The Idler

There was music in the cafés at night, and revolution in the air

– Bob Dylan, – “Tangled up in Blue”

It’s a tough time to be an Idler.  As a species we tend to be somewhat passive. We like to let the news parade by us while we access a beverage or three. But it’s hard to enjoy a toddy while watching all these idiots running around setting fires and breaking windows. What’s worse is that it seems to be on every channel. Idlers just want to get along, you know. Got a beef? Let’s negotiate. How come nobody wants to negotiate?

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The first thing we noticed about the whole thing is that the bad cop had an interesting name: Derek Chauvin. People of a certain age will remember the early days of feminism (as long as we’re talking about an unwillingness to negotiate) when innocent schlubs like us were called “male chauvinist pigs”. When we googled it we found out this epithet derived from a 19th century French soldier ‑ one of Napoleon’s troops ‑ who wanted Nappy and the old empire restored. Big flag waver, if you like a tricolor, by the name of Nicolas Chauvin. So this cop was male, a Chauvinist by name, and, if you recall the old hippy term for law enforcement, a “pig”. He checks all the boxes! And he sure looks like a very bad apple. But, as idlers, we would be content to let the criminal justice system deal with him. Yeah, yeah, we know it doesn’t always work just right, but the alternative is a mob. Like on TV. As professional innocent bystanders, we don’t want to be around a mob when it decides to head our way

The other thing we noticed is that no one is social distancing any more. Hey rioters, aren’t you afraid of picking up the virus from one of those Molotov cocktail containers? Yo, buddy, yeah you in the cute black ninja outfit, have you sanitized that crowbar you’re swinging? Hey criminals, do you have any idea what kind of microbes might be crawling all over that police cruiser you’re in the process of vandalizing? Also, do you have to firebomb the bars before we’ve even had a chance to warm up a stool? That’s just uncivilized, man.

Seemingly on the other side of the world, or maybe in a parallel universe, a giant rocket ship blasted off from Cape Canaveral. It was the result of a partnership between the government, in the form of NASA, and a fellow named Elon Musk, a latter day capitalist icon. How old were you when Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon? That old? Wow. Did you ever wonder why nothing very dazzling happened space‑wise in the past 50 years? Us too, but we figured there was nothing left to do if the “rocket scientists” at NASA had given up. So along comes this silicon valley / electric car  baron and wonders why, if the cost of rocketeering is so high, reusable booster rockets couldn’t become, as they say, a thing.  Elon Musk’s rocket took off, put the capsule in orbit, then came back down and parked itself on a pad. Just like that.

You can have the kiddie‑commies, and whatever’s left when they’re done. We’d rather hang with this Musk fellow. We’d like to see a few more rocket ships take off and land before the youthful idiots try to burn down Cape Canaveral.

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