From the desk of Daniel P. Finney, sergeant of the watch, Drake Neighborhood Station, Des Moines, Iowa.
Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020
ITEM ONE: The typist made the mistake of reading the news Monday. He recommends against it — especially if you are prone to anxiety and depression. The stories he perused related to the possibility of a new stimulus package and enhanced unemployment. Both national issues relate directly to the typist, who is unemployed after COVID-19 and corporate hustlers killed his 23-year career in journalism. The news remained grim and stupid. Hot Sheet says “grim” because Congressional leaders and the White House have not even begun resuming talks on the issue despite assurances from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi that a deal could happen by the end of September. We write “stupid” because typist finds little hope that our constipated Congress can do anything in the interest of the American people as a whole. An optimist might think both Republicans and Democrats would like to finish their campaigns by pretending they acted swiftly in the midst of a national emergency to help the people they serve. But the typist is not an optimist. He is a romantic who has been exposed to too much reality. Thus, he believes Congress would rather go into the home stretch waggling their fingers against opponents of the opposite party than accomplishing anything.
ITEM TWO: Two lines from “The Big Lebowski,” the typist’s favorite movie:
THE BIG LEBOWSKI: You don’t go out looking for a job looking like that? On a weekday?
THE DUDE: Is this a … what day is this?
ITEM THREE: The last bloom of American innocence fell today when the two people who actually believed Republicans would avoid brazen hypocrisy in the nomination and confirmation of a Supreme Court justice during a presidential election year fainted. Pity the poor, isolated souls who must now realize that the only thing politicians care about is more power for their team. To rehash, President Barack Obama, a Democrat, nominated Merrick Garland for an opening on the Supreme Court with nine months remaining on his second term. GOP senators refused to hold hearings on the matter because the presidential election loomed. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, led the charge saying such filibuster-esque behavior had been the practice of the Senate for 80 years. So, with about nine weeks left before the 2020 presidential election, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died. The same Republicans now say they will fast-track any nominee from Republican President Donald Trump. The angry fist-shaking has dominated the social media sphere since it become clear fairness and scruples — even adherence to one’s own bullshit — is not a mark of Republican leaders. Just for local point of reference, Republican Sen. Joni Ernst, Iowa’s Dollar Store Sarah Palin, is also on Team Fast-Track. The typist wishes we could get either Iowa senator to show as much interest in fast-tracking a stimulus.
ITEM FOUR: Unavailable due to COVID-19 quarantine. Item Four wants the public to know it is asymptomatic and resting comfortably at home.
ITEM FIVE: Hot Sheet’s Reno, Nevada, bureau chief recently sent the typist some school supplies. The package included a Moleskine notebook. Though he joyously received the gracious gift, Moleskine notebooks generate a certain anxiety in the ol’ Paragraph Stacker. Moleskine products rank as the finest stationery stock one can buy. Their books possess such elegance, the typist feels nothing he has to say at that moment is worthy of marring the perfection of the creation. This is why most of the notes he takes in his post-journalism career are on the backs of envelopes.
ITEM SIX: On the matter of office supplies, the typist notes that the box of 50 letter-size envelopes he bought when he was in college has finally been extinguished. If he buys another box of 50, he believes it will last him until the grave.
ITEM SEVEN: The Centers for Disease Control said COVID-19 could be transmitted through the air. The next day officials said it couldn’t. Judas H. Priest on a palomino pony! We are seven months into this pandemic. It would be nice if the one agency who is supposed to know what the fuck is going on actually did. This kind of low-rent bullshit is why some people are running around Wal-Marts screaming about having to wear masks. Get it together, CDC.
ITEM LAST: If it seems like the typist is cursing a lot, it’s true. He is. The typist is angry and profanity is the language of anger. To the typist’s mind, it’s also the language of comedy. Yes, retired English teachers, the typist is smart enough to know other ways in which to express himself. He chooses profanity because he likes it. He is also unemployed. If someone hires him, even part time, he’ll happily use only Sunday school words. But for now? Fuck it.
Cut loose and cashiered by corporate media, lone paragraph stacker Daniel P. Finney makes his way telling stories about his city, state and nation. No more metrics or Google trends, he writes stories about people and life ignored by the oligarchy.
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We are all on the edge. Even those who pretend they are absolutely without any mental flaws are right out there, road rage speeding down life’s freeway at 150 mph. So curse to your hearts content. You are correct about the value of its humor.