Not going to write a lot …
… not today. I’m far too appalled to care much right now, and I suspect most of you are far too horrified to care what I have to say, anyway. As for my personal slump, I can only hope it lifts in the days to come. I don’t want to think this bitterness, this crushing hopelessness, will last. Christ, I feel older than I have ever felt.
I do know that I have some serious re-examining to do of how I feel about this country and what my place in it will be in the days and years I have left. I must decide whether it’s worth the strain to continue this blog or any other manner of public commentary. Since I was a young man, I have been compelled to speak my mind, most consistently into the face of the most oppressive and brutal instincts, whether they manifest themselves in individuals or institutions. Now, after nearly 22 years of doing it publically, I understand all too well I have been preaching to a scant and local choir of like-minds and, sadly, can show no evidence that it has accomplished anything beyond a few dozen people nodding along in agreement.
Or maybe it’s been a few hundred, not that it matters. It has been woefully insufficient. The levels of thoughtlessness, of viciousness, of ugliness of spirit—both in this area and this nation—has done nothing but rise, and rise exponentially. Those of us with functioning memories might almost be wistful about the political atmosphere back in 1995, contentious as it seemed at the time, compared to the savagery of today’s politics.
And we know who stoked the fire and fans the flames, don’t we? If you’re reading this blog, it’s likely you know as well as I where the over-whelming share of venomous bile and scalding piss and malicious shit that is consuming the very foundations of our union and our civility is coming from. And like me, you’ve realized—now, if not earlier—that no amount of reasoning, no appeal to decency, no call for fairness or justice or compassion—indeed, not even a preponderance of fact—will calm this on-going conflagration. This is no longer a contest of words. It is a clash of passions, and it is clear that their passions are much more primitive, more primordial, and certainly more tribal than ours.
So then, are words—either mine to write or yours to read—an exercise in futility? A waste of time and energy we could both be using for more productive purposes?
Don’t know. Honestly. That exactly is what I must spend some time answering. For myself, if not for you.
Aw, but look how I’ve run on here. And after I promised I wouldn’t be writing much today. Can’t seem to help myself. I do love to see words pour out onto a blank page.