Journal of the Plague Year (#26)

Berkeley, CA September 14, 2020 – “Grandpa, do you remember the day the sun didn’t come up?” “Couldn’t have happened.” “But there are videos. Look!”  “Oh, that day. Actually the sun came up. It just couldn’t bring any light through the air.” “Why not?” “Well it had to do with smoke and ash from fires that […]

Journal of the Plague Year (#25)

Berkeley, CA September 7, 2020 – Labor Day! Tens of thousands of people, tired and stressed by pandemic protocols, are now doing minimally and maximally dangerous things. Some do them deliberately, and then feel badly afterward. Some feel worse than badly, they feel sick. Like N.Y. Times ur-liberal and COVID-19 positive Roger Cohen, who squeezes […]

Journal of the Plague Year (#24)

Berkeley, CA August 31, 2020 – “Hatemonger. Stephen Miller, Donald Trump, and the White Nationalist Agenda” By Jean Guerrero. William Morrow, 2020, If you don’t know much, or even if you don’t know anything, about Stephen Miller, you might not want to read this book. Not that it isn’t worth reading. It is. It’s just […]

Journal of the Plague Year (#23)

Berkeley, CA August 24, 2020 – Completely crazy! It’s completely crazy that with global warming giving an early accelerant to wildfire season, the State of California dismantled its 3,400 prison inmate firefighter units because of what Governor Newsom says were” budgetary issues.” $7.4 million dollars (in a state budget of $202 billion) is supposedly being […]

Journal of the Plague Year (#21)

Berkeley, CA, August 10, 2020 – Isabel Wilkerson’s “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents” is an angry book. If you’re not angry after reading it, the reason may lie in the subtitle. Are you part of “we” implicit in “our”? Because there are two “we’s” and “ours” in her mind. One is that of the […]

Journal of the Plague Year (#20)

Berkeley, CA August 3, 2020 — On the same day as the present occupant of the White House informed us that the election which will determine whether he continues to reside there may or may not be held as scheduled on November 3, depending on whether he decides to postpone it, a curious article appeared, […]

Journal of the Plague Year (#19)

Berkeley, CA, July 27, 2020 – This week, as I did my daily disabled, hobbled, walker trek around my nearly deserted, once bustling, South Berkeley neighborhood, I was startled as I analyzed my thoughts. I found in my head’s headlines “I Feel So Sorry for Him!” “Him” being Donald Trump. I had finished reading the […]

Journal of the Plague Year (#18)

Berkeley, CA July 20, 2020 — You’re wandering around the East Bay Hills, energized with the desire to express solidarity with millions of  your fellow citizens, angry and determined to do something abut the source of their anger.   Look for a little sign saying “Steam Trains” and an adjacent parking lot on the east […]

Journal of the Plague Year (#17)

Berkeley, CA July 13, 2020 — When you’re in the midst of what seems to be a historically notable period, it’s very difficult to tell what that “midst” is.  Or how long it will last before one can credibly say it’s “over.” In 1763, those recently arrived North Americans who opposed British rule had little idea they […]

Journal of the Plague Year (#15)

Berkeley, CA June 29, 2020 — Once, I lived, very briefly, with bats. It was in a partially collapsed barn, on the edge of a large 50-acre field in southeast Vermont. Once part of a setting for small subsistence farms, partly gone to seed. The 20 or 30 cows who once grazed there had been […]

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