Friday, March 6, 2020

I’m not going to lie. I ate something that didn’t agree with me last night and had a bit of a tummy thing all day. So, since I really didn’t pay attention to the news to form any serious opinions, we’re going to just piddle until we hit 500. For what it’s worth, whatever was being disagreeable is gone, but I’m sure you don’t want me going into details.

This is going to be fairly late, too, since I spent most of the day asleep after spending most of the wee hours of the night throwing up. That’s okay, probably, since no one really, really hinges their day on my Gibberish, I’m sure. I do get clicks and I do have regular readers – which I appreciate most thoroughly, thank you – but they all have hobbies beyond this. Oddly enough, it’s these rambles that get the most thumbs up rather than the deep reads I do from time to time. Don’t ask me why.

I still really haven’t been able to grapple with just what kind of writer do I want to be. I call myself a Journalist, because that’s where I’ve got the most training and experience, and I still have a high idea of the profession higher than most, probably. Someone, I forget who, said a journalist is socially somewhere near a prostitute but morally somewhere near an angel. I don’t know if I’d go that far, but I do think they’re far more important and worthwhile than the public gives them credit for.

Sure, people yap about the “mainstream media” and with good reason, but most of that has less to do with journalism as a field or concept and more to do with the innate corruption within corporations and entities whose main motive is profit. CNN doesn’t suck because journalism sucks; it sucks because the people who run it are more interested in the bottom line than informing the public. You may’ve not agreed with Ted Turner’s vision but he had a vested interest in running an honest-to-god hard news service rather than a ongoing forum for egomaniacs to show the world just how little they actually know.

But am I a journalist? I’m not sure. I’m not going to interview anyone ever again if I can help it, unless something drastic happens, and the most research I’ll ever do for these little pieces is reading other journalists’ stories. I don’t have the patience to do a deep dive into records or whatnot like the hardcore job calls for.

An old buddy who recently reconnected with me calls these “essays”, which does have a nice ring. Sort of a de Montaigne-type thing, maybe. Still, I don’t know if I’d go that far. It suggests more effort and structure than these little things, which are tossed off mainly for fun and usually develop organically. They develop however they develop and end when I run out of things to talk about.

There is something Gonzo about it, if just a touch. I am obviously a huge Hunter Thompson admirer, sure, and there’s far too much bad writing that calls itself “Gonzo” based just on that. Part of it’s the organic development of the story and part of it’s minimal editing. However, there is something about “being a part of the story” that I am studiously trying to avoid these days. I’m trying to avoid everything these days, but I guess “Gonzo Journalism” fits as good as anything until I can come up with something original. That’s the key thing, what will tie all this together when I come up with it.

Okay, well, I’m at 600 words and I have two dozen web pages open, most if not all about the recent brouhaha of the CORVID-19 outbreak in the United States, moving on from the mess it’s causing in the rest of the world, and our government’s fumbling of the whole affair. Since I’ve done the work, we’ll lash some stuff together and catch everyone up.

For the record, I haven’t written about this all that much for the past week, mainly because I think I’d said all I’d needed to say and partly because I didn’t want to add to the growing unease. I’ve had to do a number of doctor visits in the past week, and they’ve all told me the same thing. For one, yes, this is serious and, yes, it is concerning that we’ve still not been able to wrap our heads around this latest coronavirus outbreak – themselves nothing new – but there is no reason for most of the shit-losing that’s going on. Yet, anyway. At the very worst, they say that, yes, the Trump Administration has not handled the country’s response to what does need to be addressed in this otherwise normally nasty flu season.

But shit is being lost regardless. Austin, Texas, has cancelled this year’s South By Southwest, the biggest music industry to-do and one of the key gigs for all the bands that play it. That is a big deal, a huge deal. We’ve already seen plenty of cancelled to-dos and big-time companies like Apple and Amazon telling their employees to stay home or changing their usual practices, but this is a big, big deal. SXSW brings so much money to Austin in particular and Texas in general. If there’s anything both state-and-city governments and the music industry love beyond all else, it’s even more money.

Furthermore, it’s beyond debate how bad the Trump Administration is handling this whole to-do. Mike Pence stumbles through this like, well, someone who is not only incompetent but also a Bible-thumping dipstick. We’ve not only screwed ourselves with barely 2,000 testing kits at the ready with almost a year to go before we get more, we’re screwing that up in an at least amusing manner, as well. The Grand Princess, the cruise ship off the coast of California the government isn’t let make land, made the news when Pence said 21 people on it tested positive for CORVID-19. The real dick move about it was the people who’d actually come down with the mess found out about it after Pence’s press conference on the matter.

Visiting the CDC, Trump gave one of his usual unhinged, self-aggrandizing talks at the media where he claimed he was doing everything just perfect – or “beautiful” and “perfect,” since he only knows two words, apparently – and any negative news is just the media being mean at him again or, maybe, Obama’s fault. He did let the mask slip a bit when he said he was fine with the cruise ship infected being told to stay where they were because it’d double the numbers and that might make the stock market fall even further and hurt his job numbers, the prick.

Okay, well, that’s plenty, I reckon. Remember: wash your hands, don’t cough on people, get your flu shot, contact your doctor if you have symptoms (call, don’t go in first) and don’t panic. We just have to live with the fact we’ve got a complete moron running the country and he’s backed up by a political party full of greedy dickheads who would trip you if zombies were chasing the both of you, and take care of each other.

Have a nice weekend.

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