Dateline: Monday, 5:40 AM scrolling through a newsfeed to get to one of the columnists moiself  reads every morning.  I skip past many ads, then find moiself  scrolling back to one in particular, as my brain needs conformation that…no… it didn’t just say what it said, right? Sure enough, there is a drawing of a brassiere, accompanied by the following WTF/seriously what does this have to do with anything? product descriptor:

“These bras are designed to empower those with smaller chests.”



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Department Of Back To The Future

“We have serious problems and we need serious people to solve them.  And whatever your particular problem I promise you ______ (right wing candidate) is not interested in solving it.  He is interested in two things and two things only:  making you afraid of it and telling you who’s to blame for it.  That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you win elections.”

( excerpt from speech in the final scene of “The American President” )



My latest quest for sanity maintenance is to ignore the news as much as possible.  I do open my news apps on my phone in the morning, to scroll past the headlines to get to my games (Wordle; the mini crossword; Letterboxed; waffle…). While doing so I glimpse the headlines, streaming… And lately it seems to be a lot of screaming headlines, as in anti-LGBTQ parents and protesters screaming at school board meetings.

Regretfully, this sounds quite familiar to moiself.  Some readers may not be old enough to remember California’s Briggs Initiative of 1978. Those who are and do…ay yi yi.  Once again, Conservative Christian Voters ® are being manipulated.  If you are a CCV, someone is exploiting you; someone is trying to make you fearful.  Why do the Someones use such tactics?    [1]   And why do *you* continue to fall for it?   [2]

I’ve lost track of how many people I ‘ve met – from relatives to friends to acquaintances and coworkers and neighbors – who went to Catholic schools, and guess what? Not one of them went on to become nuns or priests.   [3]     Lest you think that is merely anecdotal, look up the statistics for yourself.

No public school teacher is “teaching” your kids to be gay (or trans, which is the right wing politician’s bogeyman of the moment).  If teachers had that power, whether by their words or the mere example of their existence, there wouldn’t be a shortage of nuns in the Catholic Church now, would there?


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Department Of That Which Delights

That would be, “The Show of Delights,” on one of my fave podcasts, This American Life.  Starting at Act II, starting ~16 minutes into the podcast, is a delightful story (well  duh, as that is what the episode was all about).  Do yourself a favor and listen to the story of Cole, a delightful five-year-old, who is oh-so-very excited about an everyday task – commuting – that most adults merely tolerate.  Ah, but this is Cole’s first bus ride to school.

Cole’s story brought me back to when both of my offspring attended our local elementary school.  The school was a half mile/eleven-minute walk from our house; thus, they did not have the option of riding the school bus.  In my school years in So Cal, neither did I. My elementary school was a half mile walk from our house, junior high a little over a mile, and high school 1.6 miles.  School buses weren’t a thing then, I guess.   [4]

It came as a surprise to me that my kids were so eager to ride a school bus and so disappointed to learn that wasn’t an option for them.   For some reason, they’d decided that riding the school bus was an iconic, essential part of the school experience. Later, when they were in high school, there was the option (which they took until they made carpooling and other arrangements) of riding the school bus… But by then it had lost its magical appeal. I’m wondering, do they remember this?

Once again, moiself  digresses.  Cole’s delight…



Yes, I know, but it’s just so dang appropriate.

Delightfully precocious Cole shares his enthusiastic anticipations (and trepidations) about as he walks to the bus stop with his mother.  When was the last time you said, or even thought of saying, something along the lines of “I can’t wait – I’m a bus rider now!”

If your delight is not satiated by the story of Cole’s first bus ride, stick around for the story which follows, wherein an adult daughter interviews her mother, who has finally discovered the joys of doing what she wants to do in her older years.

“After the kids are gone, and your dad is gone, finally, I can live my life.”

Chapter III of the podcast centers around a Japanese-American woman who lived her life as a wife and mother of six children, and who now at age 72 has created joy and delights in the most profound and simple aspects of life, from the discoveries of world travel to the humble comfort of the “warm Japanese toto toilet” she uses first thing in the morning.


Whose heart – and other regions – wouldn’t be warmed by such a device?


Also delightful to me, about that segment, is the rarity and clarity of the mother’s description of her present state of mind vs. that when she was younger.  With regard to her family, she says to her daughter that although she was “glad you [her children] were born, and safe,” raising her family and caring for her husband never gave her joy. This is quite an admission, particularly for an older person, but also for any woman in this “your-family-is-the-be-all-and-end-all-you’ll-never-know-true-joy-or-love-until-you-have-them” world.

As this newly joyful woman tries to define her feelings, she mentions several times that she “feels light.” I thought perhaps that was the best and most succinct of the definitions I could think of, for the word, delight. That which lightens your heart, or your burdens – that which makes you feel… light?


Sometimes the most delight is when the light is “setting.”


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Department Of Another Thing To Do For Yourself

Moiself  can’t begin to explain it; just trust me, watch The History Of The World, Part Two, the follow-up to Mel Brooks’  History Of The World Part One.  My fave is the skit, “,” which features a variety of purported descendants of Kublai Khan in a satire of 23 and me,, and other DNA-using genealogical services…

Oh, never mind the promo – it’s got Wanda Sykes in it, as both a performer and a writer.  What else do you need to know?



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Depart Department Of STFU And Stop Pandering
Sub Department Of This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

Dateline: last week; 8 am-ish; returning from a walk; listening to ologies, a podcast moiself  usually finds quite entertaining. This episode began that way, then turned into an exception.  The episode is  Black American Magirology (Food, Race, and Culture).  [5]    Here’s the episode’s description from the podcast website:

“What’s the difference between Southern cooking and ‘soul food?’ Is there a correct type of mac and cheese? And whose business is it what you eat? (Hint: no one’s). Culinary historian, scholar of African American life and culture critic Dr. Psyche Williams-Forson is a professor at University of Maryland College Park and department chair in the Department of American Studies. She also authored the books Eating While Black: Food Shaming and Race in America, and Building Houses out of Chicken Legs: Black Women, Food, and Power. We chat about everything from oral traditions to ‘soul food’ in popular culture, gendered roles in cooking, hyperlocal produce, systemic oppression and why someone would make chicken without seasoning it…”

Podcast host Alie Ward and her guest and talked about the racism which they see as implicit or subtle in criticizing the unhealthfulness of soul food (to which I’m thinking, Sorry, but *any* cuisine style laden with saturated fats and sodium are unhealthful, no matter who is doing the cooking or consuming), and the difference of the white and yellow cornmeals used in cornbread and what culinary historians say about the matter, and, as Ward put it, “how people judge each other” based on ingredient usage…. Then  there is this gem of an exchange:

Alie Ward:
You know, from an historical and anthropological perspective, so many European nations colonized other areas under the guise of looking for spices.  Why are white people so afraid to season their food?  We can’t flavor for shit – what’s up with that?  How does someone go on Oprah with an award-winning chicken recipe and no salt or pepper?  Do you remember this clip? Tell me you remember this clip?

Psyche Williams-Forson (laughing):

Ward plays a clip of an Oprah show guest (a cook of some kind) who is asking of Oprah, in almost a pleading way, “Do you like it?” Oprah equivocates, finally saying, “I do like it…I like it very much…did we add salt and pepper? I think we needed salt and pepper.”  Guest: “Nope; there’s no salt and pepper in it.”

Ward and Dr. W-F go on to talk about co-opting foods, as if the usage of mere salt and pepper, those all-over-everywhere ingredients can be co-opted.

Yeah; it’s supposed to be funny.  But imagine a pronouncement like, “Why are white people so afraid to season their food?  We can’t flavor for shit,” reversed:  “Why do black people over salt their food?  They can’t control their blood pressure for shit.”

Also, speak for yourself, Ms. Ward, and not *we*, as in, all “white people.”  Moiself  has never been “afraid” (seriously?) to season my food.   [6]    Also also, I for one do not consider slathering a casserole with salt and pepper to be adequate “seasoning.”   [7]


So, there.

I’ll probably pout for a week, then check out next week’s ologies podcast.

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Freethinkers’ Thought Of The Week    [8]

“This world would be a whole lot better if we just made an effort
to be less horrible to one another.”

Elliot Page, nee Ellen Page, actor and LGBTQ activist



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May you delight in feeling light;
May you never conflate empowerment with undergarments;
May you enjoy scrolling past screaming headlines;
…and may the hijinks ensue.

Thanks for stopping by.  Au Vendredi!

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[1] Because it works, at least for a while.

[2] This “you“ is rhetorical, as I am not sure of that many, if any, right-wing/conservative Christians read my blog.

[3]  Or even “good” as in becoming believing in practicing Catholics, for that matter.

[4] I don’t think they were mandated by law, most of the kids had to make their way to school themselves, whether through walking or biking or carpooling with other families.

[5] Magirology is the art of cooking.

[6] I don’t even consider salt to be a spice.

[7] And I’ve read cookbooks and essays by many non-American chefs who complain that the American palate – of all Americans of all skin colors – has been ruined by the over-usage of salt as the primary (and ofttimes only) seasoning, thus rendering many Americans incapable of appreciating the subtleties of spices other than salt).

[8] “free-think-er n. A person who forms opinions about religion on the basis of reason, independently of tradition, authority, or established belief. Freethinkers include atheists, agnostics and rationalists.   No one can be a freethinker who demands conformity to a bible, creed, or messiah. To the freethinker, revelation and faith are invalid, and orthodoxy is no guarantee of truth.”  Definition courtesy of the Freedom From Religion Foundation,