It feels like summer now, a season that evokes a lot of visceral emotions and memories for a guy who grew up in the upper Midwest, where late spring and summer meant a physical and emotional release from purgatory. No one appreciates a drink of cold water like the extremely thirsty, or a good meal like the extremely hungry, or an early summer weekend like northerners with cabin fever, shedding heavy clothes as they stumble out into the light, drawing deep breaths and blinking at an almost painfully blue sky.
The promise of summer was in large part escape from the grim late winter: snow turned to dirty slush; fields bare and dead and crusted with icy mud; low, slate-gray skies; coats still necessary and school gone on too long.
But it was also driven by a manic burst of pent-up energy, and tantalizing anticipation of the full array of sensuous pleasures in the months to come. Warmth and long days and soft breezes. The smell of newly mown grass and grills with cooking meat, and flowers, and hot blacktop. Pick-up games of baseball and tennis, motorcycles to be ridden and girls to be chased. Cubs games on the radio, and sprinklers’ rhythmic pulsing, and lightning bugs floating in the air as darkness fell.
And always music.
Some music evokes summer because it was about summer, like Beach Boys songs, or – anachronistically, for someone under 80 – the old Gershwin song “Summertime,” which always evokes a long-ago girlfriend about whom I’ve got nothing bad to say. (Though her daddy wasn’t rich, her momma was good lookin’, oddly enough.)
But most of what I think of as “summer music” is only music that I discovered during the summer, whether that summer was long ago – Cheap Trick Live at Budokan, the first two Cars albums, a Thin Lizzy double-live album back in high school, Elvis Costello’s “My Aim is True” in college – or more recently – Kings of Leon’s “Only by the Night” and Vampire Weekend’s “Father of the Bride” within the last 7 summers or so.
A song I’ve had in heavy rotation this month is from the Decemberists’ 2011 album “The King is Dead,” which I only came across two summers ago. It’s called “June Hymn.” It’s got a lot of what I think of when I think of summer in it, and if you haven’t heard it, it’s worth a listen.
I’d be interested in hearing what music COers out there associate with summer, so please share that in the comments.
But enough about the eternal rhythms of the seasons. It’s the summer of 2021 and the Democrats are in control, and that means that there are a lot of mock-worthy shenanigans going on.
Exhibit A. A recent RAND survey of US teachers found that many of them are planning to leave the profession rather than return to in-class teaching in the fall, due to a phenomenon the article called “pandemic burnout.”
I understand their frustration, because online teaching is generally much less effective, and now we know that staying out of school this past year was unnecessary and harmful. (The American Association of Pediatricians – e.g. the actual doctors who know most about kids’ health risks – recommended that all K-12 students without any unusual co-morbidities return to in-person school LAST AUGUST!) (I know: the MSM somehow missed that story, didn’t they?)
I’m a teacher, and I’m not bashing teachers in general when I say that our teachers’ unions have badly mishandled covid. They’ve fought to remain out of class – and negotiated for more compensation simultaneously — even as the science and evidence has mounted against them. It’s been clear for a long while that when it comes to covid risk, a K-12 teacher is in amongst the safest of all professions, since kids are much less likely to get and pass covid than is the general population.
And now teachers are suffering from “burn out?” When I taught online last spring and fall, my commute was 90 seconds down the hallway to the home office. I taught barefoot and in shorts, only needing a button-down shirt, my innate wit and wisdom, and a reasonable internet connection. I was frustrated by the decreased effectiveness of online teaching, sure.
But burned out? To quote one of our formerly living presidents, “C’mon man!”
How could these people be burned out when many of them were never on fire in the first place?
Exhibit B. If you told me that our MSM was getting burned out, that would make sense. They’ve been working overtime this year, lying about virtually everything happening in DC. And now Hunter Biden is making them work even harder at NOT reporting on his resume of crimes and misdemeanors.
It was bad enough that he has been a drug- and hooker-addicted train wreck for years, and that he misplaced his laptop filled with evidence of corruption and bribe-taking from the Chicoms – implicating his late father, too. It was even worse that he seduced his dead brother’s wife, and left his wife for her.
But now it turns out he’s an F-bomb-dropping racist in addition to everything else? How is the MSM going to deal with this disastrous develop—
Exhibit C. Speaking of terrible people that Joey Gaffes (RIP) has surrounded himself with, how about that VP choice of his, and her blunder-riffic visit to Central America?
She took a page out of Joe’s book – and yes, the tome in question is The Tibetan Book of the Dead, thanks for asking – and wore a mask, even though she’s been vaccinated.
At first I thought that the mask might have been necessary because of her long-standing nickname of “the Super Spreader.”
But then I remembered that that little sobriquet dates back to her MO when she was getting her political career started under the tutelage of Willie Brown in CA. (Boom!) (And no, it’s not too soon for that joke.)
But the unnecessary masking wasn’t even in the top tier of her mis-steps. Her plane had to turn back and only got to her destination on the second try, she was met by hecklers and hostile press coverage, and the only thing she accomplished was to contradict the Dems’ official “border, schmorder” immigration policy by telling everybody south of Texas NOT to come here.
In fact, her trip was already hobbled before she left, because of a disastrous interview in which she made invertebrate lapdog Lester “Steadman” Holt look like Sherlock Holmes cross-examining a sweating criminal.
When Holt had the audacity to ask her about why she hasn’t been to the border, this exchange happened, which I swear I am not making up:
Comma-La: At some point, you know, we are going to the border. We’ve been to the border. So this whole thing about the border… We’ve been to the border. We’ve been to the border.
Holt: YOU haven’t been to the border.
Comma-La: And I haven’t been to Europe! (Bizarre laughter.) And I mean – I don’t understand the point you’re making.
Good lord! You remember in my last column, when I pointed out that Fauci is a terrible liar? (“We didn’t do gain of function research. And if we did, it was by the book.”)
Well step aside, Dr. Doom, because VP Harris just looked like Franco Harris as she blasted past you on her way to the Liars Hall of Fame!
Not since the Apostle Peter racked up his three famous denials has anyone had to eat their words so quickly. IMMEDIATELY after she thrice insists that she’s been to the border, Holt contradicts her, and she gives it up.
You know that Bill Clinton had to be yelling at the tv (over the head of whoever the Waffle House waitress de jour is), “It depends on what the meaning of “been” is! Idiot!”
And seriously: “And I’ve never been to Europe?!?”
That’s the comeback? I’m sure that I had the same two thoughts that you did:
1. Europe thanks you, and they really appreciate your absence.
2. Oh good, so now we’re bragging about all the places we haven’t been? (While you’re at it, you might as well add “Mensa meetings” to that list.)
It’s never a good sign when the governments you visited immediately put out a defensive press release before you’re even out of their air space.
Here is my loose paraphrase of that statement:
“Just to be clear, we are CENTRAL America.
Not that there’s anything wrong with other Americas, or their hideously unqualified, charisma-deficient and inter-personally repellent elected officials. We’re sure that North America has many fine characteristics. Natural beauty, and some states that are not run by horrible governors suffering from advanced cranial-rectal inversion syndrome, and what not.
We send them our best wishes, and prayers that they get well soon. But we’re not them. In fact, we can’t stress this point enough: they’re an entirely different America.
In conclusion, we are CENTRAL America.”
The one statement that I truly believe from Comma-La’s interview? She really did not understand the point Holt was making.
It’s been a long four years, and it’s only been 19 weeks.
Avenatti/Guatemalan guy with the “Go Home” sign 2024!