Gratitude is an Action Word [DOT 27/11/21]

Our priorities are what we do

Here it is, the Saturday after Thanksgiving in the US…or just Saturday if you’re literally anywhere else.  The US has some nice things to be sure, but the reality is that this country has been on a steady downward slide since January 20th of 1981.  Since then, we’ve made the evisceration of government services a national sport—one in which both parties have been happy to engage, at least until very recently.  Even then, with the passage of the hard infrastructure bill (forget the Build Back Better bill—that sucker is dead in the water thanks to S&M), Joe Biden is 100% kidding himself when he says that we’ll once again have the best roads, and transit systems in the world over the next 10 years.  At best, that trillion dollars might finally get us back to a baseline where we won’t have to continually worry about massive bridge collapses, or power grids going to shit in a storm—but we will be far from being an actual leader in cutting edge infrastructure which not only works and is properly maintained, but also doesn’t contribute massive amounts of emissions toward global warming.  So, let’s just be real about the whole thing:  we’re finally making up for the unconscionable neglect that we’ve shown toward the nation’s infrastructure to the point where we will no longer resemble the Global South, at least for a few years, but that’s as good as it’s going to get.  Republican gerrymandering and their slash-and-burn approach to election law will net them Congress next year, and may very well get them the White House again a couple of years after that—especially if the Democrats continue to put forward milquetoast, centrist dipshits like Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as nominees.  Brace yourselves, because this is going to be a very dark ride for the foreseeable future.

That being said, if we who value intelligence, reality, and the fact that individualism above all else will result in our own destruction are going to get through our lives without seriously considering suicide as a viable solution, then we need to cultivate gratitude as a coping mechanism.  I’m not talking about that bullshit, Hallmark gratitude which is only mentioned one day of the year and then ignored as it rightly should be.  I’m talking about gratitude that comes from acting like we’re grateful.  I can tell you all day long that I’m grateful, but if I’m scowling and bitching and moaning and actively making the lives of everyone around me miserable, then the reality is that I’m lying.  However, if I’m taking actions like being of service to others, treating people with respect (At least those who deserve it.  Some people—right wing shitbags, for example—do not offer respect and therefore don’t deserve any.), and paying real attention to what is going well in my life and in the world, then I am demonstrating my gratitude, rather than proclaiming it.  Gratitude is an action word.  Sometimes, it’s really, really, really fucking hard to be grateful—and a lot of days I’m anything but—so at those times I often need to utilize basic tools like writing down a list of what I’m grateful for, or even asking other people what makes them grateful.  One thing is for certain, which is the reality that my mind is a neighborhood which I am best avoiding as much as possible.  The more I can get out of myself and pay more attention to what’s in front of me, the better off I am, and anyone with whom I come into contact.

Well, that was nice, wasn’t it?  Now, back to the joyless hellscape of our regular programming.

The Greatest Country In the World!!

I don’t know about you, but I think they also mind the functioning transit systems, non-shitty cellular and internet services, and not worrying about bankrupting themselves trying to get an education.  Real ‘Murcans will eat shit all day long and ask for seconds.

Way more attention needs to be paid to the obscene amounts of money being thrown at the Supreme Court and other levels of the federal judiciary by right wing psychopaths.


Gee, I never would have expected people in Indiana to be such assholes…

The first question they need to ask themselves is:  why the fuck did Jerry hire Mike McCarthy?

This is a good start.  Approximately elevently-billion more golf courses to go.


This is never going to end, because Republicans make literally everything political.


From the desk of What Could Possibly Go Wrong?  Honestly, not everything is improved with technology—and I say that as someone who has a tech-centric job.


Cell phone cameras, and their attendant software, are making Photoshop obsolete.  Good.

There is a reason why certain reboots are doomed to failure—because the originals were perfect.  Among those perfect originals is The Princess Bride.  The good news is there is no buzz about a reboot there.  However, I will agree that The Neverending Story and Conan the Barbarian could certainly go for another try.

Good News!

This is certainly something to be grateful for—particularly the significant positive swing in numbers.  Let’s hope that whatever is effecting the change here keeps going.


The turducken of tunes:

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When you can walk its length, and leave no trace, you will have learned.


  1. I completely agree that we need to cultivate gratitude as a coping mechanism, and there is far too much bitching and moaning and grudge-holding and useless envy (which is one of the Seven Deadly Sins but why gluttony and sloth are on the list I don’t know, but I digress.)

    I think I am a cheerful, optimistic person but that is probably more due to genetic makeup and my own personal life experiences, and taking the long view, rather than conscious cultivation, so it comes easier to me. Better Half will sometimes say to me, “I think we have a decent life, don’t you?” “Of course we do. What would you want to change about it?” “Well, X and Y have a bigger apartment…” “Our apartment is fine and much nicer than I ever could have imagined growing up. But if for some reason our loathsome neighbors were to go bankrupt and we could have them hauled off to debtor’s prison and annex their apartment for pennies on the dollar I would let fate take its course.” “Mmmm…”

    That Guardian article about living like Europeans is brief but great. There’s a link in there that leads you to an LA Times piece about why European refrigerators are so much smaller than ours, a topic I myself have touched on regarding why European recipes never tell you whether the meal would make for good leftovers and/or if you could freeze them.

    Here’s another good and hilarious one I was reading this morning:

    The url doesn’t reveal the topic, which is “vote for Britain’s stupidest MP.” I’ve long maintained that the British press, even the tabloids, are written at a higher standard than ours. Here’s evidence, from that article:

    We’ll begin with an eye-catching Westminster speech on the subject of international men’s day, which has long served as an occasion to draw out the cream of parliamentary intelligentsia. Announcing himself as one of their number was the Don Valley MP, Nick Fletcher, who delivered a neuron-killing address about a crisis in masculinity. “Everywhere … there seems to be a call from a tiny, but very vocal, minority that every male character or good role model must have a female replacement,” explained Nick. “One only needs to consider the discussions around who will next play James Bond.” Not really – it’ll be a man, but go on. “In recent years we have seen Doctor Who, the Ghostbusters, Luke Skywalker and the Equalizer all replaced by women, and men are left with the Krays and Tommy Shelby.” Think he’ll find they’re mostly on TikTok and not bothered about this either way. But it’s the extrapolation that’s the really special bit: “Is there any wonder we are seeing so many young men committing crime?” Nick would later refer to this as “a rather nuanced point”, to which the only possible rejoinder is: no. Incorrect.

    Happy Saturday, everyone.

  2. I think we have food poisoning. Everyone except the kid who didn’t eat the pizza has been hurling all night long. I thought it was the Taco Bell we had here at my friend’s for dinner last night, but the 2 people who stayed home are sick, too. I haven’t heard from my mom, my sister, or my oldest son, yet… I hope they didn’t get any of whichever one(s) are currently destroying the rest of us, especially my mom and stepdad.

    Me and my bright ideas. I should’ve just made the damn turkey.

    • Food poisoning is no joke. I’ve had it twice and one of those times I had to go to the hospital because I was so dehydrated. It may be worth a trip to the ER.

      • Butcher’s right. If you can’t keep down water, try to see a doctor. We’ve got several types of walk-in clinics around here who can see you fast. If that’s not an option go to the ER. Some types of food poisoning can have long-term effects, so if you can’t keep down water and have a raging fever, seek medical attention.

        • Also, be careful about blaming any particular food without good reason because this can lead to repeat cases. People often say it was the alfredo sauce or the clams or the Chinese food because of stereotypes, and miss the fact that thawing hamburger juice dripped into the crisper drawer and it’s really the carrot sticks.

          • I’m almost positive it was the sausage on the first 2 pizzas that’s what got us. Just based on who’s gotten sick and who’s still ok. The ones who came later and didn’t get any of the sausage pizzas are still ok. It could just be some short and nasty stomach flu bug, but I’m almost sure it was the sausage.

        • We’re starting to be able to keep down tiny sips of 7up and/or Gatorade. Turns out that my sister and my oldest son are both just as sick as we are, but their SO’s aren’t. My health insurance company never sent me cards, so unless someone starts seizing or something (no joke… O-H has non-epileptic seizures), we’ll have to wait til we get home tonight (I hope tonight) for doctor’s visits.

          Mostly, I’m just exhausted. We couldn’t sleep more than 30-60 minutes without someone being violently ill 🙁

          • i hope you all feel better soon

    • Oh nooooo

      Did the pizzas come from a local pizzeria or were they something you picked up at a store already frozen?

      • They were Papa Murphy’s take n bake. It seems to have been the 2 with sausage on them that did us in… those were the first 2 out of the oven,  and the people who came later, after they were gone, are the ones who aren’t sick.

        • Yeah that timing is very suspicious.

          When you have the energy to do it, are you going to call the pizza place and be like “heeeeeeey these 2 pizzas made us puke our guts out?”

          • Ohhhhh, yeah. I absolutely plan to.

  3. Wear gratitude like a cloak, and it will feed every corner of your life – Rumi

    That’s my cross-stitched sampler-of-the-day.

  4. It’s sad/funny in a dark way that right wingers who want US Amercia to be the greatest nation in the world are also the reason why it won’t ever be.

    Caught in a faded unrealistic vision of hardened ideological stupid (libertarianism/capitalism) exactly like Communism.

    • This is as good a time as any to stress WATCH OUT FOR PEOPLE BLAMING SOUTH AFRICA!

      South Africa is where it has been found first, but South Africa has a top notch biohazard testing program due to its previous history with AIDS. They test samples much more frequently and extensively than many developed countries, so it is very possible the variant was brought in from elsewhere.

      South Africa has a lot of international travellers and any news organization which suggests this is coming from South Africa should be treated as the idiots they are. It will lead to weeks of wheel spinning and more political haymaking by right wingers who want more Covid spread.

      • eh…at this point it doesnt really matter where its from…im pretty sure its our fault…for hoarding all the vaccines and letting the poor countries go without….you know…as always

        kinda the same reason we are currently sitting on a bazzilion face masks…which apparently can go out of date…who knew?

        anyways instead of sending them out to where they might do some good…we’re just going to burn them….even the idea of just sending them out to all our citizens for free got shot down….coz it would hurt the shops ability to sell their stock…

        theres something pretty fucked up about all that

      • Eta, Sorry Farscy! I basically echoed what you said!💖

        Also left unsaid in that sort of news coverage;


        The fact that those of us in the countries where the various vaccines have been developed & are being produced never really HAVE shared them OR THE TECH TO MAKE THEM as well as we *ought to have* in the first place…

        And plenty of nations on the continent of Africa (and let’s be honest, PLENTY of places in Asia & South America, too!💔💔💔), are stupidly & DANGEROUSLY unable to even access vaccines for their people, because WE never really funded, or gave vaccines and/or enough Tech/info/resources to COVAX.

        So YEAH, it’s not really “South Africa” or “Africa” or ANY of the smaller & less-wealthy places.

        It is dumb things like “American Exceptionalism!” And “Hurr-Durr-‘Murica!!!” coming back around to bite us in our own stupid ass again.😕🙃

        • hurr durr richer side of europica too

          tho…admittedly…the eastbloc side… not so much

          they distrust their gubments too much to get vaccinated

          im honestly not sure what will be the end of us first….our collective stupidity…or capitalism

          im not even counting global warming….that fuckers a slow burner and will be late to the party :p

  5. I feel this DOT would have been better for Black Friday!


  6. I’m sure that it may have been ill-advised (1) to call British Airways’ top-notch – if you’re looking at it upside down, that is – customer service line (2) on a Black Friday (3) right when a new variant had been discovered. But after about a dozen attempts to have my onward connecting flight for Spain next year changed after discovering that the itinerary that I’d originally wanted was on sale for the price I’d paid (including using the oft-documented workaround of calling the Mexico office – which is actually based in San Jose – and being quoted a higher fare), I finally got through about half an hour before the US line was due to close for the night. Apologies to PHL, which I’m sure is a wonderful facility and worthy of my time, but I’d just rather spend just a bit more than an hour there instead of almost four. So, for all that I’m grateful at least.

    Then today, I have to translate one last audio transcription in this current batch from Edinburgh before I go over them all tomorrow. Four years ago, when I was visiting my sister’s family in the exurbs of Denver for Thanksgiving, I happened to check my e-mail and see that Edinburgh had sent me a contract to translate by that Monday, and I ended up working on it at non-socializing times throughout the weekend and sending it off from her computer. She extended the invitation to us again this year, and this stuff would’ve probably entailed a larger commitment, so I guess I’m grateful that we ended up not going this year because it was up in the air whether or not I’d get the PTO for it – and my elderly parents weren’t exactly jazzed about having to drive 13 hours or so each way. (The last day that had been up in the air was granted literally the day after they wrote her to say that we couldn’t make it. My dad suggested that I could give back one or two of the extra days, but I certainly wasn’t about to look the gift horse of a two-day work week with a paid remainder in the mouth.)

    • I’d take Philly over Charlotte airport any day of the week.

      But the bar is so low for “better than flying through Charlotte” that my statement doesn’t really mean shit.

      • Well, I’ve never had the pleasure of flying through Charlotte myself, but the only advantage that I could really see when checking out itineraries was giggling like a dirty-minded schoolboy every time I remembered that its airport code was CLT.

    • here…somebody made this website

      im a little conflicted about it….i mean…schadenfreude can only go so far before its just meanness right?

      then again….its not hugely surprising to me that im a terrilble petty person…so meh

      • I think I have a new favorite website!

  7. I blame American Evangelicalism for a lot of our current shitshow, and also for people not having gratitude for things.

    Like when you literally expect to be Raptured Away and this Earth is gonna be destroyed by Sky Daddy? Welp why be grateful for things. Why care if animals go extinct. Why care about social programs meant to help folks. Etc etc.

    Organized religion has the potential to be a force for good, but often it’s a fucking grift shitshow.

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