Saturday, January 11, 2020

Had a dream where I was doing something like this, except I was writing it out by hand and it was always about musicians. I don’t know why either, I didn’t explain it to myself in the dream. In particular I was writing about Neil Young and my handwriting – which anyone who knows me will tell you is perfectly wretched at best – was getting worse the more I wrote. Plus, I was trying to finish up so I could go back to Brazil for some reason. Dreams are weird, man. Anyhow.

Man, it rained like pouring piss out of a boot today. I don’t know how much we got in total inches, but from 6 a.m. until around 2 p.m. or so, it came down in buckets. Across Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Louisiana, something like seven tornadoes blew up just today. Current count is 11 people were killed, including two first responders attending a call and two people in relatively nearby Pickens County, Alabama.

Mississippi saw a lot of flooding and wind damage, especially up around Baldwyn and through Tishomingo County. Something like 20 roads reported flooding conditions and a Code Red (tornado warning) was issued around 10 a.m. or so, but I don’t reckon anything came of it.

Here on my Hill, we were pretty lucky and just got pounded with rain. By 8 a.m. it’d rained so much there were standing puddles in the yard and our field. Something to do with Memphis messing up patterns, but whatever the reason, when foul weather comes through this part of the world, Itawamba County rarely gets anything nasty. Closest was when tornadoes destroyed much of Smithville four or five years ago, and that’s still in Monroe County. There’s something like 35,000 outages across Northeast Mississippi and 85,000 across Northwest Alabama.

Luckily, I had nothing that needed doing today so that’s what I did. After spending most of the morning reading Philip K. Dick and listening to Dave Brubeck, I spent most of the afternoon napping and listening to the rain fade away. Otis couldn’t go outside – thunderstorms don’t scare him like they used to, but he’s not a fan of a good hard rain in any case – so he spent the day curled up next to me snoozing. So, not a bad day. It’s helpful to have a complete isolation from the world from time to time.

Okay, enough of that. The 49s beat the Vikings today and the Ravens are gearing up to face the Titans as the NFL post-season stumbles on. Since the Saints lost last week, my interest lies solely with how the Ravens do. I will always root for a team with a name based in literature. Since we’ve wallowed in laziness all day, let’s knock out some News and call it a night.

Iran took responsibility for shooting down Flight PS752 Ukraine International Airlines in amongst all the dick-wagging between Trump and Khamenei earlier in the week. However, because Khamenei blamed the whole thing on “American adventurism” causing the circumstances that lead to Iranian military accidentally shooting down the plane, protesters took to the streets in Tehran to raise a little hell. Of the 176 people who died in the crash, 83 of them were from Iran, predominately students heading back to school.

Right now there’s no way to tell how it will affect the whole mess, but it does put in a kink in the cachet Iran gained from the initial attack the U.S. launched Friday that killed Revolutionary Guard General Qassem Soleimani. The protests are aimed mainly at Khamenei, the current Ayatollah and Supreme Leader. From my own experience – and that’s all I’m going to trust right now – many of the residents of Iran, the people who actually live there, don’t have much stock in the Ayatollah and his popularity is always tenuous. That being said, he’s got plenty of political power in the country and probably ain’t going anywhere.

Another nugget of information on the horror that is the Mississippi judicial system, proving again it’s almost comical in its cruelty. While in the Newton County Jail on a misdemeanor charge in 2018, Willie Nash asked a guard if he could charge his cell phone. Using a cell phone in jail is a felony charge even if Nash or the jailer didn’t know. Judge Mark Duncan of the Eighth Judicial District told Nash he should “consider himself fortunate” that he was not a habitual offender before sentencing him to 12 years in prison. For charging a cell phone that wasn’t taken away from him because the jailer didn’t know.

For comparison’s sake, after pleading guilty to bribing college officials 50 grand to get her daughter into Stanford (and she wound up not going) Felicity Hoffman got 14 days. Michael Flynn, who plead guilty to lying to the FBI and obstructing justice in the Russia probe, is looking at six months, and he’s arguing that’ll be too tough on him. And, yes, Willie Nash is black and, yes, the Mississippi Supreme Court upheld the condition because fuck you, that’s why.

On the lighter side of the news, some of Trump’s richest supporters are looking to buy One America News Network, an even wiggier and sloppier version of Fox News. The reason is due to Trump occasionally complaining that Fox is too critical of his presidency. No, really. He’s even gone so far as to say that the Murdoch-own propaganda mill’s occasional resurfacing for breath shows they network isn’t “working for us anymore”. I mean, that’s just giving the game away, right there.

One of the Trump spawn’s wives – I want to say it was Lara – said early during the 2016 election, well before the Trump juggernaut fully consumed the GOP, that the main reason her father-in-law was running was to gin up interest in a Trump-owned news channel. Apparently, his eventual victory in the election came as much a shock to him as everyone else. It does explain why the administration couldn’t find its dick with both hands early on before they settled in with some comfortably familiar graft and corruption.

However, I can’t remember where I heard it even enough to look it up, so it’s entirely possible I’m making that up. Grain of salt, is what I’m saying. That being said, a news network that’s more pro-Trump than Fox (or less critical than CNN, you know it’s true) would be something to see. What are these people going to do what goofball is out of office, however it happens? Are they really putting all their money on Don Jr. and Ivanka? Crazy, man.

In conclusion, This American Life is broadcasting their next show tomorrow at 7 p.m., and it’ll be about, in part, the Many-Worlds Theory. Featured in physicist Sean Carroll’s new book, Something Deeply Hidden, the show will explore the themes of parallel worlds and roads untraveled.  In a nod to Jorge Luis Borges, the show’s called “The Garden of Branching Paths” and I like that.

I imagine there’ll be much talk of the Many-Worlds Interpretation, which is what Carroll’s new book is all about, while Ira Glass freaks out because, apparently, that we’re not special in the universe is too heavy for most folks to handle. I find it a reassurance, personally. Reality is far too screwy to be anything but driven by chaos, and heroic doses of psychedelic drugs are a completely acceptable response to said chaos. Again, that’s just me; one’s mileage may vary. Anyhow, check it out.

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