Saturday, October 20, 2007

Bright Day, Gloomy View Saturday

Oh, what beautiful morning. Strikingly bright sunshine is lighting up the green and reddening leaves, and the geese are honking loudly on their way farther south this beautiful, early morning in Atlanta. Hot coffee in hand, I step outside, onto the back porch, in the crisp, chilly sunshine to enjoy the moment.

It's a bit too cold, so I make the moment a quick one. But it was a good little dose. I feel a little better for it.

Life can be good. We have two little league games today, and I may be the one looking forward to them the most. More so, even, than our two young players. We have decided not to be a football family, a minority view here in the South, so we appreciate the fall baseball season that the church league provides for the kids. Watching my young sons play has given me an appreciation, and even a thankfulness, for the game that I had never fully developed until now.

And so it is that at 47, I am still able to find new sources of joy in my life. And those sources are, more and more, my family. A Saturday devoted to watching little league. That's probably not an easy sale to a cool teen or a twenty-something hipster. But I'm looking forward to it in a way that I would not, and did not, anticipate as a younger, single man.

But there looms gloom around the periphery of this lovely day. It comes in through our portals to the world. Television, the internet, radio. All the excited chatter about what is going wrong, what has gone wrong, and what is surely about to go wrong. It is intrusive. And it weighs upon me so I think it must weigh upon others as well, somewhat poisoning the mental atmosphere of our daily lives.

Nukes in Iran.

Terrorists in Iraq.

Mexicans in Texas.

The North Pole is melting.

Atlanta's running out of water. Really.

The bees have all disappeared.

The dollar is going down in value. Way, way down. This makes it look like the stock market is going up, allowing Wall Street hucksters to convince us that the economy is booming.

Gas and oil cost a fortune. But don't worry, because some crazy scientists have now discovered that the Earth actually makes more oil all the time.

We are still at war against someone in Iraq. Possibly Al Quaeda.

Pakistan. Burma. Darfur. Congo (Again? Still?). Bad things are happening in all these places.

North Korea has nukes, but nobody seems overly concerned. A peace treaty may break out there. Go figure.

The Russians are up to something, as usual.

And China seems poised to supplant us as the most important country in the world. Shanghai will soon be the new New York, the world's new financial center. Soon New Yorkers will know how Londoners feel.

Meanwhile, here in the USA, our old, wrinkled and tanned, draft dodging leaders have narrowly saved us from recklessly spending money to let all of our kids see a doctor. Boy, talk about dodging a bullet. It sure would have been fiscally irresponsible to be paying for that.

So, we look to the future. In terms of our Nation, what that means is focusing on our upcoming Presidential Election, with corresponding legislative and state elections. And the future looks very bleak, indeed.

Republicans claim to be more hawkish on war issues, which they apparently consider a virtue. But it was Democratic Presidents who led the US into World War I, World War II, Korea, and Viet Nam. But not this time. Those hawkish Republicans got us into a war with Iraq. Twice. You know, because it went so well the first time that all Americans did was complain about Bush I's crazy strategy of quitting while we were still ahead. This is called being greedy. So now we are at war in Iraq again, and all Americans do is complain, for all kinds of different reasons. There is no pleasing some people. But there's not much to be pleased about.

Meanwhile, here in the South, the lakes have dried up and we are about to run out of water. The government is doing zip. Except, of course, to complain. That is doing about as much good as the complaining about Iraq. There is crazy talk about building an aqueduct or a seawater pipeline. But those ideas are all deemed way too expensive. Plus, such proposals have a faint sniff of environmentalism about them that Republicans instinctively dislike. So mainly we all just hope it will rain, for 6 months straight.

If only we could get about 100,000 guys and a trillion dollars, I bet we could solve this water shortage problem in less than 5 years. But that would be crazy. Or we could invade Canada. Apparently they have plenty of water. And a lot of them speak French. We all know what that means.

Bush wants to fly men to Mars, and teach Arab nomads about political science at the business end of a rifle. But getting clean water to the city, that's just too hard for him.

Malaise, thy name is Bush.

I'm just gonna turn that tv off right now.