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    • How Gunpowder Ended the Middle Ages
      Some time back I read a book called The Foundations of Early Modern Europe, 1460-1559. One thread I picked out as particularly clear was their explanation of the effects of gunpowder. The first bit is what as known as pike and shot. Early gunpowder weapons were slow and inaccurate. But late medieval pike units had already changed warfare: not only could they […]
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STrumpets Revisted

Did I tell you this?  The day after the election was a pretty bad day. There was more going on than just political disaster. I won’t get into details but let’s just say that some people can be unnecessarily brutal.  And the weather turned from beautiful mild sunny fall to rainy, damp and cold overnight. I got on the bus and had to stuff a glove in my mouth to keep from sobbing and every black person on the bus looked at me as if to as, “Did you do it? Can I trust you?”.

All through the day, I thought about all that we had lost overnight. We lost our opportunity to kick start the future. Overnight, we had demoted whole swaths of people: women, african americans, LGBT, young college graduates, muslims. We are hamstrung on climate change, health care, reversing the gig economy, social security and medicare. I was upset and angry.

So by the end of the day, I just wanted to go home and catch up on rest from the last four days of GOTV efforts and having hundreds of volunteers passing through my house and trying to make people feel comfortable and upbeat and hydrated. I got to the elevators and  there was a woman there waiting for one. We chit chatted briefly about the election and I told her how disappointed I was after all the work I had done since the primary. She did not look disappointed. Oh, I said, you didn’t vote for Hillary, did you? No, she said, I voted for Trump, I felt the country needed a change. At that moment, the elevator door opened and she stepped in. I stood outside the elevator and just looked at her. She held the doors. No, I said, I just can’t. The feeling of revulsion was so strong I didn’t want to stand anywhere near her. I tried to be polite about it but she couldn’t have missed it.

I was right. Yesterday, I found myself on the elevator with her again. She couldn’t look me in the eyes. I am not imagining things when I say she looked embarrassed. I smiled and felt a lot more dignified than she obviously did.

What a difference 2.5 months and Twitter makes.

So, I was intrigued by the recent article in the NYTimes about the women who voted for Trump and what their reasoning was. I’m no more enlightened now than I was the day after the election. These women have educations but seem to have checked their brains at the door. Some of them claim to be feminists and yet genuinely believe that Donald Trump is a champion of women. It’s almost as if they can’t see who he is or have actually heard what he said. There’s something deeply  unsettling about living in a country with so many people who are incapable of making informed decisions  because someone has confused them with Tversky magic, tapped into some dark archetype and is playing with their emotions.

But at least some of them appear to feel ashamed of what they’ve done. So… There’s that.

Thank god I don’t have to work in her group. I can’t imagine what it’s like to live with her.

*****************************

I was planning to write more frequently but my Mac laptop is acting up. The pointer is jumping all over the screen. It’s not the touchpad. I already tried a mouse. Also, the problem seems to go away if the screen goes into power saving mode or if I shut down. So, I’m going to guess that there’s a more expensive problem going on here and I will probably have to visit a genius. The bad thing about that is the prospect of going to the Apple Store where I will be surrounded by shiny new hardware makes me weak in the knees. I have the seven year itch where new laptops are concerned  (no, a windows PC is out of the question. I’m spoiled.)

So if anyone out there knows of a potential fix for my pointer issue, let me know before I give in and buy something. I’m going to try resetting the PRAM. Any other ideas?