The week that was ...
I don't know about you, but I find that I notice the passing of time mostly by my mundane weekly rituals. As in, hey, it's Tuesday: Gotta write a column. Wednesday: Time to prep for the morning staff meeting. Thursday: Go on the radio with Drake. Saturday: Buy pet food, hit the grocery store. Sunday: Ooh, Ray Donovan is on. Aaannd, it's Tuesday again.
My life is much richer than those weekly markers might indicate, but the repetitive events are what remind me that time goes by in a flash, that weeks pile up into years pretty quickly.
On Monday, I drove over to the central library to appear on Willie Bearden's Dialogue show for the library channel. It's a simple format: You sit for an hour and get interviewed about your life and career and whatever else comes up. It was an interesting exercise, and it evoked some stories, memories, and experiences I hadn't thought about for a while.
Willie's final question was, "How do you want to be remembered?" To which my first thought was: That's not a question you ask a young person. Yikes. Like the commercials say: Life comes at you fast.
Likewise, I imagine the weeks are going by pretty quickly for the Memphis City Council — now down to 10 members — who are going to have to figure out how to compromise at some point to get a full quorum and get the city's business done. The drama will no doubt resume this week. In a guest column in The Commercial Appeal, Councilman Worth Morgan called the situation, "an embarrassingly intractable instance of failed governance," which is on the money, if a bit wordy. So fix it, y'all.
Other events of note this week: LeBron James and the Lakers came to town and stomped the home team. The Gannett Company is again making noises about staff cuts at its newspapers (which isn't even news, anymore). Jackson Baker and Michael Donahue sang karaoke together at the Flyer holiday party. And iconic local chef and all-around good guy, Gary Williams, died unexpectedly. R.I.P.
Nationally, the silly debate about "Baby, It's Cold Outside" continued to rage. The song came on the speakers when I was in Fresh Market on Saturday. Customers began throwing arugula on the floor in protest and a small fire was ignited in the deli section. As customers stomped out in protest, the staff was attempting to put out the blaze with bottles of San Pellegrino. Sad!
None of that is true. Nobody listens to background music about sexual harassment. Or consensual flirting. Or whatever the hell you choose to think that song is about.
One guy who had a very bad week was President Trump, who has gone from denying he even knew Porny, er, Stormy Daniels, to admitting he paid her (and another former paramour) to keep quiet about their illicit affair(s). According to Trump, it was all okay because it was paid with personal funds and was a "private matter." Good luck with that argument, Mr. Trump. Or should I say, "Individual 1." Trump's ALL CAPS tweeting percentage has been on the rise, as more and more of his former associates become besties with Robert Mueller.
I continue to read that a sitting president can't be indicted. I don't know how legit that legal opinion is or whether it will be tested at some point. But there's a real problem with that thinking: If a president can't be indicted, then what's to prevent any future candidate from breaking all kinds of laws to get himself elected, knowing that once he's in office, he's immune from prosecution? That would seem to encourage and reward law-breaking. And does that mean the president really can shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue? That can't be what the Founding Fathers had in mind. But then again, the Founding Fathers probably never anticipated a Congressional majority that would be complicit in such a matter.
In other news, my New Year's resolution is to quit smocking, and I am going to insist that Flyer staffers now call me "Individual 1."