Red Pill vs Blue Pill America

“This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill—the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill—you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember, all I’m offering is the truth—nothing more.”

Morpheus, in the movie The Matrix (1999)

There seems to be a pattern here. Every fifty years, United States society goes through some gigantic social upheaval, leaving Americans with open wounds that never quite heal. We all tell ourselves that we have learned deep lessons, and spackle over the lesions, and the media shows us ourselves in comforting reflections illuminated by gaslight.

Then, something happens that offends our collective sense of decency—our good neighbors in chains, atrocities against our forebears in other continents, atrocities committed by our government based on the moment’s muzzy foreign policy directives that make defense contractors money and throw our young men into the meat grinder.

And lately, a white cop in Minneapolis kneels on a black man’s throat until he dies. Everyone sees it. Our common decency is offended.

We were overdue for a social upheaval. And so, here we are again.

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I left Minnesota for the New Jersey suburbs of New York City in November, 1998. My siblings live in Minneapolis and St. Paul. I also have an ex in Minneapolis who I talk with on the phone frequently. He is suffering from the onset of Parkinson’s disease, as well as some other health issues that are catching up with him after having lived a hard life. He was at one time a police officer in St. Paul. He eventually left because he didn’t like dealing with the violence and ugliness that are part of the job.

His stepfather is a rancher in South Dakota. Out of an abundance of concern, he delivered him an unexpected gift of a 9mm handgun with extra magazines. Giving a depressed family member a gun is normally not a great thing to do, even if they have the training and discipline to properly use it. I’m not too worried though. A certain class of person regards a Glock the same way others see a fire extinguisher. Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. And fires are raging everywhere in Minneapolis.

As for me, I don’t own any firearms; and it’s not because the State of New Jersey does everything it can to keep average people from having them. At times, it’s just too tempting to use one as a permanent solution to a temporary problem, if you know what I mean. So no guns where I live.

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The Red State / Blue State trope has its origins in the 1976 Presidential election, and a lighted United States map in the studios of NBC News. John Chancellor, the news anchor, wanted a state lit red if it was won by the incumbent, Gerald Ford; and lit blue if Jimmy Carter won. Since that election, using red to identify Republicans and blue for Democrats has stuck. To me it makes no sense, since the color red has been associated with political movements of the left since forever. Democrats own red, period. Reversing the two colors obscures reality—another illumination of America in media gaslight.

As it happens, however, the red vs blue trope works amazingly well when we’re talking about those famous pills in the 1999 movie The Matrix.

Minnesota is a blue pill state that just got red pilled by the Antifa left. Everybody in elected leadership and the gaslight media knows this; and yet nobody—nobody—is telling the truth: that this is the an internecine battle between the Democrat (DFL*) establishment and its hard left wing. It’s the 1968 Democratic National Convention all over again, writ large across the nation.

Mayor Jacob Frey, AG Keith Ellison, Governor Tim Walz, and Senator Amy Klobuchar must be shitting bricks. They, the DFL establishment, all know what they are up against, and they can’t bring themselves to say a word about it. They are joined by their partners in the gaslight media, blaming “white nationalists” and “outside agitators” but not even mentioning the most destructive influences inside their own party.

“There are no enemies on the left” has been a dictum of all leftist movements since the Bolsheviks. And you will never, ever see anyone in the Democrats/DFL blame Antifa or their fellow travelers. They will have explanations, but no answers. None from Frey, Ellison, Walz, or Klobuchar.

To see the Twin Cities succumb to the fantasies of cult Democrats is sad, and regrettable. And as long as people of good will in leadership do not tell the truth, the oppression and destruction will happen over and over again.

*The Democrats in Minnesota are called the “Democratic Farmer Labor Party,’ or DFL for short. It’s the bastard stepchild of Hubert Humphrey. Interesting history. Check it out.

Masked driving

Walking through Bloomfield, I’ve seen people driving by wearing face masks. Think about it. If you are driving by yourself in a car, why do you need to wear a face mask? Is it to keep you from licking the steering wheel?

It’s clear that for a lot of people, the constant hysterical drumbeat of social distancing is making them irrational and even crazy. This has to stop. We must not let the national news agenda and public policy be determined by closet germophobes with OCD.

Get behind the wheel, and take your mask off. Breathe free!

Closing the American Songbook

Here’s another one of those grumpy old man posts. Songs aren’t songs anymore. Hip Hop has killed off the market for new songs that have rhyming lyrics, verses, bridges. Simple epigrammatic expressions of thought, painting a picture or a mood.

And yet some persist. John Pizzarelli is one who still sings them. And he finds new ones to slip into the Songbook when nobody’s looking.

This afternoon I asked Siri to play John Pizzarelli. She came up with a very long playlist that I piped into my stereo. It lifted me out of my depression and helped me to function.

There were a couple of selections that included Daniel Jobim, the son of legend Antonio Carlos “Tom” Jobim who died in 1994. He sounds like his Dad. So cool.

Let’s keep the American Songbook open awhile longer.

Life in isolation

Why blog? There are millions of blogs, millions of voices around the world that come and go. I’m not an academic, so I don’t have an incentive connected with my employment to share my experience with anyone. There is no specific purpose for it. I don’t hope to achieve anything. No fame or fortune or social purpose to be advanced.

My trade for the past 35 years has been technical writing. That’s pretty dry stuff, but I am fascinated by machines—physical machines, or information automata, or business processes. But now my interest is fading, and I need something else to write about.