THE WEEK THAT WAS – GARRY ARMSTRONG

Just about everyone is shaking their heads as if they’ve just awoken from a long and troubling dream. We have a President-Elect and his name is NOT Trump. If we try to tunnel back through our dreams which began on voting day, we are not sure if this is reality, the Twilight Zone, or the lady and the tiger.


Hit the REALITY button.


We watch Saturday television the way we used to follow college football in a world that seems long ago and far away. There are jubilant crowds in cities across the United States and around the world. Political pundits are breaking down the election results the way old jocks did their post-mortems on a game that zig-zagged for a long time and held viewers hostage until coffee and other beverages of choice ran out.

Joe Biden – Photo via Newscom

This is one that is over — but isn’t over. The Fat Lady sang but there’s a crazy guy at the helm of our collective ship. Many are projecting concern over whether or not there will be a peaceful transition of power on January 20th. Some will fan fears, projecting blood on the moon and the streets. Others caution patience to let the process play out to its finale. Today should be part of that legal finale and it would be the case in most Presidential elections.

There’s nothing usual about this year or this election.

As a retired (TV News) reporter with 40 plus years of baggage, I can safely say I’ve never seen anything like this. I have a ton of war stories already shared too many times but I bow to the current generation of reporters who have THE story to share with their children and grandchildren. Frank Capra and old Hollywood filled our minds with liberal political fantasies like “Mr. Smith Goes To Washington.”  Newer Hollywood gave us a darker views with “Network” and “Wall Street.” All of that being said, nothing prepared us for the reality of November 7, 2020.

Maybe Mel Brooks can shake off semi-retirement enough to give us a farcical sense of what our long national nightmare has wrought for the immediate and long-range future.

I applaud (most of) the media for exercising caution while we were collectively — over several days — yelling at them to give us a final score. Obviously, they were wary of being first and wrong. Been there. Done that. It’s a hard demon to exorcise especially with the threats already issued from outgoing Prez 45. Pilgrims who haven’t been mic holders or ink-stained wretches don’t understand the enormous pressure exerted by executive suits who demand competitive “firsts” but will sacrifice you to critics if you get it wrong.

It’s time to breathe. Celebrate. Don’t vent in anger if it didn’t go your way. Take a deep breath. Democracy works despite all its warts. Savor this moment. You still live in the U.S. and maybe, after all, we’re going to be alright.



Categories: American history, Anecdote, celebration, Election, Government, Voting

Tags: , , , , , , ,

25 replies

  1. You know, I’ve felt lighter the past few days. Not weight wise (I wish), but that general inner feeling was lighter. And I realized something when I saw Joe’s picture up top.

    Forget “Sleepy Joe”. Let’s go with “Smilin’ Joe”.

    Because that’s what I’ve been seeing the past few days that I realized I’ve missed. Smiles. Actual, honest smiles. Not smirks or sneers or contorted mouths from screaming in anger.

    Smiles. I just realized it’s been a while since I’ve seen them. And now, there are plenty again. Can’t wait for the Constipated Bulldog to exit stage left. I’d get depressed just looking at his very non-humorous, smirking self.

    Like

  2. The Brit journalist and Channel 4 broadcaster, MattFrie, did a piece to camera in Washington on Saturday, surrounded by jubilant celebrants just after it was called that Joe had won. Barely able to make himself heard above the cacophony of sound, he described it thus: “I have covered seven American elections and I have never witnessed scenes like this. This is more like the end of a regime than the end of a democratically elected government”
    A point well made, in my view

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think it WAS the end of at least a potential regime — and one no one wanted. It turned out, Americans didn’t necessarily want the most left-wing government ever. They just wanted no more TRUMP running it. Disappointing on one level, but maybe comforting on another. We are still able to sort the wheat from the chaff — at least on an individual level.

      Liked by 1 person

      • One or two of my American friends have expressed immense relief that this poisonous clown has been given his hamburger wrapped in a road map. One lady from Florida told me she was waking every day with an all-pervading sense of dread!
        Hard for a limey like me to get my head round.
        Fantastic work anyways you guys 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • I agree wholeheartedly with MattFrie. His adrenaline must’ve been pumping as he delivered his piece.

      The cable channels are still re-running highlights of the long wait for campaign results with dueling pundits. Just to make sure we grasp reality. It’s far from over on this midday Monday. President 45 is launching his salvo of legal cannon shots, insisting it’s all been a sham. So, we’re in for more sound and fury, hopefully signifying nothing.

      45’s resistance to showing just a hint of political courtesy amplifies how much he has tainted our elective process. It will take time to heal the wounds of acrimony spread daily during the past four years.

      This still doesn’t dim the good vibes so many people are feeling across the United States and across the world where US allies must be breathing a bit easier these days.

      We won’t know how this really plays out until January 20th and then there’s the spectre of what follows among those who feel cheated and seek retribution.

      This has been the best and worst of times…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Well put, Garry, Thanks! And I am exhaling. One step at a time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m definitely exhaling, but I’m still totally wired. I think unwiring is going to need more than the election. It’s also going to need COVID to back off.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Pfizer thinks they’ve GOT something that works! That was one of the last couple of places I worked before I couldn’t work anymore, so they are local. If Pfizer has a working vaccine, there will be a lot more jobs pouring into this area. it’s a very long drive from here (140 miles one way and that was one hideous commute for me!), but they let a lot of people work mostly at home … and it is a HUGE organization. So that’s genuinely a bit of optimism for everyone. Vaccine AND jobs!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Steph, thank you. I’m glad you are exhaling. One “bouncy” step, if you can.

      Like

  4. I’m taking one deep breath, but won’t take the next sigh of relief until he is safely inside the White House and Trump is far away.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It has been a rough year. The election at least got Trump out, but there’s still so much more that needs to be done. People are sick, people are tense, people are scared about money and health and plain old survival. Us too. This is going to be the year that never ends.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Patricia, thinking of you and what you’ve seen in your life. I’m still plugging along with the Louis Mayer bio. So much of it is appropriate because of Mayer’s efforts to ride side saddle with politicians and power brokers. I’ve just passed the section where LB reluctantly conceded it wasn’t savvy to do business with Hitler even though it meant losing the precious European market for MGM films.

      Thinking of all the Hollywood crowd who stood up for President 45.

      Past is always prologue.

      Like

      • Garry, I like that “Past is always prologue.” I am reminded these days of the saying, “The only permanent thing we know is change.” Like Yeats, I think of it all as spirals. His forecast of the anti-Christ “slouching towards Bethlehem to be born ” was personified by Trump. Shelley said poets were the politicians. As for Louis B. Mayer, he and Harry Cohen pretty much ruled the Hollywood roost.And Louella Parsons and Hedda Hopper were the reigning ladies of Hollywood gossip.My father was friends with Hedda, who was intelligent and savvy. He used to tease Louella whom he really didn’t like, and she thought he was funny. Well,. he was, but more witty than funny. Hollywood was always more like a small town in those days when it seemed everyone in the industry knew everyone else. It was the Golden Era. One of my favorite films is “My Favorite Year” with Michael York, and my favorite line when he says, “I’m not an actor, I’m a movie star.” For some that was very true.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Patricia, “My Favorite Year” is also one of OUR favorites. (Hope to watch again tonight)

          Peter O’Toole as Alan Swann/Errol Flynn is such a delight. I love when he recalls the quote “Dying is easy, Comedy is HARD”.

          I always relate to his fear of doing LIVE television. To be honest, the Gods were always with me. I seemed to thrive on LIVE television. I was always able to ad-lib and go with the flow of the unexpected.

          Once, while covering regional floods, I walked INTO the Concord River during a live shot. I kept talking, never missing a beat, as I sub merged into the river. I think I said, “Oh, my” as I went INTO the river. That was — a gift from the Gods who watch over media fools like me. That live shot has become a legend. In retrospect, I just laugh at myself.

          Like

          • Now, that’s priceless! What a great story! Did they play “Ole Man River” when you next appeared?
            Sorry for my mix up with Peter O’Toole and Michael York. Have no idea why. Some days,I just can’t latch onto a name immediately. Eventually, it pops up, but this time too late. Another one of our favorite films in “The Birdcage.” I could watch that all day. I appreciate the fact that Robin lets Nathan Hale shine. “Unconditional Love” is also a winner in this house. It has a slow start, but the rest is a delight.

            Like

  5. WOOOHOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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