Thanksgiving in Texas

I had the most wonderful visit to my friends in Texas; a full-on Thanksgiving family get together with home cooked turkey and all the trimmings. My good friend Sandy reigned over her kitchen for two days with admirable aplomb. I take my hat off to her because she hardly touches alcohol and I know I wouldn’t have been able to contemplate such a venture without intermittent recourse to the gin bottle.

Between times we didn’t get much sightseeing done on this trip (most of our excursions were of the culinary variety) but managed lots of chatting and catching up, rock-n-gem talk and, of course, travel plans! Next year could see the fruition of a couple of long-held geographical (and gemmological) fantasies, so – watch this space.

My friends often have one of the TV News channels on in the background and so, in between sorting stone packets, checking out Greyhound schedules and petting the cats (Maine Coons like a lot of lurve), I had a ringside seat for the peculiar phenomenon that is modern US politics. For a start, you get such different coverage of events on the two main channels (CCNN & Fox) that you might be in two different countries and everything, I mean everything, is polarised according to left/right leanings.

The most egregious examples came in the coverage of the two “mass shootings” that took place during my ten day visit. In both the Planned Parenthood shooting in Colorado Springs and the San Bernadino office party in California, anchor men and women were discussing the political implications before the dead were counted. Police and emergency services were still trying to cordon off the scenes, to protect the public and to get assistance to injured people trapped within buildings when talking heads appeared on the screen to claim these incidents as fuel for their campaigns.

You couldn’t make it up. Men (and women) armed with automatic weapons are still at large, people with terrible gunshot wounds are bleeding out on the ground because aid cannot reach them and up pops some self-styled expert to tell us that guns are what made America great. Each of the many political candidates (think of Madame Tussauds on a very hot day) interrupts their scurrying campaign to throw in their two-pennyworth; mostly they blame the man who sits in the Oval Office and softly weeps.

But the show continues! If the rest of the world thought that Sarah Palin represented the nadir (an Arabic word for lowest depths, Security Services please note) of US political aspiration then we may not have been ready for Donald Trump. This is a man who makes the Conservative Mayor of London, Boris Johnson seem both handsome and erudite and a man whose toxic brand of racism is igniting the torches of intolerance across America. In his own unique way, I think he is a worthy opponent to the Caliphate: ignorant, psychotic, misogynistic and bound straight for hell.

Pass the G&T.

Categories: North America


  • Sandy says:

    Now tell us how you really feel about Donald Trump.


  • Nicola says:

    It’s just as well our trip to Wyoming is being planned for BEFORE your election. AFTERWARDS? Well, I’m told that Canada is a wonderful place to visit! Thanks again for such a marvellous holiday holiday trip

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