Fumbling

It’s not like I didn’t know who Aaron Rodgers was before all this.  I mean, he’s engaged to Shailene Woodley!

Kidding.

The Jeopardy Guy?

Not about the engaged part but the fact that, not being much of a football fan or someone who generally follows sports (Note: Though I do like watching a great tennis match), I wouldn’t know or care about a famous NFL receiver .

Kidding again!

I know he’s a halfback.  Um, fullback.

Okay, yes —    QUARTERBACK!

But truly, on this issue and in this news cycle, who cares???

It might take a while

Last night I made dinner for two vaccinated friends and we three multi-vaxxed gay guys all of a certain age talked about three different ways to lie.   

Before I tell you what the three are it’s worth noting upfront we’ve all spent our lives in the entertainment industry where over the years, whether you like it or not, you receive a master class in learning how to recognize and, yeah okay, sometimes execute all three types of untruth-telling.

#1Make stuff up.  That’s just saying a lot of unvarnished sh-t that you know isn’t true because it helps you and, well, because you can. 

#2Lying by omission.  This is when in answer to a question, or in making a statement, you knowingly leave out facts you are aware are essential and that, if revealed, would prove the exact opposite of the argument you are making or the impression you are trying to make.

#3 – A hybrid of #1 and #2.  Using language that is vague enough to answer a question and technically tell the truth but in just enough of a wiggle room kind of way that enables you to get the reaction and response you want.

Good question

Of course, even if you succeed, being this kind of expert wordsmith doesn’t make you George Washington. Rather, you’re just a more polite version of Donald J. Trump.

Someone who joyously engages in #1 (Note: See my crowd size and we won the election by A LOT) but tried to govern us through a pandemic with #2 and various side dishes of #1.  Yeah, it really is that simple. 

Even though it can get incredibly complicated, especially when you’re not a natural born Trumpian-like liar.

You tell ’em Larry!

Rodgers, the three time NFL MVP who has so far led the Green Bay Packers to a 7-1 winning season, told reporters and media outlets back in August regarding COVID-19 vaccine requirements, that he’d been immunized prior to the season beginning.  (Note: #3) Then quickly, he added:

There’s guys on the team that haven’t been vaccinated and it’s a personal decision.  (I’m) not going to judge those guys. (Note: #2.  Soooooo #2).

Gotcha!

This week, sadly, Rodgers tested positive for COVID-19 and had to come clean and admit he was unvaccinated. 

And then he had to do some cleanup.  Actually, A LOT of cleanup.

In the entertainment business, this is usually the time a studio head gets gently ousted into an independent producing deal or a director or star leaves a project due to artistic differences.

Ding ding ding!

Though if you’re super “A” list, like Rodgers currently is, they might just weather the storm by hiring some expensive damage control experts.  Another way is for you to apologize, tell the absolute unvarnished truth, take the consequences and then try to use your platform to do some future good by learning from your mistake (Note: Attempting to make the world a slightly better place in some small, benevolent, role model-y kind of way).

Rodgers so far seems to be taking a third road that judges across the world warn against – serving as your own defense attorney and refusing to admit to the screw up that got you into all this trouble in the first place.

And looking like this isn’t helping

The Packers’ current star QB seems convinced his primary transgression right now is merely choosing to follow his own protocol of protection against COVID-19.  He simply doesn’t get that it’s the lie that almost always brings you down.

Except when you get away with it.  Which, in this case, he hasn’t.

See, it’s Rodgers’ belief that because he played this season by following all of the protocols for unvaccinated players that he is the VICTIM here.  So instead, he proclaims:

..I’m in the crosshairs of the woke angry mob right now… So, before my final nail gets put in my cancel culture casket, I think I would like to set the record straight on so many of the blatant lies that are out there about myself.

Yikes

Then, in classic client as his own ill-advised attorney style, he goes on to mansplain his vaccine lie.  How the media was on a witch hunt (Note: Yes, he went THAT Trumpian) for unvaccinated players in August and that accounted for his use of the word “immunized.” 

How they’ve (his fellow players) all endured Draconian measures…not based on science, such as undergoing daily COVID-19 testing that must be negative before entering the Packers’ facilities; wearing a mask inside and around vaccinated people; physically distancing; not leaving his hotel and other travel restrictions.

In other words, behaving like a working human who cares about others and the future of humanity in the midst of a global pandemic.

Basic. Human. Decency.

As if that wasn’t enough, Rodgers went on to whine that he was tested over 300 times and was negative every time before finally testing positive this past week.

Well, um, yeah, that is the way it works. 

As we three gay guys of a certain age would have gladly told him.

We had lots and lots of friends who were healthy and HIV negative before, one day, they contracted HIV and tested positive.  Then, they got sick with full-blown AIDS.  And in the eighties and nineties, like too many with full-blown COVID-19 in 2020 and, still, into 2021, sadly died.

That’s how viruses roll.  You become positive AFTER you were negative for months…or even…years.

Truth hurts man!

To further buoy his explanation, Rodgers brought 500 pages of research he compiled to appeal his non-vaccination status to the NFL.  It’s a cornucopia of information of #1s, #2s and #3s that you can read about here.

But basically he presents it to support his claim that he needs an alternative to a shot because he’s allergic to an ingredient in the MRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna).  This despite the view from the head of the American College of Allergy Asthma and Immunology’s COVID Vaccine Task Force that “you’re as likely to get struck by lightning as you are to have an allergic reaction to a COVID vaccine.”

And then you’ll go BACK TO THE FUTURE!

(Note: Not to mention anecdotal evidence from our own internal study — The Chair has allergies to countless pathogens, gets regular allergy shots, has asthma and is OLD(er).  Yet he has been thrice vaccinated thus far with nary a serious reaction).

Oh, one more thing.  Rodgers says he also hesitates to get the J & J shot because he’s heard of multiple people who have had adverse events, including leaving themselves open to sterility, which is something he greatly fears because the next great chapter of my life, I believe, is being a father. (Note: There is zero link between these vaccines and sterility.  00000.00000%).

It is not for us to say that it might be a good idea for Aaron Rodgers to delay fatherhood a bit.  But as a blogger and non-football fan, I am free to write it on behalf of the families of the 750,000 dead Americans and all those AT RISK that he might have infected had his team not required him to take the COVID protocols he so vehemently and so publicly continues to resent.

Green Day – “American Idiot”

Climbing That Hill

After a fantastic week of Joe, Kamala and Amanda Gorman, a 22 year-old young woman who made me love poetry once again for the first time since my early twenties, it started to happen.

I began falling into the…

ABYSS.

to the sunken place I go

Strange the way it creeps up on you.  And even stranger how, once you get to be a certain age and have had enough therapy, you know how to begin to creep out.

What brought me careening down there after this cataclysmic week of exciting firsts?

  • L.A. house arrest to avoid a virus
  • Vaccine searching fatigue
  • Zoom communication (meetings, teaching, and even socializing)
  • Screen watching fatigue (what was once fun and decadent now feels dronish and labored no matter how much YOU liked it and swear I MUST see it).
  • Fascism and other tales percolating from the dark side of nowhere
The true spirit of this week #onlyBerniememeIwillshare

Of course, this is merely a partial list.  Feel free to add on and subtract for yourself as you see fit.

I was sort of embarrassed to write this because of the privilege I enjoy.  White, employed (Note: Well, for now, nothing is permanent), happily married, friends, house, food, shelter and pasta guilt-free more nights than I can count because, more than anything else, THAT’S allowed these days).

Still, living through these times feels like dancing on the head of a pin too often than not.  At any point you can slip and impale yourself.  Perhaps not too badly but just enough that a small puncture slowly turns into a crack, and then a wound, which gets larger and larger and then suddenly emerges as a…gaping hole

Nothing to see here… totally normal day

And, you know, that can’t be good.  Imagine what awaits you when you’re fully sucked down inside.

Um, no….THAT’S not what I mean.

Seriously.

Living in Los Angeles, California has had so many benefits but the most recent downside is navigating at the epicenter of U.S. Covid-19.  We’re averaging well over 10,000 new cases daily and more than one million overall. 

Our home state of California has over 3.4. million cases thus far, the most of any state in the country.  When you consider there are just shy of 25 million people infected in the entire U.S. that means we account for almost 20% of cases.

We’re #1! We’re #1! #uhoh

And yet, we have far less vaccines available than other states. A friend in Florida told me it was easy peasy to register for your shot.  Yet the first day you could register in L.A. county, the site crashed, appointments were cancelled and many of us (Note: ME) spent hours trying to book vaccinations at sketchy clinics that wanted ALL your insurance info online and STILL didn’t manage to offer a definite spot for both shots.

If I didn’t know any better, I’d think the Trump administration had it in for California and gave Florida a larger part of our vaccines just cause HE lives there.

But I’m not a conspiracy theorist.

Yet.

Searches Etsy for fashionable tin foil hats

Nevertheless, it did give me a lesson on how others might have begun to succumb. 

This, of course, was countered by watching a kind and decent man being sworn into the presidency pledging that his first priority would be fixing the CoVid mess by listening to SCIENCE and not poll numbers.

But what was even more encouraging has been his appointment of seemingly EVERY top expert in EVERY field of government to do that and much more AND to, in turn, save the Republic.

(Note: It also didn’t hurt that not ONE of them was related to him by either blood OR marriage).

Like magic… BUT REAL!

Call me crazy (and many have) but I found this to be oddly encouraging.  That and watching the unmuzzled Dr. Anthony Fauci spreading honesty on TV once again, particularly about all things CoVid.  He even got down in the weeds and reassured crazies like me that there is NO real difference between the Pfizer and Moderna shot and that the only reason he took the Moderna one was that it happened to be the one available the day he had his vaccination at the National Institute of Health.  But that he would have done either.

Speaking of straight shooters, AND decency, tell your Fox News viewing relatives there is neither to be found there.  Sean Hannity this week had a banner onscreen headline categorizing Joe Biden’s first week as president  “DISASTROUS.”  Not sure if this was due to the one million shots for the first 100 day pledge, which was already being met after several days in office, or the US reentering both the Paris Climate Agreement and the World Health Organization.

My charitable way of saying “you are a moron”

Still, they did surface with two compelling Biden scandals.  Our new president has the temerity to wear a Rolex watch AND owns and exercises on a Peleton bike.

Oh, the no golden toilet of it all!  Oh, the shame!!

The President EXERCISES?!

Sure, I’m being snide but I’ve found that’s one way to brighten up my world and get by.  The other is to take in the fact that after four years DECENCY might actually be back in vogue. 

How do I know? 

Well, when Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff was walking down Constitution Avenue with his wife, VICE PRESIDENT KAMALA HARRIS OF CALIFORNIA, he made international news just for briefly stopping and doubling back where they had previously been in order to retrieve the earring that had just fallen out of her ear.

So shocking was this act of valor in these days, I heard one journalist this week actually say on air, where do you make copies of a guy like that?

Get yourself a man that would wear your name on a t-shirt! #weloveDougie

Yes, that’s how starved we’ve been and how low the decency bar is.  Which means imagining how high we might get back to during the next four years is indeed something to live on for and celebrate no matter how long it takes to get us all immunized so we can return to hugging (and more) in person again.

Though if all that doesn’t do it for you, reveling in the words and images of our young poet laureate on Inauguration Day was a real, um…shot in the arm for my psyche, not to mention a reliable booster on each awful day since.  And that was even AFTER listening to Gaga sing the National Anthem with a giant Dove on her chest.

It was the gold mic choreography that really got me

I mean, if Amanda Gormans exist in the world – a young person with that much talent, grace and theatrical style – who also overcame a speech impediment – to live perform a POEM(!) she wrote for the ages to the world on Inauguration Day –  how bad are things, really? 

Especially when it leaves us with this life lesson:

..We will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one

We will rise from the gold-limbed hills of the west,

We will rise from the windswept northeast

Where our forefathers first realized revolution

We will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the midwestern states,

We will rise from the sunbaked south

We will rebuild, reconcile and recover

and every known nook of our nation and

every corner called our country,

our people diverse and beautiful will emerge,

battered and beautiful

When day comes we step out of the shade,

aflame and unafraid

The new dawn blooms as we free it

For there is always light,

if only we’re brave enough to see it

If only we’re brave enough to be it

Lady Gaga – “The Star Spangled Banner”

Check out the Chair’s newest project, Pod From a Chair , now available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify!