Bob Franken




Did you notice on anti-social media how many of the Roman-candles-in-the-sky photos looked like magnified coronaviruses? It is appropriate, unfortunately, because no matter how we protest that we as a nation are past Covid, we’re really not. As long as so many in the American herd refuse to get vaccinated, we will never achieve the “herd immunity” to bury the pandemic once and for all in this country. And in the US of A, there are about a thousand counties where the immunization rate is below 30%.
That’s stupid. If you don’t believe me, would you listen to Tony Fauci, the best known expert in the universe? He says it a teeny bit more politely: “The overwhelming proportion of people who get into trouble are the unvaccinated, which is the reason why we say this is really entirely avoidable and preventable.” At an under 30% vaccination rate, a surge in the deadly Covid could happen at any moment, particularly with the coronavirus variant lurking about, striking down people who don’t need to be struck down. And I’ll tell you right now how we will be able to determine when the nation is out from under Covid once and for all: It’s when Tony Fauci is on none of the SOunday talk shows. That’ll be a dead giveaway.

At least the debate has changed on Facebook, Twitter and all the rest. Last year it was all Donald Trump all the time. You either violently hated the guy or you violently loved him. Fast-forward 12 months. He’s still around, but the heated arguments have cooled down to topics like fireworks or dogs.
I don’t need to tell you where I stand on that one: I believe that our poor little puppies should be spared the scary noise of loud and possibly illegal fireworks, which may be the least enforced laws in our nation. Fireworks are not particularly an American tradition anyway. They actually go back 2,000 years to China. They might have had their first use in this country before it had earned its countryhood, as a morale builder for the soldiers fighting the Revolutionary War.
Now think about that for a moment: Explosives as a morale builder for those who were usually dodging British bullets. Sounds like a recipe for PTSD.
Still, things that go boom in the July 4th night persisted for no reason whatsoever, to become a staple of Independence Day celebrations. Also for no reason whatsoever, the playing of Peter Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” is a basic part. Pete tells me he composed that to celebrate his native Russia’s victory over Napoleon’s French forces. It’s not even about the American War of 1812. But there it is — at the Roman candle finale.
So, let me get this straight: You have a Russian composition played with great gusto about the defeat of the French, accompanied by coronavirus look-alike Roman candles. Does it have anything to do with the crashing cannons at the end? Why? So where does that leave the morale of our puppies?
Speaking of puppies, that brings to mind Hush Puppies and all the other casual shoe ads that flood my Facebook and Instagram misinformation feeds. I know why. I clicked on step-in tennis shoes one day, and the algorithms and other cyber intruders took over. I’m getting inundated with shoe ads, along with a flood of vegetarian food and non-alcoholic beverage commercials. So now you know more about me than you ever wanted to know.
Soon, the off-year congressional ads will start up again for next year’s elections. I don’t know why the algorithms waste their time on me. I’ve made it clear I don’t like anyone very much. Who I am least hostile to determines how I vote, and that is usually very clear. For starters, I’ll shun everyone who refuses, for no good reason, to get immunized.

© 2021 Bob Franken
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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