On blogging, rioters, and general suckage

I had every intention of posting something funny yesterday. Had a headline and everything.

It was going to read:

My new vacuum cleaner sucks

Get it? My vacuum cleaner sucks?


I bought the vacuum on New Year’s Day (because I’m a woman who knows how to start off the year right) and honestly, I’m pretty darn excited about it.

So much so, that I was going to wax poetic about it — maybe write an actual poem?!

I even drew myself using it:

drawing of woman with vacuum cleaner

Seemed worth a post, yeah?

So there I was, sketching away and feeling pretty good. Fully intending on writing a cute, comical blog post on the glories of a clean home and giving into your otherwise carefully managed OCD tendencies.

Then Husband texted me what was going on at Capitol Hill and I got distracted.

Because I saw this:

protestor at senate dais

In case you missed it, Trump supporters and crowd scene extras from a bad action movie stormed into the Capitol, roamed the corridors, ransacked offices and, in general, behaved like it was senior prank day at their high school.

I’m sure you’ve seen this guy?

Turns out he’s from Arizona… my home state!


To my knowledge, no Vikings ever found their way to the Valley of the Sun, so what this guy is trying to prove, I don’t know.

Actually, I do know. According to the article I read (because yeah, I couldn’t rest until I found out who he was), he said he wears it to draw attention to himself.

So at least he’s self-aware?

Besides the article, I also listened to some reporters from England who were there (not only do they have a swell accent, they have that genuine “glad I don’t live here” attitude going for them).

At one point the woman spoke to one of the protestors rioters near the main door (he sounded in his early 20s) and she asked him, “Do you think that what you’re doing here will be helpful?”

Which sounded like such a British thing to ask.

The guy paused, like it was the first he gave any thought as to why he was there. Then he said, “Well, I guess we’re just trying to intimidate them a little.” Then another guy broke in and shouted, “It’s a show of power against Congress, because we know how corrupt they are!”

In truth, what bothered me the most about the situation (and kept me refreshing the news feed on my phone every 30 seconds) wasn’t that hooligans were raiding the principal’s office. We know how to deal with hooligans: Lecture them on proper behavior and put them in detention.

The problem is that these hooligans don’t know they’re hooligans. They think they’re the good guys.

Their “facts” are so twisted and one-sided, they are completely unable to see it any other way. And I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

Which really sucks.

And now here I am with a cute blog post idea and no motivation to write it.

(In truth, this is partly the reason BJM saw its demise. There were times when my heart just wasn’t into it and drawing funny comics was dang hard. The main reason was that I returned to work full-time, but this played a role too.)

Anyway. Yeah. Our country really does appear more divided than it ever has been and that sucks. I think on that we can all agree. How we get out of it, though, is less clear.

Though I suppose as it is with most things, it begins with us.

The more we see ourselves as divided and take on an attitude of “Us vs. Them,” the division will only grow. The more we look upon people who disagree with us as losers, idiots, or crowd scene extras from a bad action movie, the wider our separation from each other expands.

I’m not saying we ignore threats against our democracy, by no means! And yeah, absolutely we should throw those hooligans in detention.

(Please, can we throw Viking/Buffalo man in first?)

What I am saying that whether we agree with each other or not, we must treat each other decently and try to work together, or at least live together in peace.

Really, it’s the only way forward.

Because the sooner I can start writing silly blog posts again, the better it will be for all of us.

44 thoughts on “On blogging, rioters, and general suckage

  1. I hadn’t seen Viking Man but saw Auschwitz man and confederate flag man. Detention should equal jail time. But then again, they don’t have enough pigment in their skin to go to jail. Okay, got that out of my system.

    But on to vacuums that suck big time – we have two Animal Dyson vacuums. All to handle one 20 lb Jack Russell Terrier who produces a “new sister” every week in our vacuums. Actually our new home is a two story so it makes sense to have two vacuums. Wonder what we’ll do with our time when Bridget crosses the Rainbow Bridge (she’s 16 – 17 YO now).

    1. Yeah, I considered comparing the police presence here to the one the BLM protestors got — pretty pathetic, isn’t it? One of the tweets I saw: “If you have to say ‘America is better than this’ every couple days, than maybe we aren’t?”
      Hate to say it, but he makes a good point.

      The vacuum cleaner I bought is a Kenmore Crossover. It had great ratings for pet dander, though I can only speak to its ability to pick up cat hair, which is dynamite! The ‘crossover’ refers to it being an upright that can switch into a canister model, so I can carry it to use on our stairs (So cool!). Our old vacuum cleaner has been moved to the basement, so this baby is for the main floor… and stairs!

    1. Oh man, you said it. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve been this shaken by a news story since 9/11. And the fact that so many of these rioters were avowed white supremacists — we just can’t ignore that anymore.

  2. Yesterday’s events were absolutely sickening. I still feel unnerved about it today (I know that’s normal). But, you made me smile with “My new vacuum cleaner sucks.” Makes me think of my daughter, who just bought a Dyson and it’s cute how excited she is about it! Take care.

    1. I was feeling pretty unnerved yesterday too. I finally had to turn off my phone and get back to cleaning.
      Your daughter has a Dyson too? The people who have them really seem to love them.

      1. Yes, she does. She’s been wanting one for a couple of years, but she finally decided to do it. She LOVES it, I’m jealous! Looks so easy and light. Mine is heavy and the cord is annoying. I may need one of those Dysons 🙂

        1. That’s what I’ve heard about them – very powerful yet lightweight. Mine isn’t all that light, but since I’m able to detach the canister to carry it around, it’s not bad at all.

  3. Well said, Christi, thank you. I find it interesting that so many people are claiming to be surprised by yesterday’s insurrection. Though appalling and sickening, it was not surprising. It was clear four years ago that we were leading to this, and certainly the last two months gave us almost daily warnings. I just hope we begin to learn the deeper lessons of our vast denial and obliviousness.

    1. Apparently their plans were all over social media sites, so no one should have been surprised. Yet they didn’t increase the security or put on riot gear like they did for the BLM protests just months prior — there’s a lot to answer for there.

  4. Speaking of hooligans reminds me of the BLM protests that turned into riots. The rioters thought they were justified. “The Chicago Black Lives Matter organizer who justified looting as “reparation” insists that even calling someone a criminal is “based on racism.”
    Then there is your Arizona hooligan – who is known as the ‘Q-Shaman’ of a conspiracy theory group.
    The point is, as you said, the fringe may attach itself to a certain political ideal or group, but that does not mean that all members of that political group hold the same ideals and values as the fringe.

    1. I heard some people being interviewed who were at Capitol Hill as protestors. One said she was “proud” of the ones storming in, but all the others were alarmed and said it didn’t speak for them or anyone else they knew.
      Which is true for every protest, of course. There will always be those who carry things too far and sometimes that’s all we see, partly because it makes better TV but also because it meets the agenda of whoever is behind the camera. I always try to keep that in mind when I’m watching things like this – which was why I was jumping around from one news source to another.

    2. The similarity with civil rights protesters and “6 million was not enough” protesters (attempting a coup to overthrow the will of the voters) is lost on me. Violence is not okay no matter what the cause. We agree there. But the difference between how yesterday’s thugs were treated vs how BLM protesters have been treated (for many years even BT – before Trump) demonstrates the need for organizations like Black Lives Matter. To say one is like the other is like to say white is like black (ah therein lies the difference).

      1. In reality, we are all quite ignorant when it comes to the news. We are told what to think through the lens of the bias we prefer by a small number of ‘journalists’ who weren’t even in attendance at the events they write about. We can look at two left, two centre and two right leaning news sources – and all we’ve got is the opinions of 6 people who have told you their biases.

        The same can be said when we assign the traits of a few protesters to everyone in attendance – the actions of the few, the thugs, are not the will and actions of the many.

        Taken even further, the treatment of some Blacks in the hands of the whites is not the treatment of all Blacks – (and there are many black people who don’t support some of the goals and tactics of BLM.)

        1. You have eyes to see the videos. We don’t need the news to tell us what’s going on when we see confederate flags and Camp Auschwitz shirts. This was a mob, plain and simple. The destruction was done by most of the crowd there. If people did not agree with the violence, why would they go along with the thugs into the capitol building? Why were they carrying handcuffs if they didn’t intend to do harm to those inside? And why would they publicize, then erect a noose, their intent to hang VP Pence for not doing what he had no authority to do, namely to support the insurrection. And the level of destruction cannot be explained by a few “bad pennies” acting out. It’s time to wake up and smell the human feces that these “patriots” smeared in the halls of our capital building.

          We have video of the President actually telling them to march on the capitol. Note that Donald Trump has always hated the free press – he’s the one that started the shout of “Fake News” to defy the facts right in front of our faces. And by the way, the journalists were there and were threatened. We saw videos of the flagrant destruction of the media’s equipment outside the capitol. People who say the media is as much to blame are stoking the fires and supporting the violence that is sure to continue unless we stand up for truth. Either you are part of the problem or part of the solution – there is no middle ground here.

          One final note, I support BLM but realize I was and am privileged to grow up and live in America free because I have white skin. I would never presume to indicate that I understand what they go through every day of every year being treated like they are less than human because they have more pigment in their skin. But I have seen first hand that mistreatment by people I thought were too educated &/or intelligent to be racist. And by the woefully ignorant as well. These are not stories, they are a daily reality that we must acknowledge as a nation if we’re going to fix the problem. Again, there is no acceptable middle ground on this issue.

          1. No, there is no middle ground – which is why I’m sure you must be equally upset by the continuing riots in Portland – as well as those in Minneapolis, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Phoenix, Richmond, Seattle, St. Louis, Kenosha, Philadelphia and Washington DC. Mobs, violence, killings and destruction are not the answer – and there has been more than enough of that by both the far left and far right elements in all societies.

        1. Some of us just aren’t cut out for the Blogging life. But I’ve been trying to get my husband to do it. He’s the real writer in our family.

        2. And to prove there are much better writers than I, here’s an excerpt from an email I got from Women’s March that phrased the particular problem much better than I ever could.

          “First, the attack on the Capitol that occurred last Wednesday and the lack of repercussions for this mob violence shouldn’t come as shocking news.
          When I heard commentators characterize what happened as atypical, seditious, and un-American – I immediately thought about the record of lynchings in the United States.
          From 1877 to 1950, 4,075 Black men, women, and children were lynched. Not only were the perpetrators not prosecuted, but their murderous rampages were also applauded by the majority in their white communities.
          The U.S. Congress never passed an anti-lynching law. The legacy of allowing white domestic terror-inducing violence to go unpunished started long before that with the genocide of nearly 55 million Indigenous people. It is an American tradition, and it is alive and well.
          As appalling as the current occupant of the White House is, at the end of the day, he is a symptom and not the cause. He has played upon and manipulated the fault lines of bigotry, inequality, and injustice that thrived in this country long before he was born.
          We really need to ask ourselves what exactly is going on here that made conditions so ripe for 45’s ascendancy. From my perspective, a major driver is unacknowledged white supremacy.
          By white supremacy, I do not merely mean organized hate group activity, but the systemic racial injustice that infects every aspect of U.S. political, economic, social, and cultural life. Unless we figure out how to challenge it we will see these tragedies happen again and again.”

  5. Prior to the events you refer to, a blogger I follow who is a Trumpist posted a piece praising him and trashing Biden – and didn’t accept comments. I got in touch with her and politely explained my disagreement. She wrote me a long polite email that made me realize I would be foolish to try reasoning with her. This is going to go on and on and on.

    I shared this on another blog, but it’s also applicable here. A quote from skeptic Michael Shermer: “Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons.” Certainly believing anything Trump says qualifies as a non-smart reason.

    1. I’ve seen that before about pro-Trump bloggers not accepting comments. When I checked the about page on one of them, they had written “I don’t appreciate anyone trying to change my mind, so don’t even try!”

      I like Shermer’s quote. Whenever I read about these pro-Trump rallies or the people who still follow him, regardless of his wild accusations (I really think the man is mentally ill), Trumpism sounds more and more like a cult.

  6. I believe you’ve already seen my latest post, so it looks like we were in the same mindset yesterday concerning our posts. I initially wanted to do “happy”, what with the Georgia wins, but then we got the gut-punch at the Capitol and I didn’t know what to do. I finally settled on that dusty compromise I found in the archives, and the finding of it was a relief, as I wasn’t in the right mindset to compose anything fresh. Still reeling. But not surprised. Not surprised at all…

    1. It just sickens me how they view themselves as patriots — and how others continue to support the man, or excuse the actions of these dopes.
      I commend you on the post you selected. This is a hard topic to cover when so many have done it better and more thoroughly, yet to remain silent felt wrong. And you’re right, none of us should be surprised. With all he was saying leading up to now, what other outcome could there have been?

    1. They have to hold him accountable, that’s for sure. If they are able to impeach him (*fingers crossed*) he wouldn’t be able to run again. And I just heard Twitter has closed his account permanently, Facebook did it yesterday — so hopefully the crap he’s spewing will be less and less…

  7. Well said, Christi. I was horrified by that scene and even more horrified by people I know who felt it was justified and a good thing. I give up trying to get them to see reason but still enjoy arguing with them.

    BTW, I have a Kirby vacuum that I bought from one of those door-to-door salesmen in 1992. Still love it but it is so heavy to carry downstairs. I have bought cheaper, lighter vacuums but always end up going back to my Kirby.

    1. Yes we had a Kirby for decades. But we tired of “scraping out” the fabric bag. Now we have an air compressor to clean out the catcher of our Animal Dyson.

    2. Bravo to you for still arguing with them! I just avoid eye contact and dart away. (We have a neighbor who is still flying his huge Trump flag. I’m thinking of starting a neighborhood pool on when he’ll finally take it down.

      You have a vacuum cleaner from 1992? And here I thought my ’98 model was old! (It’s still working, just living downstairs now.)

      1. There is someone in my townhouse complex who still has their Trump/Pence election sign up as well. I wonder if they took it down now that he has acknowledged there will be a new president? I need to go check. 🤔🤔

    1. You really hit upon something there, JC. Maybe the real reason we don’t want to make friends with people from the “other side” is that we’re afraid we may start to understand them and see how alike we really are. Our egos are far too fragile for that!

  8. Hey Christi, Sorry I have been such a stranger lately. It is not a very good time to be a travel blogger. For me, one of the highlights of 2020 was that Arizona changed into a blue state.

    1. Hi Joe! Nice to see you again!
      We weren’t completely surprised by Arizona’s turn to blue — it was gradually shifting that way for a while — but it was amazing to see just the same. 🙂

  9. This line says it all, really:
    “The more we look upon people who disagree with us as losers, idiots, or crowd scene extras from a bad action movie, the wider our separation from each other expands.”

    I wish I could 100% agree with your assessment that there is a way to make nice (my words) with the other side, it gets kind of hard when they tout racist, fascist, or just plain wrong ideologies (for example, that the election was rigged or stolen.) When ‘the other side’ starts to sound like bad villain central casting, I find myself turned off by their supposed arguments. If you walk side-by-side with people carrying Nazi flags or espousing white nationalist sentiments, I simply cannot relate to this at all. But then, I am just too exhausted by the rhetoric and just plain uninterested in find a middle ground with people who hold these views.

    1. You know, practically since the day after I posted this article, my feelings have been quite different depending on whatever the next atrocious lie or threat or excuse I hear Trump or his supporters making. Honestly, I thought for sure that this action (storming the Capitol) would be the one to turn the tide… God, I was so naive.
      That being said, I still hold on to the hope that better times are ahead and justice will prevail. I have to hold onto hope, because otherwise I despair and give up — and that’s no good to anyone.
      I’m definitely with you in that I have no interest in finding a middle ground with racists or any other viewpoint based on hatred – only conversion will do.

  10. I’m struggling with this as well. My elderly aunt and uncle still staunchly support DT (and in so doing support the lynch mob). It boils down to the fact that, because they sit in an upper bracket income, they have more money now thanks to the huge tax breaks for the rich. Which to me is the same as believing someone isn’t human because of the color of their skin. It’s all pure evil and selfishness, much to the detriment of our society. They are as much of a problem as the Proud Boys or Ted Cruz.

    1. It just amazes me how people with so much can be so afraid of losing it, to the point it hardens their hearts. We see examples of it all the time, and I really believe it is what Jesus meant with the whole “harder for a camel to go through an eye of a needle” line.

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