Oh shit. The toothpaste is out of the tube.

That saying. You know the one that says, “The toothpaste is out of the tube.” How about that. It’s a wing dinger. It’s kind of the go-to these days. It says, “the damage is done and you can’t go back.” “How does this knowledge affect my personality from here on out? Things surely can’t go back to being hidden from view.” 

Like when I was in Bali, and a monkey crawled onto my shoulders and started fishing through my hair for bugs. I was petrified with fear, because I was told the monkeys could hurt me. But I was flushed with excitement because I had never had an experience similar. When I slowly bent down after three or four minutes to let her crawl off my back, I looked at Tina who was holding a video camera and said, “How will I ever live my life the same again?” 

Or how will I put the toothpaste back in the tube? 

But here I am, 10 years later, another tube of toothpaste sits half full on my bathroom sink. I’ll go through some 10 or 20 more tubes this year. More next. And hopefully more the next. 

Or I’d argue that there’s still more toothpaste in the tube. So let’s brush our teeth and figure out what work we should do today. 

I recently learned that someone whom I love dearly is forever tainted because I called him out for a lack of excellence in repeating unfounded conspiracy theories. This target of my anger was a compounding of years of mean sarcasm used to hurt and maim. Something that I looked past for years, accepted and forgave, because, you know, fidelity.

These words weren’t just directed toward me. They were directed at ex-girlfriends. My wife Tina. His loved ones, including his mom, dad and sister. He’s a super nice guy, but a tendency toward a level of nonchalant backhandedness that will send your eyes spinning.  

Regardless, if you told me that the toothpaste is out of the tube and you can’t put it back. I’d wonder if there’s more toothpaste still in the tube, and what it looks like. Because if you didn’t like the toothpaste so far, what’s left is going to make your stomach explode like the mushroom cloud in Beirut the other day. 

This whole single episode was detonated because of an off-handed comment repeated from a radio news host. And when I called him out on it, the guy not only claimed ownership of the thought, but that it was true, despite a slew of evidence to the contrary. And when I point this out, he not so much as wrote it off as a passing glance toward my liberal tendencies and anger management failures.

But in my head it was a betrayal of our tacit agreement that with our foundation, we practice the art of pursuing excellence. What we say has meaning. And truth is the ultimate gift we can give ourselves, our loved ones and strangers. Not owning up to the failure of excellence disparaged the unwritten contract or who we are as men. As citizens. As leaders and as Americans. I don’t care what anyone’s politics are. Truth should live on the top shelf of everyone’s goals.

And when we fail our fellow humans, we own up. We admit. And we move on. But this failure of admission is and was not in his vocabulary. And it hurt. So I hurt back.

So the rift is deep and wide, like that crater left in Beirut. The protest that exists if only in my head is like the one on the streets of Beirut, demanding justice for stupidity in leadership, of self-righteousness and societal-level malfeasance.

When one values the one-directional panderings of any one person whom one has never met over the 39-year life-long history of “being thereism”, it’s a downright travesty of human failure, of myopic regard, of ignorant dumbassery.

Because chances are, the madman on the radio waves dies before the basket case with a shitty temper.

Chances are, the lunatic on the radio will never offer a hand, a dollar, a roof or a hug, but the fury of a friend will dissipate like a rain storm and there could be another 39-year drought before another storm, if there ever were another one.

Chances are the maniac on the radio will never offer an ear, a shoulder, or an open armed hug, but the dyspepsia of a psychotic episode is a belch in the night.

A psychotic episode or a psycho on the radio is a crop-dusting fart on the enormity of time.

Chances are clearly in favor of the 39-year tradition. Chances are resolutely smiling on the hand that is tangible, the hand that has been held and the one that has been extended.

But some people are gamblers.

And some people are not.

I, dear reader, am not.

And if the toothpaste is out of the tube, isn’t the best thing to do is just brush your teeth, start your day and go to work? 

Forgiveness ain’t just a number followed by eight letters. It’s a thing that is doable. It just takes tact, humanity, grace, mercy and a pinch of bravery.

(if the poetic licensed joke gets my privileges revoked, “4giveness” is a number followed by eight letters. I know. Stupid.)

The rise of Qanon, your friends and family’s minds are melting before your eyes

In this video Kirby Ferguson discusses conspiracy theories and about the rise of Qanon weirdly attractive monster head out of the dark underworld. Qanon is poking its collective head into real world gaining popularity. People who aren’t identifying as “Qanon” are sharing the videos that are shown in this piece. I’ve seen them. And they are hilariously scary. They don’t make a lick of sense, but the person who shared them is CONVINCED – I tell ya – convinced they “make sense.”

“Magic exists in one place: in the human mind.”

People are afraid and when people are afraid, they let magical ideas fill the void.

So it makes sense that when you think the stories in the Old Testament are real historical events, it’s much simpler to find truths in wonderful weirdness.

Ferguson discusses:

1. Obsession with symbols and codes (e.g. pizza as a “deep state” code for child trafficking)
2. Dot connecting (e.g. linking 5G with Covid-19)
3. Behind every event is a plan concocted by a person (e.g. Soros and the “deep state” conspiracy)
4. Purity (e.g. the Satanic panic and heavy metal music)
5. Apocalypse is nigh (e.g. the “deep state” again)
6. Preoccupatio
n with good and evil (e.g. liberals are not only wrong but evil)

He also says, If you’re one of those people who are squeamish by my words, or dubious or want to write it off … he encourages you to strap in and ride … but I doubt most magical thinkers won’t make it too far into this video.

And for Jason Kottke, where I found this video, his big take away was this line: “These are not systems of knowledge, and they cannot build solutions. They can only criticize and second-guess.”

And the first time Lichtman is wrong will be 2020 …

This professor predicting the outcome of every election since 1984 has been making its rounds. And it only concerns me because it seems the guy is due for being wrong …

Fivefortyeight is giving Biden a 71% chance of winning the presidential election. But Nate was wrong in 2016. Biden’s up in the polls, but so was Hills. Meanwhile, Biden’s competitor is bemoaning wind mills destroying real estate values, but not mentioning or mourning the loss of 165,000+ Americans to Covid. But when you think wind mills cause cancer, you can’t begin to know the bottom of his dementia.

Meanwhile legions of sick are pouring out of areas that saw very few cases. This one in West Virginia is astounding. Forty people who attended a funeral are sick, and they include ages of 5 month old twins to septuagenarian. There is a two year old in the hospital. And the downplay goes on.

Scientists are predicting the future of a Covid stricken world and it’s not pretty. If immunity to the virus lasts less than a year, for example, similar to other human coronaviruses in circulation, there could be annual surges in COVID-19 infections through to 2025 and beyond. Here, Nature explores what the science says about the months and years to come.

Or there’s that story that 97,000 kids tested positive in two weeks (TWO!!!) and that Fox News host is befuddled because she thought – four months into the pandemic – that young people couldn’t get sick, because, you know, Miss Information rang and she was quite convincing.

It’s 2020, and not only is Klu Klux Klan still a thing. But it has members and they are still doing shitty things in the name of race. Race. We all bleed red. We all share the same organs and varieties of internal everything. Our skin divides us? What lunacy is that.

Here’s a video that tries to show how police reform won’t work in America.

My prediction in all this, no matter who the next president is, Covid will take either one of this decrepit old whities and their VP will finish the term. And I’ll be happy to call Kamala president. 😉 And I’ll be horrified to watch as racism’s legs grow stronger and the rancid wranglers of riling ruffled feathers is whipped up into rage.

the mask debate, a stuck record since 1918

NYTimes reports:

The masks were called muzzles, germ shields and dirt traps. They gave people a “pig-like snout.” Some people snipped holes in their masks to smoke cigars. Others fastened them to dogs in mockery. Bandits used them to rob banks.

More than a century ago, as the 1918 influenza pandemic raged in the United States, masks of gauze and cheesecloth became the facial front lines in the battle against the virus. But as they have now, the masks also stoked political division. Then, as now, medical authorities urged the wearing of masks to help slow the spread of disease. And then, as now, some people resisted.

In 1918 and 1919, as bars, saloons, restaurants, theaters and schools were closed, masks became a scapegoat, a symbol of government overreach, inspiring protests, petitions and defiant bare-face gatherings. All the while, thousands of Americans were dying in a deadly pandemic.

I don’t believe this is behind a paywall since it’s pandemic related. Read the whole thing.