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Labor Day Weekend

Etch-A-Sketch Journalism


Labor Day Weekend has always been a conflicting three-dayer for me. I enjoy engaging in labour, of many kinds; but I am not a member of a union, or any organized group of workers. I work solo, alone, by myself, optimally without anyone else knowing that I’m working. I get a lot more done that way.


That psychological and emotional demand has placed restraints upon others in my personal, as well as professional, spheres. It’s best if I, myself, do not even know I’ve got an essay, stretch of dialogue or chapter in the works.

The catalyst, or trigger mechanism, is usually a blast from my past that I feverishly wish to avoid, even as I bulldoze through it.


Yesterday, I went with Dear Hubby to Costco to buy the cooked crab legs that I need for making Soupe d’Étrilles, or crab soup, for this Labor Day holiday. I will state, here and now, that this Costco, like any Costco, is located smack-dab in the middle of Suburbia, the epicenter of conformity.


As I came to the entrance of the humongous store, I heard within my head the dryly tormented exasperation of Nigel Farage, describing his slammer time in the EU: Twenty yearrrssssss.


For me, in Suburbia, it was: Ten yearrrsssss.

I am therefore well aware that Costco has not ever been a fun place for me to even minimally speed-walk through. Dear Husband says that the warehouse has never been the same for me since our days of dating, when the cavernous, and garishly lit, establishment was called: The Price Club. Corporate mergers can be smelly affairs.


The horrors of the place met me, or my face, right away, yesterday. There were many more shoppers masked up than there had been in mid-June, when the State of California was partially released from draconian lockdown by the dragon-governor without whom we all would die.


I, of course, was not wearing a mask. I was so unfamiliar last year with the rules and mechanics of masking that, on those rare occasions when I had to strap on the worthless wad of fabric (to sign my name on legal and financial documents), I’d applied lipstick before going out into the world of invisible health hazards. The shade was a dark pinkish-berry, and it did stain the mask that Dear Hubby loaned to me. (Like a good wifey, I hand-washed and sanitized the useless accessory.)

There they were, yesterday, the Suburban Costco Shoppers, pulling the blue-tissue mind-control devices out of their back pockets, their front pockets, their purses, their shirt pockets, and, obediently and reverently, slipping them onto their expression-less faces. One gal donned an almost full-face mask as she clutched a magnum of wine in each hand; she looked around with confusion, wondering where she’d placed her cart.


The satirical online pic of Costco, selling small vats of the 5-gallon size of the Pfizer-Kirland COVID-19 vaccine, overtook my mind. The entire front of this store was stocked, high and wide, with the gallon-sized Clorox Clean-up Spray Kits. You don’t want to ever be caught short-handed, without enough bleach, or, in the case of crooked politicians, the bleach-bit.


It is during such times, when I feel stupefied by the Stupidity, that my beloved Spousal Unit lets me know the sheeple have been massed, or herded, together, there, all in one place. And he was correct. There were no masks on anyone, half-an-hour later, when we did our In-N-Out Burger thing. By the way, the In-N-Out name is strictly trademarked. A lawsuit by this vintage enterprise put an end to the local In-N-Out Mongolian BBQ. I guess Mongolian Takeout sounded too crass.

We drove home, to our domicile in the wooded foothills of the Sierra Nevada, the Appalachians of California. I then spent two hours writing an essay, one that was totally unplanned. For my labour, I rewarded Writer-Self that night by watching the next two episodes of Season Two of The Rifleman. The son-character, Mark, played by the late Johnny Crawford, has been taking on a heavier load of the acting chores, and very capably so. He was a natural at acting, and at horse-riding.


Those shows were called “Mail Order Groom” and “Day of the Hunter,” with plot-lines and characters that were fascinating. Those fictional elements offered me a stark contrast to the oppressively false sense of security and safety that pervasively cocoons the suburban blob. For me, that dramatic counter-balance is necessary whenever I confront an overload of risk-averse people.


And, so, it was with a humorous but balanced approach to this coming weekend that I ventured this morning onto the digital newspaper, such as it is, and is not. The “serious” screen-loads have begun to resemble The National Enquirer during its hey-day, in the late 1970s. You know, the era of Iranian hostages, the Bermuda triangle, the Misery Index, Disco, and Elvis, who had died, but hardly anyone believed it.

The less serious screen-loads online were there to remind me that the s**** is hitting the federal fan fairly fast, a whole lot faster than Plans A, B, C, D-K, and L-W had anticipated.


The unraveling of a whack-job “presidency” is happening so quickly that I’ve begun to call the Media “the Etch-A-Sketch Journalists”.


The Etch-A-Sketch was my favorite childhood toy, second only to my pearl-handled cap-pistol (with the chartreuse sulfur dots for ammo). I loved my Etch-a-Sketch so much that I had a back-up one, just like my secondary laptop today. Truth to tell, I think I wore out my Etch-a-Sketch, in the same manner that I wear out keyboards. The letter “S” on this one is starting to vanish from my fingertips.


If you currently miss more than 4-6 hours between news-postings (and I typically let at least a day elapse between the Propaganda & the Anti-Propaganda Posts) — WOOOOSSHHH — you’ve missed the screaming, bleeping, blaring heads. And those heads are not attached to their respective bodies (the text). Those stories are largely composed in an amateurish style from wire-service feeds and government-handouts. They too have washed out to the computer-memory sea.

The pic also doesn’t fit, or match, the story. Having worked as an assistant photo editor at US Snews and World Report, I know how very crucial it is to have a timely photograph, one from about the same date, to correspond with the text — which nowadays might also be a warm-up from publicity-news of yore. The morgue, the term for old newspaper clippings and photographs, is also as dead as Elvis. Getty Images is water-marked over too vast a majority of online images, including the photographs in public domain. That Carlyle Group has gobbled up more than just the global defense industry.


It’s always a culture shock for me, or at least for my brain, whenever I must transition from the past to the present during my time-capsule research. For instance, gleaning the screen contents of the George Michael epoch, including his “I Want Your Sex” (which today would be mandate-revised to “I Want Your Gender”, at least in the U.S. Army) — that smash wham from auditory antiquity is a reminder that the here-and-now vulgarities started back then, during the final decade of the Cold War.


Those inevitable and logical results are meeting head-on with the millions of Americans who did not, and do not, want your sex or your gender, just their private lives, left alone by Government fiat and freaks.

I’m still young enough to remember when the Left wanted Uncle Sam kept out of the bedroom; that was, until Uncle Sam started footing the bill for the headboard, the bed, the mattress, the hypo-allergenic pillows, and whatever else the bed-bug parasites demand as a civil rights handout. I even remember when civil rights was about achieving equal rights in a civil society, not extorting special rights through anarchy and corporately sponsored urban riots.


Whenever I use my laptop to go from les jours d’antan, the days of yesteryear, to the modern-day manufactured madness, meant to manipulate, panic and petrify me, I assuredly, within minutes, close the lid.


I thereby call a lid for the day on the parody of the present 24 hours, a concocted and cockeyed imitation of life that’s just about as dead as Elvis.

The Etch-a-Sketch Journalists aren’t drawing much in the way of an accurate depiction of the world around me, or even around them. Sometimes, I conclude they could use a lesson or two in the art of creative writing, or even writing.


The biggest stories from the scribblers on-screen are the ones untold, but known by us all, and by each and every one of us — with a patriotic heart, a God-fearing soul, and a mind that does, indeed, possess a conscience.


Those truths, held to be self-evident; and those scoops, of the obvious, undeniable, and unspinnable REAL world: they live, and thrive, aeons beyond the Etch-a-Sketch Journalists. The Etch-a-Sketch News Alerts are slow on the draw, and Breaking News breaks, almost instantly, only to vanish, like a wraithlike demented ghost, into the dark dark night.