Shout-out to all Carolinian Politicados. Stay safe, dry, and sheltered.
Wars and battles will be more grievous and towns, cities, castles and all other edifices will be burned, desolated and destroyed, with great effusion of vestal blood, violations of married woman and widows, and sucking children dashed and broken against the walls of towns.
— Nostradamus, Epistle to Henry II
Tempests natural and manmade this past week obscured the huge news of huge joint Russia-China wargames in southeastern Siberia. The armed forces of the only two countries capable of standing up to the United States in conventional warfare1 buddied up, drank some vodka while noshing on caviar-filled crepes,2 and alternately shelled and stomped flat(ter) the tundra,
A normal U.S. presidential administration would pay attention to such a massive geopolitical realignment, but the Trumpists allowed themselves to remain blithely unconcerned with that while staying fixated on colluding with Putin, thinking Xi deployed naught but trade warriors, and screaming that 3,000 needlessly dead Puerto Ricans never existed and would not have mattered even if they had.
♫ Well, I suppose you’re thinking,
I bet he’s sinking
Or he wouldn’t get in touch with me
Though I ain’t begging or losing my head
I sure do want you to know
Now I’m eating my heart out
Trying to get a letter through ♫
— “You Wear It Well,” Rod Stewart3
A month ago, your full-time freelancing Weekend Politics Thread host engaged in the following only slightly paraphrased email exchange with his principal client.
Client: Edit this manual as soon as you can.
Uvular: You really need to hire someone else for this specific task that falls beyond your lackey’s ken. Plus, all the other work you assigned recently leaves no time for doing this additional thing.
Client: [Two weeks later] This has become a crisis project. Edit the manual.
Uvular: Fine. Set a deadline.
Uvular: Define “soon” as explicitly as possible. Set a deadline.
Client: We need the completed edit within a couple of weeks.
Uvular: Do I need to make the three-hour drive to your offices and explain, possibly with three-pound maul in hand, what “deadline” means?
People miss messages for many reasons. Malice comes to mind. Anyway, since your exasperated WPT host’s client refused to smell what he cooked, the client wound up missing its own never fully clarified deadline and must now use the incompletely edited manual for at least two more offerings of its course.
♪ Misunderstand me
Hey, miss, understand me ♪
–“Crush Story,” Too Much Joy4
Miscommunications have consequences far more serious than scandalizing mid-career professionals with typos, grammatical errors, and infelicitous formatting. With the Trump cabal incapable of grokking the threat created by a tripolar world order transforming into a bipolar one with the mere flip of a blini, it may soon5 matter less whether Robert Mueller can prove electoral collusion than whether the Strategic National Stockpile contains enough doses of iodine to protect Americans from radiation poisoning.
What has you lot alarmed and/or amused this mid-September interstitial?