26 January 2011

(See How the) Good Times Roll (Away)

Like ice in a drink
Invisible ink
Or dreams in the cold light of day
The children of rock ‘n’ roll
Never grow old
They just fade away.
Ron Nasty

My word-genie seems to have deserted me; I have virtually nothing to say, and I’ve lost whatever ability I have to say it. Still, that’s never stopped me before. Plenty of other things have, but not that.

Strange news arrives from the coast. Some armed and dangerous character is supposed to be hiding out somewhere in my mother’s neighborhood—seems he shot a cop during a routine traffic stop, got chased up highway 101, abandoned his car, took a pot-shot at another fellow out crabbing, and is now lurking somewhere among the stunted evergreenery of the sandy Oregon shoreline. That’s just perfect. My mother couldn’t get out the other day for a routine medical appointment—well, actually getting out wasn’t the problem. It’s just if she left the authorities would have let her back in, and that would have been kind of a problem.

And elsewhere clueless politician Michele Bachmann babbles about how amazing it is that all who came to America were treated alike regardless of the color of their skins, what languages they spoke, how rich or poor they were. “Once you got here, we were all the same. Isn’t that remarkable?” Yeaaaah…that’s right. Everybody came over in chains, was sold into slavery, was immediately put to work in the cotton-fields—in short, everybody who came to America was treated like crap. Is that your point? Apparently slavery didn’t count, according to Bachmann—it seems that the Founders “worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States.” Who knew? Apparently Bachmann has her own private sources of history.

And riot-police crack down on mass demonstrations in Tunis, Cairo, and Alexandria. Are the forces of democracy winning? Or are they losing? And which would be a good thing? Did it really make sense for Egypt to privatize public utilities? Are the new wealthy elites really better at running things than the old bureaucrats? And what about Naomi?

Bombs in Moscow, Lahore, Karachi. Parliament opens in Kabul after a week-long stand-off with the president. President Obama delivers a State-of-the-Union address to a Congress still subdued by the recent shooting of one of their own. It is reported that troop deaths from IEDs in Afghanistan rose by sixty percent last year. Violence, craziness. No foundation.

Discouragement and depression sit beside me as I type. Emotions flicker fitfully like a defective fluorescent tube. Something my father once said comes back to me: “As you get older, things make less sense.” It’s probably neither true nor relevant, but it fits my feelings this 26th day of January in the twelve thousand eleventh year of the Holocene Era.

This is the old Rational Ranter, reporting from Sheol.

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