Madness abounds. I’ve stopped asking “why”

Ever since 2016, I’ve been defaulting to the question, “Why?” whenever I hear inexplicable irrationality.

When a cousin announced she’d voted for Trump, my immediate response was, “Why?”

Since no one person gave me anything like a reasonable answer, I spent quite a lot of time looking. I did discover a number of satisfying answers. Moreover, I enjoyed my search. Enjoyment was needed over the past six years. There’s only so much peace and pleasure even an optimist like me can get from reading histories to confirm it would all be over eventually.

When? became the salient question. Even the couple of optimists I know — and yes, I am one of those two — had to wonder why it was taking so long. As we watched an entire political party decompose, we thought the rotting bodies would be kicked over a cliff sort of…now. Or earlier.

An important, even crucial election is within 20 days, if I’m counting right. I myself intend to vote early on my first early voting day, Saturday, October 29. Between the hours of 8 am and 5 pm, although my furious commitment will not get me to my polling place at 8 am. Later.

Which isn’t what I sat down to write.

I follow a number of valiant people on Twitter who are risking their own mental health by covering the variety of crazies who scream their nonsense onto any asocial media venue available to them.

Thank you, valiant people. You’ve been keeping me abreast of the metastasizing vile nonsense out there. The ungoverned hate for anyone who doesn’t look like them is…don’t know what to say about it. Since there are far fewer of the haters than there are of the rest of us, I assume the decibel level is inversely proportionate to their dwindling numbers.

They are certainly horrible people. Horrible. People. Horrible People.

That’s what I decided when I approached the latest Harper’s Weekly Review, which seems (although maybe all the visual and auditory pounding has over-sensitized me to the madness) to be madder than usual.

See what you think.

“This lion, he’s the king of the jungle … huge mane, he’s so big, he’s so hot,” said the voice-over of a nature-style documentary Trump posted to his social media site.

[A]n incel who googled “when does preparing for a crime become an attempt” pleaded guilty to plotting to shoot women in Ohio.

In the run-up to next year’s elections, the Turkish parliament approved legislation allowing President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government to imprison journalists and social media users who spread information deemed to be false; later, Turkey was accused of stripping 92 migrants naked and sending them to Greece.

Elon Musk:

Elon Musk, after suggesting that Taiwan submit to Chinese rule, received tax exemptions from the Chinese government for Tesla electric vehicles. Musk, who had also suggested that Ukraine cede the Crimean Peninsula to Russia, agreed to continue providing critical satellite internet service to Ukraine after complaining about the cost and made $1 million from the sale of a perfume called Burnt Hair, which he branded as “the essence of repugnant desire.”

Animal bites:

A legally blind man sued the city of Memphis after, without any verbal warning, he was bitten by a police dog. “It looks really bad on us,” said an officer in body cam footage. “We didn’t intend to sic a dog on some guy, make him a fucking snack.” A German man was detained after biting a police dog.


A woman who claimed that she embodied an Indian goddess and who forced devotees to eat human feces was hit with 50 charges in Singapore, and a South Carolina youth pastor was placed on leave after giving out stickers to students that read “I ❤ HOT YOUTH PASTORS.”

More sex:

A Manhattan congressional candidate released a sex tape, and urologists released a case report about a man who became allergic to his own orgasm.

More science:

Scientists announced that they had taught brain cells in a dish to play Pong.

Death and munchies:

“We thought we were doing the right thing, and we realized maybe we were wrong,” said the manager of a Maryland restaurant that stayed open while a dead body lay in the bathroom.


It was reported that in Tampa, two fathers had shot each other’s daughters in a road rage incident.

And moms:

A Washington appeals court determined that a mother’s love has no monetary value.

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