Five Things: June 18, 2020

I’m back from the dentist! What five things am I thinking about now? Here they are!

Trump stuffed on DACA: Aaaaah, there’s that contentious 5-4 ruling I thought we might get earlier in the week. And because it was written by Roberts, it’s one of those “it’s not that your intention was bad, though it might be, who can say, but you went about it in not quite the right way” rulings, i.e., nitpicking. But it does the job, i.e., protects the “dreamers,” because even if the Trump administration somehow managed to become competent, any new attempt to boot the dreamers would drag on into either Trump’s second administration, or into Biden’s first one. If the latter, then it’s not going to happen at all; if the former, well. So much contingent on Trump and his people suddenly becoming competent.

After the ruling, Trump went to Twitter and whined that the SCOTUS didn’t seem to like him. Someone correctly noted that they’d like him better if his administration made better legal arguments. But don’t worry, the Supreme Court still has a chance to block access to his tax returns. And then just like that they’d be in Trump’s good graces. But that’s for next week (probably); until then, the dreamers and their allies should take the win.

Live Nation to musicians: Drop Dead: The leading live events company in the US is trying to use the coronavirus to drastically revamp how it does its festivals business, mostly by trying to scale back how much money they have to give musicians and increasing their penalties for cancelled shows, and shifting some of infrastructure burden onto musicians. I, uhhhhhh, don’t imagine these changes will be popular, or will go unchallenged, although since Live Nation is the biggest company in its field, I don’t know if there’s much that can be done on the part of individual bands. Perhaps collectively? It would be interesting if bands everywhere just swore off Live Nation festivals. Right now would probably be the best time to do that. The festivals aren’t happening anyway.

The Darke County Fair is a go: Are county fairs a thing in 2020? The one in my county will be! It’s scheduled to take place in August (i.e., its usual time) and it promises it will be in keeping with all state health guidelines, etc. Which I suppose is nice, but I’ll probably sit this one out. As much as I love county fair food — everything deep fried and usually covered in some sort of batter — August will still be too early for me. Also, the Bradford Pumpkin Show is in October, and I can fill up on fried foods then. I can wait. The fair still more than two months away, however, and Ohio is doing okay with its infection rates. We’ll see.

Watchmen series free to watch this weekend: If you don’t already have HBO in some iteration. It’s timely because much of the plot of the miniseries is rooted in the 1921 Tulsa massacre of black citizens and the repercussions (in the Watchman universe, at least) that propagated from there. The series was apparently the first time many (white) folks had ever heard of the Tulsa massacre, and I might tsk-tsk at them for that except that the first time I ever heard of it was in association with Rosewood, a 1997 film by John Singleton, about a similar event in Florida, so I’m not any better in first hearing about a bit of history from Hollywood.

(Pro tip: it’s okay if Hollywood is your first contact with a bit of history, but don’t let it be your last. Hollywood never gets history correct; that’s not Hollywood’s job.)

I was genuinely impressed with the Watchmen series, which I honestly expected to be something of a trash fire. In fact it is one of the best pieces of comic book-inspired entertainment in the last several years, which is in fact saying something. If you’ve not watched it yet, binge away.

And how did your dentist appointment go, Scalzi? Better than I expected! I thought I was going in to get a crown but in fact just had a filling done. But I didn’t exactly dodge the crown — it still needs to be done, I’m just having it done in July, along two additional fillings. They’re all right next to each other so we’ll be making an afternoon of it. Fun! I would like to know how my teeth became total crap in the last decade or so, honestly. I suspect it might have something to do with living in a place where I have unfluoridated well water. In any event, I have more dentist time in my future. I can’t say I’m excited for it, but better to have it done than not.

33 Comments on “Five Things: June 18, 2020”

  1. I have 14 crowns – more than most countries. At one point my dentist quipped that I must be in my 40s because that’s when your teeth start wearing out. Yes, I was 45 and half way to my final (I hope) count. I’d never heard of this phase of life and am still wondering what to call it.

    May it rest lightly on your life and pass quickly.

  2. This week has now given progressives TWO rulings that we can celebrate. And while two of a thing does not a trend make, it still feels a bit like momentum is building.

    I would like to be sad that Donnie thinks the Supreme Court does not like him, but I don’t like him either, so I guess it all feels fair.

    It’s been a good week!

  3. 1) Dentistry – some young people I know got a night guard in their twenties, and I think that’s an excellent idea if it does, indeed, help preserve your teeth longer.

    2) The Watchmen – excellent, recommending it to everyone.

    3) Yeah, we’re not going out in crowds either. Definitely not through most of fall.

  4. Wonderful news for LGBTQ+ people and Dreamers in one week! Wonderful.
    Belated happy anniversary wishes to you and your wife!

  5. I think “this phase of life” is when the warranty gives out. Start shoring up now, before entire systems start going south on you (spoken from the vantage point of 71).

    Thanks for the heads up on the Watchman series.

  6. ” I would like to know how my teeth became total crap in the last decade or so, honestly.”

    Maybe the gummy bears and salted caramels you include in those abominations you painfully label ‘burritos’? Stick to over-seasoned meat and cheese like the rest of us – Wil Wheaton only wants what is best for you! ;-)

  7. In case you were curious, a lot of Watchmen was shot in Macon, GA – specifically the old Brooklyn stuff (I think, haven’t watched the series yet.)

  8. The Nevada County (California) fair is not happening. Judging by how lax people are taking “distancing” I imagine it will save some lives. But people are pissed anyway because they need their corn dogs. I wonder how many hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. need to die before some people will take this seriously.

  9. I sadly fear that Roberts is scheduling these decision releases (that is, their order) so that he looks good now, and then when the really awful ones come out he can say, “Hey, I was just following where the law led me, for both the earlier ones and then these later ones. Sometimes they are balls and sometimes they are strikes.”

  10. Unless you know for sure that you don’t need a night guard, you should investigate. Maybe Trump is making you grind your teeth more?

    I had terrible problems with teeth cracking. Unfortunately the night guard came too late for a bunch of them, but since the guard, only minor new problems have appeared. That’s over more than a decade.

    This is with no change in the water supply. And I brush after every meal anyway (a dental hygenist once speculated that I was two-timing them).

  11. I grew up in a rural area with no fluoridation so practically every tooth in my mouth has a filling. Once I moved to the big city for University I have not developed a filling although a number of those ones from my formative years have had to be replaced. I always say I should be the poster girl for what happens when you don’t add fluoride to the water. Now that so many people are not drinking tap water in the mistaken belief that bottled water is better for them my dentist routinely advises people get a fluoride treatment with their regular check up. Ask your dentist to do the same.

  12. My dental problems are from possibly over/badly fluoridated water in the 70s, when I was a kid, so definitely nothing to be done about it now. My kids have grown up mostly on unfluoridated well water (though still fluoride toothpaste and rinse) and are now well past the age I first started having trouble with not even a cavity. I’ve got one now that started crumbling, oh, at the beginning of lockdown. It doesn’t hurt yet, I’m going to wait as long as I can before going to the dentist. (Not my normal practice, but ohgodohgodtheworld’sonfire.)

  13. @ Wendy: I didn’t have fluoridated water as a kid either, but when I went to public school we had “swish and spit” days where we all got a little cup of “cheapest vendor” fluoride rinse. It was nasty.

    Honestly I think the only reason I don’t have more cavities is that my parents were incredibly strict about candy and sugar-sweetened soda.

    Now all I can do is use extra-fluoride toothpaste and try to be vigilant. (And shake my fist at places like Portland that could have fluoride but don’t because communists. Oy.)

    @ Les M: if it would make you feel more confident about going to the dentist (I’m going in two weeks), know that all dentists/hygienists have used tons of PPE every day for the past 20 years, so they’re good at staying protected and protecting you.

  14. One of the good things about our (less recent than I thought, time flies, but still kinda recent) move is that our child will have fluoridated water here, but didn’t in the last city. Fluoride from age 7+ is better than none at all.

  15. Funny how the Catholic grade school nuns promised me a golden crown in the bye and bye, and lo! I got several, early.

  16. John, I like your defence of Hollywood. Yes, it’s not history or journalism. It succeeds or fails based on whether it is what normal people want: entertainment. If ever I write a paper book, it won’t be journalism either.
    (I wouldn’t care if a few accuracy fiends threw my book against the wall, because I would write for people who watch TV for as many man-hours as they read)

    My favourite “Hollywood” comes from neither paper nor celluloid. Back in (I think) the Middle Ages was a story of a French knight looking for England. He rides through the forest for a time, asks the locals where he is, and lo, it’s England. Screw the Straits of Calais.

  17. If you’re driving around, you may run into food trucks in parking lots. There was a fried bread truck at a local gas station earlier this week. So, if I’d had a craving for fried bread (I didn’t), I could have satisfied it. I know, not quite the same atmosphere, but it might do, in a pinch.

  18. The Del Mar Fair, sorry, the San Diego County Fair has been postponed until 2021. I’m sorry but if you skip a year on an annual event it is canceled not postponed. To be clear I am in favor of its cancellation. I am just mildly annoyed at the marketing peoples abuse of the language. I heard on the radio this morning that they are planning some kind of food event thing so people can get their deep fried fix. Meh, whatever.

  19. It makes this dentist happy to see all the dental discussion. I always enjoy checking Whatever to see what’s happening. I will say, it’s sure quite different in my office operating in a COVID world. The good thing is that we have never been safer in our office. Still very tough getting enough masks and gowns though and the price of those items is much different than 4 months ago.

  20. The Laguna Sawdust Festival is still on, according to the website. Starting mid-July, weekends only. That’s my summer art fair, I’ve been going for years. Not this year, it’s too soon and too small a space. I probably won’t go to Winter Fantasy either this year. Call me a coward, it just isn’t worth the risk for me or the rest of the fam.

  21. On Corndogs and Covidiots:
    It’s about “quality,” not quantity.

    I don’t think it’s so much about “how many” as is it’s about “who.”

    Right now, certain folks think they’re observing a much-needed culling of the heard.

    People of color and the poor (the overlap here is well documented) are dying in droves, as are the elderly.

    The deaths among “safe” demographics are either treated as flukes, “god’s will or fake news designed to propel the liberal goal of kneecapping the economy because…reasons.

    I can’t help but recall what happened when Elizabeth Báthory was “employing” and slaughtering young women and girls with impunity.

    She wasn’t held accountable for the peasants she murdered but, the second that women and girls from prominent families went to work at her roach motel, the hammer, albeit one wrapped in down and silk because nobility, came down on her head with force.

    The truth is that not enough middle to upper class white people have died of Covid 19. Not enough of their children have died or become seriously ill.

    When social distancing and stay-at-home orders become about protecting the “right” demographics, the same never-maskers and covidiots will be as “cowardice” as the rest of us social distancing, PPE dawning libturds.

    All of the restrictions and losses of rights covidiots feared will become a thing because, what right have people to move freely when “lives” hang in the balance?

    The same people screaming and marching for corndogs will aim their signs, maws and guns at anyone caught in public without a mask or gloves.

    All Trump and Fox News would need to do is tell covidiots, never-maskers and “die for the economy” folks the opposite of what they heard earlier this year and the jails will be flooded with violators of social distancing laws.

    I used to get so offended when folks from other countries disparaged Americans and American culture. Now I’m almost inclined to agree. ☹

  22. Never too late for teeth, folks. I was a sweet-eater and had concomitant bad teeth until I was 50, when simultaneously, I was diagnosed diabetic (NOTHING to do with the sweets, it’s genetic round here) and bust a front tooth so I really, finally, had to make it up with my dentist.. And, since then? One filling (probably an old hole) and a remake of the front crown (the first one was supposed to last 5 years, managed almost 15). So, yes, low carb, and fewer sweets. And brush, but I’m not a fan of toothpaste, I think it wears away the enamel…

  23. I don’t follow the county fairs here, but the Minnesota State Fair (normally held last part of August, ending on Labor Day) has been cancelled this year.

  24. Please read the works of Weston A. Price, if you want to learn actual scientific facts about how human teeth actually work. He was a dentist who traveled in the 1930s to places where people still lived traditionally, and most importantly, still ate traditionally. Not only did they have for all practical purposes NO dental disease, they also had zero diabetes, heart disease or cancer. This really isn’t rocket science. I just listened to a podcast where a dentist stated baldly that it is NOT controversial in the dental world that one cannot get cavities unless one eats sugar. (It is important to know that “sugar” is not just sucrose, but also glucose, which means starch.) Since I stopped eating grains and sugar 5 years ago, I rarely brush my teeth and have had no cavities, no gum disease, no bad breath, after a lifetime of dental problems. Also, it is fact that teeth can remineralize, which means cavities can heal if they have not penetrated through the enamel. It requires a good diet with enough minerals and no anti-nutrients such as the phytates in grains that bind and remove minerals from the body. None of this is controversial and all is supported by real science. But so few people are aware.

  25. Yes, get fluoride mouthwash, but be aware that some people get tooth staining (of the kind, fortunately, that dentists can clean off reasonably easily) with some fluoride mouthwashes, so if you spot that, swap brands (bizarrely: not everyone gets it with the same mouthwashes? I don’t honestly understand how this works).

    I know someone who swapped dentists because the dentist refused to believe he wasn’t chewing tobacco… nope, turns out it was just the new mouthwash.

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