Pandemic 2022 Continues

People are aggravating the hell out of me so I’m avoiding spending long hours on Twitter. Also, the new conservative fascist overlords have tweaked their algorithm and I feel like I’m not learning as much, which is the entire point of my being on that app. I also had something strange happen—Twitter indicated that I needed to use another email because mine was in use. I’ve used the same email on Twitter since 2007.

It is a confusing time in the pandemic thanks to the government who I’ve really all but given up on since they’ve all but given up on any pandemic measures per se. My fatalism on the United States government is peak right now so if you’ve come for any nonconfrontational, flattering, and bootlicking praise, I urge you to go elsewhere for both our sakes. The government has made their choice—profits over people or capitalism, corporations, and the aristocracy (the upper classes to us poor people) over the working class and the poor, regardless of everything that’s happening. The economy is the priority and inflation is being weaponized as a tool to keep the poor poor and the rich rich. Why does this shock me? It doesn’t, but the brazen shamelessness of it does. I believe we can thank 45 for this new governing manner as well as the delegitimized SCOTUS—also determined to shamelessly drop precedence and all but destroy what’s left of legislative and federal powers.

Biden and Democrats have disappointed me largely. Again, I’m not shocked by this—I didn’t hold out that much hope given the direction of the presidential primary, but what little hope I had was and still is being chipped away by their ineffectiveness and inability to meet the moment with any sense of urgency or mettle. When they do confront, it is a hesitant and feeble attempt, almost uncertain, like they don’t know if they want to take a stand or not. The term feckless comes to mind. It’s infuriating. I used to think Democrats were smarter and more strategic—after 40 years of watching the same thing over and over again, I no longer do.

This will piss off lots of Democrats—I don’t care since this kind of governing is harming lots of people and the people need to speak out about it. A portion of Democrats are indistinguishable from Republicans in so far as they have their head so far up the ass of certain individuals they cannot distinguish their own mind and agency and refuse to find fault in the obvious.

And no, this doesn’t mean I’m not voting or voting Republican—I’m pragmatic above all else and vote strategically. Voting Republican is not an option—ever so far as they continue to be fascists and white supremacists. Voting Republican is signing the death warrants of people, freedoms, and democracy. Republicans are mean, ruthless, amoral, and will acquire power and wealth by any means necessary and Democrats find this acceptable up to a point given their willingness to be ‘bipartisan’ on certain issues, and that is even more disturbing.

It’s almost like TPTB made the US into a two-party system meant to do exactly this—eliminate the ability of commoners from moving the lever of power away from the rich and powerful. That should not be as alarming and bewildering as it is—it is and it’s disheartening.

How do we regain power from a group that malevolent without doing the same? And without becoming monsters ourselves?

I’m listening to Erik Larson’s The Splendid and the Vile about Churchill and the blitz and finding it informative and entertaining. Churchill was an asshole—his son was an even bigger asshole. I find myself laughing at some of Churchill’s statements in a dark humor is he serious with that kind-of-way. I wonder if he was being sarcastic about some things but people failed to detect the sarcasm? Or am I gifting him with a wit he never had? Or is it Larson’s writing? Why isn’t there a movie or series on Clementine and Pamela Churchill? Because the Churchill name still has lots of power in Britain and around the world for the family and for Britain? To create a true representation would show what assholes the Churchill men were and they don’t wanna taint that power with good ole fashion human qualities when they can distort the man and the myth to better suit their purposes? Or can they do that regardless?

I just finished The Countess by Catherine Coulter and there is like .00005% romance and 0% sex and kissing so categorizing it as historical romance is going a bit far. It is 100% gothic plot and nothing more. To each her own and apologies to all you delicate flowers out there that get squeamish over sex and kissing and nudity and profanity—all the joys in life—I, however, loathe these abridged (that is the absolute gentlest word I can use presently) kinds of romances and prefer that someone mark them as such. Are they religious? Ironic given the level of misogynistic violence but then again, religions are misogynistically violent and oppressive and usually hypocritically censor those joys above (and I don’t mean heavenly above). If not religious than what? Perhaps we can come up with a better category name in order not to offend the delicate sensibilities of some? I say that with some respect—of a sort given the level of censorship being thrown around recently, I try and not emotionally react; it is difficult. Normally, I wouldn’t mention it at all as I tend to not like a book or author (or anything in general) and carry on oftentimes without comment regardless and have done so many, many times. There are a few romance authors I avoid because their work is eye-rollingly nauseating to me and I’m not sure how they ever got published (and rich) not once but over and over again—a personal opinion and moot since everyone has their own tastes and I acknowledge and applaud as much given they are not restrictive and prejudicial to others. I abhor gatekeeping. I am eclectic, unbiased, and permissive in my preferences, especially of art and literature. I, also, don’t know enough about this author to make a general statement about her work and I urge you to not draw any overall conclusions by that or the author or of simply one book. I have four other books of hers I’m getting ready to read so I suppose I’ll find out. If it follows the no joys pattern, I’ll likely ditch them and never read her again—there is a reason I read historical romance and plot isn’t even in the top five of the list (okay maybe number six). I, however, have become aware of a disturbing cultural trend of watering down—or removing totally—sex, kissing, profanity, and nudity scenes not only in literature but in movies and shows in general and it reeks of another form of and more censorship from the right and that really, really pisses me off. After writing this I became aware that this book was first published in 1978 so that is likely why it is so devoid of all the goodies, maybe? Also, this author is unknown to me and I’m unaware of the on dits of the romance industry.

I am remembering a line from a Loretta Chase historical romance whose character commented and poked fun at the priggish nature of the younger generation—is that what’s happening?

I’m going to start noting and celebrating the sex, kissing, nudity, and profanity (or complaining about the lack thereof) for that very reason—i.e. censorship. The philosophical debate will eventually lead to artistic or creative obligations and aesthetics and censoring for preferences or censoring for unethical or immoral reasons. Marvel movies and shows have none of those and given it was bought by Disney, I’ll let you infer from that what you will. These movies/series versus something like The Boys is an interesting juxtaposition in discussing what kind of human realisms are allowed for aesthetic or storyline reasons. I’m rewatching Battlestar Galactica and it is stock-full of great kisses, a few good sex scenes, and they were creative (like Farscape) in getting around the profanity censors. I’m positive there have been philosophical discussions forever and a day about this very issue; it seems all the more imperative now that we are eyeball deep in a wave a fascist attempts to censor.

© 2022 Matilda London/Pamela Gay Mullins

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