At the end of last year the travails of Twitter reached a crescendo when Elon Musk came up with the idea of selling Twitter’s vaunted blue check marks. These marks were suppose to assure the veracity of the tweeter, but selling this badge for $8 had the opposite effect. Fake blue check marked accounts sprang up immediately and overwhelmingly their purpose was to impersonate real people and companies for purposes of excoriating them. Many of these impersonators were funny, but the one that I liked the most was Chiquita’s, because they were foolish enough to respond.
Fake @Chiquita: We’ve just overthrown the government of Brazil
Real @Chiquita answer: We apologize to those who have been served a misleading message from a fake Chiquita account. We have not overthrown a government since 1954.
We heard two local speakers. The first was the leader of an agricultural co-op and the other was a naturalist who is trying to save the most endangered monkey. While, neither man had any kind words for Chiquita, I think that they would differ on what corrective actions to take.
The latest tempest in a teapot, which happens to be sitting on a gas stove, is the stove itself. Once again conservatives have succeeded in getting all their undies all up in a bunch over nothing. A bureaucrat who had said that the government should study getting rid of gas stoves, because they contribute to global warming and their fumes are a health hazard within the house. Recommended as replacements are induction electric ranges, which are mainly powered around here by, let me check this, coal fired power plants. From an environmental viewpoint this suggestion is a bit of the cart before the horse. After years of hearing that gas is cleaner than coal, we have invested completely, in gas: furnace, water heater, dryer and stove. Our stove is our newest purchase, replacing an almost forty-year-old one. Based on our past history this new one should out last me. Our reliance on gas also makes it unfeasible to economically switch to cleaner electric power sources like solar. I investigated that last year. So, what is a person to do? I am certainly not going to involve myself with any rightwing echo chamber, whose sole purpose is to distract people from more important issues. One thing that I will do though is clean that stove.
Two years ago today, our Capitol building was the scene of a violent insurrection where the former president attempted to illegally remain in power through a self-coup. He failed and many of his minions have or are still paying the price for their treason. However, none of the ringleaders of that event, in particular the “former guy” has yet to face justice. Maybe the wheels of justice are just slow to grind or maybe like too many other powerful people before them, they will evade justice. It is too soon to know, but the interest now being shown in the investigation into the mishandling of classified documents and that old reliable Federal charge, income tax fraud, would tend to indicate that insurrection or treason are bars too high to mount. Time will tell.
Fast-forward to today, the House chamber is again the center of attention. This chamber where two years ago representatives hunkered down under the onslaught of a rioting mob, a mob of a different sort holds sway. To call the Republicans a political party gives them too much organizational credit. This week’s proceedings have plainly shown that they lack even the barest of consensus needed to govern. They are caught in an endless loop, as they fail to even begin this new session. It is like Groundhog Day, the movie. Where they go from here is anyone’s guess. I do not know about them, but if it were me, by now, I would be tired of all this winning.
One of my prized enjoyments involving Dan, is the plethora of trendy and fascinating stories that he brings when he comes to visit us. Living in Brooklyn, gives him easy access to the beating heartbeat of society. This year’s treasures involve a cat named Jorts, an orange male tabby. Dan shares a common prejudice about these cats that is best summarized by a joke that he tells, “Orange tabby cats have only one brain cell, which they all share.” Jorts along with his colleague Jean, a female tortoiseshell, live and work in an office. Their duties include socializing with customers and the other colleagues, providing them with nurturing support. Jorts achieved internet fame two-years ago this month, when an anonymous human colleague posted about him on the subreddit, Am I the Asshole. In this thread we learn about Jorts and Jean and their trials and tribulations with office politics.
Conforming to stereotype, Jorts routinely gets himself into trouble by doing dumb stuff, like knocking over the break room kitchen’s trashcan and getting plastic cups from the trash stuck on his head, but mostly getting himself locked behind doors and then meowing loudly to be freed. Jean, with her tortie smarts has mastered the technique for opening the office’s lever-action doorknobs and freeing Jorts, but sometimes her altruism backfires, like when Jorts comes along again and head-butts the door closed, trapping Jean in the closet.
Things would have continued along these lines had not Pam (not her real name) intervened. She took exception with the derisive mocking of Jorts by his human colleagues. Pam stated that this was “perpetuating ethnic stereotypes by saying orange cats are dumb.” She advocated for a process to better educate Jorts to open doors for himself, by adding tasks to the workgroup’s task list. This action was met with some pushback by the staff. Things blew up when it was learned that Pam had taken it upon herself to smear Jorts with butter, in order to better train him to groom himself. HR was then brought in and Jorts and his situation soon went viral on Twitter. HR reached an agreement to resolve the dispute.