Rural Re-tweets

It’s a cold and frosty one here this morning and the world is looking a colder place for Trump, too. Thank goodness, we all say, yet the danger now is not that Trump will overturn the election result – his chances of that are vanishingly small – but of how much damage he will be able to inflict on US democracy. There’s an interesting article on the BBC site about conspiracy theories and why people believe them, and Trump has been sowing the seeds of doubt about the electoral process for a long time. Every election in which he is not the triumphant – or Trumphant – winner is rigged. It’s the mindset of every dictator.

But the trouble is he’s convinced millions of his followers too. How do you go about debunking a conspiracy theory once it’s taken hold? If people don’t believe the evidence because they think all the experts and scientists and lawyers are in league, if they don’t believe for example that Coronavirus is real, that it’s a conspiracy organised by the powers that be for nefarious purposes of their own and that all the scientists and government spokespersons are either duped or in league, this requires a staggering leap of faith in another narrative. You have to believe that world governments are capable of working together, something they have signally failed to do up to now; that no-one (apart from a few ‘heroic’ whistleblowers) has given away the secret, that men and women of integrity are complicit or in denial – and so on. It’s like flat-earthers or climate change deniers; in order to believe one thing you have to disbelieve a whole slew of other things; you have to basically construct an alternate reality in which all the photos are faked and all the evidence is bogus. It doesn’t stack up. So yes, I believe that climate change is real and happening now, that Coronavirus is real and deadly and that Joe Biden won the US election without electoral fraud. But how do we go about persuading people who believe otherwise? Is it even possible? You can find the BBC article, including an interview with the son of a major conspiracy theorist, here.

Meanwhile, let’s lighten up a bit. The Beano this week produced a very welcome section for adults called the Beanold. It featured Dennis the Menace’s parents and a number of prominent politicians including Dominic ‘oops, where’s me glasses?’ Cummings. It was a great joy to read and I was heartened to see that the Beano is just as good as ever with all the familiar characters such as Minnie the Minx, the Bash Street Kids and Dennis the Menace including Gnasher and Gnipper, plus a few new ones. It’s great fun, irreverent and not at all cynical. Brilliant stuff.

Apart from that I spent most of the weekend tidying shelves and making soup, then making more soup because the first lot got contaminated. Although I can’t stick beetroot I do often add a bit of juice to soups and stews for colouring and yesterday I had a large pan of soup bubbling nicely and decided to pour a bit of the old purple liquid in. Argh! Too late I discovered that the beets had gone off and the juice had contaminated the entire pan of soup. OH said it stank the whole kitchen out. So that pan of soup had to be discarded and a whole ‘nother one started, in the process of which I discovered a big bag of lentils at the back of the cupboard. Joy! But my joy turned to despair when I opened them and found they’d gone off too. Who knew lentils could go off? Well, they hadn’t exactly gone off so much as become discoloured, demoralised and generally damp and manky. Never mind, I found a bottle of beer at the back of the cupboard. I opened it. Would it be flat? No, it fizzed. Was it all right? Errr, no, it was not. It’s been that sort of week…

Cue some more shelf organising…

Kirk out