jupe rambles on


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I did manage to get some relaxing in yesterday. Eileen and I didn’t watch the inauguration. I read President Trump’s speech. I am still finding him unpredictable. His rhetoric is simplistic and vague. I think I’ll know more as he begins to govern more.


One thing I have been realizing is the paltry, distorted view that so many people seem to have of events and information. Right now I have heard people for and against President Trump express themselves all mostly completely by statements about an envisioned “other.” On the right, the liberals, on the left, “how could people vote for such a man?”

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More than ever, I think we need to take responsibility for our selves and our actions. Also, it would be helpful to diminish our reliance on the superficial cartoon-like defining of each other by our politics.

But I can see that many people are genuinely upset. Reading Hochschild’s Strangers in Their Own Land is helpful to a point.

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Yesterday I ran into a young man recently elected to the Michigan House of Representatives, Jim Lilly. I have known him since he was a child singing in my children’s choir at Our Lady of the Lake.  Needless to say, since he got elected in my conservative little town, he is a Republican. I shook his hand and congratulated him on getting elected.

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He smiled and gracefully acknowledged my congratulations. “Now the work begins!” He said.

I have no idea what that means. I have noticed a nod to the rhetoric of “bi-partisanship” coming out of our State Capital but I don’t see how this can last in the present environment.

I see it as a time to wait and see.

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And stay as informed as I can.




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I finished reading the small collections of poems, Notes on the Assemblage, by Juan Felipe Herrera (Poet Laureate of the USA) this morning.  I have to say I wasn’t too impressed with it. There is a good line here and there, but I found a lot of it a weird mixture of activist politics and wide ranging erudite allusions.

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I’ve been reading Paul Beatty’s weird novel, The Sellout. I’m about a fourth of the way into it. It mixes pop culture with an odd African American view of life and I do mean odd. At first I thought it was taking forever to get started. From the inside jacket description: “Born in the “agrarian ghetto” of Dickens, on the southern outskirts of Los Angeles, the narrator of The Sellout resigns himself to fate of lower-middle-class Californians, ‘ I’d die in the same bedroom I grew up in, looking up at the cracks in the stucco ceiling that’ve been there since the ’68 quake.” Raised by a single father, a controversial sociologists, he spent his childhood as a subject in racially charged psychological studies.”

Sarah Silverman writes a blurb on the back cover: “The Sellout is brilliant. Amazing. Like a demented angel wrote it.”

I don’t plan to stop reading it yet. But it’s not a book I could recommend at this point.

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