December 15, 2017
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Trump’s North Korea rhetoric got me thinking about what I’ll miss if ‘fire and fury’ comes

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

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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