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gimme shelter

Last night I went comedian-skipping – from Samantha Bee to the Daily Show’s Trevor Noah and then the best of all, Bill Maher. Comedians are having a grand time putting on special shows about the Republican Convention, though in truth, it’s not funny at all, not at all. The level of hatred, the brazen stupidity on display – not not not funny. Bill had three great commentators including Michael Moore, as always speaking for the heartland, who said, “I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Trump will win. He speaks their language.” Another speaker commented that Trump has never read a book. Hello, said Moore, most of America has not read a book either. He’s their guy.
But surely Americans do not want to elect an ignorant man who has not read a book to run their country.
Hello, said Moore – G. W. Bush, Nixon, Reagan?

Then one final speaker, Tony Schwartz, the ghostwriter for Trump’s “Art of the Deal” who has decided to speak the truth about the man. He spent 18 months tailing Trump for the book and says he’s the clinical definition of a sociopath who cares about nothing but himself. If he wins, says Schwartz, it’s the end of civilization as we know it.

Hideous, horrifying, depressing. The state of America highlights two things in particular, I think – the abasement of the American education system and the incredibly destructive power of Fox News. The level of ignorance on display at the convention is beyond belief, and what these ignorant people are saying – Obama is a Muslim who wants to destroy America etc. – comes directly from their TV screen.

Okay, enough about that – I am making a big “This is a Trump-free zone” to put on my door. Tonight, around 16 neighbours, friends and family are coming for dinner, to help me and the kids celebrate 30 years in this house. It was three decades ago that my then-husband and I were taken by a colleague of his to see this Cabbagetown house, which had been on the market for months because no one wanted it. “It’s too dark,” I said, “too narrow, Cabbagetown is not a good place for kids.”
“But it has lots of potential,” said my husband, “and I think we can get it for exactly what we can afford.” Which was $180,000, a fortune to us. And in one of the wisest decisions of my life, we went ahead. The house has been a disaster in many ways, especially in the early days – floods in the basement of both water and shit, leaking roofs and skylights, termites, break-ins, you name it, it’s happened here. But this solid house, built in 1887, withstood the fire of 2005 and was rebuilt better than ever. And it’s now a great source of joy, not just to me, but to my kids and grandchildren and all my friends and houseguests and tenants.

So – we are making salads and Sam will be barbecuing and we will toast with great love our home, which has sheltered us for 30 years. If Trump is elected, all my American family members can come and shelter here too.



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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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