This week I take a break from the usual politics (because, my gawd, the hits just keep on coming, don’t they?) and reflect upon something a little more personal: my need for gadgets and the debt I have incurred through them and so many other life necessities/choices.

What is need? What is want? I have a hard time distinguishing them in the 21st Century, at least when it comes to technology. But the urge to start cutting cords gets stronger when the bills start piling up. (First victim will likely be my cable subscription. I have axed it before, and only reconnected when a mountain interfered with standard broadcast signals.) Yet I will always need a fast internet connection and a computer powerful enough to handle image editing software and uploading large image files to websites, whose malware protections I have to cut another check for. Oh wait, charge on my card, because the checking account is already claimed by climbing rent, student loans and all the other rigermarole.

This personal whinge I hope is not too relatable for everyone who sees this strip, but I suspect many of you have similar conflicts between earning power, debt and needs. Insert sarcasm about bringing jobs back and making this neoliberal dystopia “great” again.

Hey, I just had a great weekend visiting old friends for an early Christmas dinner, so my mood is not completely sour. In fact, we had a great 9 course meal prepared lovingly by our hosts, drank many great wines, and had a great laugh all along. Politics was more on people’s minds this time around than I have ever seen in previous years — and this is a political minded crowd, so it’s not as if such subjects were ever off the table. Yet in the past topics about current political affairs were folded into other discussions about art or literature or personal lives. This time around the tenor was much different. I’d categorize the discussions into two columns: What The Hell Just Happened; and What The Hell Do We Do.

I think we’ll be wrestling with them for a long time.

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