Here we are with yet another random thoughts column. You ready? I thought so.
I was in the same room as a television broadcasting American President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address last week. I worded the previous sentence in such a manner to convey the idea that the choice of station was not mine, even thought the choice to stay in the room obviously was.
I forget pretty much all of the words, though I do remember him saying African American unemployment is at the lowest recorded rate. A quick follow-up on that one finds Jared Bernstein, a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and a former economic adviser to Vice-President Joe Biden, flat out stating “Trump has had nothing to do with the decline in African-American jobless rates, or any other group’s rates,” while the Washington Post’s Philip Bump noted those numbers were falling well before Trump. “From January to December 2017, the unemployment rate among black Americans fell 1 percentage point. During the same period in 2016, it fell the same amount. In 2015, it fell 1.9 points. The previous year, it fell 1.5 points. The year before that, it fell 1.8 points,” said Bump.
Anyway, the only thing I thought was this man is a preening git. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a politician so in love with himself or the adoration being thrown upon him.
It reminded me of Stephen King’s The Dead Zone and felt surreal, like I was watching a David Lynch movie come to life. I took notes for a few minutes but the only printable comments were “He really sounded like he was repeating a speech, it stalls and rings in your ear,” and “He literally just motioned people to stand. What is going on?” Needless to say, I was not a fan.
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Nothing makes me feel that television and video games are a waste of time like reading. I’ve been on a kick lately, with two on the go (American Gods which is double bacon cheeseburger awesome and Ronda Rousey’s bio which is interesting) and an Audible subscription gets me one book a month. I’ve got three of those in my library but I can only listen to one at a time, which when I think about it, says a lot about how I learn. I really should dedicate more time to reading.
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I wonder if the recent love affair with the 80s has anything to do with the 1980s being our last real age of innocence, what with the advent of the Internet letting us know everything about everyone’s past, seedy or otherwise. The popularity of Stranger Things, The Goldbergs, the upcoming Ready Player One, and others, prove people are still fans of the era.
Perhaps it’s the general vibe of the decade. I’ve been listening to an 80s hits compilation and all of the songs are bouncy, even the more melancholy numbers. I don’t think a 90s hits mix will be quite so… festive. Sure, N’Sync will be in there but so will a few others that are downright angry.
Or maybe it’s just general nostalgia. I suppose I’ll be well prepared for the 90s pop culture obsession in a few years. With that said, and while am little old for getting territorial about my interests, I will throw things at the first person who genuinely asks me what it was really like way back then.
I’m done now.