July 16, 2018
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Trump’s North Korea rhetoric got me thinking about what I’ll miss if ‘fire and fury’ comes

Lucas Jackson | Reuters
Lucas Jackson | Reuters
A combination photo shows a Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) handout of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump.
By Alex Steed

Regardless of where you’re at in proximity to the Trump train, I find it hard to believe that one can be a human who enjoys living on a planet unscorched by nuclear winter and also be comfortable with The Donald being the only thing that sits between us and a nuke-off with North Korea. It turns out that all those military advisers he has around him — all the adults in the room who are supposed to put his mind at ease — were surprised to hear his ” fire and fury” threat, so there’s that.

If the fire and fury come, I’d like to have on record all the things I will miss — it will be flawed and incomplete, and I’ll remember new things every time I read it because a full accounting of such things is an impossible task. But these represent for me the very real — some dynamic, some banal, all adored — things I’ll miss should we not wake up someday soon, thanks to the arrogance of these cocksure fools.

— Lady Lamb the Beekeeper’s version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”

Volunteering for/with children.

— Getting to know strangers.

— Being with old friends.

— Maine weather, July to October.

— Hearing Mainers say “Must be nice” and “Hard tellin’.”

— Night swimming.

— The point in every other episode of Marc Maron’s “WTF” in which a guest recalls the older sibling or friend who introduced to their younger selves interesting music, movies and literature.

— Small towns.

Krista’s homefries (Cornish, Maine).

— Laughter generally.

— Portland, Maine: One fine food town.

— The feeling of elation that comes with seeing friends and family succeed.

— Dancing badly.

— Hope.

— Allagash White.

— Following exploration of the White Mountains with a beer and nachos at Moat Mountain.

— What’s left of civility.

— What’s left of the natural world.

— The adoration of a dog.

— Those people who, when you walk by them with your dog, quietly and excitedly shriek “puppy!”

— Life changing art, painting and photography.

— Great comedy.

— Decent comedy.

— Even some bad comedy.

— The smell of most women’s hair.

— Puppy breath.

Lobster rolls.

— Record stores.

— Book stores.

— Stationery stores.

— The boundless passion and optimism of youth.

— Envying that youth.

— Fearing getting talked to on a plane, getting talked to on a plane, and leaving conversations with your perspective changed.

— Cats.

— Riding bikes in the fall.

— The feeling that follows a day of hard work.

— Amateur philosophizing with friends over dinner or drinks.

— Christmas.

— Kennebunkport during Christmas.

— Old-school hip hop.

— The Misfits.

— New York in the summer. Even heat and transportation woes unite the citizens in misery.

— Portland’s music scene and all of its beautiful weirdos and quirkiness.

— Bangor’s hang-ups about being a totally cool, grown-up city that is as interesting, if not more interesting, than Portland.

— Answering my daughter’s many, many, many questions.

— “ Ghostbusters.”

— All of the books.

— Finding out whatever the hell the Infinity Stones drama is in these Marvel movies.

— Getting weird, even though I’m a grown man, around people I believe to be exponentially cooler or tougher than me.

— That brilliant scene in “ Boogie Nights” when Mark Wahlberg stares blankly at the camera for 43 seconds.

— All of Robert Altman’s movies — even the bad ones.

— Los Angeles, the greatest, strangest and most vain city in these United States.

— Sam James’ music and writing.

— Running down roads and seeing families of deer in the distance.

— My wife’s quirky sense of humor.

— Watching her play softball.

— The weird Calvinist spirit of Northern New England.

— Live music.

— “ Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” the greatest independent film ever made.

— Living in a place so beautiful and attractive in all ways that other people come to it to vacation.

— The United States Constitution.

— Cold-brew coffee.

— The American tension between collectivism and individualism.

— The rewarding challenges of being vulnerable.

— Love.

Alex Steed has written about and engaged in politics since he was a teenager. He’s an owner-partner of a Portland-based content production company and lives with his family, dogs and garden in Westbrook.


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