the question arose: What now?

Yeah, what now? Cue spooky music.

We are in a new reality. A new game is being played. We don’t know the rules. We don’t know how to reintroduce the idea of rational discourse. We don’t know how to operate in a world of rumor and belief. But there has to be a way. Things look grim, but there will be openings. It is in the nature of honeymoons to be over. Candidates are trapped by their own promises, and the anger that got them in could easily get them out.

But this is a new deal. This is fascism as a commercial enterprise. The left has been hurling out comparisons to Hitler every day, but Hitler was not interested in making money. His “Art of the Deal” was “Let’s pretend we don’t mean to kill anybody, and then kill them.” Hitler did not have business interests in 54 countries. He did not devote a considerable portion of his time to evading taxes. He did not grab anyone by the pussy. Probably.

Trump has no ideology. Those surrounding him, those poised to do the real damage, are unashamed racists in the grip of economic theories that have been proven not to work. Who cares? The temptation is going to be to ignore the dope and retreat to Fortress California. We love our Muslims, and we love our Planned Parenthood centers. And a whole lot of us are immigrants!

There are people in Texas who need us. There are people in Wisconsin who need us. People are going to die, unless we help. Not from terrorist attacks; from indifference, or hatred, or just finding bad luck in a corrupt kleptocracy.

So it’s time to, you should excuse the expression, man up. It’s time to do what we used to do before we got comfortable: We need to make it up as we go along. And we need to cherish facts. We need to blow on the glowing embers of facts. If we guard the facts, we guard the nation.

It seems hopeless, but it always seems hopeless. “Hopeless” is not an excuse. Hope is an obligation, as a friend says. It’s the deal we make with ourselves to keep on fighting. It’s going to require humility. Humility ain’t easy. Here, swallow this. It only tastes bad for, well, I wouldn’t want to put a timetable on it.

But, you know, play the game or go away. If you’re not part of puzzling over conflicting data sets, you’re part of the problem. And also, need I say, love your neighbors, cherish kindness, and practice resurrection.

So that’s my second and final bit of advice: Get on with it.


Photography by Tracy Johnston, who really wanted to use this one:

It’s very windy in Patagonia

Tech help and cheerleading by Michelle Mizera

88 thoughts on “What we don’t know

    1. Relatively uplifting! Thanks. FY We too we’re in Patgonia this year (March) and boy it was windy – and very beautiful


    2. Relatively uplifting! Thanks. FY We too we’re in Patgonia this year (March) and boy it was windy – and very beautiful


  1. I’m sure I would have loved the rant you drafted… at least for the first 500 words or so. I bow to your higher judgment. Moving on is a big challenge now.


  2. Thank you, sugar. That actually DID help – and I’ve been completely paralyzed over this for more than a month. Time to get cracking, as my ole mudder used to say.


  3. Hi, John, 1. Thanks.2. https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/pessimists-guide-to-2017/ 3. I’m taking pictures. See attached. It’s the best thing I do.  Every morning I go out on Mt. Tamalpais and take pictures, come home and post a few good ones on Facebook.  People get a few seconds of something pretty.  Nothing else I’ve done gives as much pleasure to as many people as often.  And I still don’t get paid for it, and this time I aint even trying.

    Love to you and Ms. Tracy,Martha Ture

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Well, I’d’a kinda liked ta read those 3 kilowords. But, then again, I’ve been wallowing anyway, and Jon, you’re always good for a wallow, however dispiriting the topic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Those who do not wallow in retrospection and learn from it are doomed to fall back into the swamp eventually, says I


  5. Jon, I think this is some of your finest writing….we can refuse optimism but not hope…and we must rise! My visual of our job is to become like gnats at a beach…constant, annoying, in one’s face until finally the beach is cleared…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hopelessness like guilt, and even rage, are poor uses of time. They are privileges in which we ought not indulge. As the Jamaicans say, “Forward, driver!”


  7. I’m glad you changed your mind on subjecting us to a lengthy rant about what is wrong with the Democratic Party when the villain on the other side is so much more worthy of your revulsion. If not perfection in style and substance, at least the Democratic Party shares, honors, and furthers most of our values, ideals and issues. And if we had united behind the party, the Trump horror show would not have won the presidency. So I’m glad you did not waste type blaming the victim.


  8. Yes. I echo the thoughts of those commenting above. As dear Emily D. said,

    “Hope” is the thing with feathers –
    That perches in the soul –
    And sings the tune without the words –
    And never stops – at all –

    And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
    And sore must be the storm –
    That could abash the little Bird
    That kept so many warm –

    I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
    And on the strangest Sea –
    Yet – never – in Extremity,
    It asked a crumb – of me.

    But this time it does require crumb from a lot of us – like some modest financial support of my friends who took off in midwinter to be at Standing Rock, like telling the noisy guy in BART to stop harassing the Latino woman sitting next to me, like all the things we can do to … even one or two things a day!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. thank you! Your writing is a warm and sane grace in my morning. Penny

    Penny Leff Agritourism Coordinator UC ANR Small Farm Program University of California Davis, CA 95616 530.752.7779 http://www.sfp.ucdavis.edu

    On Thu, Dec 8, 2016 at 10:45 AM, Jon Carroll Prose wrote:

    > joncarrollprose posted: “I have spent the last 10 days writing a column > about the recent electoral unpleasantness. I made really good points. I > excoriated the Democratic Party, which certainly deserved excoriating. I > discussed the failures of the Clinton campaign, its weird imper” >


  10. We warned.
    We saw it coming.
    We were sure it wouldn’t happen.
    It happened.
    It is coming.
    “We” make sense.
    “It” does not.
    How do we fight something we do not undrstand?
    The analyses don’t capture it for me.
    It seemed obvious before.
    I am in the world of Mr. Mumm.

    Beware of stupid people in large numbers.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. As a librarian in an academic setting, living in the new “post-truth” era, I fear that libraries and librarians will be the last bastions of hope. No wonder the science fiction writer Ray Bradbury wrote a book called Something Wicked This Way Comes, that has a librarian as the hero. We need some old fashioned 60s idealism and action to help move us away from the coming New Dark Age… We stood up to the military-industrial complex before, and we can do it again. I recall the protest in San Francisco prior the 2003 Iraq invasion… It felt like old times.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. I’d like to have read the rant, of course, but totally understand and appreciate your willingness to tear it up and start all over again. I’m still shell-shocked by the sudden upending and turning inside-out of The World As I Knew It. In a turn out of some crazy comic-book movie, the impossibly inconceivable happened: the arch-villain clown prince won (sort of), and now I — we — must find a way to live with, make sense of, and survive the next four long, dark years.

    Unfortunately, it’s not a movie, and there is no Batman, no Superman, no Knight in Shining Armor to deliver us from this fool and his gang of corporate/political pirates, who will do their best to tear down whatever flimsy hopes we had that a viable, sustainable future might somehow be cobbled together from our messy pre-November 8 world. The odds of that actually happening weren’t particularly good before the election, but now they seem prohibitive.

    Making all this so much worse was the shocking loss of Gwen Ifill hard on the heels of the election. I’d expected her to be there to help us make sense of all this, or at least that her warm smile might allow me to feel a tiny bit better about the endless river of bad news flowing out of our television sets and into our lives day in and day out… but now what?

    Yeah, I know — First World Problems. The people of Aleppo would trade their reality for ours in a heartbeat. And of course you’re right — we just need to get on with it — but I have no idea how to do that. Not yet, anyway.

    But hey, welcome back! You were missed.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I, too, found Gwen Ifill a consoling figure and mourned her death. A woman of consummate good sense and gentle beauty who made me feel that good reporting and news analysis could achieve change.


  13. The situation is a Zen slap in the face. Do we dwell on the pain or do we realize and appreciate it and use it to move forward?


  14. Elections, even Obama’s, are not won or lost by policies or ideas. There’s a hunger for easy solutions to scary problems. Terrorism, automation, castration of the unions, rising seas, falling wages, these things are causing angst, and Trump’s cartoonish blustering just worked. Hucksterism is an effective political philosophy, alas. Just take a look at Twitter election rants, and you’ll lose all hope for rational discourse.


  15. First – thank you for not rehashing. Second – Complacency is not an option – so you’re right we have to man/woman up and pull up our big girl panties/big boy boxer briefs. How do I/we do that? Digression – I heard Trevor Noah on Fresh Air, then I heard something else, which lead me to The Daily Show. I was one of those who said “No more Daily Show because Jon is gone!” – big mistake. Monday the opening was basically – Trump is a toddler and here’s one way of dealing with a toddler – call him on his shit. Toddler/Trump says something this is a fact/true…you say prove it. He says – there are millions of fraudulent votes – prove it. He says – there is no climate change – prove it. Digression – why can’t we give guys like Noah and John Oliver a bigger platform? For all of you in the media that got caught up in “You’re lying” or “That’s not true” and then ran around trying to prove something wasn’t true – your job now is to throw it back on him. George Stephanopoulos started to do that the other day. Yes, I am heartsick as I watch the appointment of every far right wingnut to the Cabinet or as an agency head. They were disrupters in this election – now it’s our turn.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Get over it and get on with it. Excellent advice, indeed, but we Bernie-or-Busters already have our marching orders to do just that – from one another. I am so proud of my Millennial compatriots in our Lake County group, who on the barest of resources (raising a kid on minimum wage, living with Grandma, can’t afford propane to heat the home, that sort of thing) have already made the long drive to So. CA for the California Democrats eboard meeting, and are running for adem delegate positions, to continue fighting the good fight. The Democrat party needs to be reformed into what it has always claimed to be, but is not: a party of the working people, rather than of the elites.

    After being so royally screwed out of our voices and our democracy at the Dante’s Inferno that was the Democratic National Convention, we swore we wanted nothing to do with that corrupt party ever again. However, “my kids” as I call them are realists. They have come to realize that we still have no viable third party, and our best bet is to try to change the Dem party from within, so, like our dear mentor, Bernie Sanders, they have jumped back into the belly of the beast.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Jon, you said it right [although “Get over it” has intimations of … forgetting]. You are echoed in this week’s New Yorker’s letters, one from a Russian, Julia Volfson: “A politically active society is the biggest threat to an authoritarian government. The role of the press is to report on how, exactly, people can get involved.” I would only add that the press’s job is to look at those who govern through the eyes of the governed.

    Welcome back. Bruce Reeves

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Thanks. Thanks for not looking back but looking forward. All correct. We cannot disconnect from the rest of the Nation. And, damn, it’s windy in Patagonia!


  19. Awwwww and I had even geared up to read the rant. Happy to not have to go there. Pick your battles people – it’s going to be a bumpy flight but we are in this together. (Is that enough euphemisms for today?) We’ve gotten through a lot of tough times before and will do so again. Take a deep breath…karma will come.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. yep. it’s windy in Patagonia

    Thomas A. Cohen

    mail: 38 Miller Ave. #488 Mill Valley, CA 94941

    p: (415) 777-1997 f: (415) 777-1990

    On Thu, Dec 8, 2016 at 10:45 AM, Jon Carroll Prose wrote:

    > joncarrollprose posted: “I have spent the last 10 days writing a column > about the recent electoral unpleasantness. I made really good points. I > excoriated the Democratic Party, which certainly deserved excoriating. I > discussed the failures of the Clinton campaign, its weird imper” >


  21. >But, you know, play the game or go away.

    That’s our plan. The contrasts between Trump and Hitler are less important than the comparisons. Hitler didn’t do shit his first year in office; his followers did. That’s the first gate. There’s just no other way to interpret the data; Almost Half Of Americans are atavistic misanthropes with malignant ambitions. The USA is far closer to what the rest of the world thinks of us than it is to what it pleases us to suppose. And Trump could not be a more appropriate proxy for their grievances.

    Now he has the Time cover, the next step will be mobs of redneck townies bashing windows in immigrant neighborhoods, with zero intervention from public safety agencies. The only mystery is whether it will become infamous as “noche de cristal” or “laylat al kristal”.

    Next step will be an historic agreement between the US and Russia. It will not be *called* a nonaggression pact, but that *is* the traditional first formal step before subdividing Poland, after all.

    I fear he’s getting the Allies (US, Russia, and Great Brexit) for the third and final round of World War. Will the Allies threepeat? Stay tuned to corporate media to be the last to find out!

    Speaking of which, you are too soft on the industry. What this country really needs right now is a free press. I blame Jarl Mohn and Michael Oreskes.


    1. were he to be “successful” I would say it’s proof positive that American education has totally failed. Bruce the Bald


  22. Like the allusion to This Boy’s Life in your title, Jon. “My first stepfather used to say that what I didn’t know would fill a book. Well, here it is.” Also had forgotten the wonderful Dickinson poem. When I think of hope, I tend to think “Hope springs eternal.” Nice to substitute a better poem.


  23. well ‘hope’ and ‘get on with it’ are all nice exhortations but I’m looking for some effective ACTION. Maybe there isn’t any at the moment or maybe for 2 years, I don’t know. We have the march in January; if enough numbers turn out and no property is destroyed, we may get some useful attention. But enough for any change? nope. So what else is effective action? Writing our senators and representatives about each issue where we have an opinion on how they should vote? Sure. Maybe helpful, maybe… What else?

    Your thoughts…


      1. The only Gubmnt people we can “write” to are our own.

        If you are not a “constituent” you cannot send a message.

        Our own people are already on our side.

        Mitch McConnell dares to speak for all of us but we cannot “speak” to him.


  24. I can’t think of a better response than “Get Over It.” I agree it is time to move on and actually confront the world as it is not as we wish or imagine it to be. For me personally, it is a time of introspection and a time to look inward and realize how little I know about all of the people who live outside our little enclave “the Bay area.” The U.S. is a big place and it is our responsibility to reach out and attempt to understand and help. What else can we do that would be productive?

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Wonderful, Jon! Thanks.
    Best, Alan Myerson

    PS Emily Dickinson wrote “Hope is the thing with feathers.” What she didn’t note is that like most things with feathers it tends to fly away. Hope is predicated on what isn’t happening but what one wishes will happen; I think that it’s necessary to “get on with it” while recognizing what is happening and going for it anyway with or without hope — simply because the alternative is so dangerous and unpalatable.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Thanks for another good column, Jon. I’m glad for your sake that you wrote the rant, and glad you didn’t publish it because I would have read it and I already know what I think of D.T. My opinion couldn’t go any lower, so it would have been time wasted, as you surmised. Time spent reading what you did publish was much better spent.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Nah, that doesn’t wash. It’s a big square peg in a mesh sieve. And, whether you’re retired or not, your post is typical media backwash, that kind that comes after a media debacle … this time it was a doozy of assistance to trump. (Come here Hillary, let me rip you some more and, tee hee, trump is dishing more sound bites for us to quote on all the news outlets.) Zero mea culpas for the looking at dust while a crazed bulldozer roared by… But, hey, it always us that screwed up (so we’re told) and we must suck it up, make amends and learn to love someone.

    The Summer of Love is a long time dead.


    1. The media certainly did give exponentially more coverage to Trump, since with the help of Ronald Reagan, the Fairness Doctrine went the same way as the Summer of Love, and then in the 1990s, the cable companies were deregulated (under Clinton 42’s watch) and news media were thus allowed to classify themselves as “entertainment networks.” They were no longer beholden to the truth, or journalistic integrity. All they had to worry about was the bottom line, which they knew the Trump Show would feed handsomely.

      But, poor HIllary Clinton – as a wise pundit once said, render unto me a break. You realize she didn’t hold a press conference virtually all year, right? Her de facto campaign manager, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, timed her debates with Bernie Sanders during the primaries at dead times like 6am Sunday mornings, or during extra-special televised sporting events. Clinton also liked to use white noise machines to block the media from overhearing conversation taking place during her fundraisers held at the posh homes of her wealthy donors. For whatever reason, the democratic Heir Apparent was avoiding media coverage.

      Bernie who, you say? Yeah, about that. He was a populist candidate who drew bigger crowds than Jesus Christ (adjusted for inflation), inspired memes, murals, artwork of all kinds all over the country, was beloved not just by Millennials but by their parents and grandparents, a fella who went to non-strategic voting states, just to meet with the disenfranchised and the shat-upon, such as the First American tribes, and the inner cities, where children in a fenced playground noticed his paused limo and called out his name – and he insisted on jumped out of the limo and running up the hill to greet them through the fence.

      He packed stadia to overflowing with tens of thousands of fans. Twice, I got up at dawn and, with a group of friends, got in line near the front at 7am, for a 5pm appearance. Only the second time did I manage to get up front close enough to shake his hand. He was a phenomenon, still is – he filled Zellerbach Hall to overflowing just last Friday, with people scalping tickets outside, for his Where Do We Go From Here speech.

      However, the mainstream media virtually blacked him out. Bernie Who? The enormous venues overflowing with people, they spun as some kind of youthful fad of the Millennials. Those 30,000 kids crammed in there? Naw, they never vote. Pfft. Nothing to see there; move along. The Fourth Estate is as dead as democracy itself in this country.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Were you responding to me, or to Will? If to me – no criticism was intended toward you. Would bee interested in a response to what I did say, though


  28. It could be quite easy for some of the fortunate ones among us to nod our heads in approval of your comments and continue along our comfortable and complacent paths. But beware. Those paths are Hell bound.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. It’s best to live in the present, but that doesn’t preclude considering the Long View. Two steps forward minus one step back still equals one step forward. In this country, we have to pay and pay for even a little progress. The cost of 20 years of whatever advances Carter/Clinton/Obama managed to jiu-jitsu The System into allowing was 28 years of reactionary governance, and that’s not even counting the multigenerational cost of Burger, Rehnquist, Scalia, Thomas, Roberts and Alito (and almost Carswell & Bork).

    So we’ll have to pay for whatever comes after Trump with a few years of him and his crew of 90’s-relics, crackpots, bigots of various stripes, rapacious billionaires and vengeful know-nothing throwbacks. This time I think those who wish to resist will have to pay a lot. La lucha siempre continua.

    And the millions upon millions of our fellow citizens who voted for him, and the millions more who didn’t vote at all? They’ve always been there. That’s the American electorate. I add in all those who voted for Hillary because she was a woman and all those who voted for Obama because he was black. The majority of us are pretty easily swayed by shiny objects and aren’t really very smart about choosing our political leadership. But we always get the leadership we deserve.

    I for one kinda like it when the pendulum swings away from me and I can join the Disloyal Opposition. I find the times I can be in attack mode a relief from constantly having to defend and make excuses for the bad things the good guys have to do to get anything good done. You get tired of that, no? You get tired of fighting too, but it’s a good kind of tired.


    1. I guess if the Disloyal Opposition isn’t threatened by the hate-crime not-so-tacit approval (and encouragement) of our elected new leader, they can afford the “good kind of tired”.

      Liked by 1 person

  30. You pledge to do better than going to Patagonia? ;-). It will be interesting to see where you go next …


  31. you are a church to me, jon. I trust you. I take what you say as gospel.

    and. those photos of tracy’s. jeez. the solace of beauty. of movement. of wind, gusting…

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Hi Jon,

    No, not this time. I gave it my best shot in the 60s, and did a little work against nuclear power in the early 80’s, which turned out rather well.

    This time is different. This time my Hope is not that we can collectively make changes to dig us out of the hole we’re in. It’s too late for talking or politics. I think the forces which will stop Mr. Trump and his allies are the forces of physics. Physical nature. It’s too late to undo the changes we have made in the energy structure of the biosphere. Like a mobile which has been disturbed, our physical world will find a new balance of energy — probably one not as well-suited to human life.The “bottleneck” or “long emergency” will be terribly painful, but the Band-Aid analogy applies: rip it off quickly, get it over with ASAP. It’s only human nature to deny and delay unpleasantness, but too often the longer you wait the worse it gets, and the more it hurts in the end.

    Given the above, I will try to focus my attention on helping my friends, some of whom are already starting to suffer seiously from rent increases and assistance cuts. After that, I’d like to leave something behind which might be of use to the children of 100 years from now. The accelerating changes already underway are not going to stop and/or reverse because we discover some plastic, fantastic technology. There is nothing on the horizon which will truly replace fossil fuels, stop climate change, or reverse human population growth.Then there is the matter of fresh water.

    I think massive die-offs of our species are inevitable, and not really within the realm of “good or bad”. It’s cause-and-effect, or karma. The best outcome for all the other species on this planet is for about 6 billion of us to die, since we will not stop reproducing or fouling our common nest. The infrastructure which supported such overpopulation and overproduction of waste products will be gone, and those remaining will have some chance of survival on a planet slowly returning to a sustainable, balanced energy state. So mote it be.

    “When comes the time to leave this world someday
    what you get to keep is what you gave away” — the Diggers


  33. You are just amazing and I am privileged to read your blog. I such esteem and admiration for your values and ability to be so honest and realistic and sensitive. I feel fortunate that you really didn’t retire. Best wishes AND I give to the untied fund all of December. Judy Edelson

    Sent from my iPhone.


    Liked by 1 person

  34. I just don’t see doing nothing as an alternative I can live with it. I understand it may very well be doomed, but my guide in all these matters is Camus, particularly “The Plague”.


    1. Thanks John,

      I don’t believe I said I was going to do nothing. I’m just not going to do what I did before, because I don’t think it will work anymore. As recent elections have demonstrated, we do not live in a democracy. Significant change is not available through political means, and anyone who thinks in terms of armed revolution simply doesn’t know what they’re up against.

      I think change will come, much faster than we are prepared for, from forces external to the United States. Given this, I don’t think demonstrations, political campaigns, or “petitioning the government for redress of grievances” will have much effect. Our way of life has become unworkable, many people will perish and suffer in the coming transition, and as long as I’m able I will try to help them. I don’t think they’ll be any lack of people in trouble.

      It’s interesting you should mention “The Plague”. If memory serves, it is written in the form of a (plague) journal and begins with the protagonist opening his front door and stepping over the body of a dead rat. The entry is dated April 16 — my birthday. Maybe it’s time for me to read that book again.

      I’m almost finished with my memoir, which attempts to tell the truth about what I and my friends were up to back then. I fancy truthful information about what life was like before the change might be at a premium. Those who disliked what we were up to have been lying about it for 50 years, but the kids seem to know better. I’ve partied with them, dressed in psychedelic colors with BIG eyes, dancing all night outside of time and space, just like we did. Raves. And they still don’t have access to pure drugs, which causes most of the problems.



  35. For a hopefully less depressing topic- Jon- any recommendations for Patagonia? What were the biggest positive and negative surprises from your time there? Thanks.


    1. The biggest bad surprise was the level of tourism. There are only two towns on the route, El Califate and El Chelten. The former is wall to wall tourism, may many tour buses, and not that much to do. One great drive to a glacier, with hiking possibilities. Taking the tourist boat with 400 of your closest friends, which is pretty cool anyway but still.

      El Chelten is basically a hiker service center. That’s where the amazing mountains are, and we found a great place to stay, and fabulous hikes. But the wind. The wind! It’s a thing.


  36. Practicing resurrection is a fine thing – but I am very much afraid there may have to be some practicing of insurrection (in some form) before we get there. I just know I am not going to willingly “take only what you can carry” and “pick up your belongings and get on the bus”.


    1. …and the Democratic Party gave us two bad choices. For Democrats there actually were better choices among Trump’s GOP rivals, tho I hated them all.


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