East 64

Today’s venture on the third of our 4-day southern descent to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina took a sharp turn left directly east towards the North Atlantic Ocean. Our overnight destination is Lumberton, North Carolina. For those acquainted with the area it’s about one hour and 40 minutes from Myrtle Beach. We awoke to 63 degrees Fahrenheit under predominantly clear skies. Judging by the proliferation of spray on the highway there had been significant rain overnight.

For whatever reason we collectively hadn’t any appetite until after reaching our journey’s end today. So we dutifully submitted to our body’s instruction. As a result we drove basically nonstop 5 hours from the moment of departure at 8:00 o’clock this morning with the exception of the necessary pit stops along the way. The temperature rose incrementally as we proceeded progressively southward. At last the temperature reached 82 degrees Fahrenheit. The short pants proved to have been a good idea.

Already we are contemplating whether to repeat this year’s route next year should we again visit the North Atlantic barrier islands. The issue is primarily – indeed almost singularly – whether to spend two or three nights on the road. This year’s schedule of three nights is by some measure unnecessarily elongated; but on reflection it is by far less pressing and more relaxing.  For example this afternoon’s meal (our only one of the day) was unhurried and gratifying.  With the extra time afforded we’ve enabled ourselves to refresh, restore and relax. Just as we did yesterday with a late afternoon swim. The other less obvious perks of a slower agenda are easier check-in, easier parking, easier dining and never having to undertake these procedures under cover of night. Not to mention the painfully obvious feature; namely, What’s the rush? As far as I know for example I have nothing planned until my funeral!

Already we’re in touch with our estate agent on Hilton Head Island. In answer to her enquiry we have affirmed our anticipated arrival tomorrow during office hours.  We’ll likely proceed thereafter immediately to the apartment and then Publix to stock our larder. Meanwhile it’s time to settle back to ponder the effect of Donald J. Trump’s dog-whistle politics upon the Republican Party in particular and upon the national and international perception and reputation of the United States of America.

The earliest, and still most common, meaning of dog whistle is the obvious one: it is a whistle for dogs. Dog ears can detect much higher frequencies than our puny human ears can, so a dog whistle is nothing more than an exceedingly high-pitched whistle that canines can hear, but that we cannot.

Dog whistle appears to have taken on this political sense in the mid-1990s; the Oxford English Dictionary currently has a citation from a Canadian newspaper, The Ottawa Citizen, in October of 1995, as their earliest recorded figurative use: “It’s an all-purpose dog-whistle that those fed up with feminists, minorities, the undeserving poor hear loud and clear.”