Blogging is short (we wish), life is long

“There are no new comic books. Steve Geppi, head of Diamond Comic Distributors, which distributes nearly every comic sold in the anglophone world (or used to), announced this on 23 March, though senior industry figures already knew what was coming. The coronavirus pandemic had sunk retailers deep into the red. They couldn’t pay their bills to Diamond or rent to their landlords, because they hadn’t made any sales. ‘Product distributed by Diamond and slated for an on-sale date of 1 April or later will not be shipped to retailers until further notice,’ Geppi wrote.”
‘This is beyond the Great Depression’: will comic books survive coronavirus?, by Sam Thielman, PW, 20 April 2020

If everyone gets sick of Diamond’s bullshit… this could save the US Post Office! Hooray for Media Mail! Yay! Like, buy your pull directly from the publisher? What a concept. Yeah, comic book shops; sorry guys. You might have to find another business model or something.

“‘When flu season comes, there is the possibility that we will be dealing with two respiratory viruses at the same time — flu and Covid,’ Dr. Thomas Frieden, the former head of the C.D.C. and the president of Resolve to Save Lives, a nonprofit focused on disease prevention, said in an email. ‘This could be a double challenge for our health care systems.’ Even if social distancing and other mitigation measures succeed in ‘flattening the curve,’ once those strictures are loosened, cases could surge again, Dr. Frieden said.”
The Fear of Coronavirus and Flu Colliding in the Fall, by Denise Grady, NYT, 22 April 2020

“If I may on that, Mr. leader. I’m very proud of the work of two of our chairman. Maxine waters, the chair of the banking committee and chairwoman Nydia Velazquez, chair of the small business committee. Minority women, women of power in the Congress chairs of the important committees who proposed working with their counterparts, ranking members in the Senate that were mentioned by the leader, this legislation that would benefit these under-banked smaller businesses. So, there is a $60 billion set aside for this particular purpose. It would not have been there without the democratic proposal, with just praising our Senate colleagues to the hill for sticking by that on the floor of the Senate. But this is designed in a way to make a change on how we recognize the vitality of our economy. It’s about small business. We plant a flag with small business. The entrepreneurship, the optimism to create a small business. You’ve heard me say again and again, nothing more optimistic than starting a small business except maybe getting married. But the fact is that there are many small businesses that do not have the same kind of relationships with banks that make them on a first come first serve basis be able to benefit. This has been a drastic change and as the leader said, will make a difference for the future as we deal with it.”
Transcript: Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer Speech After $500 Billion COVID-19 Bill Passes, Nancy Pelosi, transcript by, 21 April 2020

“Harvard University has said it plans to keep an $8.6m grant it received as part of a stimulus package to blunt the economic impact of the coronavirus lockdown, contradicting Donald Trump who said the university would return it. Speaking at a press briefing on Tuesday, Trump pointed to the institution’s ample endowment – worth nearly $41bn – as a reason why it should hand back the money. “‘Harvard is going to pay back the money and they shouldn’t be taking it,’ Trump said, adding that Harvard had one of the largest endowments ‘in the country, maybe in the world.’ In a statement issued moments after the briefing ended, however, Harvard said it planned ‘to direct 100% of the funds to financial assistance to students, and will not be using any of the funds to cover institutional costs.’ The university said it received the grant through the educational relief scheme that was part of the $2.2tn stimulus passed at the end of March, which also included a fund aimed at helping small businesses. That fund has been riddled with controversy after disclosures that larger companies received bailout funds while many small businesses, among the hardest hit by the coronavirus crisis, still await aid.”
Harvard rejects Trump call to return stimulus grant, by Reuters, via The Guardian, 22 April 2020

Is “the fund” even vetting the applications? Shouldn’t there be a check box that reads “Check here if you reported over 100 ga-zillion on your 2019 tax return”, which would make places like Harvard and Ruth Chris Steak House INELIGIBLE for aid? Who coded this website so badly? It seems harder to apply for an NEA grant than to get millions in stimulus money. Geeze, our tax dollars at work, poorly horribly at work.

“A pandemic is a lot like a forest fire,” Mr. Bush said in a speech at the National Institutes of Health. ‘If caught early it might be extinguished with limited damage. If allowed to smolder, undetected, it can grow to an inferno that can spread quickly beyond our ability to control it.'”
The Untold Story of the Birth of Social Distancing, by Eric Lipton and Jennifer Steinhauer, NYT, 22 April 2020

Ah, W, someone wrote you a good speech on a good policy. Of course this is the only one I know about… Oh well, 2005 was a long time ago.

“Amazon no longer gets us everything we need and quickly. Will this affect our shopping habits for good?”
Reliable Amazon Isn’t Anymore, by Shira Ovide, NYT, 22 April 2020

I doubt it. I suspect Amazon will simply launch their Skynet, and that will solve EVERYTHING. Wait, what? Skynet’s not real? Well, that’s a relief. Sort of.

“LA’s first stab at a museum didn’t come until 1913, when the city built a Beaux-Arts building in bustling Exposition Park, across from the University of Southern California. Named the Los Angeles County Museum of History, Science and Arts, the museum was, in the words of the New York Times, a ‘ragtag-and-bobtail general museum’ featuring third-rate collections and amateur regional art.”
LACMA is beloved. Its design never was, by Hadley Mears, Curbed, 23 April 2020

We love you, too, NYT.

“Mr. Grenell is thought to be the first openly gay cabinet member and has put anti-discrimination issues near the top of his agenda. In his earlier post as the American ambassador to Germany, Mr. Grenell began last year assembling gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender groups from the United States and other countries as part of the administration’s effort to change anti-gay laws.”
U.S. Spy Agencies Weigh Tying Intelligence Sharing to Ending Bans on Gays, by Julian E. Barnes, NYT, 22 April 2020

“…thought to be…”?


The mouth obeys poorly when the heart murmurs.

Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter.
Oscar Wilde

To destroy is still the strongest instinct in nature.
Max Beerbohm

French is the language that turns dirt into romance.
Stephen King

All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.
Havelock Ellis

Love thou the rose, yet leave it on its stem.
Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton

Life is short, the art long.

If people sat outside and looked at the stars each night, I’ll bet they’d live a lot differently.
Bill Watterson

To catch a husband is an art; to hold him is a job.
Simone de Beauvoir

Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.
Steve Jobs

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