If it weren’t for the pandemic I very much doubt if we should have been sitting outside in the garden at half past eight eating chips. Is this something we will look back on fondly in years to come as we reminisce about the ways we reacted to and coped with the restrictions in our lives?
Tonight’s chips were from Shishlique. Up until now we have been patronising The Best Kebab, but we are starting to experiment. Shishlique is a new business, replacing the unlamented fried chicken shop. It is mainly take away, but a notch more upmarket than The Best Kebab. The staff were friendly, polite efficient. But Shishlique lost points immediately by serving the chips in polystyrene containers instead of wrapping them up in paper. The portions were definitely smaller which was not a bad thing, and the chips themselves were halfway between traditional fat chips of floury potato and French fries.
It’s nice to know we can choose between not just different establishments but different types of chips.
Hartley and the Curious Fox joined us in the garden.The fox played with an old shoe and a discarded face mask which she, or possibly another fox, had found and brought onto the premises. She repeatedly threw them in the air. I am guessing this is a play version of a hunting technique. She also had her eye on J’s Waitrose bag, and would have nabbed it and run off with it had J not picked the bag up and tucked it on the chair. There is something very endearing and innocent about this fox, but I fear her interest in human beings may be her undoing. Not everyone will be content to watch her play. There are some cruel people about.
At least there shouldn’t be too many armed people about. The news tonight from the US showed militia groups, white and black, preparing, it seemed, for all out war in six weeks. The white group call themselves the Three Per Centers and their leader, an ex commando, said they were protecting (unspecified) things they have from bad people who wanted to take those things from them. I got the feeling some of those unspecified things might not be simple possessions. We’re not talking about china ornaments here. Their leader calmly told the interviewer he thought the policeman who knelt on George Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes should not be prosecuted. So things like the right to deprive someone of life might well be on the list of things they have and want to keep on having. I did not feel an evening in the Three Per Centers company would be much fun. The black group call themselves the NFAC (Not Fucking Around Coalition), and are lead by another man with a sense of humour bypass. I really could not imagine him laughing at anything at all. He and his followers believe in an eye for an eye, and asked if they thought the Black Lives Matter movement was naive, the leader said no, it was insane. You do not go on doing the same thing over and over again when it achieves no change.
Both militia groups seemed to put all their faith in weaponry. Maybe they do have philosophical stances on how you build a new society which is respectful and harmonious, but there was no evidence in this report which I found pretty terrifying. It all seemed part and parcel of the Strong Men idea so popular with Putin, Trump etc. And we know how well that’s been going. Maybe they all need to just sit down in a dark autumnal garden and enjoy a good bag of chips.
Stay safe. Keep well.
It is indeed scary here, Isobel. I try to tell myself that everything will be okay but then I listen to government officials and people who have lots of government experience (not currently in this administration) and they say that they are really scared about what Trump could do between now and the election. And his response if he looses. These are people who are intelligent and use logic and science to shape their thinking. People who have worked in this White House and left are writing books that paint a really horrible picture of what Trump is like and how chaotic the White House is.
There was an interview on the news tonight with Cornell Belcher who spelled out the current threats to democracy in the US. You can see it on twitter @Channel4News I think. Though the link may not work in the US. Trump seems to be stirring people up to distrust the ballot and overturn the result if he isn’t re-elected. He is a very unsafe man.
Yes, he is a very dangerous man. Because of the virus, states are increasing the option for mail in voting. It has been done in the past to varying degrees with only one incidence of fraud and that was by a republican attorney general in Georgia running for office. Trump is constantly saying that foreign countries are sending millions of counterfeit ballots, telling is base to vote twice if they want to vote by mail, that households are getting hundreds of ballots sent to them, and other crazy things to erode trust. Voter fraud has been investigated several times and not found to be happening. He is eroding so many of our institutions. Very scary because he doesn’t play by any of the rules and continues to try to get our justice system to be his fixer.