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Portrait of the iron monger as a young dude. The dude abides.

 

Iron Filings – 67

 

The Isolation Issue

 

Isolation Peacefulness – The early morning streets these past three months have been like summer – no school buses, no middle-schoolers walking to school, no high schoolers roaring off to the campus up on Dresser, and no students and faculty making their way to NIU. Sometimes I'll walk a block or two down the middle of First Street unchallenged by any vehicle just because I can. Actually, there's a peace to it that isn't at all unwelcome. It is not, however, normal, and normal is a great societal dream these days.

 

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Isolation Annoyances – I've been reading the somewhat controversial American Dirt and find it to be a nicely done and gripping novel. Essentially, it's about a Mexican woman whose family is massacred by the cartel due to her journalist-husband's writings. She and her son are the only survivors and are forced to flee to the United States. The controversy, however, I find extremely annoying. Seems the critics lashed out because the author isn't Mexican – so how could she possibly chronicle the thoughts and feelings of a Mexican woman?  There is a reductio ad absurdum to that kind of an argument which basically says that a writer can only write about those things they've directly experienced, imagination and creativity be damned.  In other words, no male writer should create female characters and vice versa. No Catholic should write about a Protestant. No adult should write about children. Or how about this:  Only criminals should create crime stories (sorry, Mr. Grisham); only adulterers should write about extramarital affairs (sorry, Mr. Tolstoy); only the wealthy should write about the wealthy (sorry, Mr. Fitzgerald). In other words, no imagination required. Just write what you are.

 

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Isolation Entertainments – Speaking of entertainments, our modest isolationism has found us bingeing a few good flicks through Netflix. "Keeping Faith" is a series we'd never heard of and we found it gripping, especially the jaw-dropping ending of Season One. "Schitt's Creek" has been recommended by everyone and it's a wild and goofy and truly funny five-season romp. For those needing a bit of an uplift during a dreary time, "Poms" will do that for you, as will "The Lunch Box."

 

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Isolation Curiosities -  I was looking through the Farm Bureau magazine we get as part of our insurance plan and was struck by something of an oddity. On a couple of pages the magazine featured a number of students who'd earned state awards and/or scholarships. What struck me as odd were their first names. Here's a sampling of the girls: Brooklyn, Hayley, Delaney, Maddie, Jade, McKenna, Grace, Sierra, and Evelyn. And the boys: Joshua, Sawyer, Austin, Logan, Bradford, and Max.

 

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Isolation Philosophy – Black Lives Matter, as a movement, is one of those things where I can say I support it without reservation while realizing that I can't say much else because, as a white person, pretty much anything I say will be regarded as wrong. I get that. I understand it and I know where it comes from. But as someone who lives not all that far from Chicago and who lives and breathes Chicago news every day, I just wish these protest organizers would organize a BLM march against the black gangs that are killing black people at an astonishing rate every day. No, this doesn't take the focus off of brutalizing cops – it simply expands that focus.

 

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Isolation Meteorology – Here it is the first of July and it's hot and muggy and miserable outside. Thank God at least the weather is normal.

 

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G.K.Wuori © 2020

Photoillustration by the author