I didn’t think I’d be able to say this by now, with the pandemic and the ongoing post-election drama, but I’m starting to feel safe enough: Merry Christmas, and goodbye Bill Barr.
There’s a rumor saying Donald Trump may also leave Washington before Christmas Day. He’ll celebrate the holiday in Mar-a-Lago. He’ll wear a fake beard and a red suit and pass out pardons to his close family members before people in Palm Beach, Florida, make him buy a house or leave. Then he’ll either settle in Ecuador or take up residence in the servant’s quarters in Vladimir Putin’s palace. Like I say, just a rumor.
Also just a rumor, but maybe real by the time this is printed: That second stimulus check they’ve been talking about. They’re saying it could be only $600 this time. I’ll take it.
If the stimulus check doesn’t happen, it’ll probably be because Congress will have flinched in the face of the looming budget crisis and decided to extend the budget first. And then decided to go home for the holidays, leaving the stimulus relief package unfinished.
After the Electoral College voted as expected, bookmakers who’d been taking bets on the outcome of the presidential race decided to consider Biden the winner and pay off people who bet on Biden, which made Trump supporters angry. This tells me the angry Trump supporters don’t know how to gamble on high-stakes presidential elections.
You see, because the election of your guy is so important to you, you can take it as a win for you if your guy gets elected. You don’t need a cash return for it. You got the main prize you wanted. What you want is a consolation prize of cash if your guy loses. The fact that all these Trump supporters are complaining about the Biden payouts means they never heard of hedging. They could be really happy now, like I’ll be if and when I get that $600. I’ll even say, “Thank you, Trump.”
The other major news this week is that conservatives and even some liberals are rising up against Jill Biden and all other non-M.D.s for using the title “Dr.” just because they have a doctorate of some sort. Because of an op-ed piece in The Wall Street Journal.
This, of course, strikes home because I’ve been © Dr. Wes Browning around here since Aug. 1, 1995. Now, the © symbol was an obscure inside joke. I was having fun with an artist who used the copyright symbol way too much because he was sure his art would be stolen if it wasn’t copyrighted front, top and bottom, back and along the edges of the frames.
Then, when I started writing the column here, I thought, “© is funny to me, because I know the story behind it, but how can I up the humor? I know,” I thought, “I have a Ph.D, so I’ll use it.” I’m a doctor, just not that kind of doctor. I’m a doctor of math. I can do surgery on 96-dimensional manifolds [snort] [maniacal nerdy giggling, a la Amadeus].
But all humor aside, there are actually sound, serious reasons for going with the “Dr.” title.
Jill Biden is going to be the First Lady, and the author of the Journal piece says that should be good enough for her. She doesn’t need any more respect than what she gets by being the wife of the president.
No, Mr. Joseph Epstein, untitled op-ed writer, that’s not the way this is going to play out. You can’t drag America back that far toward Stone Age conservatism. Women can have titles now, and that’s the way it’s going to be.
Jill Biden doesn’t have to care if people think her doctorate of education is important enough to warrant a title of Dr. It does, in fact, confer that title. That’s why it’s called a doctorate. The word “doctor” means teacher, and a doctor in education is almost redundant. She could by rights call herself Dr. Dr. Jill Biden.
Clearly, what Epstein wants is nothing to do with Jill Biden herself. She’s just a reminder of what he really wants: a return to the days when women know their place, behind their husbands. He wants women to return to what the Germans called Kinder, Küche, Kirche. “Stick to children, cooking and church, only.”
It won’t happen.
Dr. Wes Browning is a one time math professor who has experienced homelessness several times. He supplied the art for the first cover of Real Change in November of 1994 and has been involved with the organization ever since. This is his weekly column, Adventures in Irony, a dry verbal romp of the absurd. He can be reached at drwes (at) realchangenews (dot) org
Read more in the Dec. 23-29, 2020 issue.