Mirror

So, maybe it was just a dream. I know that it can’t be real, right?

I think it started because everything was going wrong in life.

Lately the mirror had become an enemy. I looked into it and didn’t recognize the reflection: it was a person of faded hair, and loose skin. There were wrinkles on her forehead, and her eyes had lost the shine that had got me those contracts selling mascara.

I’d stopped putting makeup on, not only because it seemed to look funny — like a painted skull — but because I couldn’t stand looking at myself in the mirror.

Peter laughed at me. “Relax!” he said. “You look fine,” he said. “You’re fifty and you look thirty. Stop behaving as if you’re a decaying crone.”

Mind you, he was older too, but men get more handsome as they age. They become distinguished and gain authority. Women on the other hand, as I told him “Are like summer roses, and as a chill sets in we just look faded and brown and ugly.”

“What?” he asked. “You’re taking up poetry, now?” And he kissed me, and when he kissed me it was all worth it.

“Perhaps the obsession with being old is because Liddy is away at college?” he asked. “Go visit her for the day.”

And I had. And that only made it worse.

You see, Liddy was my vindication. Liddy was my proof I’d been right all along.

Mother had been very upset, when I decided to quit modeling and get married at twenty. She said I was just at the beginning, just starting to make it out of local markets. That spread in Teen Chic was only the beginning. I was going to go all the way to the top and make millions for one sitting. And then maybe work in movies.

But I’d met Peter. And I loved him. We were going to get married and have a dozen children.

The dozen children never came. Only Liddy. But Liddy was…. perfect. Oh, not as beautiful as I’d been. Or at least beautiful in a less conventional way. Instead of my oval face, my blue eyes, the hair that had once been a bright gold, she had Peter’s round face, and very white skin. She had dark air, and dark eyes, and a mobile mouth always disposed to smile.

Mom sighed when she visited. “Pity she took after Peter,” she said. And, “Unfortunately her face will never be her fortune.”

So, instead of being dragged to beauty pageants as soon as she was out of diapers, my daughter had learned to read at four, and she’d learned to play piano — all by herself, with just some video for help — at six, and she sang like an angel, and she was brilliant, truly brilliant. She liked building things, and she wanted to study engineering.

At the end of highschool MIT had accepted her, and Georgia Tech had offered a scholarship.

She’d chosen the state college, instead, just an hour away, because her high school boyfriend, Mike, was going there. I’d bit my tongue really hard, but I figured she could always go somewhere better for graduate school.

And she seemed to be enjoying school. And making friends. Only it left me very lonely, I guess. Peter told me to just find something I liked to do, and asked if I wanted to go back into modeling, since I was still a very handsome woman.

But I looked in the mirror and frowned, and I knew I was no longer “the fairest of them all.”

So I drove out to spend the day with Liddy. We went to the zoo, where we used to take her when she was little and then we went for a walk in the park. And that’s when she told me.

When Peter came home, I was sitting in front of the mirror, tracing the indentations on my forehead that would become furrows soon.

He didn’t talk. He sat on the bed. And I told him.

“Liddy is pregnant,” I said. “She and Mike want to get married this month. And then she’ll drop out. He’s going to finish his degree, but she–” My aged face looked even worse while crying. “She says she can get some work in the evening, playing piano in restaurants and stuff, while he stays home with the baby, and then….” I was fully crying now. “She says she just wants to stay home, and raise her kids.”

Peter looked troubled, but didn’t say anything. He folded me in his arms, until I’d stopped crying, and then we went to bed.

It’s a thing, even after thirty years of marriage, that no matter how bad the day has been, when I hug Peter at night, under the covers, it’s like we’re in a paradise of our own. We drift to sleep as if we existed in a place with no time, as if this, just the two of us, warm, together were the best eternity.

Only that night I couldn’t drift off to sleep. So I put on my sweater, and my jeans, my boots and my heavy coat. I put my coat and gloves on.

Outside, it was snow and blowing wind, and it was near midnight. But our suburb is very safe. Just a dozen houses, in the middle of wooded land. And perhaps if I walked enough I could sleep after.

I walked out, into the sting of wind-driven snow, and I walked and walked. I felt as empty and barren as the landscape outside. I’d had so many dreams for Liddy. I’d given up so much for Liddy. And now instead of being my vindication, my proof I’d been right all along, she was just going to be a suburban wife and mom, like every other wife and mom.

What had the point of my entire life been? I wish I could go back, take it all back, start anew. And my heart was prey to a darkness darker than the night, to a fury greater than the wind that blew grains of ice into my face.

I’d just said that, in a low and vicious voice, “I wish I could take it all back and start again,” when I heard the wheels behind me.

You know those fairy tale illustrations, where the carriage looks like a pumpkin, only it’s all gold, and the tendrils that would be stem and leaves are golden ornament?

There was a carriage like that, coming up behind me, in our perfectly mundane suburban street. It was pulled by four horses so white that they seemed to give off light, and so perfect they didn’t seem to be flesh and blood.

The carriage slowed down — the dark caped man driving it said something I couldn’t understand — and then it stopped, and the door opened.

I stepped back, because pumpkin carriage or not, I, like every child of the twentieth century, knew not to get in a vehicle with strangers. Only the person inside was no stranger. She made that clear, as she leaned forward and said, “Isabelle, get in here right away.”

And it was mom. Only it was mom as I remembered her, when I was very small and she was young and always put together, make up and hair and clothes always perfect.

As I scrambled into the seat, I realized other things. She was wearing this amazing dress, all blue and silver, as though it had been woven of moonlight, and she wore a tiara made of the brightest silver, and covered in pearls.

The smell, in the carriage, too, was as I remembered when I was very young: the scent a mix of mom’s perfume and face powder. It was a fragrance of roses at their peak, all woven with dream. When I was little I’d thought that was the smell of adulthood and of being beautiful, and always put together perfectly.

Inside the carriage, it was very comfortable, like riding on a cloud and I wanted to ask mom how she’d got this pumpkin carriage, and where had the horses and coachman come from.

But instead she said, “So, are you done with your little adventure?”

I blinked at her. “Adventure?”

“This whole, I want to live in the mortal world, thing, daughter. The, I don’t mind if I die, I’ll live forever in my children?” She laughed, and the laughter too was as I remembered from childhood, the tinkle of crystal, the sparkle of ice. “Are you ready to come home?”

“Home?” I said.

“Oh, of course, the spell. You don’t remember.” She leaned forward and touched my forehead.

And then I remembered. Only it was weird, because I remembered my “real” life too, being a child model, and the pageants, and all that stuff. Only at the same time I remembered. Really remembered.

I’d been a princess of fairyland, daughter of immortal Titania, worshiped and loved by the whole court. I’d danced away every night, laughed away every morning. In the vast, dream-like landscape of fairyland, I’d seen my reflection in lakes and ponds, and it was always perfect of course.

I didn’t know how long I lived, or how many centuries, because every day was unchanging and perfect, every morning dew-washed, every night blue velvet with the diamond pin prick of stars, and no problem was bigger than what to wear for the ball that evening.

And then Peter had come. Strong and raw boned, with a round and ruddy face, sparkling black eyes, hair that wouldn’t lie down right, and a mouth disposed to smile.

“That ridiculous boy would fight every dragon to get to our inner keep,” Mother said. “And I’d still would have sent him away empty handed. Only you wanted to live in the mortal world. You said your children would live after you, and that this too was immortality.”

And I remembered. The argument had shaken the crystal columns and made the white ceilings tremble. And I’d left with Peter. On his steed. Well, okay, actually his mustang convertible. Or at least that’s what it was outside fairyland.

We’d kept it going too, for near thirty years, and Liddy still had it, though it was much the worse for the wear.

“So,” Mother said, leaning forward. “Are you ready to come home?”

I leaned back on the seat. Mother looked at me avidly. She was not used to not getting her way. In this my true memories and the spell both agreed.

And something tugged at me, something missgave in my heart, like when you’re about to jump, and you realize it’s too long a jump and you’ll fall. Not that this ever happened in fairyland, where every jump was perfectly timed.

“I can’t go back,” I said. “I”m not the same. I’m so old–“

“Not in fairyland,” she said. “You will be as you always were.” From beside her on the seat, she pulled a mirror, and she handed it to me. And there I was. No wrinkles. No loose skin. Just my face as I remembered it, my face as I always knew I was, somewhere, inside the aging body.

And it had all been a mistake, hadn’t it? Liddy was not going to be my vindication. She might be smart, and she was beautiful to me, and she’d been given so many gifts, but she was going to throw them all away and live a small life, in a small way. It had all been for nothing and I was aging, and would die. And I didn’t even know if there was an everafter for the likes of me.

“Do humans live after death, Mother?” I asked, suddenly.

She shrugged. “They think they do. It’s not for us to know.”

“Do we?”

She laughed. “We do not die.”

And there it was. We do not die. So supposing I died as a human, would there be anything after? Even the humans didn’t know.

It had been yesterday, it seemed like, in my mind’s eye, that Peter and I had ridden away, on his steed. And I was already old. And what had I done with my life? I’d raised a daughter, who was going to do nothing with her life, but raise children and–

Mother knocked on the ceiling, and the carriage slowed. “I have to give them time,” she said. “To open the silver gates of fairyland.”

We’d go in. Past the guardian dragons. And the gates would close. And I’d dance away the nights, sing away the mornings–

Peter would wake and know himself abandoned. And what would Liddy’s son or daughter look like? And would she have more?

She and Mike weren’t going to have a lot of time. Perhaps we could take the kids, now and then, and go to the zoo, as we had with Liddy, when she was small.

And there would be a bit of fairyland in their laughter, the tinkle of merry bells, and they would laugh and dance, and then grow up and–

The carriage had slowed. “Stop, stop I must get out.”

But Mother knocked on the ceiling. The carriage picked up speed.

And I opened the door, and jumped out.

I hit the ground hard. Probably would have broken something except for the snow. And I rolled, and got up, feeling hurt and cold.

Why had I jumped? Why? What sense did it even make? Why trade perfect eternity for a few good moments, and then regret and failure?

I managed to pull myself up. My hip hurt, and my side felt bruised. But the carriage was nowhere in sight. Instead, I was at the end of the subdivision, a mile and a half from home. An easy walk which I often took in summer.

Across the street from me, the lights of the convenience store sparkled. I didn’t have a cell phone, and thought of going in, and asking them to call Peter to come and get me. But that was stupid. He’d be asleep. He didn’t deserve to be awakened.

And the walk back would give me time to think. I limped back, through the snow, and thought, and thought. You know, eternity of perfect everything was…. eternity. And I’d always be young there. But there was an intensity to the moments of happiness and triumph. And I had eternity whenever Peter held me.

But no. A temporary eternity made no sense.

I was about halfway home, and saw someone coming towards me, through the white blizzard. He was big and bulky. But our suburb was safe, so probably someone like me, walking to calm down.

Then he drew closer, and I recognized, Peter.”

He said “Belle” at the same time, but instead of rushing to me, he stood.

I went to him, gave him my hand. He took it. I felt his warmth through the snow. “I woke, and I was all alone,” he said. “And I thought you’d left, you’d gone back home to your mom.”

I raised an eyebrow at him. “My mom?”

“To fairyland.”

I felt a little shock. It must have shown. He smiled, “Of course I remember. It was only you who had to forget so you could leave.” He paused. “I saw a drawing of you, when I was twelve. In an illustration of fairyland. And then I had to go in. I had to win you. My own piece of immortality.”

I walked forward, then, and he held my hand. “I’m sorry about Liddy,” he said. “I knew you had great hopes for her.”

“I still have great hopes for her,” I said.

“Now, Belle,” he started. I remembered vaguely, in my earlier rage of crying, talking of abortion of adoption, of–

“No, not that,” I said, quickly. “I think that was the fairy. You don’t have much will of your own, you know. So you expect your children will be like you. You plot their courses and they’ll be exactly as you expect.” I paused. “And even then, you can be wrong. Some young man might come in and fight the guard dragons….”

He laughed and I said, “Yes, but you know, that’s part of it. I don’t get to choose her path. It’s not fairyland where every day is the same. This is what she chooses, the dragons she must slay.”

“But you had hopes–“

“Sure, and maybe she’ll do something absolutely wonderful, some day. Or maybe not. Maybe in time between childhood and death, she’ll just be happy. Maybe that’s all it is. Even if you don’t do much, really, but take the kids to the zoo, and read to them, and listen to them laugh, and feel happy.”

He looked at me worried, then, “Have you been happy?”

I laughed and kissed him. “Maybe we should sell the house and move closer to Liddy. Remember how tired we got when she was little? We can have the kids over now and then. We can take them to the zoo. We can read to them and play with them.”

Yes, Peter said, and smiled. “We can love them.”

Later, when we were in bed, after the passion had been spent and I was warm again, as he was half asleep, and I snuggled up to his warm, familiar form, I thought that, yes, maybe that was all it was.

Maybe there was no other life after decay and death for me. Maybe there wasn’t even one for humans. But here, together and warm, here was happiness. Here was the certainty of love that outlasted decay and death. Here was eternity.

I needed no other.

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

It occurs to me, I’m an idiot who always forgets to promote, and should tell you that if you like my short stories, you might enjoy my collections, like:


So Little and So Light.

Or perhaps Wings

Or Dragon Blood

Or even Here Be Dragons

123 thoughts on “Mirror

      1. Biden early voting + mail in voting “lead” is down to .28% in FL.

        He needed a massive lead to outperform the red tsunami that happens on election day.

          1. Is there another one coming?

            They did just get one– Crossover mentioned they got rain, rather than major damage, in her area.

          2. Voting is an essential activity.
            No State will risk having their results thrown out by not allowing or restricting in-person voting on the official election day.

          3. Could happen, for our own good of course.

            France just locked down all 67 million citizens until at least 1 December. The Daily Mail: “All of France’s 67 million people have been ordered to stay at home at all times with no visitors, or risk steep fines or prosecution, with a few exemptions.”

            I suspect among the ‘few exemptions are all the muslims living in the over 700 no go zones.

              1. Seems to be Despicable Kate Brown’s objective, and dammit, I Object!

                Right now, it’s a bit of Irish Democracy. Not sure what’s going to happen after the election, but I *hope* that there will be some wailing and gnashing of teeth in Salem, Oregon come November 4th. (Not expect, but hope. They can’t take that away from us.)

                1. It’ll be either

                  * Thank you God

                  or

                  * Oh C*** / SOB

                  I’m hoping for the former.

                  Can we hope, but not expect, that the greater Portland Metro area got the sense God gives out and votes with the rest of the state for a change? Please? I won’t hold my breath. But wouldn’t that twist Herr Katie’s nose?

            1. I have to correct one mistaken fact. There are not 700 “no go” zones in France. There are some “no go” zones, but the French government wouldn’t ever admit to them or put them on an official list. And the 700 zones that everyone is talking about, based on a Fox News report that misunderstood a couple of facts, are the “Zones Urbaines Sensibles” from an official French government list. They are areas of the country where the government is saying “This is a sensitive urban zone where we need more police activity”, not where the police just don’t go. Nobody knows how many “no go” zones there are in France, but it’s not the 700 zones on that official government list that keeps getting misunderstood.

              1. Yes, but is the French Army still patrolling Paris in squads of four, with battle armor and submachine guns?

                1. Yep; they’ve been doing that for a while. At no point did I say that France doesn’t have a serious problem with jihadists. There are indeed some areas where the police don’t want to go, and where the army patrols in groups. (Though just because the army patrols in groups doesn’t mean it’s an area with problems: when my parents were still in France before they retired, I went to visit them once for Christmas. They lived near Grenoble, in a large city in the Alps which has never had a significant jihadist problem. But the day we went to the open-air Christmas market, I saw several squads of French soldiers patrolling in groups of two. Not because of any known threat—Grenoble has never had a jihadist attack AFAIK—but because it was a large gathering of people and would therefore be an attractive target if a terrorist were to have been planning something.) And a patrol group of four, rather than two, does suggest that that’s a highly dangerous area, which might indeed be one of the “no-go” areas (for the police) the French government doesn’t want to admit to.

                  It’s the specific 700 number that caught my attention. I’m familiar with the fact that there are some 700 “Zones Urbaines Sensibles” that have been officially listed by the French government, and that people often misunderstand what that list is. So whenever I see people citing “700 no-go zones”, I know this is another case where someone heard of the existence of that list and misunderstood what it actually is. It’s not a list “no-go” zones, but a list of “make sure there’s extra police presence in this area” zones, which is kind of the opposite of a “no-go” zone. The “no-go” zones (which, I’ll say it again, do exist) won’t be on any official list, and that 700 number comes from an official list.

    1. Kinda weird they have the corona virus tote board on the screen even when it is already split four ways. Do they think it changes hourly?

  1. A sweet and sentimental story….the part about leaving in his Mustang almost smacks of a link to the “SERRAted” ‘verse which I also enjoyed….

  2. Thanks for sharing your stories with us. They seem to capture that sense of place you do so well, the weirdness of your mind realms, and to have the Hoytian voice, which I so-helpfully cannot describe, but know when I hear it in my mind’s ear.

    Go reader! Grab her short story collections! They are eminently re-read able, and some will go ’round and ’round in your head long after you’ve closed the book.

    P.S. “Sure, and maybe she’ll do something absolutely wonderful, some day. ”

    She’ll raise a daughter (or more) just as you did who build an invisible golden chain of love and competence stretching through space and time and all of our civilization will be built upon their work.

    Just in case some of you (you know who you are) didn’t think there was anything you’d done in this fight or could still do.

      1. Thank you.

        Never learned HTML. Was too busy working with other coding languages. Probably would have eventually if I hadn't retired. Users on software I worked on were pushing for online and phone options. Ironically one of the biggest advocates were a counties that have vast swaths of "no connection here". Possible Musk's Internet/Cell SkyLink system would even leave gaps, if one goes by *satellite radio cutouts. OTOH never did plan on working til or past age 70. With that outfit, it'd be that long or longer (I retired at 59, 5 years ago).

        * Sure, more satellite saturation would help. Those dang narrow-ish canyon/passes …

        1. Assuming we see a fully populated Starlink constellation, you should not see the same problem you see with satphones. The constellation density will keep the link from your phased array ground station connected (barring maybe the bottom of the Grand Canyon in a narrow section).

        2. We’re on satellite link, but I know a couple who live on the north side of [redacted] Mountain. No TV, no ‘net, any phone is wired. (We have some impressive dead spots nearby.) Some folks (not these) have wireless links to people who have line-of-sight connections to actual (better than satellite) broadband internet. Works for them.

          1. Well I was implying N CA counties, bordering the Oregon southern border, and some not too far south (Shasta/Alpine/Siskiyou/Mono, etc.)

            Ironically. Company is in Oregon. They have three (3) clients in Oregon, used to be 4 but Douglas County couldn’t afford the annual cost. Forest Grove, Josephine, and *Deschutes. Why? Because the Association of Oregon Counties has a free public works option available to all Oregon Counties. Not as extensive. Wouldn’t have saved Deschutes from the law suit. But it is free & meets the federal auditors requirements, even if it takes them longer to do the audits.

            * Got a panic call from Deschutes Road manager. County was being sued by a road works company because the county was doing too much of their own road repair (don’t remember the legal reason this was “bad”). That the published rates being used were “too low”. County had to report all the type of costs, plus examples, as part of preliminary discovery. The panic call was because there were no depreciation costs in the reports. “Why didn’t the software have vehicle depreciation process?” It did. The county had never set it up. They had a month “to fix” and recalculate all the actual costs. The judge gave them a “break”. They only “had” to go back 5 years for ALL vehicles in the fleet at during that time. Didn’t figure it could be done. At which point summary judgement against the county. The county had 15 years worth of data (back to 1994). ALL of it was updated and processed through the current year, for every vehicle in the fleet. Reports generated, verified, into the Judge’s hands by the Thursday of the second week. Plus they proved they were over costing their charges (because they’d been running the costing report, not wrong, but too conservatively). Suit dismissed. I got flowers out of it … “Hand holding above and beyond”.

        3. I don’t think that’s HTML, I think it’s WordPress.

          I never ‘learned’ HTML either, I just picked up some of the syntax and tag codes.

          Tags inside < and > are HTML. Most other things are not.

      1. Thank you.

        Used to have (a long time ago) a cheat sheet of these locations. It has been long, long, lost.

  3. Yep, [i]another[/i] human/fairytale-being romance with a happy ending. Someone needs to start keeping a scorecard. 😛

    BTW, what is it with immortal creatures suddenly becoming mortal themselves whenever they hook up with mortals? Even Tolkien did that, if I recall.

    Also, a couple of notes:

    >> “Liddy is pregnant,” I said. “She and Peter want to get married this month”

    Are you sure you want to have both fathers here named Peter? Especially if you’re going to suddenly drop it in like that after mentioning the pregnancy? For a moment part of my brain thought there might be incest involved.

    >> “There were wrinkles on her four head”

    FOUR head? What is our princess exactly, a conjoined-twin ettin?

    1. BTW, what is it with immortal creatures suddenly becoming mortal themselves whenever they hook up with mortals? Even Tolkien did that, if I recall.

      Symbolism of the two becoming one– and the human becoming fey doesn’t really… fit quite.

          1. You’re immortal and don’t lose that when getting involved with mortals, although you can’t give immortality to your partner either.

            You’re also sterile, although that’s not the part I was thinking of.

        1. Actually, the fey already have it: almost all of them live until they are killed. The killing methods aren’t as specific and dramatic as Highlander……

          1. Not in the Hoytverse, they don’t. Not unless marrying them off to a mortal is on the official list of ways to murder a fey.

    2. Are you sure you want to have both fathers here named Peter?

      I think that’s just a mistype. Liddy’s guy was Mike elsewhere.

      1. I think it’s a Hoytian slip; I suspect all mothers, even those giving birth to daughters on paper, are absolutely sure their daughters’ husbands are…

        1. Don’t worry, when the typos are almost as entertaining as the story itself you must be doing something write. 😛

      1. Before Tolkien? I usually credit E. R. Eddison. His book, The Worm Ouroboros, first published in 1922, is what Tolkien’s work was compared to at the time it was published. I found it a good read, but be aware that at one point you have a description of a wall for (if I recall correctly) about 10 pages. High fantasy, well done.

  4. I bring good news!

    A friend in Pennsylvania (ESR) reports that the Amish have gone full visibly pro-Trump. Yard signs. Buggy signs. Everything.

    That level of publicity means they have full consensus across the Amish world.

    That means Trump has a couple hundred thousand additional voters who normally don’t come out.

    PA is in the bag. Rejoice! For Reeees have no sting!

    1. There was an Amish Trump parade in (I think) Lancaster county a couple-three weeks ago. Buggies with signs and flags. Never before seen.

      1. I read (Gateway Pundit?) that Biden and Barry were doing Sooper Sekret rallies in Michigan. Invite only, time and location not disclosed. [rolls eyes, fishes under computer desk…] Wanna bet they get disrupted anyway?

        1. They did that here! Well, tried.
          Literally nobody knew where it was, 20 hours before it happened.

          Didn’t work.

          Partly because the WHO radio guy announced it the second he knew….

  5. Well, this one hits – as the Daughter Unit has recently come to terms with being pregnant. And knowing that we don’t live in fairy-land, where everything is perfect.
    We live in real life, and have to make the best of it.

      1. Oh, Barb – I am so sorry.
        This trans fad is going to leave a lot of damage behind, when it finally fades, like the “recovered memory” thing did.

            1. I have a friend my age who has gone down that path and lost all her family in the process, creating a hard, bad old age for herself.
              I tried to explain the sex definitions are platonic categories. NO ONE FITS THEM EXACTLY (the can and the contents don’t need to match) and I probably fit “woman” way less than she did, if one is looking at the “contents listing.” (Let’s see, I am a political addict, love economics, berserk in physical fights, and among my hobbies are carpentry and hands-on home renovation.) But she wouldn’t listen. In fact, she was one of the most feminine women I’ve ever known.
              In retrospect, I’ve come to think of this as a form of committing suicide.
              Which means it’s going to get very, very, very bad.
              And yes, they’re being sold “if there’s no surgery, you are fine.”
              I feel worse for all the people who’ve had surgery. There’s no happy ending there.

              1. In retrospect, I’ve come to think of this as a form of committing suicide.

                The people who do it talk about it like that. “Deadname.”

                1. It’s an interesting insight. Given the centrality of M/F-ness to our nature, it makes a certain sense.
                  I’m sorry about your situation, Barb.

        1. Thank you. This story really hit close to home for me. It frustrates me that they wouldn’t give her a hysterectomy in case she wanted to have children later (she does have a lot of uterine issues) but they’ll happily hand out drugs that will kill her fertility.

      2. *hug*

        I’m sorry.

        The human body can recover from a lot– I have many impossible relatives– but that has got to hurt so much.

          1. The kids can hurt us in a way no one else can. They are inside the defenses, part of our core being.
            I don’t think they realize that. I didn’t when I was their age.

        1. I try to make my collections over 40K, but then I want them in dead-tree and that gives me a reasonable price point.

  6. I discovered a day or two back that my Android phone refused to auto complete the address for this blog in the address bar. It seems the tech overlords noticed and think you guys are effective enough to show up on the radar screen for the thought police.

          1. Even my kids have the attention span to read this on impulse.

            And yet you’re obviously doing it pretty quickly.

            Bigger threat.

  7. Biden’s handlers just figured out — less than a week from the election — that they were using exactly the wrong strategy in the campaign.

    oops

    1. Well, found out the right strategy on one aspect.

      How many undecided/persuadable voters are on Twitter enough for this to matter?

      Thing about changing/triangulating message, it dilutes whatever intensity your ‘choir’ has. Yes, Biden’s twitter die hards are a bit intense. Might also be brittle. Now maybe it isn’t the ‘straw that breaks the camel’s back’, and trigger’s a nervous break or voting apathy for many of them, but maybe more than it pulls in for Biden. Dunno.

    2. Yeaaaah, how? HOW are you going to ‘shut down the virus’? Huh? What exactly are you going to do that Trump hasn’t already done, or isn’t already doing, far more effectively?

      Why is nobody asking Fascist Joe those questions?

      What would you do? ‘Listen to the science’? (to the scientists, actually, because ‘the science’ doesn’t speak English)

      Trump did that. Your hero Fauci told him the virus was no big deal, we don’t need masks, we don’t need shutdowns, it will be just another flu — until mid-March, when suddenly we were living in The Last Centurion. And now, we were always at war with Eastasia.

      Trump stopped flights from China, and you called him ‘xenophobic’. (your handlers looked that up for you, didn’t they?)

      Trump stopped flights from Europe, and you screamed “RAAACIIISSST!!”

      Trump invoked the Defense Appropriations Act and got millions of gloves, masks and ventilators made in weeks. He also stopped China from taking any more of them.

      Poor old Joey doesn’t have a clue, just a big mouth, some clever speechwriters and a sea of teleprompters. And a ‘free press’ that never asks any questions beyond ice cream preferences.

      1. a) He may well think he can convince the PRC not to release Covid-21 if he is a good little viceroy for them.
        b) Technically speaking, mass graves would be a way to ‘shut down the virus’.

        1. Holy crud, that is some…. wow.

          The guy had the gall to accuse the trump guys of trying to drive them off the road, and post clips of the video THAT SHOWS THEM TRYING TO FORCE THE TRUMP CARAVAN OFF THE ROAD?!?!

          No wonder the police told him it wasn’t their jurisdiction. They’re not trained for hysteria.

      1. Doesn’t have quite the flavor to feel correct to me. I’ll trust it isn’t image board trolling after the election, if it becomes clear that it is largely confirmed from other information.

        OTOH, 8 to 12 years is about correct for a high enthusiasm, low information activist, and turnover.

        Interesting to see if the true level of disenchantment is high enough to have knock on effects in later elections.

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