Once upon a time there was a very, very, very boring day in a very, very, very boring world full of very, very, very boring people. Asnd it was absolutely the best day ever.
I am old enough to remember when people actually used the term “slow news day,” as in, “Oh, look at this seemingly inconsequential news story on the front page of the paper. Must be a slow news day.”
Granted, back then the news came once a day in the form of a paper brick hurled at your front door and twice a day in the form of TV news broadcasts on the major networks. Shit would happen and you wouldn’t hear about it for hours, sometimes even a full day. Wild times, man. Wild times.
Now, of course, the news is on 24/7. And so much of what is called “news” is actually people talking about their opinions about the news. No wonder we’re all so tired all of the time.
I got to thinking about all of this when I went to put something scheduled in January on my calendar and was faced with the four most terrifying numbers I could possibly conceive of: 2024.
I’ll admit. I’ve been dreading it. Hell, I am still dreading it. Has anyone fully recovered from the political nightmare that was 2016? How about 2020? And yet here it is, folks, right around the corner. Another presidential election with, it seems increasingly likely, another head-to-head between President Joe Biden and disgraced former President Donald Trump.
I’m sure it’ll be a very civilized, very normal affair. Boring, even!
Oh, how I wish.
I considered writing this column about Trump this week, because he’s sure in the news a lot lately for all (checks notes) really bad reasons! But I suspect that Trump will get enough coverage in the coming year.
So, instead, did I ever tell you about the time I met Pete Buttigieg? It was 2022 and I was working on a state Senate campaign in Michigan. Buttigieg came to a campaign event at a park to meet a bunch of candidates for statewide office and their supporters. He spoke briefly, encouraged everyone to keep working hard and shortly afterward I left to go knock doors.
I shook his hand and was introduced to him, but there is no way he would remember me if we bumped into one another again (an unlikely prospect). What I remember was that he was handsome, kind and well-spoken. He was also shorter than I had expected. Anyway, it was a cool moment. Though I think his run for the presidency was premature, I actually do think there could well be a President Buttigieg someday.
During a recent appearance on “The Late Show” on CBS, host Stephen Colbert said to Secretary Buttigieg, “When we last talked, Mike Johnson was not Speaker of the House. Now, Mike Johnson is Speaker of the House. His record on LGBTQ+ issues is, what’s the word? Awful. So, how do you work with a guy who argued that same-sex relations are ‘the dark harbinger of chaos and sexual anarchy that could doom even the strongest Republic?’”
Colbert was referring to a 2004 op-ed that Johnson wrote while in the role of spokesperson and lawyer for the Alliance Defending Freedom, a group with a long history of defining freedom as “life where everyone is heterosexual and Christian.”
“Look, I’ll work with anybody who can help us get good transportation available to the American people, but I don’t know. Maybe we’ll just have him over, ’cause our little house is not far from the Capitol,” Buttigieg responded to Colbert.
Now would Johnson actually ever set foot in the home of a gay member of the Deep State (at least I think Buttigieg is a member of the Deep State? Aren’t all Democrats? Or at least all men named Pete? It’s so hard to keep track of since the whole Deep State thing is such utter right-wing bullshit)?
“If you can see what it’s like when I come home from work, Chasten’s bringing the kids home from daycare or vice-versa, and one of us is getting the kids ready,” Buttigieg continued. “And the other one’s microwaving those little freezer meatballs that are a great cheat code if you’ve got toddlers and you’ve got to feed them quickly and they won’t take their shoes off and one of them needs a diaper change.”
I do not know what Buttigieg is talking about re: microwave freezer meatballs, but I do know that toddlers are A LOT and so if this is a form of self-care for the Buttigiegs then I’m all for it.
“Everything about that is chaos,” Buttigieg said, “but nothing about that is dark.”
Indeed, it isn’t. Having kids is hella hard, but raising them with a loving partner is pretty awesome. So, anyway, may Buttigieg’s depiction of domestic bliss remind us that not everything is bad.
Most things, mind you. But not all.
D’Anne Witkowski is a writer living in Michigan with her wife and son. She has been writing about LGBTQ+ politics for nearly two decades. Follow her on Twitter @MamaDWitkowski.
Photo by Gage Skidmore