20 February 2020

20 February 2020


 20 February 12020 is the World Day of Social Justice; also the Feast of Saint Vartan in Armenia. (The Feast of Saint Vartan moves around on the calendar, but always falls on Thursday. Last year it was 28 February; next year it will be 11 February.) Famous people born on this date include Pierre Boulle, Calpernia Addams, Trevor Noah, and Kurt Cobain. From the UN website: “Social justice is an underlying principle for peaceful and prosperous coexistence within and among nations. We uphold the principles of social justice when we promote gender equality, or the rights of indigenous peoples and migrants. We advance social justice when we remove barriers that people face because of gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture or disability.” The Armenian Church tells us that “St. Vartan is considered one of the most famous heroes of the Armenian people. He, along with a brave band of Armenian soldiers, clergy, and companions, resisted the more powerful and larger Persian army and sacrificed their lives in order to defend their Christian faith. The famous battle took place on May 26, 451 A.D. [sic] on the plains of Avarayr, in the province of Artaz in Armenia.”
Dueling liars have surfaced in the news: Julian Assange is claiming that Trump offered him a pardon for denying a Russian connection to the theft of Democratic documents in 2016; Trump is denying the claim. Who are you going to believe? If I could figure out a scenario in which both were full of shit I’d go with that, but that appears to be a logical impossibility. I mean, it looks like—improbable as it is—one of them has to be telling the truth. Also George Zimmerman, the guy that stalked and killed a seventeen-year-old boy in self-defense back in 2012, has sued two presidential candidates for expressing sympathy with the family of his victim. Elizabeth Warren: “My heart goes out to [Martin’s mother] and Trayvon’s family and friends. He should still be with us today … We need to end gun violence and racism. And we need to build a world where all of our children—especially young Black boys—can grow up safe and free.” Pete Buttigieg: “Trayvon Martin would have been 25 today. How many 25th birthdays have been stolen from us by white supremacy, gun violence, prejudice, and fear?” Memo to George: Go fuck yourself. Hardly anyone believes your transparently self-serving story, and no number of baseless lawsuits will compel belief. Count yourself lucky that you’re not in prison where you belong. Signed: a well-wisher.
And it’s the hour of indecision with the sun having entered Pisces and Mercury being in retrograde. Avoid life-altering choices. Stay indoors. Don’t take off your shoes. Get lots of sleep. Keep the windows firmly shut. Procrastinate.
On this day in history, 2005, Hunter S. Thompson—one of the greatest prose-writers of the twentieth century—shot himself. Apparently he thought that at the advanced age of 67 he was too old to justify his continuation in this world. I am 68 years old. Thanks, Dr. Gonzo, for setting the standard.

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