Clear cold day, but since it was warmer than yesterday, “cold” didn’t come to mind when you stepped outside. When you detect that it is warmer, that word somehow overrides the word Cold. Someone asks you what it’s like out there, you say “okay!” Or “better.”

The way we constantly adjust these terms up here to deal with the reality is one of those interesting things about humans, and unnerving. You adapt to a new reality because you have to, and then you start to inhabit it, accept its vocabulary and definition. I’m watching a TV show set in Weimar-era Germany, and while the Nazis are still on the margins, the way people throw around new acronyms and political situations shows how eager people are to show they can roll and adapt. To do otherwise is to be outside of the currents of the day, and who’d want that?

Well, perhaps those who refer to observe the tumult from the banks, rather than be dashed against the rocks downstream, perhaps. But the stream floods the banks, and you step back, and step back again, and eventually your back is against the wall, and you think: who built a wall out here? This is stupid. The entire metaphor falls apart. Someone will ask “how far does the wall extend? Miles and miles in either direction, so you can’t escape the flood of societal change? Was it some Army Corps project? Anyway, have you been standing on the banks for days, constantly moving back as the water rose? Do you have a job? Didn’t you see the wall when you went down to the banks of the stream?


So if the flood of societal change doesn’t trap you against a wall, eventually sweeping you along and hurling you into the rocks of doom, then you can, maybe, run? Did you drive to the banks? Car’s probably dry. No one steps back and back and back as the water rises, pausing to let it sweep over their feet again before thinking “gosh, societal change has certainly accelerated, I’d better step back a foot and then stop.” No, at a certain point you have to think about your car. Maybe you should get in the car and drive somewhere safe, like a lighthouse. No one ever drowned in the top of a lighthouse.


Although if you were coming down the steps of a lighthouse and slipped and fell, and water had flowed into the ground floor, you could drown. But it would probably be the fall that killed you. Then again there wouldn’t be flooding from the stream on the bottom floor of a lighthouse; they’re near the sea, usually elevated. The water would probably come from a storm surge, and that’s an entirely different analogy.


Okey doke

Anyway, it’s warmer, but when you look at it, it’s also colder.

Got tacos at a new neighborhood joint. Charming little place.

Can't sit down and eat, of course. That would be DEATH. There are skulls painted on the wall to warn you!

Every time you look around, there’s a new taco shop. But they’re not the old style taco shops, where you got a dollop of glistening ground beef topped with flavorless lettuce and mild cheddar. I remember when Taco John’s first came to Fargo; it was like nothing else. What am I tasting here? Pepper? Is this legal? Now 86% of new restaurants serve tacos, but with a twist: THEY ARE GOOD

I think I ate cactus tonight. I’m not sure. The sauce was earth’s-core hot, and when I stepped outside the sweat of my brow froze.

Which was odd, because it was warmer.




It’s 1962 in our fair town of Altus.

Fairly standard layout for the times. I mean, the era, not the Times-Democrat. I remember those little shopping-days-unti-Christmas pictures that appeared on the front page of the Forum. i appreciated the countdown, and it was a reminder that the whole world was as excited about Christmas as you were! Everyone was in the mood!

Except the REDS

  They’re still at it. I mean, they’re at it in mid-2020. They're possibly still at it today, Dec. 2.

Odd; something like this is rarely expressed in an outward-facing fashion.

Yepishev. There were so many of these guys.

In 1968, during the Prague Spring, when the Czechoslovak communist party, under Alexander Dubček was attempting to combine state control of industry with free speech and the abolition of censorship, Yepishev was the first high ranking official to hint publicly, in May 1968, that the USSR might use military force to suppress the experiment. On 15–18 August, he accompanied the Minister for Defence, Marshal Andrei Grechko on an inspection tour of the Red Army units who invaded Czechoslovakia days later, on 18 August.[

In spring 1979, Yepishev led a military delegation to Kabul, just before the Red Army invaded Afghanistan on 24 December 1979, setting off a war that lasted six years.

In July 1985, Yepishev was the first high ranking Soviet communist official to be removed from office after the reformer Mikhail Gorbachev took control of the communist party. He went into semi-retirement with the title of inspector in the Ministry of Defense, but died shortly after.

I love this:

Yepishev's role as an MGB general is part of the plot of Robert Harris's thriller Archangel, in which he is described as "a big bastard" with a square jaw, thick brow and grim face set above a boxer's neck, and it is suggested that as an army officer "he never shot anyone, except on his own side.”

Mediocre, the lot of 'em.


I wonder when they quietly discontinued this tradition.

I’m guessing this is Nehru, right?

The artist has a New Yorker style, unlike most of the other political cartoonists. It’s Jim Berry, who ended up doing the Berry’s World one-panel comic.The WaPo obit noted that a passing reference to Scientology infuriated L. Ron, and hoo boy, this site says it has the Scientology memo launching their revenge: Operation Funny Bone.

Ther State and the Altus. Recognize any of these movies?

I don't, and I'l note that 1962 was one of those years in which "the New Typography" was not yielding bumper harvests.

We'll visit this town tomorrow to see if the theaters can be found today.

Finally: the way it was before things began to change . . . for keeps.

You can learn more about Americain 1962 from this single image than a hundred dusty unread PhDs.

That'll do; see you thither and hither. The 80s await. Warning: Sexy Lucky Strike Ads!



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