Catching up on my Wordle posts over the past few days.

Wordle 315 5/6


Appreciate the well wishes from all the kind folks. Now both F and I are COVID-positive. Been loading up on Advil, tea with honey, and anime on Netflix. It’s like the World’s Worst Flu, and I can’t help but think this would be a lot worse if we hadn’t been vaxxed.

F stayed home from school yesterday with a low-grade fever and sore throat. She tested negative on a home COVID test.

She woke up today with a 102.6-degree temperature, so I made a doctor’s appointment for her this afternoon. And then she took another home test.


Wordle 314 3/6


Third straight overnight of working past 2 a.m. (I take a break for dinner and family time, then return to my desk by 10:30 p.m.) Hoping this is the last of such overnights for a while. I’d like to have more than 4 or 5 hours of sleep one night.

Wordle 313 3/6


New Wilco album out next month. New single out now. I’ve missed countryfied Wilco.

"It's time to talk about our billionaire problem"

Kevin Clarke writes in America magazine:

It is perhaps not a shock to discover U.S. oligarchs are generally interested in promoting policies that protect their wealth or allow them to accumulate more of it while countering legislation or social campaigns that promote income-building or wealth-equity efforts, or that protect the environment but add to industrial production costs. Is it time this collective power were restrained by sensible tax policies aimed at reducing the billionaire class’s accumulating economic and political might?

In a word, yeah.

Pope Francis has in recent years regularly dressed down the world’s wealthiest for not only declining to do their part to mitigate ecological and human suffering but for elevating the care and feeding of their personal fortunes as the primary good. In these pandemic times, Francis has talked a lot about building back a better world, one that includes a thorough examination of conscience of the role of finance and wealth in human economic and spiritual development and the protection of creation.

In doing so, he turns not to Marxist or Peronist economic doctrine for inspiration, as his many critics like to allege. His source material is simultaneously deeper and more simple. Despite what America’s prosperity gospelites prefer to believe, Jesus was not shy about his distaste for wealth accumulation and the personal and social imbalances, long before Marx, it seemed to produce.

This time, I remembered.

Wordle 312 5/6


The duties and cares of the day crowd about us when we awake each day – if they have not already dispelled our night’s rest. How can everything be accommodated in one day? When will I do this, when that? How will it all be accomplished? Thus agitated, we are tempted to run and rush. And so we must take the reins in hand and remind ourselves, β€œLet go of your plans. The first hour of your morning belongs to God. Tackle the day’s work that he charges you with, and he will give you the power to accomplish it.

St. Edith Stein

(Want more inspiration like this? I collect this stuff at my Catholic commonplace blog, Rosa Mystica.)

Argh. I can’t even remember if I did the damn Wordle yesterday (that is, Tuesday).

Reconsidering the lesser (for now) of several toxic hellholes

Greg Bensinger in The New York Times ($) describes a Twitter nightmare scenario under Elon Musk:

Certainly, Twitter could benefit from some improvements to its service. Its rules are enforced unevenly; it is filled with racist trolling, harassment and misinformation. Politicians and celebrities also seem to enjoy a lighter touch from Twitter’s enforcement of its policies against misinformation, despite the evidence that they are more likely to be believed than regular users. Twitter’s usual approach to moderating content has been to slap warning labels on tweets, which are easy to ignore and don’t mitigate the damage done by misinformation.

Before and after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, Donald Trump used Twitter to whip his followers into a frenzy. The company rightfully barred Mr. Trump from Twitter for his role in that shameful episode, but it had turned a blind eye to similar behavior for years.

Into that toxic stew comes Mr. Musk. He has called someone he disagrees with β€œpedo guy,” made jokes about women’s anatomy and was forced to delete a union-busting message aimed at his factory workers β€” all on the platform he’ll soon own.

Bensinger predicts toxicity if Musk makes good on his promise to loosen content moderation, and expresses the fear of many of us that he’ll reinstate Donald Trump. I don’t credit Joe Biden with the sweet, sweet civilized silence of the past year and a half so much as I credit Trump’s banishment from corporate social media.

Charlie Warzel, who “used to chronicle the way that Twitter’s product inaction created a ‘honeypot for assholes,'” is less downbeat about the platform’s Musky future in The Atlantic ($) – but not by much:

This timelineβ€”the most plausible of the threeβ€”is a blend of the dark and the weird ones: In it, he reinstates some accounts like, say, Trump’s, the platform is fundamentally worse for it, and after a few early wins, he loses interest in the day-to-day operations. His early efforts will be exciting for him and maybe even consequential for us but, if 10 years of following Twitter’s content-moderation and management decisions have taught me anything, I am not sure the things he implements are going to yield the kind of results that can compete to keep his attention alongside everything his other companies are doing. And so some small things change but it’s not nearly as dramatic as we envision now.

I have chosen to be ignorant of Elon Musk, largely because my gut tells me his news coverage would make my stomach churn in the same way Trump’s coverage almost killed me for years. But I know enough to sense that it’s probably time for me to start backing away from Twitter in this new “free speech” era, broadcasting there periodically from my platform and doing little else.

Most of my direct activity on Twitter has involved carefully curated circles revolving around faith and baseball. I like interacting with people I choose to face there, mainly other Catholics who aren’t insane. They comprise a de facto community that I’ve needed, and I hope not to chuck it entirely. Because of that community, Twitter – for me, anyway – has become much less of a toxic hellhole in recent months compared with other corporate social media platforms.

It strikes me as a healthy thing, though, to reassess how much I really want to support what could devolve into an even worse toxic hellhole.

Random linkage: April 25, 2022

When you can’t really write about what’s weighing on you, go to God. And then go to Google. (Links in some kind of order, but I’m not sure what it is.)

Between this and the whole Elon-Musk-buying-Twitter thing, I’m so weary of corporate social media.

Wordle 310 3/6


Wordle 309 3/6


What’s left of the slightly-sloppy-yet-glorious first batch cream puffs that F and I have ever baked together.

F suggested using leftover cream filling as dip. Genius.

Wordle 308 3/6


Bouncing back from abject failure.

Wordle 307 3/6


Rather than wallow in my failure, I will instead take pride in having enough restraint to not explode in a burst of obscenities.

Wordle 306 X/6


Finally getting to see this: Jack White playing the National Anthem at a Detroit Tigers game. I think I actually like this more than Jimi Hendrix’s version.

The Sesame Street Word of the Day with “Ted Lasso’s” Brett Goldstein starts with “F.” And no, it’s not the one you’re thinking.

Logging this here for later viewing: Fr. Matthew Schneider, an autistic priest, has posted video of a Wheaton College presentation on autism in religious groups along with his review of it.

A passage from today’s Magnificat morning prayer stuck with me:

β€œβ€¦ endowed with all delights and conforming to every taste.”

The RSV-CE wording: “… providing every pleasure and suited to every taste.” And the GNT translation says, β€œThe food you gave delighted everyone, no matter what his taste.”

Hot take I’m pondering: Christ satisfies β€œevery taste,” according to each different creation of his. Could it be that God honors the differences he created among his children, and connects with them where they are?


Wordle 305 6/6