Trump Scandal of the Day

Did you hear that Trump had the gall to invite to his coronavirus briefing a guy who retooled his whole factory to manufacture 50,000 masks a day? That’s so evil! It’s got to be evil because people on social media are flipping out about it so much that at first I thought maybe Trump ate the guy who is manufacturing the masks.

People are really scraping the bottom in search of reasons for outrage. Earlier in the day, there was a big dustup on Twitter when somebody dug up a photo of the French scientist who is testing the medicine for coronavirus that Trump said might be helpful. The scientist isn’t very photogenic, so people lost their shit over how Trump can possibly trust such a non-photogenic scientist. No, seriously. It’s a real thing.

But then the mask manufacturer issue came up and now everybody is freaking out over that.

This is fun.

It’s More Complicated

I really hope that, as we observe what’s happening in Italy and Spain, the “every developed country has better healthcare than the US” crowd just shuts up already. Some do, some don’t. Germany does, Israel definitely does, Canada doesn’t, Italy definitely doesn’t.

It’s an issue that is far more complicated than the superficial fantasies about “single payer,” which is a meaningless expression if there ever was one.

Zoom In

For surveillance capitalism, the pandemic is a huge gift.

Here’s an article on the dangers of Zoom, for instance.

I never use Zoom on my primary device. I only access it from my phone that I keep to the side of the computer. This allows me to do tons of work while people charter away in a meeting.

The Most Obsessive Hobby

Most people, even the really obsessive ones, have expanded their sphere of interests during the pandemic. Hard-core weight-lifters started talking about their favorite novels. The Bernie fanatics go for days without mentioning Bernie on Twitter and are scouring articles on viruses instead. The census-obsessed barely talk about the census. The beauty chicks have developed a sudden interest in politics.

There is one group, though, that is still focused on its hobby horse with a single-minded obsession.

It’s the pronoun people.

Their Twitter feeds are still 100% dedicated to pronoun wars. It’s as if the quarantine, the pandemic, all of that, completely escaped their notice. They are as rabid and as obsessed as ever.

If anybody understands why such a trivial, meaningless issue gets people as obsessed as this, please share.

RHR

My resting heart rate has gone down from 74 to 61 during the quarantine. This is very good because 60 is my normal resting heart rate but it’s gone up by 15 points in the last couple of years.

It goes down a point a day, so it’s a consistent change. The reasons are:

1. I get a lot more sleep.

2. I spend a lot less time than usual sitting and definitely a lot less time lying down and watching TV.

3. I’m abnormally (for me) physically active and take several-hour-long walks outside daily.

A secret to a good resting heart rate is to stop resting.

All Like This

People on Twitter are having a conniption over Trump’s bragging about the ratings of his coronavirus press conferences. Some of them are poseurs but many are sincere in their cute childish outrage. They don’t understand that this is how absolutely any politician thinks. It’s in the job description. If you don’t think like that, you are not a politician.

The only thing that is different about Trump is that he says it out loud. Once you know that they are all exactly like this, it’s hard not to find it refreshing that somebody is at least open about it.

N and I are watching Downton Abbey (what a brilliant show, please watch it), and when I see the daily Trump-outrage fest I keep imagining the prissily shocked faces of the aristocrats in the show who just found out that the Earl’s youngest daughter ran off with the Irish chauffeur.

The need to imagine politicians as virtuous and caring is a symptom of an oedipal trauma, by the way. So this daily dose of outrage is nothing but a symptom of a psychological dysfunction on the part of the outraged.