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Let Me Make My Position Clear
I have read with great interest the reference materials you have kindly sent to me.

Be assured that I have combed through this bibliography of source materials and found the sheer volume and density of your substantiations to be quite impressive. Likewise, I was moved by your choices of metaphor to illustrate your points and by the glittering prose you have employed to argue them. The precision and clarity of your exposition is flawless.

Furthermore, I have dared to follow your reasoning wherever it has led me, even into realms I never imagined I would travel. The journey has been enlightening and provocative — so much so, that I have been forced to give a lot of long, hard thought to your arguments. Allow me to acknowledge the strength, conviction, and thorough research you have given your conclusions.

That said, I still think you’ve got your head up your ass.
Nice to Meet You
Now that we’ve
Been introduced
And spoken
In such breadth
Of matters
Both profound
And inane

Now that we’ve
Been introduced
And have shared
In such depth
Our feelings
Both sacred
And profane

Now that we’ve
Been introduced
And bared our
Souls this way
I can ask
My dear friend
What's your name?
While She Is Away
I want to make clear right from the start that this is not a confession. I am confident that my mate understands, as a general proposition, that I will backslide in some areas of our marital compact while she is gone. As long as her world isn’t adversely affected, I know that I am pre-forgiven for such lapses. On the other hand, you might find some evidence of defensiveness here — even though I categorically deny that there is anything that needs defending.

Oh, I know what you’re thinking: he’s all alone and he’s living like an animal. Well, you couldn’t be more wrong. I am a grown man and fully capable of taking care of myself. Besides, she’s only gone for a few days.

Furthermore, no one will be harmed by my transgressions. Take, for instance, the matter of bed-making. As I have already made clear in this space, I consider this practice to be wasteful and redundant. And so, in keeping with this firmly held personal ethic, I do not make the bed during these periods of separation. The covers are a twisted clump now, just as they were when I got up. The bottom of the sheet is securely tucked (according to my specifications), but everything else is untouched. The purely decorative pillows remain on the floor and out of the way. They will not move again until it is absolutely necessary.

I am at ease with this state of affairs, even though it would be troubling to my mate. But she is far away, and this disarray in our boudoir cannot afflict her. Neither she, nor anyone else, is harmed. Similarly, if I happen to fart or belch with unusual gusto, I cannot be charged with rudeness because there is no victim to witness these displays.

There is a TV tray parked in front of my easy chair. It has not moved since her departure. Nor will it. My convenience level is just too high under this arrangement to justify folding it up and returning it to the closet. And yet, the Earth continues to spin on its axis, and the arc of the moral universe continues to bend toward justice.

The toilet seat, as you might expect, has stayed up. Unless, that is, I have just used it for its most profound function…or unless I have recently used my rest room as a place to sit and rest. I have no quarrel with the expectation that I always leave the seat down, but I prize this opportunity to ignore it. Furthermore, the energy I save will help in saving the Earth.

Notwithstanding these minor derelictions, things are still pretty tidy around here. The dishes get washed, though at a more leisurely, thoughtful pace. There is sweeping, sponging, and even some isolated instances of dusting.

And if I were looking to prove that I am not living like an animal, I would simply point to my efforts at sprucing. I will admit that sprucing does not constitute a large part of my home care bailiwick, but I am qualified in this area. I don’t claim that deep sprucing, such as the placement of fresh flowers or the rotation of table runners, is part of my portfolio; however, do I like to think of myself as a gifted straightener. Furthermore, I make sure all the drawers and cupboard doors are closed, too. This is largely a manifestation of my mild OCD, but it still counts as sprucing.

Sprucing, in fact, is one of the fundamental human qualities that sets us apart from the lower beasts. That, and the ability to modulate our farting. So there.
Grid Irony
I had thought I would drift away from football and reserve my precious fan time for more worthy sports. I felt good about this decision. It made me feel morally superior to all the yahoos who thirst for the inhumanity and raw violence found in this uniquely American sport.

Sadly, this high-minded posture is no longer available to me. After some years of quasi-abstinence from football, I have fallen back into old habits. It is playoff season in football, and I have succumbed to temptation. This weekend I found myself watching games that involved the likes of the Buffalo Bills, the Houston Texans, and the Tennessee Titans. I have no feelings, positive or negative, for any of those teams (although the Titans’ logo may be the ugliest in all of sport). And yet, I watched those games as if they actually meant something to me. Why?

I could say that my renewed interest is a product of the surprising success this year of the San Francisco 49ers, who are my natural and life-long home squad. But how can I blame the team for my own failings? That would violate my core rooting principles.

Now that I have returned to the world of watching football, however, things have changed a little. For one thing, watching myself watch football has now been added to the experience (and, with this essay, watching myself watching myself watch football). As I hover over myself on the couch, I see that I’m getting the most enjoyment from individual feats of athletic brilliance: stunningly accurate throws, acrobatic catches, and dazzling runs. In other words, all those elements of strength and skill and focus that make sports such a riveting form of entertainment…along with the fact that it is real, and not made up.

I also witness myself reacting to the moments of life-threatening brutality. I cringe, and most of the time, I turn away. I’m not sure, though, whether turning away is a good thing or a bad thing. It shows that am repelled by the violence, but it also shows that I’m willing to overlook it. It’s like going to the arena and averting your gaze just before the lions devour the Christians. To the person who is watching me watching me watch, that seems a bit hypocritical.

At least for now, it appears that I am able to live with that. Go Niners!
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Trump supporters are people who know what they believe.
~ JC, Bonny Doon