If Nixon could go to China…

Joe Biden wasn’t my choice for president. He wouldn’t have been my second choice for president, either.

My own preferences notwithstanding, and subject to the convening of the Electoral College, Joe Biden is now the President-Elect of the United States. He was elected in accordance with the laws and customs of our country. In the fullness of time, votes will be certified, Electors will meet, their votes will be counted by the Congress, and former Vice President Biden will be inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States.

I can already hear the voices raging “Not My President” across the internet. In case you’re wondering, it sounds just as stupid coming from the right as it sounded coming from the left for the last four years. I didn’t vote for him, but at noon on January 20th, 2021, he will take the oath of office. He will be the president. My president. Your president. America’s president.

I congratulate him. I congratulate Vice President-Elect Harris. I wish them a term of unprecedented peace and prosperity and it’s my fervent hope that they lead our country with wisdom, openness, and integrity.

Sure, I fully plan to oppose 75% or more of the Biden Administration’s likely agenda, but that’s no reason I can’t be polite and take a moment to recognize the wonder of the world that is a peaceful transfer of power in our ever more contentious political universe. If Nixon could go to China, surely we can manage these small acts that help to bring back a touch of the old civility between our countrymen.

What Annoys Jeff this Week?

1. Snapchat reality. People are apparently having plastic surgery to make themselves look more like their favorite Snapchat filter. I’m perfectly willing to accept that there are good and valid reasons to have cosmetic surgery… but isn’t the whole point of Snapchat that it lets you look different without someone jabbing pointy objects into your face? Lord knows I’ve got an ego big as all outdoors sometimes, but thank sweet merciful Zeus it’s in absolutely no way dependent on the way I look and doing batshit crazy things to keep up an illusion that I do.

2. Getting handsey. You probably wouldn’t expect this, but I tend to go out of my way to be polite to people. Please, thank you, sir, ma’am, excuse me, are all words that come frequently from my face hole. Being a natural misanthrope isn’t a reason to behave like you’ve never learned any manners. I’ll gladly return courtesy with courtesy. I’ve always followed John Wayne’s basic rules for civilized behavior, of which the Duke said, “I won’t be wronged. I won’t be insulted. I won’t be laid a hand on. I don’t do these things to other people, and I require the same from them.” If, however, someone feels like they need to get handsey with me, I’ll happily drop all pretense of civility.

3. Dogs. No, not really dogs in general. It’s well established fact that I value and love dogs over all other living creatures. The one and only time I find dogs at all annoying is when you’re trying to get away for periods longer than their bladders are able to tolerate. With dogs (or at least the way I insist their care and feeding take place), getting away for anything more than a day trip involves herculean logistical feats which usually reach the level of requiring unjustifiable levels of effort. Yes, I know there are dog sitters and boarding facilities of which normal people might avail themselves. Frankly I can’t think of any more than half a dozen people on the planet who I’d willingly allow full, free, and unfettered access to my home. The number of people I’d trust with the care of the dogs is significantly lower than that. Yes, of course I realize this problem is self-inflicted based on my utter lack of faith in humanity, but that doesn’t make it any less annoying… and it doesn’t mean I’m wrong.

What annoys Jeff this week?

Since I’ve been sitting here on the couch for two days now, there hasn’t been all that much opportunity for things to rub me the wrong way me this week… other than the enforced requirement to just sit around, of course. Don’t worry, though, that doesn’t mean the week is going to get off scott free. There are still a few things that annoy me.

1. Good, thoughtful people on both sides of an issue can disagree without necessarily becoming total douche bags. Just because we hold different beliefs and values doesn’t mean we have to scream past one another rather than discussing events and the way ahead using at least some small modicum of rational thought. Nothing turns me off faster than a politician or talking head insisting that theirs is the only possible right solution to whatever the problem happens to be. In math and physics there might only be one right answer… in the humanities, we’re blessed with many different paths to the same result, but that requires everyone to shut their filthy pie holes for a few minutes and listenen to someone else. I’m not holding my breath on that happening.

2. When it comes to getting your hands on the latest and greatest electronic toys, timing is everything. That’s why I got immediately disgruntled when I looked at the likely launch of the new iPhone and discovered that I was going to be stuck in class when consensus says the window for pre-orders is going to open. Sure, it’s a first world problem and all, but I want my shiny new piece of kit, damnit. I may just have to be more creative than usual at getting my order in before ship-by dates slip out to a month or more.

3. Ace bandages suck. No matter how I try to wrap one around my ankle it always ends up with a lump under my foot, or not being tight enough around the ankle, or cutting off circulation to my toes. Honest to God, I looked up a “how to” demonstration video on YouTube and still can’t get it more than halfassed done. If I’m every Secretary of Education, I’m going to insist that schools teach basic first aid and injury care, in the hopes that the 30-somethings of the future have a clue what they’re doing when their body starts falling apart at the margins.