We have officially gone around the bend.
This election season the Republican party is putting up a literal reality show TV star known for being a general failure at everything and turning an inherited fortune into many bankruptcies and failed businesses, and he is following primary speeches with infomercials for raw stakes that he bought locally and then marked up several hundred perfect, in between what are effectively pseudo-Klan rallies.
On the Democratic side, one candidate is a 74-year-old Jewish socialist and he is actually being taken seriously by the American public as an open socialist, and he is neck-and-neck with someone wanting to be the first woman president, continuing the programs of the first African-American president, only she is on the airwaves telling the eastern half of the country that the Reagans of all people were great AIDS activists in their day, then telling the western half of the country that they were great Alzheimer’s activists in their day, neither of which could be farther from the truth (and in fact the former being the most bizarro peak in bizarro world).
I am totally onboard with Sanders, shocked that it’s even possible for me to be so, but also at the same time looking at all of this and wondering just how much stranger and farther beyond any expectation this election season can get.
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I remember being a kid that was interested in collecting things that I liked. It was hard just to find out what existed and to verify that rumored Super Cool Things existed. There was a lot of hanging around in specialty shops, making friends with certain shop owners or employees that seemed to have obscure (almost esoteric, it sometimes felt) knowledge, then pining for years just to catch a glimpse of the mythical artifacts you’d managed to get them to mention to you.
Now, in the age of the Internet-centricity, collecting is something else entirely. You can find the most obscure version or instance of anything, any variety of any kind of good, in pictures, then chase it around the globe, wait to pounce on any discovery anywhere at any time, sometimes even get an amazing deal on the rarest of items, and have them shipped to your door.
I have to be careful because if I get the collecting bug again in the way that I had it when I was a kid, it is going to require a lot of self-control to keep it in check.
Too easy to just search for fabled things on Google Images, read all about them in international forums, and go “Ooooooh, I want it so bad!” and head over to eBay and save a search that will ping you the moment one appears for sale.