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Matt and I, as I noted on Facebook, had a very nice short getaway over Monday and Tuesday. This might seem strange, but I have lived in New York for more than 20 years and have never made it into the center of Albany to see the capital building. We always manage to fly by on our way to other places. I have long been wondering what that city looks like for real. Plus, a dear friend told me about a cool bookstore in Saratoga Springs. So, while most people head to the Finger Lakes and those kinds of places, we went the other direction.

Lest I lose them in the bustle of life–here is my vague impression of Albany after spending less than a whole day there: It must have been so grand at one time. The houses, row upon row, though dusty and drab in the winter gray, are yet opulent and imposing. The capital square is much smaller than I imagined it would be. The State Education building is enormous–bit too big if you ask me. What are they doing in there? Sifting through all my Quarterly Reports? I’ve never really wished I could see a place a hundred years ago, but I tried to imagine in my mind’s eye Albany in 1900. The street we stayed on was so quiet. It must have been much louder with bustle and industry, with jostling for position and money.

As to the accommodations, we rented a tiny flat for two nights in a grand row house adorned by warm and gorgeous woodwork and windows, and also this objet d’art:

So, anyway, I think it is fair to say that I live in a “negative world.” As we walked up and down I mouthed the term over to myself. And then when we were all tucked in for the night, I watched clips of that ghastly Satan display at the Grammy’s. I scrolled, in my desultory way, around Twitter wondering what Christians had to say about it. Don’t be surprised, they said. What do you expect? Hollywood has been glorifying Satan for quite a while.

Of course, yes. I am not surprised. And I loved the person who pointed out how boring it was. And the person who lamented the injuries done to the young man who has been “changed” into a “woman.” It is stupid and ugly and dumb, like all things related to God’s most devoted Enemy.

So no, I’m not surprised. I think what does make me blink is the swiftness of the thing. If I had visited Albany when I first moved to New York (didn’t even occur to me back then) I don’t think the landing of the Airbnb would have had a “picture” like that. Such a display would have still been subversive rather than overt and unapologetic. Which, of course, is what makes it so boring. It is essentially propaganda and therefore not as interesting as the “artist” thinks it is.

What surprises me is how swiftly a society can go from “tolerance” and “pluralism” to “I love Satan best and so will you.” A few short years, really, and it’s all over. I suppose it’s very like how Noah preached all those years while he was building his big boat, and everyone thought he was so dumb, and then suddenly, in a matter of days, it was all over for everyone. That’s what my state’s capital felt like–all that work–generations of work–for what? A lot of “In this house we believe…” signs? Is that all we can expect?

Still, the bookstore was an absolute gem:

Back to the grindstone for me! Have a nice day!

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