Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like

Magnet madness

I was out of commish for a few days, but I did make note of these tidbits before ducking out:

•  Nice to be able to start with a positive thing: The Pulitzer Prize board gave a special award to the teen who recorded the George Floyd arrest and murder from start to finish. Darnella Frazier is now a Pulitzer-winning videographer at the age of eighteen.

•  Not a single Republican senator voted to advance the Paycheck Fairness Act last Wednesday, which was aimed at closing the gender gap in wages. Those ten good Republicans Joe Manchin keeps looking for must have sprung spontaneously from the brow of Herbert Hoover, the way they appear to have no women in their worlds. It would have helped if Kirsten Gillibrand had shown up for the vote. It went down 49-50, meaning that the GOP successfully filibustered another Democratic initiative. 

•  A bipartisan group of ten senators claim to have come up with an infrastructure agreement. I’ll believe it when I see it passed. I’m betting it won’t get 60 votes, and some (Joe Manchin) will resist the reconciliation process that would require only 51. 

•  The Justice Department, under AG Jeff Beauregard Sessions, subpoenaed the phone records of Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell from Apple, trying to expose leakers of classified information. We probably shouldn’t be surprised. Trump regarded the Justice Department as a blunt instrument for attacking his opposition.  

•  The Oregon state House has expelled a Republican member who helped right-wing protestors storm the capitol building last December. I’m sure the guy’s now considered a martyr in some circles. 

•  A lot of anti-vaccine types are claiming that getting vaccinated makes people magnetic. Keys and cutlery will stick to your forehead, they say. It’s almost laughable. 

Almost. It would be laughable if it weren’t so dangerous. At the moment, I’m reading Anne Applebaum’s Twilight of Democracy, and though I’m only a couple of chapters in, it’s clear that what happened in Poland and Hungary a few years ago is in full bloom here now. And part of the process is the floating—and acceptance by large groups of people—of outlandish conspiracy theories used as loyalty tests. 

It can’t be that people actually believe the magnetism tale. It’s so provably false. But it’s the kind of thing that the autocratically inclined can use to signal each other and mock the opposition with. Appearing to believe in it shows dedication to the cause. It also distracts from more nefarious things going on behind the scenes—such as a Koch brother buying Joe Manchin’s stubbornness? If the rest of us look at the Trumpians and see a bunch of idiots, maybe they’re not taken seriously as a political power base. They might seem crazy but harmless, but you only need to look at what the GOP is doing in the red state houses to see that their power is real and will have lasting if not permanent effects. Extreme voter suppression. The effective banning of abortion. A requirement to make funeral arrangements for miscarried babies. The elimination of permits to carry a gun in public. They got a million of ‘em. 

So I’m not too amused by the vaccine magnetism story. In fact, it’s got me shaking in my boots.  

8 comments on “Magnet madness

  1. Marie A Bailey
    June 16, 2021

    I just made the mistake of visiting a relative’s Facebook profile and was greeted with a video about “sovereignty” and how C-19 vaccines are being used for mind control. Below that she shared a link to another video and proclaimed that Jeffrey Epstein is not dead. I can’t (and don’t want to) imagine what it’s like to embrace those kinds of conspiracies.

    • Kevin Brennan
      June 16, 2021

      It’s crazy. I could probably believe a conspiracy theory that something was in the water that the MAGA people drink, because whatever it was, it worked.

      It saddened me to hear the Eric Clapton has teamed up with some anti-vax conspiracy people. WTF, man? If only people would listen to scientists and not their cousin who knows someone who knows …

      • Marie A Bailey
        June 16, 2021

        Sounds like Clapton was one of those hit hard by the vaccine. One of my nephews was sick for about a week, but with his second shot. Still, he’s not going around complaining about it. The thing is, Clapton has Parkinson’s and he has a bully pulpit, so to speak, and he’s probably bitter that the vaccine made him feel worse than he already does, and so he’s choosing to be irresponsible by making it sound like he’s done research when he’s only just bitter. He would probably say he’s not bitter, but Parkinson’s is rough, especially if you’re a musician and music is all you feel you have to offer. And some people are willing to “stay relevant” for any reason, no matter how crazy.

      • Kevin Brennan
        June 16, 2021

        Wow, I hadn’t heard about Clapton’s Parkinson’s. That has to be debilitating for him, but you’d think that he’d maybe ask a doctor about the vaccine rather than sign on with conspiracy mongers. All he needs is another PR black mark; people still rag on him for his 1976 racist rant at a concert.

      • Marie A Bailey
        June 16, 2021

        Elsewhere I’ve heard his condition described as neural pathology (sensation of electric shocks down his legs). I saw an interview where he said he got vaccinated for the sake of his kids but the side effects of the vaccine exacerbated his condition. He’s 75 and although he’s quit drinking and drugs, he must have really fucked up his body and brain.

  2. pinklightsabre
    June 16, 2021

    Loyalty test and a kind of wink-wink is surely the thing. Shaking in your boots, I get you on that. Thanks for this Kevin.

    • Kevin Brennan
      June 17, 2021

      If you ever saw the film, Children of Men, we really identify with the Michael Caine character, who’s laying low out in the countryside. Safe out there!

      BTW, I’ve been reading all your recent poems and love ’em. Just haven’t had time to drop in and comment. Looking forward to more!

      • pinklightsabre
        June 19, 2021

        Hey man! Thanks for this and I don’t know that film but love Michael Caine so thanks, I’ll look that up. And appreciate your note about the “pomes,” thanks for that! Bill

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This entry was posted on June 16, 2021 by in politics and tagged , , , .
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