Open Thread for New Year’s Eve Eve, 2020

How was your Christmas?

Did you get anything this cool for Christmas? No, it’s not from the hotel…

It’s almost over. Here are some thoughts or things I’ve run across that I found briefly interesting in recent days, while I was busy doing other stuff:

  1. First, how’s your Christmas going? — I’m hanging in there, with the first six days under my belt now. Been trying to catch up with paying, day-job stuff when I haven’t been busy doing Christmas things. And of course, I’m not going anywhere tomorrow night because a) I’d rather stay safe, and b) I don’t want to — I don’t get the whole going-out thing, especially on holidays.
  2. Socialist view of John le Carre’s work — You know how I prefer reading opinion to news, and don’t much care what the point of view is, as long as a case is made effectively? Anyway, I was glad Google showed me this, from the World Socialist Web Site, because it gave me the perspective on le Carre, George Smiley and the Circus from the point of view of Moscow Centre. Well, not really, since the writer doesn’t seem to consider Stalinism to be real socialism (and you know how picky socialists can be about that sort of thing), but it was interesting. Of course, now that I’ve read it, MI5 has probably put me on a list.
  3. No more Niekro, and no more knuckleballs — Just thought I’d note the passing both of Phil Niekro, and of a particular, esoteric American art form. It caused my wife to ask me what a knuckleball was, and I told her what I knew, and then went and read up on it to see if I had been right (I had been). Did you know that Eddie Cicotte, ace hurler of the Black Sox, may have invented it? I did not…
  4. The dusty old op-ed page still getting folks worked up — The op-ed page is gone in most communities — The State hasn’t had one for years — but the few that are still around stirred up some trouble in 2020. A perspective on the year a little different from the usual “movies of 2020” story…
  5. Dave Barry’s review of the year — You don’t want the year to end without the perspective of Mr. Language Person himself, do you? I don’t. And I need to get back to reading it, because I haven’t finished. My favorite bit so far was about Prince Harry and his bride, who “are sick and tired of being part of the British royal family and want to just be regular normal everyday hard-working folks making millions of dollars solely because one of them was born into, and the other one married into, the British royal family.” The way Dave relates it, Her Majesty made short work of this, sorting them out good and proper. It didn’t really happen that way, and normally I don’t really dig dark humor, but it got a snort out of me, I’ll confess. Even though, from what I hear from South Carolinians who served with him in Afghanistan, Harry is a decent sort.
  6. ‘Mary Ann’ dies of COVID — Or rather, of course, Dawn Wells. This is the only actual news from today. Very sad. Something as innocent at “Gilligan’s Island,” and someone from my childhood, running smack into the hard reality of 2020, and being done in by it. Never mind the fact that her character was the nicest one on the show. This isn’t an appropriate time to bring up the whole “Who was hotter, Ginger or Mary Ann?” thing, so I won’t, except to say that Mary Anne was definitely the more appealing.

Dawn Wells as Mary Ann



19 thoughts on “Open Thread for New Year’s Eve Eve, 2020

  1. Barry

    Been off for over a week now enjoying the slow pace.

    Sold a water toy over the break and bought another one.

    Got some more work done in my backyard and learning more about the weather station I installed that uploads data to several weather websites. That’s been fun.

    Had plans to go on our annual after Christmas vacation out of state but canceled them due the pandemic.

  2. Norm Ivey

    It’s been a pinball year for me personally and professionally. Daddy passed in January. We became grandparents for the first time in August. I decided to retire and return to the classroom as a critical needs teacher in February, before everything went nuts. I worried and imagined worst case scenarios during the election season and had my faith in the system vindicated in the days and weeks following the election as the system performed as it was designed. I’ve been buoyed by the engagement and embrace of equality I see from younger folks. I am floored by the courage of health care front line workers and the innovation and speed with which the vaccines were developed.

    It’s been a crazy year, but a good one in many ways. I choose to focus on the good.

    Happy New Year! Here’s a playlist to celebrate with.

  3. Barry

    Your trump legal team in action.

    “If Pence is arrested, Secretary Mike Pompeo will save the election. Pence will be in jail awaiting trial for treason. He will face execution by firing squad. He is a coward & will sing like a bird & confess ALL.” – Attorney Lin Wood

    I can only assume Wood’s references to Pompeo are a nod to Pompeo’s self congratulatory tweet storm on Friday where he used the State Department’s Official twitter account to stroke his own ego (and political career)

        1. Doug Ross

          Your obsessive delusion is not my issue. Go play with your guns and fantasize about shooting people. Or go try and lose some more friends in 2021. I’m sure you can do that with ease. You’re Barney Fife with a single bullet keyboard to hide behind.

  4. Barry

    Just your average day from the deranged trump legal effort

    An attorney accusing two Supreme Court justices of pedophilia

    “ I am disappointed. I thought Justices Roberts & Breyer would avoid public scandal & simply resign. Only a fool wants their dirty laundry aired in public.

    Maybe I should consider filing a formal motion for recusal & hang their laundry on the clothesline to be exposed to sunlight?”

    1. Barry

      And the responses from Trumpers is revealing

      “ if you show damning evidence and Roberts/Breyer, along with DOJ just ignore it — then what? Until Enforcement is restored you can’t rely on government to act. That’s a consequence of corruption destroying checks and balances.”

      “ I saw a person who is now deceased give prophecy about SCOTUS justices. It was something like 1 will die and 2 resign.”


      “ DO IT . We are at our wit’s ends watching this go down . We MUST RESTORE THE RULE OF LAW . We are losing America”

      “ No sir, don’t go through all that court process. They’re the DEEP STATE!! Just post your evidence here and now. Your true believers deserve to see it! The WORLD should see it!”

      “ 100% Invalid General Election California Ballots means ALL contests on those ballots “shall not be cast nor counted at any election.”

      “ Well, Scotus chief John Roberts and globo peanut Stephen Breyer are likely being blackmailed by the bad, evil people who have the “tapes” on them. I guess they’d rather face the music than resign.”

    1. Bob Amundson

      A concerning section of the GOP fits that description. President Obama warned Democrats about a circular firing squad; many Republicans should also heed that warning. Fighting to be relevant in the Trump Republican Party will extract a heavy price. OK BOOMERS.

  5. randle

    So the president committed another impeachable offense yesterday, when he pressured the Georgia secretary of state to change the election results. Waiting for unanimous GOP condemnation and appropriate action.
    And Bob, I don’t think we can equate the Democrats’ problems with discipline and self-sabotage (which Obama was talking about) with the GOP’s willingness to upend democracy to stay in power.

    1. Bob Amundson

      You’re right Randle, there is no equating; the Democrats did not engage a circular firing squad (rallying behind POTUS elect Biden). I agree a second impeachable offense was committed yesterday, and the Republican Party not following your advice will be fatal in the long run. The current situation reminds me of Nero and Rome burning; will there be a similar outcome?

    2. Barry

      Former George Bush administration spokesman said what trump did was unethical and immoral. He’s been a big trump supporter.

      Seeing a fair number of GOP folks call this out.

      I’m glad it was on tape as Trump would just deny it and his cult would of course buy it.

  6. Doug Ross

    Anyone seen Joe Biden lately? Three more weeks until racism, sexism, climate change, and income inequality are solved forever. Can’t wait!

    1. Barry

      Yep, he’s quietly doing the business he was elected to do without fanfare or making a fool of himself every second like trump.

      You are welcome.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Absolutely. If Joe does his job the way I hope and expect, we can go long periods without paying the slightest attention to the White House.

        It’s the main thing I want from him.

        We’re almost there. The Creature was up to his usual impeachable offenses over the weekend, but he’ll soon be gone…


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