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This, That, and t'Other Thing

Another football Sunday has come and gone, with mixed results for yours truly.

The Giants won, hanging on by the skin of their teeth to defeat the Iggles of Brotherly Luv. Gifted with an early 14-0 lead by two Carson Wentz INTs, they still almost managed to blow it. Eli threw his own INT just when it looked as if Big Blue was about to put the game away, but fortunately the defense saved him. Biggest worry coming out of the game was an injury to Victor Cruz, which I hated to see. He's one of my favorite players. I hope he's back next week.

The Jets, meanwhile, managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. After trailing for most of the game, they seemed poised to take the lead in the fourth quarter, only to have Fitz throw a devastating pick in the end zone. Yet somehow they managed to get the ball back, and this time Fitz redeemed himself, tossing the go-ahead touchdown. But the joy did not last for long. On the ensuing kickoff, the Dolphins ran the ball all the way back for a TD, and that was that. Gang Green now has as many losses as they did all last year. The season is effectively over. Bryce Petty looked pretty good in the short stretch they had him in after Fitz got clocked. I hope we get to see more of him in the game to come. Much as I like Fitz, we have to start thinking about the future.

On other fronts...

The election still has me in a state of high anxiety. I am not sleeping well, and I think I check 538 about three dozen times a day, hoping for some good news. Tuesday cannot come fast enough for me. I think I speak for a lot of Americans when I say that I desperately want this thing to be over. It has been SO ugly. Come Tuesday night, I will either be relieved or suicidal. I think I speak for a lot of Americans about that as well.

Oh, and speaking of that: the Trump PACs have rolled out two new television ads in New Mexico this weekend. Both attack ads, natch. One is a cartoon with animated Bill and Hillary characters rolling up to the White House unpacking boxes of scandals. The other features an actress badly made up to be Hillary, in wig and pants suit, destroying phones and hard drives with hammers, drills, chain saws, and the like. Both ads are stupid and offensive, and both confirm and underline the main point I made in my "Simple Observation" post. Hillary's ads feature real footage of the real Donald J. Trump saying the things he really said. These Trumps ads, on the other hand, have to resort to cartoons and over-the-top impersonators because they can't actually find any real footage of Hillary saying or doing anything reprehensible, comparable to the stuff Trump has said.

I cannot possible imagine that any actual voters will be swayed by this stuff. "Hell, damn, I'm going to vote for Trump, did you see what Cartoon Hillary was doing?" But what the hell. Even Honest Abe admitted that you could fool some of the people all of the time...

I'm still excited about Emily St. John Mandel coming to the Jean Cocteau tomorrow. If you're in the neighborhood, come join us.

The crowds at Meow Wolf of late have been astounding. Since we first opened in late March, more than 300,000 people have visited the House of Eternal Return. It's become one of Santa Fe's premiere attractions, and I am so pleased to have played my small part in creating it.

Oh, and last night Parris and I went to see DOCTOR STRANGE at the Violet Crown (in part to escape the crowds seeing TRUMPLAND at the JCC). 'twas fun. As many of you know, I'm a Marvel fanboy from way back, and Doctor Strange was probably my favorite single character... well, him or Spider-Man, both drawn by Steve Ditko, whose art I loved. (I say single character because I always loved the group books as well, the FF and Avengers and X-Men). How much did I love Doctor Strange? Well, let me just say, one of the characters I wrote for the comic book fanzines of the 60s was called Doctor Weird, so...

The movie is NOT the best Marvel superhero movie, as I was hoping it would be... it's more middle of the pack, I'd say... but it looked great, did justice to the character, and had some scenes that were downright Ditko-esque. Of course, they had the obligatory Stan Lee cameo. Now, if they had managed to include a Steve Ditko cameo, that would really have been something. (Yes, I know, I know). I do hope that Ditko saw at least a little money out of this. He was a genius in his own way, and Doc would never have been half as interesting without Ditko's unique and idiosyncratic vision.


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Nov. 7th, 2016 08:08 pm (UTC)
Hey George
(how 'bout them Cowboys?)
Ken Roberts
Nov. 7th, 2016 08:56 pm (UTC)
Election Anxiety
Hey George!

As a politico I felt compelled to tell you about a less alarmist poll analyzer. Sam Wang over at Princeton (election.princeton.edu) has Clinton's chances of winning at over 99% and has had them there for several weeks. Nate Silver relies much too heavily on the national polls which are very volatile and not at all a good predictor of the actual election.

As someone living in rural Trump country I think I would have gone insane by now if I had to rely on 538's prognostication.

Even a less than 1% chance though is too much for my liking.
Angela Kelly Klaassen
Nov. 7th, 2016 09:09 pm (UTC)
Dr. Strange
I'm tempted to go back and watch Phil DeGuere's Dr. Strange, for the first time since I watched it on TV in 1978, before I see this new one.
Dan Koifman
Nov. 7th, 2016 09:36 pm (UTC)
I thought you would enjoy this: https://goo.gl/rs6JZc

As your day-and-night-job is spent contemplating the rippling detailed apocalyptic effects of what happens after horrible people take the throne, I can understand why Trump gives you such restless nights.

But I hope you can sleep a little tighter knowing that Hillary has a 700-foot firewall.

For Trump to win, he needs the masses across the board in all the purple swing states to go mad --plus-- he needs to win in one blue state where he is currently losing by over 80% averaged chances (538: https://goo.gl/4KYoYs) like New Mexico, Maine, Virginia, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Colorado or New Hampshire. I was glad to see news of you going to Hillary HQ. You did your part in NM.

Trump needs to clear the board when it's still not clear he can win Republican women. If he can't win ninety percent of women who make up fifty-two percent of the Republican voters, then you can almost forget commanding leads with significant independents and Democrats in purple states. He is an amateur fringe candidate that has only ever won with a gaggle of 11 mediocre primary opponents.

The road to justice has never been smooth in our country's history. We went through slavery, the civil war, segregation, women's suffrage, interracial marriage, marriage inequality and much more. If we can defeat those problems, we can defeat Trump.

P.S. Is it true that you use real butter in your voter appreciation popcorn? Traditional toppings like salted butter and coconut oil are far healthier than the inflammatory hydrogenated soybean oil crap sold in most movie theaters.
Nov. 7th, 2016 11:55 pm (UTC)
Yes, we use real butter. Our popcorn is popped from organic kernels grown by Amish farmers in Indiana. We pop it in sunflower oil, not coconut oil, and offer -- free, no extra charge -- a range of more than a dozen shake-on toppings that includes brewer's yeast, parmesan cheese, cheddar cheese, cinnamon sugar, red chile powder, and various other flavors.
Nov. 8th, 2016 12:53 am (UTC)
Now isn't that interesting. And now I feel hungry. Well, as the election result draws closer let us prepare ourselves for the hope of flawed but OK... and hope that demagoguery doesn't win like it did with Brexit.
Dan Koifman
Nov. 8th, 2016 01:24 am (UTC)
That sounds delicious. I have never been quite so adventurous with my popcorn. I should try some of those. It's wonderful how you know where the food was grown and who grew it. But most of all I have to say I really do love your food descriptions :)

Popcorn "butter" has had a long and tumultuous history. It was real butter when you were a kid. But by the time I was growing up, they switched it to a coconut oil for both economic and taste reasons.

Then when the low-fat era kicked in the 90's and industry groups cried about the saturated fat content in coconut oil so they switched it to the oil still in use today by most theatres today, hydrogenated soybean oil.

Even though coconut oil has a lot of saturated fat, it has a unique molecular shape called a medium chain triglyceride (MCT). MCT gives coconut oil healthful properties. Your body handles MCT differently than the saturated fat in a marbled steak for example.

It is all individual and context dependent, but in one small study of 40 people, coconut oil (vs soybean oil) both lowered participants "bad" cholesterol and raised their "good" cholesterol. https://authoritynutrition.com/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-coconut-oil/

Coconut oil gives popcorn a very rich texture and feel on the tongue. It's worth a try.
Nov. 8th, 2016 12:45 am (UTC)
George - I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on why you think each of these candidates wants to be president. (I'm writing this because I'm procrastinating doing my NaNoWriMo word farming for the evening, but I really would like to know!) Clinton, to me, seems to be genuine in believing that she's the best person for the job; she's been chasing it half her life, and while I don't agree with her proposed use of the military she does seem to have the interest of the people going for her. Trump, on the other hand, has been so humorously wealthy and famous for so long that Patrick Bateman was idolizing him back in the '80s. From everyone I've asked why they think he's running now - I live in the bizarrely blue city of Austin, Texas, so that's where this is coming from - I've heard that he's running for "more fame." That doesn't quite sit for me, though. Nobody's going to die any more or less happy simply because they're "famous enough," I think, but maybe I'm just naive (and un-famous, to boot.) You've dealt with the whole idea of why people are chasing power a lot in your books - do you have any thoughts as to why these people in particular are on the ballot chasing this power?

Also, despite being part of the demographic whose ability to marry is being threatened by many of the backwards people backing Trump, I won't be too depressed if he wins. I think that the main takeaway of this whole thing, 4-8 years from now, will wind up being a net positive. There's a lot of sudden outrage that neither party quite knows how to deal with, and this election really brought it to the forefront. I think that once the political machine identifies why people were feeling this way, it will move to sate whatever hunger it was that fueled this mudfest. When people (at large) are happy and fed, they tend to move back towards reason. I think the world has just been speeding up - in the internet/FOIA age, it's much easier to identify our issues, and once we're aware of them we want them fixed *and now* - and the political beast will realize it needs to cut some carbs from its diet if it wants to catch up. In the old days, tensions over slavery had to fester for generations before we could end it with so many deaths. Today, people lose their minds over email headers. So, naive as I am, I say that we shouldn't be too sad about what a terrible election it's been.
Nov. 8th, 2016 01:19 am (UTC)
The Election
My problem is, I don't see how anyone can vote for Hillary. If you can't see from everything that has happened over the years how corrupt a politician she is, there is nothing I can say that will change your mind. Donald Trump is certainly no saint and has said a lot of bad things in his life, but I'm willing to give an outsider a shot and see what he can do. He certainly can't do any worse than what our politicians have done to this country over the past 50 years.
Nov. 8th, 2016 05:29 am (UTC)
Re: The Election
I beg to differ. He can do a LOT worse.

And I am sorry, but no, nothing I have seen convinces me that Hillary Clinton has been any more "corrupt" than any other politician. She has been in the public eye for thirty years, and has been investigated more times than I can count.
Nov. 8th, 2016 05:40 am (UTC)
Re: The Election
This is where I come down as well - IF Clinton has murdered 30 witnesses, and engaged in SO many various crimes, why is it she (and Bill) have never, not once been charged/indicted after SO, SO many investigations? Is she corrupt - of course, she's a politician, and they all are, even the "religious" ones.

My only real concern over Clinton is that she's never met a war she didn't like, and with Russia staging 300,000 troops West of Moscow and a few armored/mech divisions near Estonia, Lithiuania, and Latvia now, as well as all the other aggressive moves, that Hilary will move us closer to WW3, not further away. THIS concerns me far more than a private email server or Vince Foster and any of the other Fox News BS.
Nov. 8th, 2016 05:58 am (UTC)
Re: The Election
Russia is indeed worrisome. Especially as we are obligated by treaty to defend the Baltic states. I've visited Estonia, by the way (not the other two), and the people I met there are seriously afraid about whether NATO will actually protect them if Russia should try to annex them.

If a crisis does come, however, I am much more confident in Hillary's ability to handle it than in Trump's. He prides himself on being "unpredictable," but that's not a good thing in international diplomacy. Half the time he talks about writing off the NATO members whose dues are not paid up, and the other half he talks about using nukes "or else why do we have them?"

Hillary is firm and measured and level-headed. Trump is a loose cannon who could go off in any direction.
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George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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