Just off the telephone with my friend Kathryn. We always have lively conversation. She's taking care of her mother with dementia. I saw Kathryn was on facebook, telling me mama was asleep and Kathryn was free. Time to call. We tend to talk about funny occurrences or news that's hilarious. Of course, hilarious news is tragic news we laugh at because we have no say in anything beyond our own immediate decisions. We pay attention to the news like watching the Howdy Doody Show with Mr Bluster, Dilly-Dally, Princes Summer Fall Winter Spring, Clarabel the clown. For Mr Bluster we have Mitch McConnell, for Dilly-Dally Ted Cruz, for Princess Summer Fall Winter Spring Michelle Bachmann, and W Bush continues as Clarabel the clown. In the past I'd get excited about having such as we have for "representatives" and leaders who neither represent nor lead. A lifetime of seeing moronic people in government satisfies my questioning of how legislation in DC and state capitals got the way it has become. I used to wonder where a nation that only concerned itself with money could go, up or down or stay the same. Right and wrong are of no significance now. Truth and honesty are laughed at as naïve. Respect isn't even a word anymore. Now people ask why trust is important. I saw an article last week of W Bush painting. He is taking lessons with somebody who is teaching him well. He has begun including in pictures of himself the dead Iraqi child who is with him day and night wherever he goes. He has a specter living with him, attached to his soul. He talks about it like it's the latest clever thing. I don't like to think about him, don't like his image in my head. I've been an anti-fascist since childhood, so I'm automatically not disposed toward him. It actually warmed my heart to see he had drawn the ghost of a dead Iraqi child to himself. After all the agony and death he has directly caused to so many million people at home and abroad, I like seeing karmic justice has not failed him.
The justice of the law has failed us in Dubya's case. But karmic justice is with him. Sometimes it feels good to see karmic justice take place, like in the case of Roy Cohn, who destroyed so many lives with Joe McCarthy and Richard Nixon. All three of them self-destructed. Cohn came down with AIDS and died in infamy. McCarthy drank himself to death. Nixon self-destructed and went out in mortal shame. Johnson went out broken. Bush 1 set the stage to see Bush 2 destroy the family name. I used to wonder about karma concerning the people who make decisions to turn the military-industrial-complex to the task of giving the American economy a boost. A war that is not a war, torture that is not torture, to annihilate a small defenseless nation of poor people for the benefit of American corporations, stockholders and billionaires. And jobs. Shit jobs that undermine your humanity and don't pay near enough for it, but jobs. I've lived long enough to have witnessed by keeping up with current events as history much that even my most jaundiced mind could not have anticipated. Attitude today seems like police state is a surprise. Even Rachel Maddow acts like it's a surprise. It has been coming on at least since the Fifties. Vietnam was never a surprise. Iraq was no surprise. They are true to pattern. The big one for me has been the popular repeal of Democracy followed by popular police state, accomplished by propaganda. My friend John who is 101 said the most significant change he saw in his lifetime was the emergence of the salad. It doesn't seem like much, but give it a five second thought and it becomes an enormous change. It wasn't very long ago Americans didn't drink wine except Mad Dog 20/20, Wild Irish Rose and Thunderbird. Suddenly Americans are drinking so much wine the vineyards of the world are stressed, can't make it fast enough. Both grocery stores in Sparta have big wine sections. The coffee shop sells wine. It wasn't very many years ago coffee was Maxwell House, Folger or JFG. You can even find Sumatran coffee at the grocery store in Sparta now. People used to go to bars to drink beer. Now we go to bars to drink coffee.
I like to back away from the social scene and see it from afar for what we call the big picture. I like both the big picture and the little picture, both the forest and the trees. Since paying attention to the last half a century as it was happening, seeing it as history, the big picture, I have a fair understanding of patterns in American government behavior, such that new events fall into place. Joe Biden made me laugh when he went to Ukraine to tell Putin, Don't do as I do, do as I say. That is so an American attitude and so blatantly naïve to think it would have meaning outside USA, I couldn't help but laugh. He's a politician, he says what his handlers tell him to say, following script. The news has become slap-stick comedy. It is fitting Comedy Central has the most insightful news programs on tv or radio. It's refreshing to see Limbaugh on the wane, and even more refreshing to see a pope who talks about love, compassion, empathy, caring. Did that ever come as a voice in the wilderness. Yes, we are in a dark time. Democracy in America did not survive it. There is the principle that it is darkest before dawn that gives me confidence this cycle is about to turn to the light. But I'm not going to hold my breath. I won't see it in this lifetime. Seeing the cycle of what we're going through collectively as Americans and as world, it tells me the democracy we had, which was not really democracy, had to go. It was an oligarchy before the latest university study made headlines saying it is. Perhaps in this time of traditions falling away, American oligarchic democracy needed to change. To make way for the new. After a cycle of assault on what we had of democracy by the Reagan Junta, maybe the next cycle will erect a new building on the site of the old one that was torn down. This democracy didn't work, so tear it down and start a new one. When I look at it from afar, I see the patterns and the cycles. It ceases to be aggravating. In close, seeing only the short term, it turns frightening in a hurry.
This guy, Cliven Bundy, he's just an American white man. He's not extreme racist or any of what he's being accused of in prosecutorial terms only. He's a white man. He's no surprise. He's just ego-centric enough to say publicly what white men tend to say privately. He's been listening to Rush Limbaugh for so many years, he's just spewing what he was taught in the name of God and country. Hilarious, him carrying a big American flag riding a horse and saying he does not recognize the United States Government. White man. It's perfectly logical to him. He's not being outrageous. White man is in crisis at the moment when Others and Blacks are tipping the scale, inching toward 51%. I look at this Limbaugh hate phenomenon from the inside, up close, and it makes my blood pressure go up, makes me want to write outrageous sentences like I think they would matter. Then I look at someone I know who thinks outrage matters, and laugh at myself. I pull back to my home, to the world of people I live among, my neighbors, people I know, people I care about, Caterpillar napping in the other room, the donkeys in their meadow, my relationship with God, the people and pets I have loved who are gone. I return to Now, in the chair I'm sitting on like a drummer pounding the keyboard. This is where I belong. This is where I am. People in the news like Bundy I have come to see as cartoons of themselves. Cartoons are funny. I laugh when I think about them or talk about them. People I know who are sensible never show on the news. It seems like the sensible people have faded away. But I maintain the sensible people are alive and well. By sensible, I mean something like they don't let their opinions rule their lives. Opinions do rule our lives to some degree, but a sensible person does not take a rifle to a synagogue parking lot and start shooting people because he doesn't like Jews. I believe I could guess with a fair degree of accuracy that he's never known a Jew. He evidently thinks drag queens are special, having been arrested for having sex with one in the back seat of his car. This is what I mean by not sensible. Nobody in my world is that kind of crazy. We're crazy because we have a sense of humor and like to laugh and cut up. I prefer the world of fun crazy.