David Bouchier

Image by Pepper Mint from Pixabay

As winter creeps up on us many of our habits change. We stay indoors more, probably eat more and exercise less. This is exactly the kind of thing that the propagandists of the fitness industry keep warning us against. Most of us senior citizens have been hearing this same old refrain for half a century or more. We have heard it all and ignored it all before, and we’re still here.

Courtesy of Pixabay

Thanksgiving will be strange this year. Who will give thanks for what? How many of us will look back on 2020 and say: “Thanks for nothing.” A lot of people will miss Thanksgiving altogether, at least the traditional Normal Rockwell event where generations of the family gather for the symbolic feast. It’s just not the same on Zoom, and it’s especially hard for families who rarely have a chance to get together. They’ll be missing hugs and kisses and time with children and grandchildren — important things.

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

Now that the election is over we can return to more traditional and less stressful forms of entertainment, like murder. When the evenings draw in and the temperature falls with the leaves, there’s nothing as comforting as a good murder. The actual homicide rate in America has been going down for a long time, but in movies and on television it has gone the other way. Movies were always violent, ever since the earliest cowboy epics. Now they are more violent by far. By the age of 18, according to Mr. Google, the average citizen has watched 40,000 murders on the small screen.

By (top)Cezary and (bottom)MattWade / Wikimedia Commons

Anyone who voted last Tuesday, or who lined up for early voting during the previous week, must have been impressed as I was by the sheer number of people who turned out, sometimes standing in the rain for hours. I’m not speaking about the result or about the process (which is crazy), but the participation, especially when so many people had so much else to worry about. Sixty-five percent seem to have voted, up less than half in recent elections.

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

It was a stroke of genius by the framers of the Constitution to schedule the elections immediately after Halloween. We are in the right frame of mind — so thoroughly accustomed to thin disguises, thinly-disguised blackmail, and magical thinking that we can no longer tell the difference between fact and fantasy.