If you are anything like me, you have friendships based entirely on quotes from The Simpsons.

In my case, I don’t even like some of these people, and they probably have little use for me but, in an uncertain world, it is comforting to find souls who speak in the same abstractions.

For example, if I said to any of them, “Thank you, I DO enjoy working at the bowling alley,” they would know at once that my wife is expecting.

Surveying the landscape of sudden experts in surgical masks, the utterance from which I would want them to tickle…


WHO’S AFRAID OF COVID-19? — Theo Caldwell

Please be honest: Are you still afraid of Covid-19?

Like you, I heard the horror stories back in March, and saw the footage from China, ostensibly of dead bodies in the streets, portending what was coming for us.

Looking at those images now, they seem peculiar, almost staged. In any case, they are nowhere near what we experienced anywhere in the West.

Yet here we are, under a heavier hand of restrictions and rules than was in place back then.

The common shorthand is to say governments like to keep us in a…


A Second Wave of What?

It is amazing how often “science” means whatever a certain segment of the population wants to do anyway.

At times, this convenient science is awarded the definite article, implying none other exists, as when Joe Biden says he will follow “the science” in deciding whether to lock Americans down or force them to wear masks.

Meanwhile, equally rigorous science, or even basic arithmetic, that arrives at different conclusions or raises unhelpful questions is dismissed, ignored, and censored.

For example, on the topic of masks, there is copious science, from diverse bodies all over the world…


“Stay safe!”

This is how people who have never missed a meal are telling each other goodbye nowadays.

People who have never been near a war, who have never heard a shot fired in anger (perhaps until the tumult of this hideous summer), are now going about masked in conformity and draped in self-congratulation, hailing one another as intrepid survivors.

On some level, they have a point.

You are going to die. Perhaps it will not be for many years; conversely, you may slump over lifeless before you finish reading this sentence…this sentence I am typing now…period!

You made it…


Hands up if you suspect the Venn Diagram of people who demand you wear a mask and people who won’t let you use a plastic straw is a single circle.

You have seen this before: Some scarcity or crisis arises, and with it come people who insist the only intelligent, humane response is to do exactly as they say.

Anyone who disagrees or hesitates to comply is, ipso facto, an idiot who hates planet Earth.

I rise on behalf of the idiots to propose that we take the condemnations as read and consider the pattern.

For a time, we had…


PUSH BACK ON THE “NEW NORMAL”

Like many of you, I was a good sport when this health scare started. I even wrote and recorded a dopey song in support of the effort.

Snow was on the ground then and, like Coleridge’s Winter, we wore on our smiling faces a dream of Spring.

But, as many have noted, “Flatten the curve” quickly became “Communism.”

The analogy is imperfect, since what we are experiencing is not strictly political, or even cultural, but the point is clear.

The first time I encountered the phrase “New Normal” in this context, I bristled. Perhaps…


NO COMPANY SHOULD HAVE A HUMAN RESOURCES DEPARTMENT — THEO CALDWELL

It is a linguistic irony of the modern corporation that those most desolate of resourcefulness and human rapport occupy its Human Resources department.

Consistent with its culture of perverting language and policing words, “Human Resources” is one of those contemporary terms of which the intended and practical meanings are exact opposites.

If you work for an organization large and unfortunate enough to have a dedicated “HR” division — and even, perhaps, if you have been a member of that mirthless, officious cohort — you know of what I write.


This Christmas, Try to be More Judgmental — Theo Caldwell

One of my favorite expressions, which Google finds to be of disputed provenance, is “Be hard on yourself, but easy on others.”

Most of us naturally tend toward the opposite.

In my case, I give myself unlimited hall passes for things much worse than I condemn others for. I have done this all my life, I’m frightfully good at it, and I doubt I will ever stop.

This comes to mind because 2017 has been the worst year of my life. Four people very close to me died within a…

Theo Caldwell

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