The 1980s contributed so many dismissive catchphrases to our shared vocabulary: “get a life,” “don’t have a cow,” “peace through strength.” These were insurmountable arguments against anything someone else cared about. I remember when my cat died in seventh grade, and I was sad at school, and my classmate told me to get a life. What a burn! In that moment, my central concerns were unimportant—not merely misplaced but nonexistent, failing to even constitute a life. Yet for all his lordly dearth of empathy, the person who says “get a life” remains a third party to whatever problem he dismisses. The real boss move is to dismiss misery you yourself have caused. To that end, no catchphrase beats “so sue me.” It reduces your relation with your interlocutor to the law and whatever money they can extract from you. Today is Friday, and we owe one another no more consideration than that. Why don’t you do something about it with me?
Is there anything more satisfying than hard work? Can any force build a stronger character than honest labor daily undertaken? Work nourishes the soul—not my soul, of course, but the souls of others. In these times of national struggle, the only clear way forward is for other people to roll up their sleeves, take hold of their bootstraps and, with whatever hands remain available, get to work. I am prepared to do whatever it takes to teach other people the value of work, whether that means opposing welfare or cutting my own taxes. Today is Friday, and honest labor sets everyone free except me. Won’t you rediscover the joys of work by yourself?
Tomorrow, my beloved Iowa Hawkeyes will play their annual rivalry game against unaccredited Iowa State University, whose record currently stands at 0-2. The Hawks did not look great in their first two outings, but they are 2-0 nonetheless. That discrepancy prompted the University of Iowa Campus Police Department to tweet a funny knock-knock joke at the ISU police, the punchline of which plays out in the image above. I don’t think anyone will disagree that the police of Iowa City are total dicks, but I’m with them on this one.* Today is Friday, and winners are winners regardless of how they got there. Won’t you elide the details with me?
The best-case scenario in the Ravalli County treasury fiasco got a little more likely over the weekend. Part One—Valerie Stamey turns out to have done almost no work at all between her appointment in September and her suspension in February—is already in place. That’s more fun than the news consuming public reasonably could have asked for. But dare we hope for Part Two? I am referring, of course, to the unlikely but entertaining possibility that county commissioners really have been illegally selling tax liens, as Stamey alleges. Probably they haven’t. But now the FBI is involved, so oh man—if they have.
The finance department of Ravalli County announced today that it will bypass the treasurer’s office to issue emergency operating funds to schools, libraries and fire departments. Meanwhile, treasurer Valerie Stamey told the county commission that she would present October financial reports by Friday. “If not then, by next Friday,” she added. Stamey’s statement was of a piece with what’s been coming out of her office since she was appointed in September—namely, everything but financial reports. After three resignations and numerous accusations of incompetence, she is starting to look like the perfect triumph of politics over government in Ravalli County.