On yard signs

I had to do some running around tonight– I had my final LASIK follow-up appointment, and stopped by my dad’s to mutilate him give him a haircut, and I have some thoughts. Now, these should not be taken especially seriously, and I want to emphasize that they are based on a snapshot of maybe 10-15 miles of driving on a small number of streets in the Democratic part of Indiana. Take this all with a substantial amount of salt.

Nonetheless!

  • In general, there are fewer yard signs out than I would normally expect this close to the election.
  • Most of the signs that are out are for local or statewide races. There are a lot of school board signs, and more than I’d expect for the coroner’s race.
  • There are a handful of yards on this drive that can be reliably counted upon to have a sign for everyone running in whatever political party the house belongs to. Interestingly, while the Democratic houses all have Biden signs, the Republican houses do not have signs for the other guy. Houses with signs for him tend to have only a sign for him.
  • If you have this in front of your house I’m going to assume you’re a crazy person:

I assume that the stake is because of vampires. Like, seriously, people, the man is an atheist and he hates you.

  • I only saw one yard with that sign but it’s uncomfortably close to my house.
  • There is no gubernatorial race. Not one sign for Holcomb, even in the “we have signs for everyone” yards, and none on their own, and not one sign for his opponent anywhere.
  • There are also a couple of houses that reliably have large signs for Jackie Walorski– like, the size that require 4×4 posts driven into the ground– and those houses do not have signs up for That Guy either.

Again, draw no conclusions from this and I make no predictions. I’m mostly writing this now so that I remember to compare it to what that same drive looks like on, say, the 30th.


Many moons ago, I had a kid in my class named, oh, let’s call him Lafayette, for the usual “it amuses me for reasons I won’t reveal” rationale. Lafayette transferred into my room in December, and on his first day took a seat as far away from everyone as he could get and didn’t make a sound. He got called down to the office after about an hour and didn’t come back. When I inquired about it later, I was told that he’d been expelled from his previous school for threatening to murder his teacher, and that we were honoring the suspension. He’d be back in January.

For the record, while he wasn’t a great student by any stretch of the imagination, I had no real discipline problems with Lafayette. He was, on his worst day, squarely in the middle of that group in terms of his behavior.

The year after I had him, a photo of him went Facebook viral, as his mother forced him to stand on a street corner for several hours carrying a sign announcing to everyone who drove by that he was failing all of his classes and was generally not a good person. I can’t find the picture now, but it still resurfaces every now and again.

Several years later, at 16, he was arrested for attacking an elderly woman, beating her unconscious, and stealing her car. He’s in state prison now; the soonest he has any chance of getting out is 2027. I assume he was tried as an adult.

His younger brother, who wasn’t ever in my class but who I met at least once, is currently the subject of a manhunt for murder. They haven’t caught him yet, but his face is all over the place.

In which I make an unexpected recommendation

I think I need y’all to take a little bit of time and go listen to Joe Biden’s podcast.

Yeah, I know. I’m surprised too. But I just took an hour while my wife and son watched a movie to sit and listen to podcasts. I don’t drive anywhere any longer, because quarantine, so I’m way behind on everything, and I had added Biden’s podcast to my list several weeks ago and more or less forgotten it existed. Now, I only listened to the most recent episode, where he’s talking with historian Jon Meacham, and … well, I’m not gonna pretend it was the best forty minute interview I’ve ever heard before– Biden’s not a professional interviewer, and I think the podcast at least comes off as more of an unplanned conversation than something heavily prewritten– but it was damned interesting, honestly, and reminded me of a time when we had a president who could string two goddamn sentences together and express a thought in words of more than two syllables. In particular, I think those of you concerned about Biden’s so-called cognitive decline should give this a listen. Yes, I know, editing, but it would be literally impossible to stitch together a podcast like this from anything the shitgibbon’s ever said.

Previous guests include Rev. William Barber– Biden actually mentions an interest in systematic theology in the episode I listened to, which, what?— and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan. I’m definitely going to give the Barber episode a listen, as I find him fascinating on his own, and I’ll probably try to blow through the three I haven’t listened to this weekend if I can carve out the time. There are two shorter episodes at about 20 minutes, and the two recent ones are 40, so they’re not hugely lengthy episodes.

I’m not going to claim that these are going to change your mind on the guy’s positions– I’m not necessarily more excited about voting for him than I was an hour ago, but I’m … calmer about it, if that makes any sense? Anyway, pick a podcasting app and give an episode a listen.

(Oh, and one interesting thing? Virtually no mention of his campaign other than acknowledging that the podcast itself is an attempt to replace some of the traditional campaign events that we can’t do right now. If anything, it’s a missed opportunity– he doesn’t mention donations or anything and doesn’t even refer you to his website. Really surprising.)


7:41 PM, Friday April 17, not yet six hours past the last time I posted: 699,105 confirmed infections and 36,727 American deaths. That is a terrifying increase for six fucking hours.