June 2020

 

 

 

I still find jokes like this (above) funny. Sure, 2020 is a mess, but isn’t it a fantastic, glorious, mess?

2020 has been my kind of year, seeing as how in January I turned 64 and thought that life was essentially over, that my days were going to be a boring slide into old, older, and oldest age. But WOW, was I wrong! My 64th year has been so full of interest, personally and historically. I am SO GLAD to be living through this shit with you all!

Come December, as 2020 draws its last breath, we will look back and wonder at ourselves and at our nation and the world, and marvel that we got through it. It will feel like an achievement to have gotten to the end of this year alive, reasonably sane, and with a manageable number of 2020-induced personality flaws.

Of course, I have no idea what America will look like at the dawn of 2021, but my black-hearted, pessimistic, foul-mouthed, misanthropic, and perpetually resentful self has, in my soul, a tiny spark of hope and joy that things will be radically better for people of color, for the working poor, for immigrants, and for us rationalists.

Dear Readers, I’m not drunk or high, but I have been thinking dangerous thoughts and here’s what I think: I think we might be on the brink of a new Enlightenment. I look around at the unrest and the unity of dissent  against institutional racism and exploitative capitalism and I see a growing consensus that this country doesn’t work any more, not for the majority of us citizens, and it’s time to take it back.

I think this because I, Vivian Swift, boring ordinary white lady in her 60s, am flying a Black Life Matters Flag from the front porch of her house in the suburbs and that, my Dear Readers, is a Vivian Swift who, six months ago, I did not know existed.

Lord knows what this Vivian Swift will be up to six months from now.

Our Dear Reader Leslie in southern Florida has been hosting The Stromness Rock this past week, and Leslie knows what I mean when I talk about this being a transformative time to be showing America to a little rock from the Orkney Islands in Scotland:

I think The Rock is trying to tell us that America is a lot for a Scottish pebble to handle right now.

So Leslie let The Rock acclimate to current events by spending a little down-time in the familiar (to The Rock) ambiance of her Welsh dresser among artifacts of loveliness:

Although known as Welsh dressers, this item of kitchen furniture is not unique to Wales. Irish dressers were also common. Dressers from different geographic areas were adapted to local needs. The Scottish Highland dresser, for example, had a porridge drawer — a tin-lined drawer into which hot porridge was poured and left to set. When cold, slices could be cut and taken out by crofters working out on the land.

I, for one, would not be tempted to eat porridge that had aged in a dresser drawer, I’m just saying.

Revived, The Rock was ready to see the local lay of the land. First, a drive-by in Fort lauderdale:

Blustery. This must have made The Rock a teeny bit homesick. The Oarkneys are very windy — in fact, the winds are the outstanding characteristic of the islands. Strong winds year-round are common, but in Winter the average is 52 gales per season.

Leslie and The Rock tried to play Hide-and-Seek in the roots of trees felled by recent hurricanes, but The Rock isn’t good at camouflaging:

“You want to see the Everglades?” asked Leslie.

The Rock responded, “What are the Everglades?”

Everglades National Park is a 1.5-million-acre wetlands preserve on the southern tip of the U.S. state of Florida. Often compared to a grassy, slow-moving river, the Everglades is made up of coastal mangroves, sawgrass marshes and pine flatwoods that are home to hundreds of animal species. Among the Everglades’ abundant wildlife are the endangered leatherback turtle, Florida panther and West Indian manatee.

And alligators. There are alligators. In the Everglades. Right behind you.

There are also “cypress knees”, and I looked them up and this is a fact: nobody knows what cypress knees “do”.

The Rock poised on the biggest botanical mystery of them all.

This is what one botanist has to say about cypress knees, which just might be the most enigmatic horticulture  writing I’ve ever come across (and I wrote a book about gardens, so I’ve read more than my fair share about horticulture):

It is surprising, after centuries of interest, how much interpretation is based on field observation, and how little hard data exist on knee anatomy, cellular structure, and physiology. Whatever functions the knees serve must pertain broadly in time, space, and related species.

I don’t even understand that last sentence, but I love the sound of it.

But wait there’s more. Leslie had some horticultural surprises for The Rock in her own backyard:

Right. Those are BANANAS. Growing in the backyard. I’m from Long Island, and bananas growing in one’s backyard is, to me, science fiction.

But wait there’s more. I’ve only read about this, and I’ve longed to see one with my own eyes, so for me this is the high point of The Rock’s adventures in Florida, these two buds from Omicron Ceti III:

The Rock had to stay up late, until after night fall, to see with it’s own non-eyes the amazing Queen of the Night, the Night Blooming Cereus:

WOW. Wow. Wowowowowowowowowowow.

One final dip in the pool . . .

. . . and The Rock was off for further adventures in The Palmetto State.

Stay Tuned.

In the meantime, oh, yeah.

Fuck Trump.

(I’m still basking in the humiliation of Trump’s rally in Tulsa, so indulge me a bit.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seen in a Boston suburb:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If the previous Instagram shot didn’t give you the feels for Gen Z, maybe this will:

And, lastly:

Cats Will Sleep Any Where.

And They Do.

 

 

 

 

Have a great weekend, Dear Readers. If I am not here on Wednesday blame my dentist. And my utter cowardice when it comes to anything having to do with my dentist. I will be in hiding.

Think good thoughts about where you’ll be when we say Good-bye to 2020.

 

 

 

 

 

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Did everyone have a good weekend?

I know I did.

But Trump and his goober-faced, pin-headed, slack-jawed supporters…not so much.

Maybe you’ve heard how a band of teenagers pranked the Tulsa rally by reserving thousands of seats in the Bank of Oklahoma center (capacity 19,000) that they never intended to use?

And how Trump bragged that he had a million people requesting tickets, so many people that they had to set up an outdoor arena for “the overflow”?

 

 

And did you hear that this humiliation for Trump and spawn was another way that K-pop stans ( along with Tik Tok teens) mobilized themselves into action against a fascist/Republican target?

 

(You remember BTS, my 7 Korean husbands, right?)

 

Left to right: V, Suga, Jin, Jungkook, RM, Jimin, and J-Hope.

(They’ve just released their Japanese album, and they will be on the cover of Vogue Japan next month:)

BTS alone isn’t K-pop. There is a lot to choose from once you get into it — I have 42 K-pop artists on my playlists. But BTS are the Kings of K-pop, FYI.

So a lot of people in the media are scrambling to find out what this “K-pop” thing is, and their first assumption is that it’s a genre of music that appeals to 12-year old girls. I’m not going to dump on whatever it is that 12-year old girls are into these days, because 12-year old girls are powerful creatures who love fiercely so don’t try to minimize them, but most K-pop fans are not 12-year old girls, OK?

You might not like AOC, but she gets it:

In response to AOC’s tweet, DeAnna Lorraine tweeted this:

DeAnna Lorraine (Republican, of course), who ran for election to the U.S. House to represent California’s 12th Congressional District but she lost in the primary on March 3, 2020, obviously doesn’t understand the first thing about K-pop, about politics, or about not tweeting stuff that makes you look exceptionally stupid.

So, any way, the past weekend was almost pure pleasure for me and Top Cat. I checked der Drumpf’s website for more rallies, and all his events this coming week and weekend are on-line with the usual suspects: veterans, evangelicals, old white ladies who wear too much make up and hairstyles from the ’80s.

So, sadly, there are no rallies in the foreseeable future that we need to make sure have plenty of empty seats. So I’ll be taking the weekend off, catching up on Bangtan TV (inside K-pop joke, only mildly funny).

But let’s take a victory lap this once, and remember what a complete shitheel Donald Trump is.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is what they did to the Robert E. Lee statue in Richmond, Virginia last weekend:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See you Friday! Read all about the adventures of The Stromness Rock!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Win: Yesterday, on June 18 the Supreme Court ruled 5 -4 that Trump’s executive order to end president Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA, the program that lets young undocumented immigrants get semi-legal status in the USA) was unconstitutional. Chief Justice Roberts, a Republican appointee, sided with the four Democratic judges and wrote the majority opinion, blasting Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions (Trump’s Attorney General) and Elaine Duke (Trump’s Homeland Security Secretary) for being so shitty at their jobs that their arguments for rescinding DACA were “arbitrary and capricious”, which is SCOTUS-speak for “pure bullshit”.

I like this feeling. Coupled with the great Rostock v. Clayton County decision on Monday, this feels like taking a deep breath of joy. It feels like it’s the start of a trek back to normal life, when Trump and his evil spawn were only local New York City jokes. It feels like Summer after a long, long, three-and-a-half-year Winter. I could get used to this, the natural high you get when you live in a society that is sane, fair, and just. It feels like we, as a nation, just told ourselves We Are Who We Say We Are.

As it happened, yesterday was the first time, since March 15 the start of the lockdown, that Top Cat and I had dinner “out”. We ordered from a nearby Japanese restaurant, which only does food for pick up. Top Cat put on a face mask and got in a line out the door of the restaurant, socially distancing with all others in line, and when his turn came he stepped into the restaurant and was presented with a table filled with bundled up food orders. He matched our order # with a bag on a table, picked up our stuff, and left. Never had to interact with anyone.

The fancy Mexican restaurant in the same shopping center was offering dining in the parking lot, on tables set about 20 feet apart, each shaded with a bright yellow beach umbrella. Every table was full. It looked like a lot of fun. I don’t like the menu here so it’s not our Go To for Mexican food, but if you like cilantro and chocolate sauce on chicken, this is your kind of place.

I haven’t seen that many people in one place since, well, you know when.

While we were sitting on the back patio having Japanese take-out, I pitched the idea to Top Cat that we should take horseback riding lessons together. As a couple, Top Cat and I have very few overlapping interests, and horseback riding is a twofer: it’s something we can do together, and it will stop him nagging me to give the out-of-doors a try. Thanks to everyone who commented on your experience with horses on Wednesday — I think that looking cool on a horse is achievable.

Like all of you, I am looking forward to Trump’s rally in Tulsa tomorrow. Actually, I’m looking forward to two weeks from now, when (I am praying) every single one of those morons comes down with an unexplainable cough, fatigue, fever, vomiting, and loss of the sense of taste. Oklahoma is already reporting an all-time high of 450 new cases of corona virus this week so we know the bug is out there. It just has to show up at the BOK Center on Saturday night.

But most of all, I’m looking forward to when the Oklahoma public health commissioner, as his state’s ICUs are inundated with very sick old white people, turning to the cameras and saying,

“Fuck Trump.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have a great weekend, everyone. GUESS WHAT! The Stromness Rock has been on the move, traveling 1400 miles from Texas to The Sunshine State for a wander around the Everglades and you can read all about the death-defying adventures in next Friday’s blog. That Rock does the craziest things around alligators. Don’t be like The Rock.

 

 

President Trump took credit for popularizing Juneteenth in an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Thursday, stating that no one had ever heard of the June 19 holiday commemorating the emancipation of black slaves in the U.S. before he scheduled a political rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on that day.

The Trump administration has put out statements on Juneteenth in each of his first three years in office.

“Oh really? We put out a statement? The Trump White House put out a statement?” Trump said when informed of this fact. “Ok, ok. Good.”

 

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My adopted home state, New York, is in Phase One of re-opening after locking down since March 15. I dread Phase Two, because in Phase One the traffic in my suburb has become a nightmare already, and in Phase Two dentists are allowed to go back to work. As soon as Phase Two hits, I know my dentist will hound me about resuming where we left off three months ago. Now, I thank the lord that I live in the time of modern dentistry… with about the same fervor that I wish modern dentistry would leave me the fuck alone. Jesus, I hate going to the dentist, but having a nice smile is much more important when you are in your 60s than it is when you are in your 20s.

Old people are creepy. It’s a fact. This is something that I remember from my 20s with vivid clarity, and I’m not letting myself off the hook just because I happen to now be in my 60s. You have to take care of stuff, like teeth. And hair. And shoes. And wear lipstick, and shut up about how you used to buy Wonderbread for 35 cents a loaf. Update your eyeglasses. And stop wearing plaid shirts.

So, yeah, I’ll be phasing out of quarantine and sharing public spaces with **shudder**  people, and it will be the official end of my Corona Cocoon, and I will be sad (about having to act “normal” around “people” again) and terrified (of my dentist).

It will take me a while to ramp up my activity level from my quarantine baseline of coma-esque restfulness. I am so used to doing nothing that this morning, when I had to go to the post office and to the drug store, I did the post office and called it a day. That’s all I can take. I’ve pencilled in some castle-making for 6 – 8 PM, when I’m recovered from the exertion of  mailing a package (hey Jeanie! Look for something from me in about a week!), but I won’t hold it against myself if I decide to stay on the couch watching Netflix instead.

Speaking of Netflix, I was watching another multi-episode drama from Asia last night, about a magic portal between two parallel universes and the time-traveling king who jumps between them and I thought to myself, I wonder how long it takes to learn to ride a horse.  (Although it’s set in 2019, the king rides a horse through the parallel universe portal.)

I would like to know how to ride a horse. I think I would look cool on a horse. This might be my new hobby, the one that stops Top Cat nagging at me to go outside for FIVE MINUTES and enjoy the beautiful day.

If any of you Dear Readers knows anything about riding a horse, please let me know if it’s possible to learn to look cool on a horse in one Summer, and do I need to get a special cowgirl name?

Brianna Noble on her horse, Dapper Dan, riding in downtown Oakland, CA, June 11, 2020.

And, oh yeah. Fuck Trump.

Yay! We got a win for America!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 


Seizing on a medical milestone that doesn’t exist, President Donald Trump said Tuesday [June 16]  he thinks the same scientific expertise that produced a vaccine for AIDS can deliver one soon for COVID-19, too. “These are the people – the best, the smartest, the most brilliant anywhere, and they’ve come up with the AIDS vaccine. They’ve come up with, as you know, there’s various things, and now various companies are involved … AIDS was a death sentence, and now people live a life with a pill. It’s an incredible thing.”

There is no vaccine for AIDS.

See you on Friday, Dear Readers. Let’s avoid going back to normal together.

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In Wednesday’s blog post I told you about the “debate” that the Tennessee state legislature was having about whether or not to keep a statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Confederate general and the founder and first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, in their state capitol building. I told you that the Republicans were against removing the statue, which turns out to be a bust, not a whole statue.

Here’s how the “debate” ended: The bust is going to be kept where it is, in a place of honor (I got the info from the website of WMC, channel 5, in Nashville, TV):

A Republican named Jerry Sexton argued: “It was not against the law to own slaves back then,” he said. “Who knows, maybe some of us will be slaves one of these days. Laws change.”

A separate House bill to end the observance of the annual Nathan Bedford Forrest Day narrowly made it out of committee the same day. It must go before another House committee before it makes it to the floor.

Wait.

Tennessee has a holiday for this motherfucker?? But hold on, there’s more:

This story was updated at 4:10 p.m. on Wednesday, June 10, 2020, with more information.

NASHVILLE — Tennessee will continue to mark Nathan Bedford Forrest Day on July 13, but under a bill that won final approval from state lawmakers on Wednesday, Gov. Bill Lee will no longer be legally required to sign a proclamation designating the honor for the Confederate general and slave trader.

WAIT.

The governor used to call attention to this holiday by proclamation, as if was something to be proud of?

Hold on, there’s more:

The measure was approved 22-6 by the state Senate despite efforts by Democrats, whose attempts to eliminate the recognition were quashed by GOP senators who passed the bill.

Dear Readers, here’s what we can do about the shithole state of slave-loving Republican fascist Tennessee.

39.9% of the Tennessee’s general revenue comes from the federal government, which makes it a “taker” state of money that comes from our federal taxes. So, when we file tax returns this year, just add a note that you don’t want any of your tax dollars to go to the shithole slave-loving Republican fascist state of Tennessee. Of course it’s only a symbolic protest. But Jesus, can you believe that that’s how grown-ups act in Tennessee?

So that’s the landscape of America these days, even after everything we’ve been through in the past two weeks.

Some days, I just don’t have the energy to be my usual cheerful, friendly, people-pleasing self.

But for you, Dear Readers, I will step into the Way Back machine, to about an hour ago, before I searched for the update on Nathan Bedford Forrest, when I had castles on my mind.

I’ve been promising to show you a new castle that I made out of old books, which I cut up and re-assemble into “art”. This castle doesn’t photograph well, but anyway, here it is:

When I install the castle in a book, I will put a garden in that free space between the supports. Stay tuned.

The colored bits are from the many end papers I collected from books that I had to throw out, back when I co-managed the used book store for our local library:

End papers, those pointless pages between the hard cover and the actual book.

The book store has ben shuttered since March 15, as has our local library. The library can’t re-open in Phase One yet, so it’s just doing curb-side pickups and drop-offs. I have a library book that I took out in February that I should return, so I’ll be making my appointment for that soon.

And that’s my To Do List for today, Friday June 12, 2020. And I’m already exhausted.

But I can gather my strength for one final thought:

Oh, yeah; Fuck Trump.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Twitter account is from a guy who has many cats, and he usually photoshops his cats into ridiculous battle scenes, but for this post he tweeted photos of his cats in their beds, which are boxes (because, CATS) with his cat’s courtesy titles written on them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have a great weekend, Dear Ones. Maybe, if you have the time, you can write a letter to Tennessee state senate majority leader, Republican Jack Johnson, 11 Legislative Plaza, Nashville, TN 37243; email: sen.jack.johnson@capitol.tn.gov.

You might want to tell him that the Civil War is over, and that the score is Confederates, 0; US 1. And:

And for good measure, Fuck Trump.

 

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My county of Nassau on Long Island is in Phase One of re-opening. New York City is also in Phase One, meaning that construction and curb-side retail is open, and people can go out to eat in restaurants if there is outdoor seating, or indoor seating for no more than 25 ppl / 6 feet apart.

The most immediate consequence of Phase One is traffic. Suddenly, the roads are jammed again. I had forgotten the noise — I’d forgotten that in my backyard, you can hear trucks roaring on the Long Island Expressway (Exit 37 is one mile away). I am a little depressed that life is getting back to normal, as far as the everyday cacophony is concerned.

I’ve heard that literary agents are getting pitched all kinds of pandemic novels these days, but it’s not going to happen as a literary genre because everyone is weary of the subject. However, I predict that there will be all kinds of feel-good quarantine memoirs coming out next year, about spiritual epiphanies or precious family bonding experiences, personal insights or home renewal projects that transformed inner and outer realities.

I won’t be writing one of those books. Nope. Not for me. For I have learned nothing, I still hate most people, and my house still looks like two grad students on scholarship live here.

Top Cat had one pandemic project that matters. He has finally sorted out the several hundred vinyl records he’s been storing in the basement for 20 years. He’s actually thrown out some, has given most of them away to collectors, and saved about 50 for his own archives. We have a turntable, in fact we have two, but if he wants to play old Moody Blues or Quicksilver Messenger Service, I got to be waaaaaaay far away.

I have zero nostalgia for the music of my youth.

I know there is one Dear Reader here (*cough* Steve) who still listens to disco from the ’70s, and I am here to drag you into the post-pandemic 21st century. Consider it Phase One of Vivian Swift’s Return to the New Normal, in that I am back to bossing people around.

Dua Lipa has a whole new album called Future Nostalgia, which is all about her re-creating that disco sound with an update.

If you like old 1970s disco, you need to hear Physical. It’s my jam when I’m starting the fifth mile of my daily run, when I’m tired and I want a nap and I need something to keep me moving for those final 5,280 feet.

This has nothing to do with Olivia Newton John’s Physical.

If I can get one person to trade Doico Duck for Dua Lipa, I will be happy for about a minute, then I’ll revert to my normal pissant self because bitching about life is my main jam.

For instance:

Today, the Tennessee legislature is debating whether to remove a statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest, the founder of the KKK, from the capital, which, much to my surprise, is Nashville. Republicans are voting against the statue’s removal for “historical” reasons, and the usual bullshit about Southern culture. But here’s the thing: the statue was erected in…*checks notes*…1978.

So, yeah, there’s still room for “debate” on whether symbols of white supremacy have a place in public spaces in this country. Well for fuck’s sake, do I have to go down to Nashville to march?

And if I do, I’ll have Dear Reader Maryanne‘s phone number written on my arm. Good to her word, she did email me her contact #s, and an open offer to bail me out on my next social justice outing because she knows that if I called home, none of the cats would bother to pick up the phone. Thank you, Maryanne. Knowing I have bail makes me want to go out and be a little more ornery next time.

And that brings you all up-to-date on Phase One of the Beginning of the End or the End of the Beginning, Whatever.

I hope you all are getting a peek at what your new “normal” is, and that you all like what you see.

And, oh yeah: Fuck Trump.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This (above) is the Robert E. Lee memorial in Richmond, VA. The city council as been debating whether to take down this statue for five years. This is how it looks after the Black Lives Matter protest of June 1.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hang in there, Dear Ones. See you Friday.

 

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Blog post from Wednesday, con’t:

This is the photo that was on the New York Times on-line front page on Wednesday, June 3 of the Black Lives Matter protest inTimes Square that Top Cat and I went to on Tuesday night:

I love this picture because it shows all those beautiful white-coated New York City doctors who came out to support Black Lives Matter. This photo was taken when the crowd knelt for George Floyd for eight minutes and 46 seconds before we got up and marched south.

Let me tell you, it is hard to take a knee for eight minutes and 46 seconds. That’s how long Derek Chauvin knelt on George Floyd’s neck, and it’s hard. Chauvin must have really been determined to kill Mr. Floyd.

(If you click on the image, it will embiggen and you can see my sign clearly in the center of this mass of marchers…pretty good visibility for a shitty lettering job.)

While it’s thrilling to be part of a large protest, make no mistake: you can make a difference even if you are a Party of One:

Lone protester in the heart of a small southern city.

 

 

Outside the police station in Norfolk, Va:

Lone protester at City Hall in Enterprise, Alabama:

 

I finally got the photos of Tuesday night off my phone, the ones that show  our encounters with the NYPD:

These were all taken when we left Union Square when the NYPD blocked the southern end of it — I wasn’t close enough to take a photo of the south end of Union Square, where most of the cops were lined up. These are the guys blocking the way a few streets away on the west side.

So we found an escape on 6th Ave:

I’m sorry that I wasn’t a better reporter. I didn’t take many pictures because I had that big-ass sign with me, and I was more concerned with keeping safe than with commemorating the experience.

The other story that I began on Wednesday’s post was about how the Dallas Police Dept’s BLM protest snitch app was spammed by hundreds of K-Pop stans [fans, in 21st-c. speak] who overwhelmed the system by sending  fancams of their pop music idols to the app, spamming it until it broke. This story took a left turn this week.

After the K-Pop fandom was finished dismantling the Big Brother app of the Dallas PD, they re-organized to inundate the hashtag #whitelivesmatter, which is a white supremacist Twitter account. The hashtag, which usually lurks in the dark corners of Twitter, suddenly became top-trending in the USA because K-Pop stans flooded the account with the same kind of content that disabled Dallas PD’s attempt to surveil the BLM protests.

This meant that dickheads who went to the hashtag to read about how they and their in-bred slack-jawed pea-brained brethren were going to win this race war got, instead, lots of pictures of hot Koreans captioned with messages that supported the BLM movement and the protesters … thousands of messages, which blocked the hate group from putting out its own rantings.

I bring you, Dear Readers, this information because I suspect that for a lot of you, I am the only K-Pop stan you know of. K-Pop gets a lot of grief for being mindless heartthrob fodder for 12-year old girls…but as you can see, those 12-year-old girls know how to bring down a power structure or two.

Also, they aren’t 12-year-old girls.

For the record, I don’t like being called an “ewok”, but that’s a fight for another day.

I’m sure you’ve seen the sickening footage from Buffalo, NY, where two officers of the BPD pushed a 75-year old man to the ground and walked past him, leaving him bleeding from his ears as he lay on the ground:

And with that, let’s get to today’s Fuck Trump and his Fascist state (I’m pulling a lot off my Twitter feed today, to keep this blog as up-to-the-minute as I can):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’s like to leave you all on a high note, after all this bad, sad, and dangerous to know info. So here it is, just in on my Twitter feed:

Washington, DC mayor Murial Browser has authorized city workers to paint this. They are using the same paint that the city uses when it paints the yellow line down the middle of the road.

It’s permanent paint.

Isn’t this almost as good as a blog about cats and castles? One day, soon, we will get back to the trivial nature of VivianWorld, but let’s enjoy this little moment of victory for now.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

XXOO

Late addition: It’s finished:

 

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I’ve never been prouder to be a K-Pop fan:

This is from the Dallas Morning News, May 31, 2020:

On Sunday, the Dallas Police Department asked people to send in “video of illegal activity” from the Black Lives Matter protests in the city through the iWatch Dallas app, where people can submit photo, video, or text tips about possible crimes. Instead, it received a flood of pictures and videos of K-pop artists from hundreds of K-pop fans determined to break the app.

Within hours of the original tweet, the Dallas Police Department followed up with a tweet that the iWatch Dallas app was down temporarily “due to technical difficulties.”

If I could be specific here, the Texas K-Pop fans did not send videos and memes — they sent “fancams”, which, if you are a K-Pop fan you, already know what these are because you’ve seen thousands of them on YouTube and Twitter. If you are not a K-Pop fan (AND WHY AREN’T YOU??), a “fancam” is a cell phone recording of a live K-Pop concert.

Another thing about the Dallas – Fort Worth metropolitan area that I want to bring your attention to is this map (please embiggen so you can get the whole info):

 

The Dallas/Fort Worth metro area has a population of 7,573,136. Look how many states can’t muster up that kind of demo, yet they have the same number of senators as Texas (and New York, and California, and Pennsylvania, and Florida, etc etc), which translates into electoral college votes.

This is why we have to abolish the electoral college.

In the trivial life of Your Truly, Vivian Swift, this headline was the last straw:

Here’s the abridged story:

 

After I read about this, and saw the video, I knew I could not sit this one out.

As much as I loathe leaving the house, I had to get in the car, drive to the train station, get out at Penn Station, and go to Times Square last night (Tuesday, June 2, 2020) to Show The Fuck Up:

This is me:

Actually, I thought my sign was pretty shitty, and not at all up to my usual standards (because writing in big letters is hard) but people stopped and asked to take my picture about 30 times last night. I got interviewed for a local TV channel. Reporters from Italy and Israel and one Asian guy who didn’t identify where he came from asked to take video.

Maybe because my sign was big, and legible…maybe because I was the only protester with gray hair (aside from Top Cat, who took these pictures of me). Who knows.

A trick I have learned about holding big signs at protests is, you have to cut hand-holds into them. If you look at my sign, there are hand-holds near the “M” and the “R”. Please remember to do this if you head out to a Fuck Trump rally. It makes all the difference (it reduces the fatigue you will feel from holding your arms and hands above your head).

This is One Times Square, where they do the Ball Drop on New Year’s Eve. As you can see, the ball is still there on the roof. Huh. I didn’t know it was kept up there all year.

Here is another trick you need to know:

If you get arrested and the police confiscate your cell phone, you need to have written on your arm, in permanent marker, a phone number you call call for bail money (because who knows phone numbers these days?).

This proteser’s life line is in Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill (I blurred the rest of her info because I’m a decent human being).

It’s also smart for your sign to have lettering on the front and the back.

Don’t wear contact lenses or sun screen on your arms and face. Tear gas will stick to those surfaces.

Tuesday night was the night that hundreds of doctors came out in force from hospitals all over the city. They were  White Coats for Black Lives, protesting the number of patients they see in their ERs who have been injured by police, and against our health care system that institutionally denies basic services to people of color.

These are the New York City protesters that Trump has called “lowlifes and scum”.

The plan was to this group to meet up with a shit load of marchers coming up 5th Ave from Bryant Park at 6:30, do a Times Square rally until 7:15, and then head downtown to march across the Brooklyn Bridge to defy the 8:00 pm curfew. The amazing thing was, everything happened on time.

Top Cat peeled off around 7:30 to catch the 7:48 to Long Island, but I wanted to see how this was going to end because I think the curfew is bullshit.

We marched down Broadway to Union Square on 17th Street, arriving at the magic hour of 8:00 pm. That’s where we came up against an enormous line of NYPD, standing three-deep, on Broadway at the southern end of the park. Also, there was A LOT of press there, putting themselves between the marchers and the NYPD. Let me tell you, the NYPD in riot gear is very, very scary.

Since the police were blocking access to the south end of the park, the leaders called for white people to go to the front and link arms and the group headed west on 17th Street, only to come against another wall of NYPD. I happened to be near the front at this point,  right behind the first row of what people carrying my sign.

(I took photos, but I can’t get them off my phone, for some reason.)

That’s where the NYPD threw something that sounded like gunshot bombs into the crowd — no smoke or gas, just really loud noises. That was scary, too, and I stepped back. But then it stopped, and people seemed to be OK, so I re-joined.

Surrounded by police, the group ran south, on 6th Ave., which was clear of cars and cops. I stayed with the march as it took twists and turns to avoid the cops until 6th Street, but it was getting dark and I didn’t want to go to Brooklyn, so I split off and headed back uptown. I didn’t know exactly where I was, and I didn’t like being out on empty streets by myself in the near-dark, but luckily I found a subway station on 14th Street that was still open  and I was home on Long Island by 11:00 pm.

On the news I saw that the marchers continued on, and went across the Manhattan Bridge, not the Brooklyn Bridge, into Brooklyn, and it was peaceful. During my participation, I did not see anything violent or unruly, except for taunts to the cops (How Do You Spell Racist? NYPD!, and Whose Streets? Our Streets!) and I was surprised at how many doctors stayed with the group all the way to 6th Ave. Damn. NYC Docs are tough.

I’m checking to see if there is anything from Black Lives Mater scheduled for today (so far, nothing) because this is where I start Showing the Fuck Up.

Once again, this is not what I had planned to discuss with you all today, but then, none of us thought that we’d be here, in a police state in America, ever.

Welcome to Trump and McConnell’s America, where the worst pandemic and economic crisis in a century are only the 2nd and 3rd worst crisis of the week.

Do I even have to say it?

Fuck Trump.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is there anyone surprised that the United States is on fire under a Trump presidency?

 

 

This is a still from the 2019 Oscar-winning Best Picture, Parasite.

It sums up 2020 perfectly.

This is from Occupy Democrats on June 1, 2020 about an event 93 years ago:

 

 

 

See you Friday. Let’s talk about kitty cats and castles for a change.

 

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