I often wish that I was more ignorant of the world, that I lacked the capacity to see the big picture, understand the science, recall history, and remember the lies.
Not a genius nor overly bright or educated, I recall matters and critically examine almost everything that crosses my mind and my eyes. Doesn’t help that I’m married to a similar person; we feed off one another. Nor does it help that throughout my military and civilian positions and work, others saw these traits in me and honed them. I become overly critical and analytical; any skill that becomes too dominant can be a liability.
I’d like to live in a ‘just-pretend’ world where things are better, which is probably why I write. I’m attracted to writing detective stories where the main character is deeply flawed and struggles with seeing the good in others over his insights into the wrongs that they do, no matter how small the wrongs. Always on the top of that list is his own wrongs.
Likewise, dystopian fiction, where governments, corporations, religions, and individuals have misled others so they can advance themselves or keep themselves in power, always attracts me. It’s a dark world for my characters.
No surprise, then, my thoughts on the novel coronavirus pandemic of 2020 is that civilizations are poor learning organizations, not infrequently out of step with one another. It’s a messy dance floor where different music is heard by almost everyone. It’s the nature of trying to meld political weld out of individual agendas. We advance by degrees. I always think we could advance more quickly. Yet, too, disagreement and debate are required and healthy for relationships, including governments, societies, and civilizations. It’s when facts become distorted that it gets unhealthy.
Into this mess of morning thinking, prompted by a restless night of writing in my head and chasing dreams, is Jackson Brown’s first hit, “Doctor, My Eyes”, from 1972. His lyrics about seeing too much, looking too long, and how it has influenced his life view, has always been a favorite.
It’s worthy theme music for a rona Wednesday.
I have a few pieces of the old Berlin Wall in my office, along with a piece of the original original barbed wire. Yeah, so it’s all claimed; none of it is authenticated.
They’re symbols of oppression and come to mind now because of the constant chatter about people being oppressed. Businesses aren’t permitted to open, or open with severe restrictions. The restrictions are in the name of health and safety; the people protesting them believe that either the government can’t be trusted, that the restrictions are part of a larger plot, or that state, local, and Federal governments don’t have the right to make such restrictions in the name of safety and security.
Anyway, the discussions and disagreements are building metaphorical walls. The Berlin Wall eventually fell; the Great Wall still stands. I wonder how high our walls will go and how long they’ll stand?
Meanwhile, a John (Cougar) Mellencamp song, “Crumblin’ Walls”, 1983, came to mind. I saw him in concert twice, surprisingly in Germany both times.
Enough of this verbal nattering. To the music.
Reading the news today, Sonny and Cher’s big 1967 hit, “The Beat Goes On”, sprang into the mental music stream. I’m sure we all know why that song deserves to be today’s theme music.
More cases, more deaths, more jokes about drinking wine.
More demands about re-opening businesses, and then everything will be fine.
More stories about valor and the sacrifices made.
More stories about lying, misinformation, and the debts to be paid.
Some things will not change, don’t seem they ever will,
But every time we go through something like, someone pays the bill.
It’s not usually the rich, nor the pols running the gov,
It’s the workers and the nurses and the people that we love.
They always warned you,
the day will come,
that the way you govern
by giving others crumbs
would someday bite you in the ass.
You dismissed that with a laugh.
But now that day has come to pass
that the government you wanted and thought was right
isn’t up to this situation, is too fragile, too light.
So I wonder what lessons you might’ve learned
as people sicken, fall ill, and die,
and the economy burns.
Sorry, but I’ve reached a saturation point with the POTUS and the coronavirus. I need to vent before I bust a spleen (yes, a new phrase that I just made up). (Yeah, that’s a lie; it’s an old expression.) (And I’m not going to bust a spleen.)
See? Consistent. Exaggerate; I own up to it. Lie, same. Consistent.
But, here in the last two days, we have Trump telling the states that they don’t need as many ventilators as they claim.
Meanwhile, he’s berating (and threatening) Ford and GM for not making more ventilators, fast. (Side irritation, as part of that, he’s demanding that GM open their Lordstown, Ohio plant, a plant that GM sold in 2019. Always on top of things, that dithering Donald.)
Even as he’s claiming that too many ventilators are being requested and that GM and Ford must make more faster (and sooner), he’s telling states that he won’t give them more unless they’re nice to him.
Yet, even as he says these things, he said a few weeks ago, “And we’re prepared, and we’re doing a great job with it. And it will go away. Just stay calm. It will go away.” (March 10, 2020)
Prepared? Doesn’t sound like it. Doesn’t look like it.
These statements do not align; they are not consistent. Some might claim that it’s part of a dog and pony show for the public’s consumption, but the inconsistencies don’t strike me as such.
Today, the United States took the lead in total number of cases, almost reaching 97,000 as I write this, surpassing the totals in China and Italy. We’re fortunate to have not met their death totals, but with this administration acting in its mercurial, disorganized ways, it feels like that’s just a matter of time.
The rant is over. That is all.
99 Floofballoons (floofinition) – International hit song by the rock floof band, Nenfloof.
In use: “The song, “99 Floofballoons” was about balloons that animals were using to save trapped animals, but humans, mistaking the balloons for UFOs, began shooting at them. The animals used their quantum cloaking to hide further activities from humans, successfully de-escalating the situation.”
Well, from sometime yesterday, out walking in the hills, admiring the sunset’s effects on the northern mountains, came some lines from the Styx song, “The Best of Times” (1981).
The headlines read, “These are the worst of times”
I do believe it’s true
I feel so helpless like a boat against the tide
I wish the summer winds could bring back paradise
Yes, the helplessness and frustration that seems to permeate so much of life sometimes can make it seem like the worse of times. It’s not for me, of course, but stress, and that sense, comes from that lack of control and the inability to steer things, to be able to take action and change the course before we wreck.
I’m sure most of us have experienced it at least once in a lifetime, where we said, “I know where this is going, and you’re not going to like it.” Then it happens, and all the misery you predicted comes to pass and others ask, “Who could have seen this was going to happen?”
Well, hell, many of us do see these things, but we’re ignored. We don’t get used to that; it’s just frustrating.
Then it all passes, and the courses that you thought should have been taken are, and things go great for a while.
No, I’m not a master prognosticator. I just color my memories with the best of times.