A Bonfire of COVID Masks

We are a week into the middle of winter and with the recent cold snap and with the snow that will be falling today and tomorrow I’m falling back into the New England mid-winter trance.  Luckily without my typical commute a lot of the wear and tear on my body and mind are reduced to a reasonable level.  In the past I would have to get up at 5 am and clear the snow for two hours before commuting to work and then drive home and still having to clear the rest of it in the dark before collapsing into bed.  Now with my new and improved lifestyle I get up at 7 am, eat breakfast, play blocks with my granddaughter for a little while then leisurely and efficiently go out and clear the snow once it stops falling.  I’ll probably break it up into two sessions with a meal in between to relieve the monotony and warm my old bones.  Camera Girl has made a really excellent Chicken Butter Nut Squash Soup so I’ll be properly fortified for the second half of the operation.

In my less demanding routine I have the chance to reflect on the unfortunate aspects of this new world that we live in.  Here we are almost a year into this absurd lockdown and most people in New England really believe that we are in the midst of the bubonic plague.  I half expect to see the cartman leading his pony around with the pile of cadavers shouting, “bring out your dead.”  The local tv coverage and the attitude of the people you meet when you do go out is that we are all struggling against unbelievable odds to survive the ravages of the Andromeda Strain.  Apparently, we’re all heroes now.  It sounds like the nonsense the Soviets used to spout every time the tractor factory came close to meeting the quota.  “All hail the revolutionary fervor of Assembly Line B Night Shift!”    When a country that did nothing about the virus like Sweden has, after a year, a slightly lower per capita death rate than a country like America, that threw all its small businesses off a cliff, you have to wonder just how detached from reality people are.

Based on the fact that California and New York are beginning to loosen the restrictions on such dangerous activities as opening your front door and breathing in the shower I am hopeful that by the end of winter we will at least be allowed to visit friends and relatives without the neighbors calling in a SWAT Team on us.  And that will be big.  I found that not seeing my various family members was the worst part of this travesty.  And not just family.  I have friends that I am dying to see face to face and share a burger and shoot the breeze with.  This lockdown is harming us physically.  It’s harming us mentally and it’s harming us spiritually.  As I’ve mentioned I’m reading Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago.  And compared to the atrocities the Soviets perpetrated on their people even the lockdown is minor.  But it is related to what they did.  It is psychological warfare aimed at damaging people’s self-respect.  We’re caged animals and they ratchet the punishment up and down just to torture us.

So the cold weather is a perfect symbol of the Gulag that has been built for all of us living in the blue states.  Maybe now that Dementia Joe has been nailed up on his scarecrow pole in front of the White House they’ll let us free.  Or maybe they won’t.

I have one exceptionally cynical old friend who claims that we right wing folk are just sheep and no matter how much abuse is heaped on us we’ll just continue to take it without doing anything more forceful than complain.  He thinks that anything that’s going to happen will have to happen in a red state and even that will be in the nature of orderly and peaceable action.  I’m of a different opinion.  Even in the bluest of blue states, I think a point will be reached where people will revolt against this abuse.  Somewhere a spark will ignite the tinder and a crowd will start a bonfire of these stupid masks and put an end to this idiocy.  And I hope I happen to be nearby to join in.

A Vulnerable Enemies List

Now that the Democrats have virtual control of all three branches of the United States federal government, many of the reform goals that we knew were necessary have become impossible for the foreseeable future.  The Justice Department isn’t going to rein in Google or Facebook or Twitter and force them to stop discriminating against conservatives.  In fact, as we’ve seen Silicon Valley is forming a cartel that will try to eliminate any internet entity that doesn’t keep in perfect lock step with every dictate of the Woke Culture.  And the other corporate entities are using the COVID and BLM disasters to harass and harangue their employees into submission.  So, for many people their existence is hemmed in by all the Leftist institutions and entities that they are forced to use without any possibility of avoidance.

But there are areas where we can effectively have a choice.  Sometimes it’s only the choice of refraining all together from participating in an event or industry.  But in many cases that is the reasonable or at least emotionally satisfying decision.

I’ll start with the easiest.  Sports.  I don’t know of a single sport that has resisted the BLM kneelers.  I used to watch baseball and football.  When football caved in to Kaepernick and company I completely ceased watching it.  I think it was last summer that baseball also caved to the kneelers.  And I have sworn that until the league publicly apologizes for defaming the National Anthem, I will never watch another minute of their sport in my home.  If a minor league team maintains a respectful attitude toward our heritage and honors the National Anthem then I’ll go to their games but I’m guessing that even these teams are polluted by BLMism.

So, there is the first place you can make a difference.  Don’t watch sports.  Don’t buy cable or satellite packages to follow these sports.  Don’t watch ESPN or any of the other sports stations at all either.  They are all woke as hell.  And for pity’s sake don’t watch the Super Bowl.  Don’t watch the game and don’t watch the commercials.  That’s just like paying the executioner.  Don’t do it.  Repurpose Super Bowl Sunday to something that is actually healthy like spending some time with your kids and grandkids doing something they like.  If the weather allows take them outside and have a baseball or football catch.

If all 150 million of us stopped watching their crap it would either disappear altogether or at the very least become a pale shadow of what it once was.  All those kneeling millionaires would be a lot poorer than they currently are.  And Disney will probably close ESPN down and turn it into a porn site to prop up their bottom line.

Next thing we have complete control of is what movies we go to.  I used to bring my grandkids to all the Marvel and Star Wars movies as soon as they came out.  Now I first read up on what the content and message of the movie is before even considering bringing them.  If there is even the slightest hint of wokism, if there is any celebration of female empowerment or multicultural celebration or any anti-white sentiment I stay home.  Let them find childless blue-haired scolds to pay for their movies.  I have better things to spend my precious dollars on.

And as far as internet news, I go way, way out of my way to do all I can to never click on a left-wing news site.  And they must be getting smarter because they hide their site name as well as they can and try to make the article’s title sound less leftist.  I always hover over the links and make sure that I’m not providing clicks to the Times or the Post or Politico.  Nowadays I even avoid Fox.  I make an exception for Tucker or a few others there but the news desk is now infiltrated with creepy leftists.  So, do yourself a favor and go to sources you trust.  Full disclosure, I get a lot of help from Whatfinger by the links to my posts they put up on their site.  But going to Whatfinger is how you can avoid helping the Left.  And there are other excellent sites out there too.  I’ll be putting together a Friday list of links to good articles I’ve found during the week.  At this point there is just no excuse for going to the Left for news or entertainment.

And how about those social media giants?  Well, we’re probably not going to kill off Google, Facebook or Twitter anytime soon.  But you can do your part.  I use DuckDuckGo for my search engine, Brave as my browser and I have a web page on Gab instead of Twitter.  My own website is what I use instead of Facebook and I hope someday something like Gab becomes strong enough to become a commercial replacement for Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.  Admittedly that is a long-term thing but that makes it even more important for people to step up and start making that future happen.

And finally, there are all the other things that we do.  The books we buy and the services we use.  I make it a point to pass along to any of my contacts whatever I can about people on our side of the fence who we can support.  I write book and movie reviews to highlight good things that can be substituted for the poison that the Left controls.  And if you know of an electrician or a mechanic that has a Trump bumper sticker or who you know is on our side then give him a plug to your friends.  Every little bit helps.

And that, right now, is about all we can do to hit back at our enemies.  We can hurt the sports leagues and entertainment companies and the movie studios that hate our guts.  And we can start helping to build the social media and news companies that we want to thrive and provide us with the platforms where we can talk and listen to the messages we’re looking for.  Right now, that’s all we can do.  So, let’s do it.

The Great McGinty (1940) – An OCF Classic Movie Review

Having just lived through a stolen presidential election I thought this was the perfect time to review Preston Sturges’ comical look at crooked politics.

The movie opens up in a bar in a Latin American country.  A young American is getting drunk and becoming more and more depressed.  He had to escape from the United States and leave his family behind because he was a bank teller who got caught stealing money.  The bartender played by Brian Donlevy follows him into the bathroom just in time to stop him from shooting himself.  The bartender tells him not to despair.  He tells the young man that his case is minor compared to his own.  Then he tells his story and the scene changes to the bartender’s story.  We find out his name Dan McGinty.

When we first see him, he is a hobo in tattered clothes wandering the streets of some big eastern city, probably New York.  It’s election day and a political hack (played by William Demerast) collars him and tells him that if he votes for the crooked mayor under an assumed name, he’ll get paid two bucks.  When McGinty asks the fixer, what happens if he can vote twice the guy tells him he’ll get four bucks.  So McGinty goes to every polling station and votes thirty-seven times.  But the fixer doesn’t have enough money to pay McGinty off so he brings him down to headquarters to ask the “Boss” for the cash.  The Boss, played hilariously with an absurd Russian accent by Akim Tamiroff, is so impressed by McGinty’s nerve that he takes him under his wing to make him a successful crook.  First, he makes McGinty a collector for the protection racket that the Boss runs.  When his verbal and pugilistic skills allow him to clean up even the most delinquent customers the Boss realizes that McGinty will rise very high in the Boss’s political machine.  He graduates to squeezing all the city contractors for the kickbacks that the Boss gets for letting them skip the bidding process.  The relationship between McGinty and the Boss is one of fratricidal familiarity.  They are both berserk fighters who enjoy nothing better than brawling with each other at the drop of a hat.  There are several brawls in the course of the movie.

Eventually the Boss decides that the old mayor is too weak and he decides that McGinty will be the new mayor.  But before he can run, he has to get married.  Apparently the newly enfranchised woman vote didn’t cotton to bachelor mayors.  He and his secretary Catherine form a marriage of convenience.  She is a divorcee with two kids and they both agree that a marriage in name only would suit them both.  But as you can guess eventually, they both fall in love and ruin the whole thing.  Catherine is at heart an idealist and she hopes that some day Dan can go straight and get out from under the Boss’s thumb.

Finally, the Boss decides to run McGinty for governor and he wins.  Now McGinty decides he wants Catherine and the kids to respect him so he has it out with the Boss.  And right in the governor’s office he and the Boss get into a colossal fist fight and then the Boss pulls a gun and tries to shoot McGinty for which he is hauled off to jail for attempted murder.

But the Boss gets his revenge and has McGinty arrested for being involved in a crooked contract back when he was mayor.  Now the Boss and McGinty are in adjoining cells and they strike a deal and the Boss arranges for both of them to break out of jail and escape the country.  McGinty just has enough time to call Catherine and tell her where there is a safety deposit box with enough money to take care of her and the kids for life.

In the next scene they’re back in the Latin American bar where McGinty is the bartender and the Boss is the owner.  Just as he finishes the story and calms the young man down, he decides to make the cash register ring.  This is supposed to tip off the Boss that McGinty is stealing from him and they get into one of their habitual fistfights.  Obviously, the fight is the highlight of the day for both of these exiles.

Preston Sturges wrote and directed this comedy and like many of his films it has an originality sadly lacking in most movies.  The characters of McGinty and the Boss are extremely vivid and despite their obvious criminality quite likeable.  The rest of the cast are more than adequate and the dialog is quite good.  Highly recommended.

25JAN2021 – OCF Update – New Things

The good guys at Whatfinger have asked me if I’d be interested in getting them to link up to a Friday feature on OCF where I put together a bunch links to good articles I’ve found.  With that in mind if any of the readers here come across any interesting links put them in the comments to this post and I’ll check them out.  I’ve also reached out to some other blogs that I am associated with to see if they have anything I might want to look at.  So this should be an interesting learning experience for me.  I’m thinking of calling it photog’s Friday Finds.  What do you think, clever enough?  You see, because ph sounds like f it’s alliterative, right right?  Anyway I’m still working on the name.

More people are coming to the site and commenting.  And yesterday I had a commenter “John Chapter 8,” who took issue with my definition of a what traditional wife was.  Okay, so we disagree.  He may state things a little more angrily than I choose to but I see the points he’s making.  Maybe he saw the point that my reply to him was trying to make.  The main thing is there was some dialog.  And as long as it doesn’t turn into some insane rant then information has a chance to pass back and forth.  And others reading this also can make up their minds about what is being debated.  I’m actually supportive of a reasonable airing out of opinions.  My way of looking at it is, have your say.  If everyone has his say then at least you get that much satisfaction.  It’s not like anyone is going to convince everyone even on a small site like OCF to think the same way.  But there is value in making your case.  Being forced to make a persuasive argument sharpens the mind.  You may even have to modify your own beliefs if you look at them closely enough.

I think a significant number of people have found the “Reclaiming the Family” series interesting.  I intend to look around at additional subjects under that category that I can think about.  In general I think it’s time to start looking at how all this madness in our politics is effecting regular people and write about that.  One avenue that could really use attention is the effect on the younger people.  And by younger I’m extending that all the way up to people in their forties.  As a codger I am sort of trapped in the “boomer mindset.”  I get a kick out of the “sure boomer” meme that the zoomers and millennials have adopted as their battle cry.  I am not unsympathetic to their position but I also think they are being manipulated to some extent by certain of their peers.  For every selfish old guy who is saying “let them eat cake” there are ten oldies who worry constantly about their children and grandchildren and want to help build a brighter future than the bleak dystopia that the Left is making.

Anyway, this should be a busy week and there are all kind of cultural and political things I am looking at.  I just started reading Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago and it has opened my eyes to just how far we will have to fall before we are anything close to the horror show that Soviet Russia was.  And other stuff too.  Have a great day.