Inauguration Day. Finally.
America has a new president. It feels good to have an adult in charge again. And he has a lot of work to do.
I gave a few of my reactions to the inauguration ceremony and that night’s celebration. There were plenty of highlights. I mentioned being pleased the former vice president Mike Pence attended, instead of seeing off his former boss as he and his wife slinked off early in the morning. (I stated that departure is how a loser loses.)
I also enjoyed seeing three of our surviving former presidents also in attendance. And seeing Minnesota’s own Sen. Amy Klobuchar having such a prominent role made me quite proud. The poem by Amanda Gorman was wonderful and inspiring, as was Pres. Joe Biden’s speech.
I could have done without all the references to God and the singing of Amazing Grace by Garth Brooks. Not because I’m not a fan of Brooks, which I’m not, it’s because I really hate that song and always have. I just hate it.
And with having an adult in charge again, an adult who accepts science, means America can get to work getting a handle on the pandemic and implement a Federal roll-out plan for the vaccine. The previous administration couldn’t be bothered. They were too busy pushing The Big Lie about the election being stolen, when not golfing that is. This also means the welcome return of an obviously relieved Dr. Fauci.
Lastly, the person who really stole the show, albeit unintentionally, was Sen. Bernie Sanders. His coat, his mittens, and that photograph of him sitting on his own set the internet on fire. The memes created of Bernie reminded us that the internet can be fun.
A Dimland Radio Pedantic Moment: That Life Expectancy Thing Again
Just because average life expectancy in 18th and 19th centuries was about 40, doesn’t mean 39 year olds were at death’s doorstep. There were plenty of older folks about, folks that made it into their 60s, 70s, 80s, and even 90s. Mo Rocca, in one of his profiles of the American presidents, perpetuates the notion that a life expectancy of 39 years meant that William Henry Harrison taking office at age 68 was like being 110 today.
No, it was like being to 68 today.
Incidentally, Harrison took ill shortly after being sworn in and died 31 days into his presidency.
I discussed the reasons for short life expectancies back in the day and gave the ages at which our more well-known Founding Fathers died. With the exception of Alexander Hamilton, who was killed in a dual with Aaron Burr at age 47 or 49, none of the Fathers died younger than 67 (George Washington). John Adams died at age 90.
And don’t think those politicians, all wealthy men, got the best health care. Doctors back then were still trying to figure out what worked in medicine. Sometimes not seeing a doctor was the safer bet. Just ask Pres. James Garfield…
The Assassination Of James Garfield
On July 2, 1881, Pres. James Garfield was shot twice by assassin Charles Guiteau. It took until September 19, 1881 for the president to die. Not so much from his wounds, more from the care he received from doctors who didn’t think using an antiseptic to clean their hands and instruments was necessary or helpful.
It was a harrowing and gruesomely slow death. When Garfield finally died, Guiteau stated, “Yes, I shot him, but his doctors killed him.”
That Has Always Been Wrong
Throughout history, no matter how enlightened people may have thought of themselves, the majority could really have some troubling blind spots when it comes to race.
I watched an episode of The Good Life (called Good Neighbors in the States), a very popular TV comedy in the UK in the 1970s. During the episode Away From It All, the character Margo can be seen wearing an apron with a very problematic design.
The design is a character know as the Robertson’s golliwog. And it is racist as hell!
We see that now, but at the time the majority, thinking that they certainly weren’t racists, didn’t notice any problem. We have gotten better, but we still have a ways to go.
Thank God And Greyhound
Hmmm. Why might such a song come to mind this particular week?
Be patient. Wash your hands. Stay home. Stay safe. WEAR A MASK!
Dimland Radio opening theme song: Ram by The Yoleus
Closing song: Angler’s Treble Hook by $5 Fiddle
That’s it! See you next Saturday night for Dimland Radio 11 Central, midnight Eastern on www.ztalkradio.com you can also download my show from the z talk show archives page. You can email your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
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