Early on Friday, May 17th 2019, the sad news came of the death of Internet feline sensation Grumpy Cat, just seven years old. The Greats always go in threes, and Grumpy Cat was preceded into eternity that week by singer/actress Doris Day and comedian Tim Conway. Grumpy, whose given name was Tarder Sauce, actually passed on the 14th, following complications from a UTI infection. One of the most photographed felines in history, Grumpy Cat had 1.4 million Twitter followers, countless internet memes and merchandise, and a loyal fan base who will mourn her passing.
On Monday, 13 May 2019, singer and actress Doris Day passed away at the age of 97, after a bout with pneumonia. The popular songstress, an icon of feminine chastity and purity in the 1950s and ‘60s, was also a passionate animal rights advocate and activist, as well as a vegetarian, walking her talk.
Once the toast of Hollywood, one of only eight performers to be top box office earner in four years over the life of her career, Day’s films evoked a simpler, carefree era. Her sunny-yet-feisty, can-do, smoldering virgin persona eventually fell out of favor with audiences, but her films were box office gold for over a decade. Teaming with Rock Hudson in such popular successes as “Pillow Talk”, “Lover Come Back” and “Send Me No Flowers”, Day also starred opposite such Hollywood royalty as Cary Grant, David Niven and Jimmy Stewart.
On April 29th 2019 The Washington Post, whose Fact Checker database has been tracking Donald Trump’s lies, misrepresentations, and false or misleading claims, announced that the 45th President had reached a new milestone, with 10,000 falsehoods uttered. Apparently it took Trump some 601 days into his presidency to make 5000 such statements, an average of 8 per day, but only an additional 226 days to double that figure, raising his rate of deception to 23 per day over the ensuing seven month period, which included the buildup to the 2018 Midterms, the government shutdown, and the release of the Mueller Report.
On Thursday 25 April 2019 former Vice President Joe Biden entered the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. Biden’s Macbeth routine, “letting ‘I dare not’ wait upon ‘I would’,” was wearing thin, and at his announcement Biden joined an already crowded field of some twenty rivals who dove into the political (cess)pool ahead of him. Before officially becoming a candidate, Biden’s name recognition kept him at the top of most polls; now that he’s an actual contender, that may change. Fast.
What happens when the irresistible force meets the immovable object? More to the point, what happens to the poor schmuck caught between them? That’s the current position of the 45th President of the United States, whose celestial referent, asteroid Troemper, is caught in the vice of the forming Saturn/Pluto conjunction. Between Saturn’s rock and Pluto’s hard place, Donald J. Trump’s cosmic moniker finds itself in its own “place of little easement”, with wiggle room so slight that Trump can neither sit, stand, nor lie down.
On Palm Sunday 2019 South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg became the first openly gay candidate for the Democratic nomination for US President, in a speech before more than 6,000 supporters. Known affectionately as “Mayor Pete”, Buttigieg had been turning heads with a $7 million haul for his campaign in the first quarter of 2019, even before making his candidacy official. Third place showings in recent polls of Iowa and New Hampshire, as well as several attention-grabbing interviews and speeches, mark him as a potential force to be reckoned with in the Democratic Primary contests.