Tidings of Comfort

Some days ago I posted in my blog that it was time for us to indulge in a little comfort. All of us.

Of course, I got the inevitable moron telling me I was some kind of false flag operation, telling people to give up the fight. To be fair, though, it was only one, and he wasn’t too bright. He’s been by before with the same lack of comprehension which is probably explained by the fact that in some blog or other he reads a ahem highly tendentious view of what I said and then doesn’t bother reading my post. Which is fine.

Of course, I wasn’t saying anything of the kind. I checked this morning and I’m still breathing. That means not only am not stopping fighting, but I don’t expect anyone else to.

What I was trying to say is that no matter what side of the divide you’re in, you’re stressed. (Which btw is why both sides should encourage a thorough recount — if I were in charge, a nation wide audit and recount) as well as a complete revamping of our voting system and counting system to make fraud impossible. Because trust me, you won’t like the alternative. It’s bad enough we have a warm-body franchise, but when you get to having an imaginary-body franchise, you might as well give up and admit you’re not an oligarchy. Only not really because Oligoi is supposed to mean the best. And if you think Jack — I live under a bridge because all my money goes up my nose — Dorsey or Mark — lizardman — Zuckerberg are the best, you really need to adjust your standards. And that’s before we get to a political class that has become a widespread kleptocracy not to mention a supposed president elect who has made a living for a life time of selling our national interests to the highest bidder.)

The stakes could not be higher. The deck could not be crazier. And corruption at every single level, from blackmailing those with any power for any vice, to outright death threats to such lowly officers as vote count observers, to bribing, to– who knows? we have not yet plumbed the depths of corruption our poor republic has fallen victim to, and I’m frankly a little nauseated at the thought of doing so. One might know there are sewers beneath the city streets, but one really doesn’t wish to go diving in them. Except it might be needed, and Dear Lord, not even Hercules could deviate a river fast and big enough to clean these Augean stables. (Oh, and before you people from abroad get all high and mighty about the drawbacks of a government by the people, you might want to check your own systems. Some of your monarchies are as dirty as our tech “lords” (we owe every pulp writer an apology. THEIR tech lords would have looked proper and swanky, and worn cloaks. Heck, even Heinlein’s would at least be middle aged, overweight and full of gravitas.) and some of your royal families have meddled into our own political affairs to the hilt. And that’s before we get to Comrade Winnie the Pooh, and the fascistic horror of the CCP.)

So, Americans are all on edge. You could say we’re all tap dancing atop of a powder barrel. Only we’re not tap dancing. We’re sleeping forever or not sleeping at all (I’m very moderate. I do half and half, the nights devoted to each chosen seemingly at random) picking fights with our nearest and dearest or honestly with total strangers (because all 300 and some million of us have reached the “not one more word” stage at the same time) and the fights can be over vital issues or over the most inconsequential stuff, we’re eating all the wrong stuff or not eating at all because we can’t even, we’re reading all our old favorites or incapable of settling down for more than ten seconds with the same book.

This is normal. In many ways, this shock is bigger than 9/11, because I think a majority of us has arrived at the belief that the republic doesn’t come out of this intact, or perhaps at all, or at least not without a butcher’s bill that makes all our previous blood shedding look like the play of not particularly imaginative children, and all of our squabbles look like a high tea. And that’s before we get to the effects this will have on the world, which, for those bereft of imagination, I’ll elucidate: right now, we feed the world, pretty much. If the side that is right now clamoring to distribute land according to your skin color and the presumed grievances of your ancestors gets the upper hand even momentarily, the resulting famine will not only depopulate the world but destroy civilization. Note I’m not saying “Western civilization.” I mean — and say — civilization.

So, while we’re waiting for the four horsemen to ride….

How much do you gain by driving yourself insane? And should you not treat yourself as if you were someone you care for, for whose well being you’re responsible? Because, you know, most of us, even those of us with a little internet megaphone, are not going to affect one iota of the outcome. Which doesn’t excuse us from taking principled positions, but does, or should excuse us from driving ourselves insane and into being human wrecks before it’s time.

And there is — providence protecting fools, drunkards and the United States of America — still a chance we skate through this nearly unscathed. Or close enough that you’ll look back and go “Now, why was I driving myself nuts?”

Hence my suggestion you look for comfort. This might be an almost instinctive drive. I’ve developed a great need for large, soft sweaters (no, I don’t have any, and our paste-eating governor Polis slapped us in lockdown before I had a chance to go to the thrift store, which is about my speed, money wise.) I also find myself craving warm socks, fluffy blankets, hot chocolate, and Pride and Prejudice A & E mini series.

But this doesn’t seem to be enough. I’ve found my food taste drifting to casseroles. Which is weird, since this is NOT — repeat not — anything I grew up with. But it’s still “comfort food.” (Thank heavens for carbnada noodles.) Probably it’s comfort food because when the kids were little and we were (even more than now)broke, our big splurge outings were to greasy spoons and diners, which still served the food of the sixties. So, it’s comfort harking back to a time when I felt incompetent, but arguably less incompetent/impotent than I do now. And I’ve been baking, which is is both a soothing activity and…. well…. having bread (if you’re low carb I urge you to look up “low carb soul bread.”.) Or cake (lots of great low carb recipes up there. Even for scones, since one of my comfort foods, acquired as far as I can tell from reading Agatha Christie, is tea and scones.)

In other words, treat yourself well, and stop trying to make yourself behave as though nothing is happening. Because all you do when you do that is send it all to your subconscious.

Take comfort now. Comfort reads and comfort foods and comfort people. Lean back and relax, just now. All too soon there’s a good chance a lot of our familiar comforts will be gone.

So, for right now enjoy them and considering what tomorrow is? Give thanks.

There is nothing that will be made better by rushing the bad times.

If I had a time machine and could go back, we’d be going to all the museums and restaurants a lot more often.

Alas I don’t have a time machine, and what remains of Denver our governor and his side kick the idiotic mayor are hell bent to destroy.

Do you know I never even had high tea at the Brown palace? I meant to, but ….

So, enjoy what you can now. There is no phrase in the English language sadder than “I might have.”

Give yourself permission to enjoy what you can now. Lean back. Watch an old movie, eat a casserole, invite a friend over to watch Pride and Prejudice.

The world will be too much with you in no time at all.

20 comments

  1. Currently working my way through the Mo Dao Zu Shi animation on YouTube. Effectively, desperate good guy becomes necromancer.

    I suspect this says a lot about my thoughts on the current state of the republic.

    1. I’ve been working my way through old Formula 1 races on you tube. I started with 1979 (I remembered the dominance of Andretti and the Lotus team from my childhood in 1978) and have now worked my way up through the end of 1985. The names are very refreshing, but the dominance of drivers/teams changed from year to year, sometimes even race to race. Plus, the commentators don’t invoke much political talk.

      1. I’m watching a series on YouTube, about the Red Poppy Ranch – a family building a home, workshop and outbuildings on a little off-grid ranch in Idaho over the past six or seven years. I’ve been watching the local handy guy do so much work on my place that I totally understand what the father of the family is doing. He seems to have a background in construction – carpentry, electrical, tile, etc. He’s about halfway through building a tiny cabin off in a maple grove, entirely by himself. My late father would have loved the whole series.

    2. For me, it’s an end-to-end replay of “Yes, Minister” accompanied by copious amounts of Harvey’s Bristol Cream Sherry. It’s easier to be at peace with the world if you’re gently stewed, as H. L. Mencken once observed.

  2. I’ve been eating comfort food for the last 9 months now. It’s one of my few solaces seeing all the covidiocy going on. And especially lately as my “Republican” governor turned fascist after the election and started issuing orders, then reversing those orders, and then modifying those orders…

    Honestly, I think comfort food might just be the thing that’s been keeping me from joining an armed militia to retake our republic the last couple of weeks as I’ve watched the gaslighting by our media (no surprise there), Democrat politicians (no surprise there as they about faced from 4 years of complaining about election fraud to election fraud is unpossible), Republican politicians (I guess Trump wasn’t lining their pockets enough?) and libertarian leaning bloggers (officers should just resign if they refuse to enforce the mask rules…if officers had refused to enforce the law then the state became constitutional carry would you conservatives feel the same? Point of order, dipshit, you can’t enforce a law that doesn’t exist anymore!) and the growing fear from my elderly relatives as well as my 10 year old daughter.

    At some point this has got to stop. There is no “New Normal.” There is normal, and there is jacked up tyranny. Guess which way the country seems to be headed like a freight train?

  3. Okay, okay. I’ve been feeling guilty because creative work has ground to a halt. Last month writing was an escape; this month I can’t get off the worry treadmill. For a few days anyway I will try to accept this state of things. If I can’t concentrate enough to do more than word games and obsessive language study, well, at least maybe I’ll stop beating myself up for not Rising Above the current brouhaha.

    Next week, though, I am definitely going to Rise Above.

    God willing.

  4. I find myself noodling around on line and around the house not really accomplishing anything. I am quite familiar with this state of being as it is how I wandered through three plus years of dissertation writing. BUT, I don’t like it. No, I’m not forcing myself to do anything like pay more attention to the news or what-not, but I am going to purposefully direct myself into activities that produce something (making broth from all the bones in the fridge, cooking something…like comfort food, reading). I am very thankful for finding a whole new group of friends here, on your page, and in the Diner. I’m thankful for finding a new career that I’m good at and honestly enjoy. I’m always thankful for my husband. And, I’m thankful we’re employed (well, he is), healthy, and still reasonably sane (for various definitions of “sane”).

    Turns out we’re not going to California for Christmas as both families were just too freaked out by the idea. So, we’re staying in town and I’ll be writing as much as I can. We will be enjoying whatever holiday outings we can as well.

  5. I’m ignoring some things I ought to be doing [sorry, Dr. Peterson] and writing fiction. I need an escape, if only into my own mind and a world where problems are solvable, even if it takes a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. And home cooking, because even teenaged boys are suckers for home-cooked meals.

    I have not craved comfort foods. I do want more mock-turtleneck shirts, in a rainbow of colors, and to go out into the countryside at night, with a big, rich hot chocolate with real cream, and watch Orion rise. Because that the world cannot change, cannot touch. “You can’t take the stars from me,” or from anyone else, no matter what they think about current events.

  6. “How much do you gain by driving yourself insane?”

    This is doing the work of the enemy for him. I’m going to make the bastards WORK for it if they want me to go crazy.

    Therefore, I’m doing all the same stuff I always do. Making food, eating it, writing, fixing stuff that breaks, using my resources wisely without sweating every tiny little thing. My mental health is improved by a balanced approach. Trying to forgive people who accidentally irritate me (that’s -everyone- by the way) and get along with as little friction as possible. So far, so good.

    Today I had fun fixing a broken fence. This evening my characters will dictate some more kissy face and monster targeting parameters into my mind’s ear. The monsters have been getting sneakier in this book, it takes the characters longer to figure out how to beat them sometimes.

    You can’t always win by punching the bad guy in the face. Sometimes you have to get him to punch himself in the face.

    Everyone else seems to be losing their shit. I lost mine a while ago, kind of scraped it up and now I’m keeping it together. ~:D

    1. Hopefully you’re not prophetic and seeing me burning the kitchen table next year trying to stay warm.

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