The winds came up after midnight, and I saw the gazebo move. This isn't unusual, but they'd predicted winds as bad as Sunday, and I ran out the back door to brace the structure, cursing myself for A) not putting the gazebo-columns in pots filled with rocks, and B) buying the thing in the first place. It was simply too slight. Huge, but slight - and the enormous fabric roof provided more for the wind to push.

I don't think the pots would have done any good. The gazebo gave a sudden jerk, and I grabbed a column - a useless maneuver that pulled me along the patio as the gazebo attempted to take flight again. Then the rain began to pelt; the sky flashed; the thunder boomed - and I found myself clutching a metal structure in a thunderstorm, which is not wise at all. But I persisted. I started undoing the fabric roof, so there'd be less purchase for the wind. I would not let this thing fly away -

Annnnnd it jerked another five feet towards the bushes, hit the small brick wall, and two columns buckled. Feeling maddened and Ahabian, I jerked it back and straighed the bent columns and tried dragging it back to the patio against the wind.

That's when two columns snapped out of the frame, and I gave up.

RIP Gazebo Mark V.

Next? I've no idea.


(I wrote the following before the events in Alexandria.)

If I Tweeted or FB posted or Bleated that said I dream of a world in which black people can’t vote, I would lose my column. And that would be the right thing for my employers to do, since the paper would conclude quite quickly that the platform should not be given to someone who fantasizes about disenfranchising people based on skin color. I would also be regarded with contempt, because that sentiment would be revelatory and inarguable proof of racialist viewpoint.


Oh but hey it's a joke! Ha ha. Right?

This is common enough, but when Blue-Check types make these statements, it tells you what Official Twitter finds worthy of approval.

I assume she believes that England would be better if 82% of the people are forbidden participation in their elections, because there's no other reason you'd want it. What no one will ever ask this blue-checked person:

1) Why stop there? Shouldn’t you be wondering what would happen to all of Europe if your dreams came true? Since this is a marvelous fantasy - has to be, since there’s a diva gif for extra YAAAS QUEEN impact - ought not one consider how the rest of Europe, or Canada, would be improved by massive disenfranchisement?

2) Do you think the 18% would extend the liberties of the 82%, or curtail them?

But I suspect the idea of “liberties” is a pebble pinging off a tombstone to this author, because “liberties” is a code word for structural privileges that inequitize in perpetuity, to say nothing of perpetuated privileges that structuralize inequality. The entire apparatus of Western Civ is a fraud, as one New Republic writer informed us the other day:

What great bolshi bollocks this is.

“I feel bad about myself, Mr. Locke. I regard the Sons of Ham and other of their dusky brethren with contempt and hatred, and seek to bend them to the yoke of Europe’s will. Whatever shall I do?”

“Hold my ale”


“Be of good cheer, my friend! I have invented a set of ideas - religious tolerance, freedom of speech, rule of law, the division of labor, free exchange of goods and services, private property, and the equality of all under the law.”

“I feel better already! Will we be doing these things?”

“We most certainly will.”

“All at once?”

“Nay. Haltingly, with setbacks, and with contradictions enow to cast doubt on our commitment to the ideas themselves, but over time these principles, even if only met half-way, will produce a society more free and prosperous than mankind has ever known.”

“And I still get to hate the wogs?”

“Most certainly! Why, that’s the whole point!”

Elsewhere: perhaps you have been following the crisis at Evergreen College, where alt-right / white nationalist groups conducted an experiment in mass hypnosis, and forced their political opposites to act like raging idiots. The student newspaper has weighed in on one of the protestors’ demands, the removal of police:

An opinion piece in the student newspaper, the Cooper Point Journal, included these points: “Police are commissioned to maintain order, the current order of the world, and thus always inherently work in favor of the status quo. Police are peace keepers, but the kind of peace they keep is not peace as an end to structural violence, but a peace based in non disruption of the status quo. If you are a member of a group that the status quo does not favor, if you are among other things not white, not wealthy, not straight, or not cisgender, then the cops do not and can not work in your favor.

Police, in other words, should respond to an assault with the invention of ending structural violence. If you’re beating someone with a bat, it has to be seen in historical context of structures of institutional violence (which includes words), and thus you should have a reasonable expectation that the police will not only decide to restrain you, but should probably join in.

You suspect that all these three sentiments - the dream, the denial, the doltish - were composed and distributed in a place that could be reasonably construed as one of the most free, prosperous, and tolerant places in the history of the species.

But everywhere outside that coffeeshop? Hell. Hell on earth.

Note: some dim people think that criticizing racialist statements means you want to make your own tribal pronoucements, but you can't, so you gripe about what others can say without repercussions. In other words, it is not possible to oppose these things from principle, because there aren't any principles, only high-sounding fictions to perfume your dank beliefs.

If you are one of these people, here is a bag of sand; if you would be so kind as to wait, I will fetch you a hammer.



Behold the future Sausage Baron: Clay Aitkin's John the Baptist, at least in terms of twee asexual jug-eared singers.

The “Hour of Prayer” lasts about 20 minutes. But hey! His shirt matches the slacks of the man behind him. And it appears to be made out of some sort of paraffin-reinforced fabric.

Another batch will be along shortly, culled from the records I bought.

These were my dad's.

I hope you figured that out.





"The Ojibwa were the earliest known residents of the Neillsville area," says Wikipedia. European-derived settlers showed up in 1845, including Mr. James O'Neill. Hence the name. He built a sawmill, and the town got going. Let's see what his descendents built and left for the future.

Now this is a Main Street, isn't it?

Flags, a bank, century-old facades that don't look degraded or smothered in shingles. Well, smothered entirely. The one in the middle next to the building with the blue awning was dealt a bad hand.

The blue awning is the reason we're here. We'll get around to that.


Makes you wonder if there's anything behind it:

Were those windows ever real?


When archeologists discovered Pompeii, they dug until they hit a wall, then dug down along the wall - destroying the frescoes in the process.

Don't know why i thought of that. Anyway:

Badger . . . soap? Perhaps. Makes you wonder how old the building is - obviously there was a building below, lost to fire or collapse, but the sign suggests that the Clark County Press building was constructed later. Otherwise the sight lines for the ad are pretty bad.

Name that newspaper typeface! It's the Mary Tyler Moore font,of course. Peignot.

Sometimes you wonder if they didn't carve out so much for the display areas the top floor would just collapse:



The H & W building, 1872. History page:

During the summer of 1872, Hewett and Woods erected a fine brick building for about ten thousand dollars (on the corner of Hewett and 5th Streets) in Neillsville. On the upper front of the building placed in the brick facing visible yet today, are the letters H&W with number 1872 underneath.

They'd be pleased to see it was still there, but they'd probably be worried that it wasn't rented.


Well, it could be worse.

The recessed doorway was for the apartments - makes sense, but it throws off the symmetry of the facade. The projecting bay was a nice touch, but wouldn't everyone always look up to see if there was someone standing there?

And wouldn't it be odd if there was?

Small town pride: they didn't have to do something with so much ornamentation, but when your town is on the way up you want to announce it to all. Even if the transients are farmers in for Saturday provisionings.

They adored those metal panels. It was as if they were making a border between the present and the pre-war past.

Someone selected the ground floor in Photoshop and used the arrow key to move it 20 pixels to the left:

It's the paint job that makes it look off kilter. The windows tell you that the building next door is part of the same construction. The cornice may have been a way of breaking them up into discrete buildings, or perhaps the building on the left lost its crown to decreptitude.

Again: apartment entrance, off-center retail.

Here's the reason we're doing this town.

I have a collection of labels from this place, believe it or not.

It's a site I will be relaunching later this summer. I redid the entire thing and added the Sniteman labels, then forgot about it.

Anyway, the company's been around for quite a long time:

There's pride and money in that cornice.

We may safely assume there's a 19teens structure under there, and has been making muffled screans since 1972:

The town is starting to go downhill.

I mean, literally:


The two main stylistic traits of Buckaroo Revival: the crappy shingles, and the dreaded diagonal wood.

Ewett Common almost looks as if it got its lower-floor rehab buring the Miami Vice era.

I'm always partial to the side views of small-town buildings, becaue they have so many mysteries.


What purpose did the the ground dloor window serve? What about the little one up on the second floor?


Have a look, if you wish -


- and give my regards to Sniteman's.

That'll do; see you around. Here's to the next 20 years!

Okay, well, let's not tempt fate. Ten.



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