Musings & Thoughts for Sunday, January 30, 2022, or: Just a ‘Quick’ Sunday Update from a Sleep-Deprived Blogger

Hello, Dear Reader. It’s early afternoon in Lithia, Florida on Sunday, January 30, 2022. It is a chilly winter day here in the Tampa Bay area. Currently, the temperature is 51˚F (11˚C) under sunny skies. With the wind blowing from the north-northeast at 6 MPH (8 KM/H) and humidity at 28%, the wind chill factor is 47˚F (11˚C). Per today’s forecast, we can expect sunny skies and a high of 58˚F (15˚C). Tonight, skies will be clear. The low will be near-freezing: 35˚F (2˚C).

I woke up only a few hours ago; I went to bed sometime between 5 and 6 AM because, for this Florida native and long-time resident, temperatures in the 30s are not easy to tolerate. Yes, the heater was on, but only at 67˚F (19˚C), so when I went back to my room at 2:30 AM  after watching Fiddler on the Roof – in its entirety – and part of Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project with The Caregiver, I was still wide awake. Somehow, even though I never open the window, cold air makes its way into the room from outside, so even though I have quite a few blankets and a quilt, I still could not fall asleep.

So, since the lighting in my room is not conducive to reading – my erstwhile surefire way to fall asleep in bed – I ended up watching a documentary about the Soviet capture of Berlin in the spring of 1945 at the end of World War II in Europe. I had to watch it with the volume turned down to the bare minimum, relying on the Amazon Prime Video-generated subtitles instead of the soundtrack to follow the story of the last major campaign fought by Germany in the Second World War.

I think the effort of trying to watch something and keeping up with the narrative – which I already know from reading about the Battle of Berlin – by the images and closed captions alone, combined with the lateness of the hour, made me drowsy. But it took a while, so…yeah. I went to bed almost around my usual wake-up time of 6 AM.

Image Credit: McMinn County Public Schools page on Facebook.

As a result, I don’t feel like doing much of anything today. Writing a more substantial blog post about, say, those conservative school board members in McMinn County, Tennessee that voted 10-0 to ban Art Spiegelman’s Maus from the 23-public schools-strong system they run because it has eight “cuss” words and a couple of panels that depict nude anthropomorphic mice that represent the men and women killed in Auschwitz’s gas chambers by the Nazis during the Holocaust. (Realistically, Maus would probably be only read by students in McMinn County’s two high schools.)

Normally, I would have loved to do a follow-up to my previous blog posts about these idiots on the McMinn County Board of Education, if only because it allows me to vent about the hypocrisy of the modern American conservative movement. On the one hand, Republicans claim to be all about “freedom” and “independent thought.”  I mean, that’s their mantra: that conservatism is all about preserving “God-given” rights and individual freedom.

On the other hand, what conservatives – regardless of party affiliation – really stand for is squelching dissent, whitewashing American history to minimize the darker aspects of our nation’s past – including its long tradition of racial inequality and bigotry, the prevalence of white supremacy in our society, and an unwillingness to admit that the United States of America has been anything but perfect.

Image Credit: Facebook.

There’s also a streak of anti-intellectualism and anti-immigrant feeling in the American right, especially in rural America. So I’m not surprised that an all-white, presumably majority Republican-leaning school board would ban a book because, oh gosh, it has a few “bad” words and depictions of the Holocaust presented in graphic novel terms.

(C) 1996 Pantheon Books. Cover art by Art Spiegelman

Did I mention that Maus is the first graphic novel to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize?

As you can see, I am passionate about this topic, partly because I am a World War II buff, partly because I am a writer, but mostly because I hate authoritarianism of any stripe, be it Marxist or fascist. And the brand of authoritarianism I see in this particular case leans far too much toward fascism.

And if I wasn’t tired and foggy-minded, I would have written about this topic in far more detail, even though since we are in a weekend, no one knows if the fine folks of the McMinn County Board of Education have reconsidered their astoundingly stupid ban on Maus or if they will stick to their 10-0 decision.

But I am tired and foggy-brained, so I will just leave you with what I just wrote and wrap this post up. I am no longer a 20-something college student who could pull an all-nighter on the eve of a final exam and still pass a test with a B or better. I just want to relax and watch something fun and entertaining.

Published by Alex Diaz-Granados

Alex Diaz-Granados (1963- ) began writing movie reviews as a staff writer and Entertainment Editor for his high school newspaper in the early 1980s and was the Diversions editor for Miami-Dade Community College, South Campus' student newspaper for one semester. Using his experiences in those publications, Alex has been raving and ranting about the movies online since 2003 at various web sites, including Amazon, Ciao and Epinions. In addition to writing reviews, Alex has written or co-written three films ("A Simple Ad," "Clown 345," and "Ronnie and the Pursuit of the Elusive Bliss") for actor-director Juan Carlos Hernandez. You can find his reviews and essays on his blogs, A Certain Point of View and A Certain Point of View, Too.

2 thoughts on “Musings & Thoughts for Sunday, January 30, 2022, or: Just a ‘Quick’ Sunday Update from a Sleep-Deprived Blogger

  1. I agree with you, it was a narrow minded decision. In general, like you say, the modern Republican party love to talk about freedom while in reality espousing authoritarianism. Take away people’s freedom while talking about how you love freedom. The modern Republican party isn’t even conservative, it is nationalist/authoritarian. I am all for free markets and a free economy but that ideal is no longer key in the Republican party. Instead we have; take away rights, anti-science, and hatred for others.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Alex, you have great talent, keep your voice out there. You make a lot of sense.
    And get some rest! 💕💕


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