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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Coping Mechanisms

This has been an especially weird and dark autumn. The recent election turned lives upside down, and trolls are erupting with glee. The gunfire at Comet Pizza last Sunday, our most local example, was a direct result of false news stories that won't go away.  Joel Achenbach, of the Washington Post, wrote a great article this week explaining why things are. He writes:

 "The Information Age has become the Misinformation Age. Pizzagate is not an anomaly it’s the natural consequence of advances in information technology, the erosion of traditional media and the strenuous efforts of demagogues to tribalize our civic life....The fake news epidemic is a lethal combination of technology and human nature. It’s supply and demand. We probe for missing information, what’s hidden, what’s secret. Digging up secrets has survival advantages. We’re programmed that way."  

My survival response to the election and seasonal disorder was to fortify myself with nourishment. I started with scrapple, eggs and biscuits. And then I made myself a chocolate cake.  (Clearly I am taking the fight not flight route here.) I also derive comfort from old routines. Christmas, whether we are believers or not, brings a whole season of reprises. To set the mood, I like to watch my favorite version of  "A Christmas Carol" with Reginald Owen. (1938) 

Also I'm all in favor of hanging lights with impudence to combat the early evenings brought on by a retreating sun. An old standby in itself, Martin's Tavern, is the bomb when it comes to combining lights with decking the halls every year- an effort that takes, according to undisclosed sources, two weeks and three days to accomplish - mostly after hours. This year I am torn between the race horse adorned with glittering antlers and a plaid scarf, and the large fish wearing a glittering silver garland- sporting what I think might be a miniature Mount Vernon in its mouth. All of which are sadly not displayed here:

And then there are holiday concerts. I'm not a big fan of Christmas music per se, but live music played well is a gift. This weekend  Last Train Home takes over IOTA all weekend long with a matinee show on Sunday (which my older kids remember fondly and would gladly attend if they weren't all grown up and moved away.) Look for the David Kitchen Band and guests making merry at JV's Saturday night.  And last but not least - Eric Felten does a bang up Nutcracker every year about this time at Blues Alley.

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