I'm beginning to think we're all nuts,
crazy, or at least well beyond the margins of loopy.
I'm neither a psychiatrist nor
psychologist. But I'd bet that living in some measure of a state of
misremembering is at least one of the symptoms of mental or emotional
Before we were ex's, my wife -- and I
distinctly remember this -- would frequently ridicule me for things
she swore I should have remembered. "Ed," she would begin,
when she was beginning the journey to impale me for a misdeed that
somehow hearkened to something I'd done in the past and that we'd
reviewed, "I'm surprised you don't remember that. It was
a bright sunny day, and three birds had just flown over the house and
a low-rider passed by, blaring its speakers, and Denise" (our
next door neighbor) "had come outside to pick up her newspaper when
her big boobs fell out of her top, and I asked you to __(fill in
the blank __, and you're
saying you don't remember?"
swear to you now as I swore to my my wife then, I just don't remember
any of that, although I do acknowledge that if Denise's breasts had
fallen out of her top I really
would have remembered that .
brings this suddenly to mind -- like "Groundhog Day" -- was
part of what Frank Rich wrote in his Sunday column, "What
happened to change we can believe in?"
In it, Rich writes, "When Mitch
on ABC's "This Week" last month
, he typically railed
against the "extreme" government of "the last year and a half,"
citing its takeover of banks as his first example. That this was
utter fiction -- the takeover took place two years ago, before Obama
was president, with McConnell
voting for it
-- went unchallenged by his questioner, Christiane
Amanpour, and probably by many viewers inured to this big lie."
For the past few months, I've been
visiting our Great (capitalized because it is) Northwest. The
political ads are more dominating than the morning fog and weekly
rains, "Patty Murray" (the incumbent Democratic US Senator)
"voted with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid for the failed bailout bill
that will cost our children trillions that we just can't afford. It's
time to replace Patty Murray."
I can understand any of us not being
able to recall with clarity any number of everyday occurrences. But,
who was president when your net worth fell 40 percent, or who was
president and who bailed him and the financial industry out when you
lost your job, or your home, or when your brother lost his home in
foreclosure . . . and you do not remember that . . .
Priceless, until you visit the desk to write the check to your
psychiatrist for the 45-minute session. Except of course, being
broke, or in peril of it, you can't afford a visit to a psychiatrist.
Still, all in all, it seems to me you would remember certain basic
things surrounding the experience; like, who the hell was president
when your world was swirling down the drain.
And yet, as a nation, as a society, we
have no recollection of it, or what was going on when the messy
outflow hit the proverbial fan. (I'm somewhat familiar with
Proverbs, thinking of the proverbial fan, and I don't remember
anything about an electric appliance in them. Does that mean I might
have early onset?) Isn't that one of the tests for Alzheimer's, "Mr.
Jones, can you tell me what day it is?" Or, "Can you tell
me when your birthday is?"Or, "Mr. Jones, do you know who the president of the United States is?"
Mr. Jones! George Bush was president.
Hank Paulson was his Treasury Secretary. And when the country's
financial roof collapsed in 2008, Mr. Paulson penned a 3-page bill
that was in effect naught but an extortion note, "Hand me all
your cash in unmarked 20's; $850 BILLION! And don't litigate this or
make approval contingent on any oversight by anyone except maybe
Stevie Wonder. Trust me. Sincerely, Henry Paulson."
Mr. Jones, don't you even remember that
the Republican candidate for president did what any decent and noble
candidate would have done: He suspended his entire campaign to rush
back to Washington, to save the country and the planet from imminent
doom. And how Minority House Leader John Boehner, in full tears
regalia on the very floor of the House chambers, pleaded with every
member of the House to pass the Bush administration's bailout bill?
Don't you remember any of that?
Are we all nuts?
Or . . . is it just plain and simple,
outright stupid that we've become?
An "Old Army Vet" and liberal, qua liberal, with a passion for open inquiry in a neverending quest for truth unpoisoned by religious superstitions. Per Voltaire: "He who can lead you to believe an absurdity can lead you to commit an atrocity."
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