Three truths and a fib.
I’ve trekked all over this country and have lived in many parts of it. Of all the towns in which I’ve planted my butt, the most enchanting of all, the very most family friendly is Reno. I love awaking, knowing the bubbling, tossing, twisting Truckee River that courses smack through the middle of town is nearby to offer a pleasant and pleasantly refreshing stroll along its elevated banks. I love being able to cast my eyes westward and finding the rising Sierra as a backdrop. What’s not to like?
Well, that brings me to the second truth. I’m a first class, meteorological sissy when it comes to really cold weather; really hot, for that matter, though I can suffer that better than I can the cold, providing of course that the relative humidity is low; say around 10 percent or less. Reno gets really, really cold in winter.
And finally I’m ambling toward the fib. Because of the cold, in three weeks I’m taking my etched, rugged good looks and bon vivant, bonhomie, savoir-faire to Palm Springs for a few months. The astute reader will immediately suspect that the “truth” drew a hiatus between the single word ‘fib’ and the cluster ‘to Palm Springs . . ..’ See, I wanted to paint things about me in brighter hues than they in fact are. My bod is a nearly 62 year old cast of aging bones, slimming musculature, and diminishing mental and physical capacities. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not decrepit . . . yet. But I’m not a 30 year old prime cut of USDA beef either. I’d like to think I am. But that would be an in your face delusion.
It’s the delusion swamp that is what this blog addresses. I really do not want to dive full into that murky pool. Oh, humanity and vanity — the two, in varying degrees, do go together, same sides of the coin, so to speak — require some toe-dipping there, but not full immersion. Sooner or later, at least as often as not, we’ve got to confront reality: we either never have been or won’t always be pretty or handsome, and we’re frequently incorrect concerning assumptions and actions and behaviors. (One of my private joys is puncturing folks’ over-inflated balloons. I always respond to those 60+ seniors who insist they’d never want to be 30 again that they then surely must have been really ugly, really physically & sexually limited at 30, if 30 was that sad they don’t care to be there once again. Me, give me 30 over 62 anytime!)
Which brings me to George W Bush and the right-wing (Why not ‘wrong’ instead of ‘right’?), neocon, fascistically leaning, US Constitution-crapping-all-over Republicans. Delusion: they’re wrapped in it like moth pupae that fed on garment fabric before so encasing themselves against the bitterness of life and truth outside. Iraq is NOT GOING WELL! Into the sixth year, with almost 4,000 dead service personnel, with having thrown ourselves into a debt burden that approaches or exceeds $2 TRILLION, with at least 30,000 wounded, with 75,000 Iraqi dead, millions wounded, a few million fled the country, with Baghdad residents having electricity only 2 to 6 hours each day, with 50% unemployment, and with five recent independent reports attesting to the veracity of the preceding, and with neither General Petraeus nor Ambassador able to suggest we are not safer as a consequence Iraq IS NOT GOING WELL! The US dollar, vis-à-vis every other currency has plummeted to historic lows. George Bush and the GOP have, in six years, taken our national debt from $6 trillion to $9 TRILLION; a 50% increase over what 42 previous administrations had managed to accumulate! More Americans, not fewer, are in poverty today than when George and the Surplus Slaying Grand Old Party gained sway. They boast of adding 8 million jobs that are at pretty much the same income earning rate as when they came to power while the top 1% of Americans have seen their incomes soar 256%! An additional 7 to 8 million more Americans are without health insurance as there were a short six years back (God! ‘short,’ what a distortion . . . Regardless that with each passing day the days seem to fly, these past six years have been interminable.)
In his Apology, Socrates is reported to have suggested “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Although the introspection is through the scratched and marred lenses of more than six decades of use, I examine my life every day; sometimes more frequently. Where did I err? What could I have done better? How can I make my future less erroneous than that flawed past? Lessons that should have been learned, and lessons that have been learned.
But Dubbya Bushmaster (Or, Bushbaby [little night monkeys]?) recently told a Fox interviewer that he can keep going, in the face of all the facts and all who criticize him, because “I’m right.” And the GOP senators and the GOP presidential candidates can continue to push on down that same dust and blood-soaked road of debt-riddled Iraq and economic policy without even a thought to the first examining gaze that would strongly recommend everything (EVERYTHING!) they stood and stand for is a tour map of Disaster. All of ‘em, every single one, is creeping lizard-like well below the surface of that delusional swamp, and too much of the fluid potion has been ingested and has burned their eyes blind.
I’m not wholly aware who I am all the time. I’m still learning. It’s a lifelong process. Two things for sure, however: I am not 30 any longer, and I’m sure as hell not about to follow any of these zombies or swallow any of the poisonous soup they’ve been sloshing through.
Catch you in Palm Springs.— Ed Tubbs