Granfalloon returns, this time entangled with QAnon and the Big Lie

Sneed: Casual similarities can lead some of us believing they are more than coincidence

SHARE Granfalloon returns, this time entangled with QAnon and the Big Lie

Boston Mayor-elect Michelle Wu graduated from Barrington High School. Columnist Michael Sneed used to teach at Barrington High School. And you know what that means? Absolutely nothing.

AP file photo

A “granfalloon” is among us!

Stay with me.

Back in 1963, the word “granfalloon” impacted the vocabulary of my generation.

It slipped into our “woke” lexicon via a book by bestselling author Kurt Vonnegut titled “Cat’s Cradle.”

Remember it?

Well, perhaps not.


Author Kurt Vonnegut


Anyhow, the definition of a “granfalloon” is simply something one has in common with someone else ... that no one else may give a damn about.

Or, specifically, if you look it up: “A group of people who affect a shared identity or purpose — but whose mutual association is actually MEANINGLESS!”

It’s sort of like the QAnon group in Texas last week believing the late John F. Kennedy, Jr., son of the late President John F. Kennedy, was going to show up at their meeting alive and well.

Anyway, the Vonnegut book, a satirical comedy about modern man and his madness, got me thinking about that word.

And it plays today.

Well, with me anyway.


I got hit by a “granfalloon” twice recently.

• Granfalloon No. 1: Newly elected Boston Mayor Michelle Wu — the first woman, Asian and non-Irish American to occupy the office — graduated from Barrington High School.

The connection? I once taught at Barrington High School, my first job after graduating from Wayne State University in 1965.

• Granfalloon No. 2: Former Blackhawk player Kyle Beach — who filed a negligence lawsuit alleging team officials swept his 2010 sexual misconduct complaint against then video coach Bradley Aldrich under the rug, ignited a major scandal that led to multiple resignations in the organization and NHL — graduated from Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Mich.

The connection: I also attended Northern Michigan University.

But beware of granfalloons!

Belonging may be a basic human need providing a sense of meaning, value and acceptance.

But skip the granfalloons which believe the Big Lie, the resurrection of John F.Kennedy Jr. or that a man did not land on the moon.

Those believers are called “Grand Buffoons.”

The Blago beat …

Former Ald. Dick Mell, the father-in-law of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, claims he doesn’t know much about the huge Hulu documentary airing Sunday on his son-in-law.

They apparently “talk football and baseball and things like that” ... but not Hulu.

“I’ll probably watch it Sunday like everybody else,” chirped Mell, whose relationship with Blago in the past was toxic.

Time marches on. Family is family. One Blago daughter has already graduated from Northwestern University since her father’s release from federal prison on corruption charges after he was freed by Trump last year; the other is at university.

Blago continues to be vocal and the star of his own show — wishing birthday wishes to anyone who’ll pay for it on Cameo.

And Mell is still in the kitchen cooking up dinners once a week for two elderly female neighbors since the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020.


Well, maybe not.

Questions. Questions.

Are we in the midst of an explosion of American Gas?

Is America looking under the hood while the car is still running?

Or are we about to blow the Biden engine by failing to turn the car key off while figuring out if Biden actually has his hand on the throttle before his engine kicks in?

Should we frown at President Biden’s calm, measured ... almost at death’s door demeanor, a far cry from the boisterous harrumph of Donald Trump’s unapologetic trumpet?


When is the last time you heard a U.S. President quietly exclaim: “I, honest to God … ,” when explaining the clumsiness of a political decision?



Backshot: The quote prefaced an apology from Biden to French President Emmanuel Macron for America’s “clumsiness” in mishandling a nuclear submarine deal — and a subsequent week of Biden poll numbers plummeting due to stalled national legislation and Dem election losses.

It was all a stunner. And political power can be fleeting.

The big question? Do Biden’s words reflect weakness and inability to lead?

Or is he an honest man in office willing to keep calm and carry on … and tell the truth after years of what the hell was going on?

It’s early. The nation has time to decide.

Or do we?


Saturday birthdays; Emma Stone, 33; Ethan Hawke, 51; Sally Field, 75; Thandiwe Newton, 49. .... Sunday birthdays; singer Joni Mitchell, 78.

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