The Gist: On we go

Big things have happened in the last fortnight. Big things are coming in the next two weeks. But now, you're stuck in the middle with the rest of us. This is the Gist.

The Gist: On we go

US: A mighty chair, now vacant

After an exhausting four years of a funhouse mirror as President, reflecting distortions and grotesquery back at the American public, a tiny, but sufficient, number of voters seem to have decided not to buy a ticket to see the show again. This would be a relief for the rest of us, certainly. But, unfortunately, the death of the Supreme Court justice, Ruth Bader Ginsberg means we can expect at least one final objectionable act before the curtain falls.

A US Supreme Court judge, no matter how significant their life’s work, is also defined by the moment of their departure. Judge Ginsberg held her own tenaciously against a lifetime of adversaries- sexism, above all. Her death from cancer- her fifth such health crisis-could hardly have come at a worse time for the Court she sat on.

With nothing to lose, and an apparently bottomless supply of morally absent cyphers available to choose from, we can expect to hear about nothing else from the US president for the next six weeks. If we are unlucky, the consequences may stretch into decades.

Ireland: Ill will

Dublin’s virus numbers go up, and bad things start to go down. Eager racists attack a bystander with a decades-old history of non-violent activism, while the police have a good hard think about it as they watch. The question is raised as to whether requiring a book full of racial slurs to be studied multiracial schools is really on. The embarrassing thing is how long it took for that question to occur.

Ireland may need some strong medicine to reverse the upward trend in both these viruses. This week may be the start of that course of treatment, uncomfortable though it will be.

UK: Not even a serious enough state to joke about

Oh, please.

photo used under cc licence: Geoff Livingston