How glad are we to see 2017 come to a close? VERY GLAD. This year was bad on every level. There was Donald Trump. I got in a car accident in April. I had surgery in August. Donald Trump. My favorite cat started having seizures out of nowhere and died. Puerto Rico got obliterated.
The year’s only redeeming qualities were my beloved Nashville Predators making it all the way to the Stanley Cup finals in June and the solar eclipse in August. A Stanley Cup Final was sort of on my bucket list, so I was thrilled when the Preds pulled off a miracle and went to their first-ever finals. We lost to the Penguins but honestly, it was so exciting to see this city turn out for their hockey team that I almost didn’t care.
The eclipse happened a couple days after my surgery and, being late August, it was a bazillion degrees outside. I toddled outside and sat on my front porch waiting for totality. First the birds stopped singing and then, as we hit totality, the streetlights suddenly came on. The funniest thing was when the sun came back: they’re building new houses both behind and across the street from us, and when the sun came back, all the construction workers cheered and then, without skipping a beat, resumed their interminable hammering. Back to our regularly scheduled programming.
And that’s something else that sucked: Nashville’s growth has metastasized like a tumor. They’re building what we call “tall skinnies” everywhere, which are 3-story houses crammed onto tiny lots. We have two of these obnoxious towers behind us now, and what was once a privacy fence has now been rendered useless. This city is no longer livable. The “big city with a small town feel” was always Nashville’s unofficial motto but nowadays it’s just one long-assed traffic jam, overpriced housing, and woo girls on pedal taverns (how did Nashville become ground zero for bachelorette parties? I have no clue.)
And then of course there’s Donald Trump. Where to begin with this guy? I just can’t. Everything he touches turns to shit, it’s his own reverse Midas touch. I can’t even enjoy watching the Republican Party swirl the drain as he drags them into supporting pedophiles and neo-Nazis. This has been the least fun political death watch ever. One cherished institution after another has fallen under the wheels of the greed bus. Goodbye, free and open internet. Farewell, Children’s Health Insurance Program. Ta-ta, healthcare. Next on the chopping block? Medicare and Social Security, you can bank on it. It’s too depressing for words. I don’t even know if I can do a New Year’s Burn List this year, I don’t want to put the neighborhood at risk.
I can only hope that 2018 will be better. And 2017? All I can say to you is, fuck you.
I hope all of my lovely readers enjoy the holiday! Fourth of July traditions at our house: queso and margaritas, watching Wimbledon, and trying to avoid the crowds. This year Nashville’s fireworks display is supposed to be the country’s largest, and we plan to avoid downtown at all costs.
This is Willie’s first Fourth of July (he just turned one year old) and he’s already decided this is his least favorite holiday. His nerves are completely shot. The other night one of our neighbors was setting off fireworks in their backyard while I was walking the dog and he nearly took my hand off when he bolted.
Last night the private Christian college down the street from us had their annual fireworks display. We usually forget about it until we see a few sparkles high above a huge stand of trees across the street from our house. So this year we decided to set up some lawnchairs in front of campus and watch the display. Let me tell you: we were so close to the action, we could see the stuff coming out of their charges on the ground. When I asked a security guard if it was safe to be this close to where the fireworks were deployed he answered, “This ground has been blessed by Jesus!” Alrighty, then. Well, we survived.
I snapped a quickie video for y’all. Enjoy, be safe, don’t drink and drive, keep the pets indoors, and remember: no celebratory gunfire!
I have this theory that fundiegelical Christians are so wrapped up in the War On Christmas, not because of what the holiday represents Biblically, but because it’s the one time of year when they aren’t culturally out of step with the rest of an increasingly secular country. Or perhaps more accurately, it’s the one time of year when even secular America is in step with them.
And having people say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” or demands that a menorah share space beside a traditional Nativity scene in the public square encroaches on that last little square of cultural real estate that they can call theirs.
Kinda makes me feel sorry for them in a way.
Nashville police will use helicopters “to keep Black Friday safe”. From what? Your guess is as good as mine:
“We can support the ground units with an asset like aviation and that gives us a better view of what is going on,” Sgt. Kurt Knapp said. “We can prevent crime and car break-ins and monitor traffic, especially around Opry Mills and the Nashville West areas.”
Sgt. Knapp is one of four sworn officers who pilot the six helicopters in the Air One fleet. Two private pilots are also a part of the aviation unit.
“I think it’s a great deterrent,” Sgt. Knapp said. “Knowing and seeing that the helicopter is there may make a criminal think twice about doing what they are doing.”
Two of the helicopters are equipped with Flir, thermal imaging technology, and the pilots all fly with night vision goggles for nighttime operations.
Wow. Nothing says Thanksgiving like the thrum of police helicopters overhead. Maybe deploy some of those SWAT team battering rams while you’re at it, that sure screams holiday spirit, too. All to prevent a car break-in? Calling bullshit on that one.
Jesus Christmas. So this is the new normal? Is it really necessary? Or does our police department just want to play with its fun toys?
Welcome, Crooks & Liars!
Next time someone says we need to let “charity” deal with the poor, remind them that the reason that doesn’t work is because people are selfish assholes:
I live in one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the country, but on one of the more “modest” streets—mostly doctors and lawyers and family business owners. (A few blocks away are billionaires, families with famous last names, media moguls, etc.) I have noticed that on Halloween, what seems like 75 percent of the trick-or-treaters are clearly not from this neighborhood. Kids arrive in overflowing cars from less fortunate areas. I feel this is inappropriate. Halloween isn’t a social service or a charity in which I have to buy candy for less fortunate children. Obviously this makes me feel like a terrible person, because what’s the big deal about making less fortunate kids happy on a holiday? But it just bugs me, because we already pay more than enough taxes toward actual social services. Should Halloween be a neighborhood activity, or is it legitimately a free-for-all in which people hunt down the best candy grounds for their kids?
—Halloween for the 99 Percent
OMG. Prudence responds:
Your whine makes me kind of wish that people from the actual poor side of town come this year not with scary costumes but with real pitchforks. Stop being callous and miserly and go to Costco, you cheapskate, and get enough candy to fill the bags of the kids who come one day a year to marvel at how the 1 percent live.
A part of me has to wonder if some of these kids from “less fortunate areas” aren’t maybe, you know, of a different skin color from our letter writer? And that maybe a big part of her beef is that her neighborhood is overrun with black and brown families for a night? Just a guess, but certainly one that has to be considered.
This isn’t the first time the holidays have brought out the less charitable side of Americans. A few years ago I wrote about local Nashvillians begrudging the trash collectors their Christmas tip because “mah tax dollahs!” Funny how some folks seem to think that paying taxes entitles them to be selfish, self-satisfied pricks.
Get over yourselves and STFU. And if our letter writer really doesn’t think those poor kids deserve her candy because of all the free stuff they get from the taxpayers, she can turn off all the house lights, shut the curtains, and hole up under her blanket for a night, blocking out the cries from the less fortunate outside her window. Seems to be working for her so far.
Works for children too, I hear:
Como In A Box
‘Twas the day before Christmas and whilst cleaning the house,
Southern Beale did realize with a terrible shout:
“OMG I FORGOT ALL ABOUT ANIMAL CRUELTY SANTA!”
So down from the closet he did appear,
Capturing birds and animal pelts all in good cheer,
A reminder to all critters, both far and near,
To not claw the couch or chew the veneer.
And now good wishes for happiness and no tears,
Oh loyal readers and your furry companions, I lift up my beer:
Yes and felines, and canines, and rodents, and deer!
Forgive the bad rhyme (I’m on quite a tear!)
One final good thought I leave with you here:
Best wishes of the season, until the New Year!
I’ll admit it, when my local news gleefully reported that fighter jets would accompany Santa’s sleigh this year in the traditional “NORAD tracker,” I was pretty outraged. Silly thing, I know: it’s Santa Claus, who gives a shit. But I do, because it’s for kids, and glorifying war to kids is revolting.
Honestly, I’m so offended by the constant rah-rah pro-military BS which has infiltrated every aspect of American life. This was the last straw. Why does Santa Claus need fighter jets, anyway? Mr. Beale joked it was to make it through Syrian airspace so he could bring presents to kids in Israel. Apparently everyone else decided it was Russia.
So I was relieved to learn that I wasn’t the only person ticked off by this glorification of weapons of war to children. In fact, quite a few children’s advocates were offended.
And now NORAD says what people thought were missiles were actually “fuel tanks.” Er, okie dokie.
I know y’all wouldn’t believe it but it does take a lot for me to go over the edge. I do stand and politely clap during the military salute at hockey games, despite the wretched Lee Greenwood track. But I put my foot down when they played an Army video of, I shit you not, bombs dropping on buildings. This was displayed on the JumboTron before a game one year, accompanied by a loud rock and roll track. Seeing small children with no clue what that represented cheering along turned my stomach. I called the operations office of the hockey team the next day and we never saw anything like that again.
“Support the troops” does not mean glorifying war. And by all means, this “back door recruiting” to kids is alarming. It’s no different than using Joe Camel to sell tobacco to children.
Knock it off, America.
This landed in my mailbox this morning, under the subject line “Knock Down, Drag Out Savings.” Sender was “Walmart.”
Bwaahaa. It’s those rascals, the Yes Men.
At my first Thanksgiving with Mr. Beale’s family, the women all invited me to join them on their traditional Black Friday shopping trip to the mall in Evansville, Indiana. I think I responded with something like, “I’d rather stick pins in my eyes, thanks.” I honestly never thought I’d meet someone who actually shopped on the Friday after Thanksgiving. And in a mall, no less? I simply don’t hate myself that much.
Thanksgiving has always been the one holiday that defied commercialization. Non-religious and a-political, it was the last honest holiday. It centered on three core American values: family, food and television.
But no more. Now we’re all arguing over Walmart and Best Buy making their underpaid employees work on Thanksgiving Day, and we’re treated to Black Friday Brawls on the TV as people behave like children fighting over toys.
Another cherished American holiday relegated to the dustbin thanks to Glorious Capitalism. Baaah.
Mr. Beale and I bugged out of the family get together early because we have a hockey game tonight (Go Preds!). That was a blessing because someone in the family decided it was a good idea to dress a 3-year-old in shoes which squeak every time the kid takes a step. After about five minutes I was ready to kill someone.
Here’s wishing all of my readers a wonderful, squeak-free Thanksgiving.