Thursday, November 5, 2020


 Michael - Thursday

I started this blog with the aim of cheering myself (at least) up. There are a lot of things in my head right now, but none of them seem to be cheerful. The new book is going well, but neither Stan nor I have had much energy or concentration for it over the last few days. The “excitement” of the count continues. I think the vote counters in Arizona and Nevada have gone on strike for a higher rate per ballot counted. Nothing seems to come out from them. Trump supporters hammer on the door to the counting room crying, “Count the Votes! Count the Votes!” Pennsylvania is trying to work its way through a huge backlog of postal votes while Trump supporters yell, “Stop the Count! Stop the Count!” They clearly only want a free and fair election in which every single Republican voter’s voice is heard.

Then there is the virus. Europe, Britain (I guess we have to put them separately now), and North America are in trouble. For the last two months, South Africa has been pottering along with around 1,500 new cases a day amid dire warnings from the authorities. For some reason I can’t understand, the numbers seem relatively stable—r seems to be essentially one. But people are relaxing more and more, and becoming more casual about masks and the like, perhaps secure in the knowledge that we, too, are going round the bend, or whatever Trump tells us is happening. Maybe coming into summer really does help. Now it turns out some people get chilblains a month or so after the virus. Chilblains? How does that work? Fortunately, they seem to disappear after a while.

Then there is the formal departure of the US from the Paris Accord (presumably climate change is also going round the bend), the terrorist violence in Europe, and the disastrous earthquake in Turkey.  A few wars continue to simmer and then flame up again in various parts of the world. In the words of the song, “What nature doesn’t do to us, will be done by our fellow man.”

Surprisingly, none of this cheered me up that much. So I decided to take my mind off it all by reading Madeline Miller’s Circe, the retelling of the Greek fable from the view point of the witch herself in first person. I loved it. No murders, and although Circe is a minor goddess, the book is about people and the things that make them human. It all happens too long ago for any of the above issues to make an appearance, but maybe after reading it, we can understand them a tiny bit better. But the book finishes, and we’re back to the so-called real world.

So I guess we continue to wait and wonder where this is all going to end. I think I’m going to end here. This cheering up business isn’t working that well...

Thanks to all the cartoonists who actually CAN see the funny side!


  1. Well, thanks for the great cartoons, though. They gave me a chuckle. I too, have been able to get through a mere 34 pages of the synopsis for the next Darko. My productivity is around 15%, if that.

  2. Productivity?? Ahem.... I made a pot of chicken soup. Does that count?

  3. I join you, Stan, Annamaria, and Kwei as lacking in energy or concentration...though for a bit longer than the last few days...and I fear for some time going forward if the current loser runs on with his antics empowered by the complicity of his enablers.