Well, I lasted about ten minutes into the second presidential debate, then in a fit of irritation turned it off. I’m not saying it doesn’t matter who gets elected, but do these guys think in Power Point, or what? 5-point plans, 10-point plans…are the world and the US economy really that simple? That 20-year old college student, Jeremy, whom both candidates cared about so deeply and treated with such effusive friendliness–you think they’ll give him a job when he graduates? I can see him now in 2016, their trophy Employed Person, Joe the Plumber’s alter ego. Poor Jeremy. Maybe he’ll get to work at a call center for minimum wage and no benefits…until it moves to another state or country. Good luck paying off those student loans, Jeremy.
I shouldn’t watch these things, they just make me mad.
Heard a scary story from my daughter-in-law today. Yesterday, a guy suspected of murdering someone was seen running into a nearby house. The SWAT team, a police helicopter, and a K-9 unit arrived with the arsenal of military-grade weapons now standard issue to police departments, cordoned off the neighborhood, placed police snipers on the rooftops, fired beanbags to break the windows, then tear gassed the house. My daughter-in-law said a woman living there has an 8-month-old baby–she didn’t know if they were in the house. They didn’t catch the guy, who is considered armed and dangerous. He could be hiding under their house. The police could have shot him in front of a street full of neighborhood children. Anything could happen, with weapons everywhere like a war zone.
Sometimes I barely recognize the world anymore. What it’s like to be old, I guess. There’s a movie I saw a few years ago, Children of Men, that keeps haunting me, the scenes of collapsing social order, bands of desperate hungry people roaming the countryside pursued by highly militarized police, all the structures of society crumbling around them. It’s an apocalyptic vision, really, powerful and disturbing. I hope it’s not where we’re headed. Some days it’s hard to shake off a sense of impending doom.
We have to invent a sea of tranquility
in the heartland,
A calm world in a curve of trees,
Cooling the fevers with a landscape
of hope and repose.
–from “The Sea of Tranquility,” by Don Gordon