1. I think this will be the last post with a title that includes “A Journal of the Plague Year” since that doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon (idiot protesters notwithstanding) and it makes it hard to see what the actual title is when you look at the side of the blog where it lists the posts. So, yeah, take it as read from now on.
2. On the subject of idiot protesters, they’ve apparently won in Wisconsin despite being objectively a rather small minority of the state's population. We are the only state in the union that has absolutely no statewide protective measures against the coronavirus because something something something FREEDOM blah blah blah. Or, more accurately, the partisan rubber stamp Wisconsin Supreme Court has decided that the legislature’s ongoing campaign to kneecap the power of a duly elected governor who actually won the majority of the votes in this state (as opposed to the criminally gerrymandered minority that the GOP legislature represents) was more important than the safety of the public. You will note that the Court voted remotely rather than getting together to hear the case, because they know very well they’re full of shit. They know how dangerous this is. They just don’t care about you.
3. Rather than go bounding out the nearest bar I think I’ll stay in for a while and let the canaries flit about this particular coal mine. And when they start to die from the inevitable spike in pandemic cases two weeks from now I suspect I will find out if I am petty and corrupt enough to cheer. I hope not. But I make no promises. Those fuckers are actively threatening the lives of my children, and I do not forgive that.
4. Notice that the idiot protesters are not demanding the right to go back to work themselves. They’re demanding that other people go back to work to serve them. This is just one way to know how much of a waste of space and oxygen these protesters are.
5. The Bundesliga played its first games since March today. I actually got to see some of the Dortmund/Schalke match, though it wasn’t much of a game by the time I remembered to tune in, with Dortmund up 4-0. The strange part was the empty stadium, though – just the players, the refs, the coaches and staff (many of whom wore masks, but not all) and the tech crew. On the one hand, this is what you can accomplish in a nation that has a responsible national government run by an actual leader instead of a toddler who can’t think past his own poll numbers, an actual healthcare system that isn’t laying off doctors and nurses in the middle of pandemic because their profits are down, and a tragic history of right-wing violence that means they know how to squash those nitwits down rather than let them take over again. You can actually get results. On the other hand, it is strange. The place echoes and without the crowd there is a palpable sense of pointlessness to the whole thing. We’ll see how this goes, I guess.
6. One of my crutches for getting through the Current Weirdness has been the Live at Home series put on by Voces8, the British a capella group I stumbled into in February. They put up unreleased videos, have “A Capella Lego” sessions where they build harmonies for various songs, have musicology sessions (as a historian and former choir singer, those are fun), and do interviews with composers, other singers, and each other. I love the backstage stuff – I spent more than four decades as a stagehand, so that’s my sweet spot. And it’s fun to get to know the group members, as much as one can from a series of internet videos and live sessions. It’s a one-way sort of thing, but no less enjoyable for that. They’ve been having the members present recipes recently, and I actually tried one – “Andrea’s Fruit Flapjacks,” which are basically a sweet oats-and-dried-fruit bar. It turns out you can in fact find caster sugar and golden syrup in the grocery store in southern Wisconsin! They’re really, really good. I foresee making this again, though I will have to convert the recipe from the European way of measuring by weight (grams) to the American way of measuring by volume (cups, tablespoons).
7. I’m now up to Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal in my “read all the Christopher Moore books” project. Seriously, nobody does comic dialogue like Christopher Moore.
8. I now own a Spotify account. I am not at all sure what one does with a Spotify account. But it came as part of a package deal with a Family account that was cheaper than having everyone else have separate accounts, so now I own one. I’m sure I can find useful things to do with it, though this will require me to figure out how. One more project on the list.
9. At some point very soon I will head out to the back yard with a mirror, an extension cord, and a small vibrating machine and shear off most of my hair. I was actively trying to get a haircut in March, back before everything got shut down, and now I’m well into “Hungover Ben Franklin” territory, though depending on your frame of reference this could also be described as the “High Sparrow” look. Either way, pretty much anything I do to it will count as an improvement.
10. I have been trying to give several healthcare institutions my money for the better part of a month now, without success. These are some old bills from Before Coronavirus, and I’d like to get them off my plate. This is surprisingly difficult. ‘MURCA!