For three nights running there is a big brown rabbit in our back yard. He bounds away to a safe distance when I step out onto the deck, then sits on a flower bed and digs away for something to eat (later, C tells me that she has herbs and mint in that spot). For no reason at all I feel much more benevolent towards the rabbit than I do to the squirrels, who attack our bird feeders in manic raiding parties, four or five of them racing around and leaping from the fence tops in a kind of demonic, fast-forward circus act that makes me dream about the different gauges of birdshot.

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The New Guy is thinking (out loud) about buying an electric car. My first response works through the usual things –– cost, reliability, the psychotic ambition of Elon Musk –– but very soon afterwards I realize that it really comes down to one thing: how optimistic are you about the future?

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An article in the New York Times about Steve Bezos making a very public charitable donation of 33 million dollars, and how he's finally "ready for the spotlight". How fantastic, how lucky for us. He is the world's richest person, worth over 100 billion dollars. Is that really a number of any significance? It's a number that belongs in a comic book, or in the vomitorium of a Roman Emperor, or a Mughal Khan. But mostly it's a number that says more about us than him. 

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About to turn fifty next month and still making dumb mistakes –– like forgetting to check the flue before lighting a lovely, roaring fire. This kind of thing really smartens you up, as you stand there in the open front door, looking out over winter with watery eyes, and reminds you just how badly fashioned your brain can be.

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On Saturday it was the one-year anniversary of Donald Trump being sworn in as President. To me it seems like people can't really think about this, not seriously or for any length of time, because the past year has been one of growing disorientation –– not bewilderment exactly but a kind of internal drifting, whereupon certain disquieting aspects of life become untethered, and clouded in thick, green-tinged darkness, signifying putrefaction and sickness, even as events and their signposts slip away from meaning. Really, he's just a phantasmic crack addict sleeping on your couch –– someone who will do and say anything, and then deny that it's his fault when dealers come in and murder everyone in the house.

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I miss the old days of simple, simmering anger at the giant, brutal, mechanical edifice that was the neoliberal project. That all seems quaint now. But this is what happens when all the people at all the right parties keep telling you that this is the way the world is now, that really it's for the best, and everything will work out fine, and besides there's nothing you can do about it. Well, turns out there is. Turns out you can vote for Fat Joker.

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Speaking of anger, the Germans still have a lot to answer for, because I almost choke on my cereal when I find Kevin O'Leary, our bizarro version of the Pillsbury Doughboy, on the last page of the New York Times Magazine, talking up his the-market-solves-everything faffle (yes, it does wonders for alcoholics, the homeless, Sears employees, and other damaged people) plus his love of Ayn Rand. A-Y-N  R-A-N-D. Jesus. That's like admiring Idi Amin because he was hungry. And I blame the Germans for all this because they put Lenin on a train back to Russia, where he orchestrated the revolution, which later confiscated the Rand family business, and ruined her father, which made her hate the communists, and all socialism, and write books extolling the virtues of unhinged self-interest. So, yeah: the Germans.

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Many art objects made lately but no unique links because I am at home today with the Queen of the Goofballs, and we are at home because yesterday was a gong show of freezing rain and people driving like kale-and-fart-stinking-Toronto poets trying to get to an open bar (I'm looking at you, UK EXPAT vanity plate), and the driveway looks like it's primed and ready for its luge event, and not today, Death. But for those of you who are going out, please be careful.

Soon, very soon, the shadow will shake your hand,

djb

Draw things, paint things, write things, make things.