Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Moonlight Madness


This photo of our patio may look dark and unremarkable -- but consider that it was taken at about 3 a.m. by moonlight. That's how bright the moon was last night. As I was up wandering around, keeping an eye on the news, I experimented with the camera to pass the time. I think it's pretty cool, and interesting that the image retains so much color -- more color than my own eyes were capable of seeing at that hour.

Dave and I didn't try to stay awake to see the election results come in -- it was the wee hours of the morning here by the time the polls closed on the east coast, so that wouldn't have made sense. Instead we went to bed as usual and then woke up and checked results between intermittent dozing.

So far it's unfolded about as I expected. I had hoped Biden might pull off a win in Florida, but I told Dave yesterday that I'd be stunned if it happened -- Florida is generally red as a rule -- and indeed it has not. I knew all those dreams of a nationwide blue wave were unlikely. I stand by my skepticism of the polls and my belief that a lot of Trump voters either don't talk to pollsters or lie about their voting intentions.

Of course I'm still hopeful, but I'm also resigned to the possibility that we may have four more years of this awful man. What I struggle to comprehend is what so many people see in him. I think a lot of Republican voters probably stayed loyal to their party in spite of Trump,  for business reasons or the perception that their taxes would be lower. I think his demonstrated support of Israel probably won him some friends. There's a cultural struggle over the coronavirus, and those who want us to plow ahead and let Darwinian principles decide who lives and who dies see him as their man.

I am also reminded that personally, I really am an outlier -- an educated gay man with professional skills, no kids and the opportunity to live overseas. I understand that I do not have the same concerns or struggle with the same issues that many Americans face. I don't have opioid-addicted relatives, my finances are relatively stable (if a bit shallow on assets, given that I don't own a house), I don't have to send kids to college, I'm not religious, I haven't fired a gun since childhood summer camp, and I have a job that (so far) has been coronavirus-proof. Trump's appeal is mystifying to me, but admittedly, I'm coming from a different place.

Anyway, we'll see what happens.


Meanwhile, in London, the crap corner was looking especially crappy the other day. There's probably a metaphor in there somewhere.

42 comments:

  1. Do you think the democrats would have polled better with a more inspiring candidate? I can't understand how they choose a woman hated by so many last time and an old public servant seemingly with dementia this time.

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    1. Biden has his shortcomings -- mainly his age -- but I haven't seen any evidence at all that he has dementia. That's a right-wing myth.

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  2. You're always more generous and kind regarding Trump supporters than I am.

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  3. Oh, forgot to mention the photo. I love it!

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    1. I really am trying to be even-keeled about this. I mean, we're all just people trying to choose the best person for the job, right?

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  4. You know something, Steve? A three year old toddler throwing an (understandable) tantrum has nothing on Trump. I have just learnt (0800 GMT) that he has declared victory and if, by some divine injustice (God can't count), he hasn't won he'll contest the result anyway.

    The one thing I am surprised at that Trump appears to get the "Latino" vote. Why?

    And then there are the postal/early votes - as yet to be counted (made me think of you). Being "early" why haven't they been counted already? Head start so to speak.

    May your blood pressure not rise, your cortisol (stress hormone) level control itself, and do remember that at night all cats are grey/gray - among the orange.

    U

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  5. Some states apparently have rules that say they can't start counting until election day. It seems to me that's a rule ripe for change. Trump was always going to fight any result that doesn't go his way.

    As for the Latinos, in South Florida they are largely of Cuban (and now some Venezuelan) extraction and they tend to be VERY right wing. I guess they see the Democrats as a socialist threat. Other Latino groups (Mexicans, Puerto Ricans) don't have the same political perspective, which is why in other states they tend to vote Democrat.

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    1. Thanks for enlightening me. Just as I had left my question to you I posed the same to the Angel. Both of you - and, frankly, I am a little shocked - explaining to me the Latino socialist angle/threat (as they perceive it by their very origins). I had no idea. Talking of which: Last night, for "light" relief, I started watching a documentary on Cuba ("The Cuba Libre Story" - Netflix). Strong Tabaco. For a moment I thought how odd to make a documentary about a cocktail. If only. Molotov more like it.

      U

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  6. He is going to take us right down the road to a civil war. Demanding a stop to vote counting and closing victory is the mark of a dictator. I have no idea how anyone can look at what he is doing and see a man who should be running the country.

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    1. I do fear the potential for violence, but I honestly believe it's only a tiny proportion of people who want to go that route. (Of course it doesn't take many to do damage -- look at Oklahoma City.)

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  7. You listen to Trump in Florida scaremongering with the word "socialism"...but both candidates are white, old, rightwing politically, of European origin.....
    And your heart sinks..and then when he threatens not counting all the votes and threatening legal action...
    Not that our lot are any better

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    1. Biden will die eventually and Harris will take over.

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    2. GZ: Yeah, the "socialism" label gets thrown around a lot. People don't know what socialism really is.

      Karen: Why does everyone think Biden is going to die? It's hardly inevitable within the next four years. And if he does, I have no doubt that Harris will be a capable president.

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  8. You're right about Trump's support among Latino men, who like Trump's macho and his tarring of Democrats as Socialists.

    I haven't been sleeping well this week so I went to bed early, only to wake up at 12:29AM to take a peek at how the Blue Wave was doing. no Blue Wave. THAT'S when I started drinking, and stayed up all night, hoping that the news would get better.

    there's still a chance, a better than even chance, that Biden and Harris will win but yee gods -- how is it possible that it's THIS CLOSE?? You're very generous in giving people credit for having legitimate fears for their livelihoods but even when I was broke in my 20s, working pitiful entry-level jobs, I still voted Democrat because I was voting for what was better for the country in the long run. Voting for the guy who wants to keep the oil and coal industry in business just because that's where your paycheck comes from is selfish and shortsighted.

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    1. Vivian, I love how you reach for a drink when the going gets tough! LOL

      I thought about you, actually, as I was watching the results -- I wondered how you were taking it. Things are looking better now!

      I always voted Democrat too. I've never voted Republican for any major federal office.

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  9. And that moonlit photo is unreal!

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  10. Be glad you live out of the country. That's all I can say.

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    1. It IS scary to read the threats of violence. I think a lot of it is just people blowing off steam, though. I sort of have to believe that.

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  11. I'm feeling a bit disoriented this morning. I didn't get to bed until after midnight and woke up at 5:30 with my heart racing from a stressful dream where I was in a hurry to get somewhere and of course everything goes wrong. Now there is a metaphor for you.
    Your moonlight photo is pretty amazing.

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    1. Yeah, you were definitely having an anxiety dream! Looks like things are shaping up a little better now as I write this.

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  12. This is an amazing picture with the moonlight!

    We had a zoom evening last night with some of our Irish-US family living in Boston and it was quite sobering. They voted for Biden but told us that for most white middle class/educated people ("even those who like us are outraged about trump") life in the past four years was just as it always as, meaning nothing negative, no ill effects.

    Apart from being angry and mad about the supreme court justice appts and the wall and the separation of kids etc. - all things that happened to others not them. And who knows these others if you live in a comfortable bubble.

    One cousin recalled her boss at a research dept. in Harvard who said that as long as people still believe that life goes on, money to be made, kids in good schools, holidays as usual, why not let him get away with it, no sweat off my back etc.

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    1. I think it's true that for many people, the agonies of the last four years have been largely abstract. I can't imagine giving Trump a pass for his authoritarian tendencies, though.

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  13. It's frustrating to wake up in the morning and find that a decision has not been made.

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    1. It could take days! And then there will be the court challenges...

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    1. Don't be! It's turning around! (As I'm sure you've seen.)

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  15. My sibs and extended family are all wondering how we can leave the country if the worst of the worst comes to pass. Four more years of this would be truly unbearable. ALL of the votes have not been counted yet, and Biden really does stand a chance of winning. Trump is already complaining about a stolen election and going to the Supreme Court if he doesn't get his pouting little monster face way. We shall see.
    Nice moonlight there.

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    1. It's kind of entertaining to watch Trump throw his tantrums.

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  16. That's a wonderful photo considering the time of night it is. Look how light the sky is behind the trees. You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

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    1. It was a hard photo to take, but yes, the moonlight was very bright! If I had it to do over again I'd use a lower ISO which would reduce the grain in the picture -- I boosted it way too high. But c'est la vie.

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  17. Good photo in the dark! I guess I did not realize what country I lived in. Trump lied everyday on the campaign trail and people believed it. Joe Biden does not have dementia and I wish people would quit saying that. If you watched the second debate and saw how much data he had in his head, it's clear he still has it. The crowds clapped for lies and loved it. I just can't stand it.

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    1. It is astonishing that so many people, after four years of this misery, STILL chose Trump. I agree -- it does make you wonder.

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  18. Biden was not my first choice, but he most certainly doesn't have dementia, although he does have a stutter. When people I know say "this is not who we are" I respond that it IS who many of us are. I never believed in the Blue Wave, but I am repulsed, disappointed and very, very afraid.

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    1. These results really do reveal the darker side of our society, though I think many voters were thinking purely along economic or partisan lines. (In other words, voting Republican simply because they're Republican, in spite of the man.) At least I'm choosing to believe that!

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  19. I am stressed today. I know I should let it go but how can we endure 4 more years of this idiot. He was saying he was the winner last night and all voting counts should stop. I was saying who the hell do he think he is. The race for the white house is very close and now we know the world is full of idiots like the orange thing. This thing is so bad I have no idea how anyone could support him. They always say lies go farther than the truth. He has promised these older people how he is going to help them and they don't have common sense to know he haven't helped them in four years. I also heard this black man saying he get more money on his pay check. The fool doesn't know beginning the first of the year those social security taxes are going to be paid back and their employer will be deducting double funds from their paychecks. Now we all see how many uneducated individuals is floating around on earth. Let's keep the prayers going forth.

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    1. We are ALL stressed! But it's looking better now. Keep the faith!

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  20. I had a terrible night. I went to bed at a (fairly) reasonable hour, but I was so upset by the early results that I didn't sleep well at all. Just like 2016. I had hoped to avoid that feeling by being resigned that Trump would win again, but I let hope get in the way. He might (probably will) lose, but without the blue wave & an unflipped senate, what can Biden accomplish? Or is the senate still within reach? I've been at work today & trying to not obsessively check all the things.

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    1. I think merely having Biden in office will be a MILLION times better than having Trump. He will set a much better tone for public discourse. He'll be presidential. He won't be a whiny, angry, narcissistic crybaby.

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  21. I woke up at 1:30 this morning and made the mistake of checking my phone for the news and then fell into a horrible horrible funk. 2016 all over again. I just don't get his appeal. Even among conservative voters. I don't get it.

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    1. It's not as bad as 2016, at least for me -- 2016 was such an unexpected SHOCK. I was prepared for this race to go either way. And I suppose it still could.

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  22. we didn't watch the returns and was so disappointed Wed morning but was feeling better as the day went on. today (Fri) I am near jubilent feeling better than I have since Trump was appointed. we're ahead in 4 of the 5 states still counting having overtaken Trump's lead in two of them. and we still have a chance to take the senate with Georgia's run-offs.

    and yeah the moon was SO bright. back when I was a river guide down in Big Bend on full moon nights with a clear sky we didn't need flashlights.

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