Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter 2016, Play "The Fields of Erin" Again, Tommy Boy

We're back at the tail-end of winter again today, with a cold hard rain that's eating some more driveway at the same moment that the dogwoods are leafing out and the grass down in the field is about ready for the first spring mowing, which means probably buying a new mower battery, since I didn't last year. There's not much to do outside today, but we might need a little fire in the stove eventually. Next Sunday we'll be up at Martinsville again, watching the colorful race cars go round and round again, soaking in the pure noise of it.

Unlike in past years, there will be no rush back to get to work on time, Monday morning, April 4. The place I've worked for a good while now decided last month to close permanently, the effect of a depressed world-wide scrap steel market showing no signs at all of rebound, a drop last year from $8.50 per hundred pounds for scrap steel down to $2.00 in November. About four-fifths of our customers thought that since the scrap steel they had wasn't going anywheres, they'd just wait the downturn out. Instead they waited the company out. People keep coming to the window--these are usually elderly folks--asking where they can sell their aluminum cans after we're gone. Damn if I know. It's another little blow to the life of being elderly and poor though. People figure they'll make little bits extra, here and there. Ten pounds of aluminum cans, that's worth a whole $3.50 right now, down from $5.00 but still something. You can take the cans to the county recycle center, but you don't get paid anything for that.

I'm elderly and at least not rich myself. It was in some ways great to have a steady job. You could go to the store and buy decent coffee and now and then a good six of IPA. You could keep a spare vehicle if you needed it, even if it was a '91 F-150. There's stuff about that one that's getting a little iffy, and I already paid once last year to fix some kind of gas leak, and now I'm smelling a little gas again, and the clutch fluid seems to be leaking somewheres as well. The days of just paying for it are closing fast, as Bishop Pike said to Ernest Borgnine. Time keeps on. Next Friday, April 1st, it's over. We need a banner. "That's all, Folks." They ran that on the marquee at the drive-in after it departed. This was before the new Food Lion.

Our state, my state all my life, has made international headlines this past week by passing a safe to be a prejudiced bigot law. The governor immediately signed it, after an "emergency" session of the Legislature jumped into action. Some approving lady was quoted on WRAL-TV as saying "God made men and women, period." It's just like climate change. You can "deny" anything. It's a human affliction: "we" can vote for Nader. Right now the far right has seized NC. They think they can make anything happen, including running time backwards to about 1954, but not including some President Eisenhower or his sensible tax-structure. Our poor voters even ratified a bond-issue supported by our current government, when it was obvious that anything they supported, anything at all, was a gift to the rich and connected no matter what the headlines made it out to be. The goal of these people is basically, no more public anything.

One of the worst parts of our current political situation is the utter and rank failure of the whole main-stream media, NPR and PBS included, to actually cover the election in any meaningful way. A fascist at least in spirit (he actually quotes Il Duce fer gawds sake) leads the field of Republicans, and the other guy is a racist, and no one says anything much. Perhaps, if Trump does manage to "win" the fall election, some salt and pepper guy in a black suit and shiny black wingtips will drop by and explain that, in fact, things are not and haven't been for a long time what they have seemed from the "outside." That would be a kind of optimistic conclusion, wouldn't it. We saw glimpses of this "truth," what has been called "deep politics," during the '60s. Everything isn't explained by "lone nuts," that's just a kind of place holder for "who knows?" This week Chris Matthews is to interview Mr. Trump. I might watch. Will it be a half-hour of incomplete sentences, back and forth? Can even Matthews, whose whole method involves talking over and interrupting, work with a man who is even more expert at the same method and adds the extra wrinkle of the never ending non sequitor? Matthews won't be bitch-slapping Jonathan Capehart, as he was last week when Capehart tried to defend something or other.

The good news is, every comments section I read is filled with lines like "Of course I'll vote for Hillary in the fall." I don't read comment sections in main stream media or right wing sites, there's that too. And I did see a comment worth wondering about. Why is it that here in the US "red" has become the color of the right, with blue meaning "sane." We used to call the deluded "reds," back in the day. Passing strange. Does the arc of history bend towards justice, or just keep bending left? One time long ago I drove around Indianapolis twice in the middle of the night, with the rest of the band asleep. We did get back to NC at the end of the trip. At that time Jesse Helms was our senator, and Jim Hunt was the governor. That might be a hopeful fact of history, although it was Jim Hunt and not Helms who invented the "super-delegate."

(P.S.) I had initially thought to center this feux on the absurd spectacle of Senator Lindsey Graham on the Trevor Noah show. Noah quoted Mr. Graham (the "Honorable") to Mr. Graham viz his recent remarks on Senator Cruz, that you could murder him on the Senate floor and not be convicted. True "party man," Graham just laughed. Surely, surely! there is at least one other choice for Mr. Graham. Mr. Cruz would be at least equally disastrous for the United States if he were elected, as Mr. Trump. There are actually reasonable arguments that he would be even worse. Yet Graham, senior senator from South Carolina, prosecutor long ago of Mr. Clinton, could only laugh and twitch. There was no courage in the man at all.

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