Seriously Disturbed

The US Congress Tries to Elect a Speaker

Today is Sunday January 8th, 2023. Kia ora!

Today it is cold and wet, and very windy.  It is much cooler than it has been. This morning I went to church in Johnsonville. There was quite a good turnout, but they were a tad disorganised!  The Rev. Reg Weeks from St Ronan’s Presbyterian Church in Eastbourne took the service. Apparently a new minister has been appointed, so Rev. Reg will finish there soon.

He preached again about the Magi visiting the infant Jesus, similar to his sermon this time last year for the Feast of the Epiphany.  Again, I found this very affecting. Here is a link to a recording of last year’s sermon, called The Star Gazers: for some reason, the link doesn’t copy across.

After that we had lunch at Kaizen Café in Porirua, one of my favourite haunts.

It’s now Monday January 9th.

Today started out cold and wet, but it became fine and warm in the afternoon.

The Covid 19  report came out today.  It is as follows: 21,685 new cases have been reported, and 422 people are in hospital, with 9 of them in Intensive Care. There’ve been 53 further deaths in the last week, bringing the total deaths in New Zealand to 2,393. Numbers are dropping, although 2 people with the sub-variant XBB1.1.5, nicknamed “Kraken”, have been detected.

It’s getting increasingly hard to avoid titbits from Prince Harry’s memoir, entitled Spare.  Well, I say, spare me any more details of your ghastly upbringing.  I thought I already knew quite enough about this man-child; evidently not. The revelations just keep coming.  And they’re so mundane, for the most part!  I think that if almost anyone wrote about their past, there would be many things where they’d think well, thank goodness the world doesn’t have to know about that, and thank goodness I’m now adult and a husband and parent myself and I’m dealing with my own children’s questions, like, How come we never see our cousins? Or our Grandpas? Did Harry’s lawyers not see this first, and if not, why not?  Surely Meghan will divorce him after this? It would be so embarrassing to be married to such a stupid person. Goodness knows, we all make mistakes, but how was this person (and his wife) brought up? Personally, I blame Diana. And I feel really sorry for King Charles. and the Prince and Princess of Wales and their lovely children. Thank goodness her majesty the Queen wasn’t alive to have to put up with this drivel.

It’s now Tuesday January 10th.

Yesterday there was news that Jair Bolsonaro’s supporters had stormed the Presidential Palace and Assembly in Brazil’s capital Brasilia, in an echo of the US’s January 6 2021 insurrection. It was reported that 400 arrests had been made, unlike the US insurrection where no one was arrested on the actual day. Steve Bannon, although he’s waiting for prison, has endorsed this uprising in his podcast. Former president Bolsonaro was rumoured to be in Florida, along with the security chief.

In the US, Kevin McCarthy, having won the speakership after making several concessions, now prepares for the next gathering of Congress.  Many are waiting with baited breath, to see what the next steps will be.

The repercussions from Prince Harry’s memoir continue to spill out, revealing a seriously disturbed youngster who, in his 30’s, is no longer a young man. This is someone who left royal life to flee to California, because he wanted privacy.  He’s now spilling the beans on many irrelevant details, which must be hurtful to his family. Amongst various revelations, he now says that the Royal Family is not a racist institution, despite claims that were made on the famed Oprah Winfrey interview  and despite Harry and his wife accepting an award for resisting such racism.

Oh well, consistency was never the couple’s strong suit. Harry also shows himself to have some seriously childish and perhaps old-fashioned ideas.

I must acknowledge that when my youngest son got married, several years ago, I advised him to shave off his beard. He said that his fiancé quite liked it; I asked him if he would like it to be in his wedding photos. Apart from this discussion, I had very little to do with the wedding, or its arrangements. However, I now await worldwide scorn and vituperation for having dared to express an opinion on such a sensitive and personal issue. I’m only his mother, after all..

Commentators echo me in saying Harry has been extremely unwise to disclose so many “facts”, or, in other words, “his truth”.  Not so very long ago much of what he said would be regarded as treasonous, with very severe physical penalties; often, death, whether you were royalty or not.

It’s now Wednesday January 11th,

This afternoon I had a hair cut. I have a new computer, which my son set up for me. It’s wonderful!  It’s very fast, and easy to use. I’m very pleased, since I’d had my old one for almost eight years. It was good, but it was time for a new one. People were complaining that my appearance on zoom was very dark, but I couldn’t do anything about it.

So, what’s happening today?  Trump’s CFO, Allan Weisselberg, has been sentenced to five months in prison.  Most people think this is not nearly long enough.  While many people around Trump have gone to jail, if they hadn’t been pardoned, he has not yet been indicted. In Georgia, the grand jury convened by District Attorney Fani Willis of Fulton County has finished hearing witnesses (some subpoenaed) into Trump’s election interference after the 2020 presidential election, and it’s hoped its report will be released.  Trump’s tax returns have finally been released…but there’s so much else going on that they haven’t been greatly analysed yet. There’re now a tad boring, with so much else going on. They show devastating losses, which rather belie his boast of being a good businessman. If anyone believed that.

This morning I listened to The Bulwark podcast with Charlie Sykes talking to Olivia Nuzzi. Another journalist. I found this very interesting; Olivia spoke about Trump mucking around at Mar-a-Lago, watching the movie Sunset Boulevard, again and again. His presentation when announcing his run for the presidency in 2024 was really “low energy”. 

Prince Harry’s memoir continues to cause ructions, as many people admit to rather enjoying the revelations, in an uncomfortable way, while continuing to be amazed at the amount of self-pity and naivety therein. One English writer likened it to reading “Mein Kampf”, although here the ghost writer has done a better job of writing. If he could write so well, how come he didn’t advise the prince not to reveal so much mundane and potentially hurtful detail? For example, if he has been so badly hurt, what about the wives/children/parents/extended family of the people he claims to have killed, from a helicopter, in Afghanistan? Why does he display so little self-awareness? And who is this famous therapist, who has been so useless?  Why is his regard for Meghan so obsessive, while seeming so heartless at times? See, I’ve got involved now, too, much as I have tried to avoid it.

In some kind of karma, the dastardly duo’s California home has been evacuated because of the flooding there.

It’s now Thursday January 12th.

I have several things on today: a meeting on zoom (it will be interesting to try zoom on my new computer), a meeting with a friend this afternoon, and an appointment. 

Going back to Harry’s memoir, his attempt to control the narrative is contrasted by his frequent lies. There are too many to itemise here, and many others have listed them, but he evidently claimed Meghan booked and paid for a first class seat with Air New Zealand for her father to fly from Mexico to the UK.  How generous, one thinks; but the first problem is that Air New Zealand doesn’t fly from Mexico!  It strikes me that his lying is very like Trump’s: did Meghan actually say the Royal Family were racist? Well, not in so many words, but that was the inference that most if not all people took from what she claimed in the Oprah Winfrey interview.  The hypocrisy is just startling.  Also, apparently years ago the UK’s The Sun newspaper praised hero Harry for his killings in Afghanistan; now he’s being vilified for seeming to brag about them. It’s the “gutter press”, stupid!  So there’s plenty of hypocrisy to go around. Anyone’s memoir is how things look to them at the time: anyone in any family will acknowledge that different family members may have very different views on the same event, especially the death of a parent.  There is no such thing as absolute truth: there are facts. Of course, but one only has to look at different history books to see that facts may be presented from different viewpoints. Twas ever thus.

It also occurs to me that most if not all families are dysfunctional in some ways: I consider myself greatly blessed in this regard, but I have a special needs daughter and four super bright sons: at one stage we boasted from having one teach at Harvard, to one attending Hohepa School: quite a contrast. Everyone, including me, reacted differently to the birth of my daughter.  Within families, we forgive each other, and try to help, in any way we can.  Many, sympathising with Harry,  are saying that the Royal Family is dysfunctional, but what about former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, or Liz Truss? Most people agree that Johnson is a seriously disturbed person. He doesn’t even comb his hair. On another very scary note, Prince Harry is fourth in the line of succession, so he could be our king, one day. What a truly dreadful thought. I know whom I’d prefer, any day. We are all flawed people, all have come short of the Glory of God, but most of us try to live by some moral standards, and seek forgiveness when we’ve knowingly or unknowingly betrayed them. Was it Socrates who said first know yourself?

Within families, we love each other, we forgive each other, we respect each other, and we try not to hurt each other. We are all different, and we emote differently.

In Ukraine, there is very heavy fighting in the Donetsk region, where most of the town names are really difficult to pronounce, let alone remember.  Russia are making claims of success; Ukraine are denying them. Perhaps both sides are exaggerating?  A few days ago, hundreds of Russian soldiers were killed and ammunition blown up in a Russian base by Ukrainian forces. Putin acknowledged this as an upsetting event. More important Russians have suffered strange deaths, some falling out of windows.

This morning I had a meeting on zoom. I was looking forward to this on my new computer, but, silly me, I had to install zoom first. Then, my picture is still really dark, despite my pressing CNTL F9 several times and pulling curtains and turning lights off. This darkness was the problem I had with my old computer. Everyone else on the call looked wonderful!

That’s it for now. Slava Ukraini! Ngā mihi nui.

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