Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Some things wicked

“I'm gonna free fall out into nothin'
Gonna leave this world for awhile
And I'm free, free fallin'
Yeah I'm free, free fallin’“

Crises in the world of late, large and less large, impinge on and overshadow my own little existential disquietude.

The largest mass murder in U.S. history just happened in Las Vegas, on October 1. As usual, social media couldn't wait 15 minutes out of respect for the bereaved before exploding into the guns vs. evil diatribe. Gun stocks went up, as people rushed out to buy weapons, fearing that this is the big one that just might engender stricter gun laws. It won't. Nothing ever has, nor likely ever will.

Before the body count was complete, President Trump was quick to reassure that he would do nothing to restrict any constitutional rights. God bless the Supreme Court's fucked up interpretation of the second amendment.

If there is one issue that I can imagine becoming an activist for it is gun control. It's indisputable fact that a gun in the home is 22 times more likely to be used in a suicide, homicide, or accident than in self defense. That states and countries with more guns in the hands of the public have more gun deaths.

I don't hunt, I would not kill animals for sport, I'd give up meat before I'd slaughter my own. But I do eat meat, not a lot but some, and as long as someone hunts responsibly and consumes the spoils of the hunt, I have no quarrel. But I can find no justification for semi automatic weapons in the hands of private citizenry.

It's futile, I know. Every argument has been made and quashed by the gun lobby and the apparently inane silent majority, the same faction that elected a president so clueless, tactless and compassion-less.

I'd love to add spineless but I'm afraid that doesn't quite jibe with Trump's posturing and poking and prodding of North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un. Not that it's courageous or heroic to goad a country with a nuclear weapon and an equally immature, defiant and combative head of state. No, it's dangerous and imprudent, reckless and foolhardy.

Yet lest we become too appalled or paralyzed or, worse, mobilized, by the threat of global atomic annihilation, the media turns our attention to these alternate, albeit valid, distractions.

What started as quarterback Colin Kaepernick's decision to remain seated during the national anthem at a pre-season game last year, to draw attention to racism in America, particularly against black men, has evolved into a battle about another constitutional right. But more so, it has become a protest of the president's harsh condemnation of Kaepernick and other NFL players who showed solidarity with Kaepernick by "taking a knee" during the anthem.

Initially Kaepernick explained that "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color." Eventually, out of respect for the military, he opted to go down on one knee rather than sit during the singing of the Star Spangled Banner.

On September 23, 2017, Trump slammed players for taking a knee with this tweet.
If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL, or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect our Great American Flag (or Country) and should stand for the National Anthem. If not, YOU'RE FIRED. Find something else to do!
I struggle with this a bit. Freedom of speech isn't limitless. There's the classic example that you aren't protected if you shout "fire" in a crowded theater (unless of course the theater is indeed burning). America may be far from perfect but you are not required to live here if you think some other place is superior.

Peaceful protest should be protected but is it appropriate to use a venue where you are representing a franchise that employs you and pays you generously? Sure, use your fame, your position and clout to make noise about disparity and inequality, but do it on your own time. Go on the talk show circuit, give an exclusive interview, hold a public rally, or better yet, a fundraiser.

I realize this is a contradictory perspective coming from a libertarian like myself. And certainly, I disapprove of Trump's little hissy-fit tantrum about it. His choice of venue, Twitter, is just as inappropriate for the dialogue that really should be happening. "I stand for the flag" has become synonymous with "I stand with Trump" and at this point I have to take a knee. I'm not going to stand up to show pride in a man (or in the individuals who elected him and continue to support him) who oppresses black people, people of color, women, people of other nationalities and beliefs, and everyone who doesn't think like he does or isn't just like him.

A man who balked at sending aid to hurricane-afflicted Puerto Rico because he didn't seem to comprehend that the victims of Hurricane Maria were not only human beings but Americans, members of this Great Country that we are allegedly making great again or greater.

It's a bit late to say, don't get me started, so instead I'll say, stop me now.

Oh, wait, Tom Petty died. So much to mourn this month already.

After all that, does it matter if I'm having a rough day. I've been doing OK on the whole, but sometimes it crashes back. Today we took a walk, even though I had no energy and was dragging the whole way. Then we passed a fountain, one that reminded me of the one at the intersection that is the entrance to our subdivision. Was the entrance to our subdivision, I mean.

I'm homesick. There is no home to be sick about really, but I am. I miss my life.

I'm in limbo again. There is no new normal yet. Hell, there isn't a place in this house yet where I'm truly comfortable.

The new bed that I loved so much at first has turned on me. The mattress is too firm. One night my back hurt so much I slept on top of the comforter. I know the mattress is supposed to soften up. Right now I've made my own pillow top with a spare quilt.

I ordered pillows for the deck chairs - or so I thought. What Amazon delivered was pillow covers. My error. So now I'm waiting for the inserts to be delivered.

I also ordered chair pads for the kitchen chairs. We took the first six back to Ikea because they didn't fit. The new set was a better fit but not comfortable to sit on and not well made. So they are going back to Amazon and I'm desperately looking for another replacement. I've given up hopes of economy but I can't find anything suitable at any price. If I'm going to pay through the nose, I should like the pillows if not love them.

A treadmill is on the way from Amazon. Neil will be leaving for a week soon, to tie up loose ends in Texas and get his car. I thought that would be a good time to get back into a walking routine, a good time to have some structure to keep me stable.

It’s not looking like my studio will be up and running soon. The end of October is optimistic.

On the bright side, I’m enjoying the nice weather and our screened porch which gets sun almost all day. I’m looking forward to a visit from my daughter and her boyfriend later in the month. My stepdaughter will also be here for a day on her way home from a business trip.

After that, who knows. For now, you’ll find me here.

She's a good girl, loves her mama
Loves Jesus and America too
She's a good girl, crazy 'bout Elvis
Loves horses and her boyfriend too

It's a long day livin' in Reseda
There's a freeway runnin' through the yard
And I'm a bad boy, 'cause I don't even miss her
I'm a bad boy for breakin' her heart

And I'm free, free fallin'
Yeah I'm free, free fallin'

All the vampires walkin' through the valley
Move west down Ventura Blvd.
And all the bad boys are standing in the shadows
All the good girls are home with broken hearts

And I'm free, free fallin'
Yeah I'm free, free fallin'

Free fallin', now I'm free fallin'
Now I'm free fallin'
Now I'm free fallin'

I wanna glide down over Mulholland
I wanna write her name in the sky
I'm gonna free fall out into nothin'
Gonna leave this world for awhile

And I'm free, free fallin'
Yeah I'm free, free fallin'

Yeah I'm free, free fallin'
Oh! Free fallin'
Now I'm free, oh, free fallin'

(Thomas Earl Petty)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comment! I will post it as soon as I receive it. Liz