Civil War Lessons

The story of the Spanish Civil War is a lesson in how two radical minorities dragged a whole country into a devastating civil war because the center was too passive and inept. Two small groups (one larger but still a clear minority) plunged everybody into a tragic conflict of three years in length that destroyed the country. The possibility of an imperfect yet real democracy was sacrificed to the belief that some people are on “the right side of history” and shouldn’t be losing elections just because their ideas are too radical for most of the population.

Putrid Ads

Wow, it turns out there are TV commercials for COVID vaccines for kids. How absolutely putrid. “It’s their turn to get life-saving vaccines!” Unbelievable.

I only watch recordings of my Mexican soaps and reality TV shows, so I have no idea about what’s happening in the TV ad space. It’s only at the gym that I catch a glimpse of what people are being subjected to.

On a related note, my deep condolences go to the viewers of CNN. I don’t know what happened to you to make you think you deserve this mistreatment but it’s not true. You deserve so much better. Rodents deserve better, let alone humans. Turn off this Radio Télévision des Milles Collines now and step away from the device. It’s not being good to you.

National Embarrassment

Of course, the official story will be that Kamala’s extremely low ratings are caused by “racism-sexism” and not her extraordinary unprofessionalism and lack of charm. This shouty performance amidst the ruckus created by an out-of-control employee who’s throwing a tantrum would be pathetic in a kindergarten teacher, let alone a vice-president.

Leaving aside the embarrassing delivery, the substance of the response is even worse. “You sound like a Republican!” OK, so? You are not the vice-president of the Democrats. You are the vice-president of the country. Many of whose citizens are Republicans. Completely losing your cool because somebody used a trivial talking point is pathetic.

It’s impossible to watch this and not remember that the only reason she has a career in politics is because she whored herself out to an ugly, old, rich, successful and married politician. And then even more successfully whored herself out to a rich, well-connected Jew.

I also don’t understand the Democrats’ love of giving leadership roles to women who achieve things through sex and their incapacity to promote African Americans whose ancestors actually experienced slavery or segregation. It’s always children of immigrants cosplaying as foundational blacks. And some of them – like Kamala – are famous for locking up actual African Americans in gigantic numbers on any old pretext.

Of course, we would all be happy to overlook Kamala’s long list of faults if this administration were successful in anything. Give me low gas prices, a great economy, peace deals, peace in Ukraine, and a growing savings account for me, and I don’t give a flying rat’s ass if you fall over yourself many times over. But Kamala was chosen solely as a symbol in spite of having zero voter support in the primaries. She was picked to represent black women. Apparently, this shouty, undignified mess of a person is how the Democrats see black women. And that’s a disgrace.

Inner Joy

We are very fortunate to have our Fulbright scholar from Nigeria teaching at our department. He hasn’t has an easy life and as a result has the sunniest disposition of anybody I know.

“Our building is among the worst on our campus,” I said. (It’s true, our building sucks.) “Engineering, on the other hand, has a beautiful building.”

“Professor!” the Nigerian colleague said, “These buildings are both so much better than what we have in Nigeria. So much better. I feel blessed.”

He loves the courses he’s taking. (Fulbrighters not only teach but also take courses, like regular graduate students.) There’s so much useful information! Other students are wonderful. Even yesterday’s truly miserable weather is a blessing because where else will he experience icy rain? Every moment is ripe with potential for joy. This guy enjoys himself so much, it’s a pleasure to watch. His is very quiet, inward-looking enjoyment, so you know it’s not a performance.

East Coast vs Midwest

After living for years in both areas, I’m ready to render my verdict. There are three things in which the East Coast is better than the Midwest:

1. Snow. On the East Coast, there actually is some.

2. Apples. Why the Midwesterners can’t grow a damn apple in this tropical climate is a mystery. In upstate NY, we had apple festivals of incredible variety and taste. And here at a farm, the kind of apples they grow – even worms despise them. The first time I took Klara to a local apple farm, she kept asking “where are the apples, mommy?” because what she saw didn’t resemble an apple. Arkansas isn’t the Midwest, though, is it? They have wonderful apples.

3. The spice level of Indian food. Chefs are so terrified of the blandness-loving Midwestern palates that the only way to get any heat into the food is to answer the question of “what spice level out of 10?” with “fifty, please.” Strangely, the only place to find Indian food with some heat around here is the campus cafeteria. I think there’s been a new hire because all of a sudden they are serving curries, and the curries are actually hot.

In everything else, the Midwest is a million, billion, and trillion times better. Arquitecture, affordability, integration, cleanliness, lifestyle, drivers, nature, COVID mitigation – there’s no comparison. Even the sky is more reasonably situated in relation to the landscape. It’s somehow cosier.

Does Florida have apples? Or Wyoming? I’m interested in visiting Wyoming.