Sunday’s Theme Music

Sorry, but it’s sort of a quasi-politically inspired song again. (Wow, such a wishy-washy caveat and apology.) There’s also a writing angle.

Thinking about not just Trump but about life in general summoned John Mellencamp’s 1987 song, “Paper in Fire” to mind. I was thinking about aspirations and permanency and how often what people do amount to nothing or disappear like…well, like paper in fire.

And the days of vanity
Went on forever
And he saw his days burn up
Like paper in fire

Trump comes into this because of the vanity angle. He couldn’t govern and lead by getting legislation probably passed and put into place as law. Part of this was that he didn’t want to share glory. He wanted to be the one who was seen to originate the idea, to demonstrate his smarts. As he couldn’t, he instead used executive orders or chose not to enforce laws. Many of the executive orders meant almost nothing except to signal his desire, but others of them actively circumvented due process.

Much of what Trump seemed to be to appeal to his base. He loved their adoration. His actions and words were a reflection of that vanity.

Of course, Joe Biden intends to countermand Trump with more executive orders. This ends up in a cycle that creates a stronger executive branch to the detriment of the other branches, breaking the system of checks and balances. It becomes more dysfunctional and less stable and sustainable.

Of course, part of all this is the existential logjam that’s taking place in Congress. Democrats in the House pass bills, with partisan votes, but Republican McConnell in the Senate won’t bring them forward for action.

Beyond that, many of our individual dreams are like paper in fire. We diligently pursue them but they often come to little or no fruition, disappearing after we stop like paper in fire.

Sounds like it might be unhappy thinking. It’s not. We had our first snow dust this morning. Peering out at the cold scene with coffee in hand prompted reflection. Besides Trump and the US government, I also considered my characters and their motivations and dreams. They’re mostly in survivor or service roles even as unusual and unique issues impact them. In many ways, while they affect what happens in their world, their names will disappear like paper in fire.

So, there it is. Good rock tune with an Appalachian musical vibe. Hope you enjoy it and that you’re having a good one. Wear a mask, please. Cheers

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