306,146 have died in America in the supposedly imaginary pandemic that is (or is not) sweeping the country. The deaths are real, at any rate. A vaccine is now being given to the people working the hardest (and putting themselves in the most danger) to combat this thing, which preachers, pundits, and politicians living in isolation from reality can afford to pretend doesn’t exist. Pretense of course is the name of the fashionable game today. Let’s pretend that there’s nothing fishy about those ten million votes for Trump that appeared out of nowhere (but weren’t enough to sway the election). Let’s pretend that it’s perfectly normal for over a hundred members of Congress to try to suppress millions of votes on the thinnest of technicalities. Let’s pretend that neo-fascist racists aren’t running wild in our streets murdering and vandalizing at will. Let’s pretend that police aren’t killing Black people on any and all pretexts, and have no intention of mending their ways ever. Yeah, that’s the ticket. Close your eyes, look the other way, and everything will be all right.
15 December 12020 is Homecoming Day (Alderney), Zamenhof Day (Esperanto community), the fifth day of Hanukkah (Judaism), Kingdom Day (Netherlands), and Bill of Rights Day (United States). It’s Stan Kenton’s birthday. The saint of the day is a young woman known to history (or at least legend) as Christiana, as her actual name has not come down to us. Enslaved by Iberians living in a region that is now part of Georgia she was renowned for her faith and piety. When the Queen’s child was ill she effected a cure simply by calling on the name of Christ, and when the King was lost in a fog he—remembering this—called on Christ too, and for him the fog cleared. The King then learned more about the faith from Christiana, and so he and many of his subjects were converted. If this all sounds like a fairy-tale, well, you can believe it or not, as Ripley might say. Ask Sabine Baring Gould—it’s in the book. Or maybe ask Johnny Standley.