Friday, November 22, 2019

Random Thoughts as Winter Sets In

Here comes 2020, charging like a baby bull as it chases 2019 down the surreal alley of a year gone wacky. You may ask, with good reason, “What in the hell is going on?”

Glad you asked. Let’s start with impeachment. Number one news story of the year and most likely the best bet to turn up as a Netflix series in three years, or less. 

Does anyone really believe that Trump will be impeached and then convicted and then removed from office? In the entire history of the U.S. presidency, which has been graced by numerous racists, drunkards, womanizers, war-mongers, and crooks, only two U.S. presidents have been impeached: the spectacularly unlucky Andrew Johnson (how would you like to follow Abraham Lincoln?) and the hot-dog-eating, philandering but charismatic Bill Clinton. Two others have been the subject of formal House of Representatives impeachment inquiries: Richard Nixon and Trump. Now that’s a dynamic duo! A pair of jokers, or is it a team of jackasses?

Republicans obviously do not believe that their standard bearer will be removed from office, and the deeper we get into the Ukrainian quid pro quo mess, the more I sense that the real objective of Democrats is to tarnish Trump, with or without impeachment, to such a degree that the 2020 election will be a given. That’s why, in my view, the news shows feature politicians talking about “bribery” and “intimidation,” phrases made to dress up a thirty second TV campaign ad come September or October. But, frankly, if by this time Trump hasn’t done enough on his own to settle the question of his fitness for office, then I doubt that the Washington D.C. gameshow will affect anyone’s already cemented opinion. Those rowdies at the Trump rallies are stuck to their man with a superglue made from a mix of several parts of white nationalism, a dose or two of fear of the future, and a generous scoop of a fantasy about an America that never existed. They believe Trump when he says the Democrats are attempting a “coup.” Them’s fightin’ words. They’re armed with the Second Amendment and ready to take it to the streets. Democrats, meanwhile, can’t seem to focus on a united challenge to Trump, and one can only hope (if you’re a Democrat) that the mistakes of 2016 are not repeated. 

Moving on. How about the weather? Everyone talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it. Oh, wait. Humans have done something about it – we screwed it up. Climate change? What climate change? Yeah, we have tornadoes and wildfires and floods and droughts and mudslides and hail and heat waves and freezes and melting polar caps anytime of the year, but that’s just nature, isn’t it? The bears and insects in Colorado are confused, but so what? The world exists in a state of confusion and there’s no Alexander in sight who can cut the Gordian knot of Twenty-first Century chaos. You get my drift. A tectonic drift. It might not matter who is president in 2021. As Country Joe and the Fish sang, “We’re all gonna die” anyway.

Moving on. Something a bit more upbeat. How about all that technology? Isn’t it wonderful? And 2020 promises to keep on with the tech rollouts -- always something new, faster, and impossible to live without. We love it, especially when our children or grandchildren bury their faces in their screens and only come up for air when they need to charge their devices. How did we keep busy before smart phones and tablets? How did we find restaurants and coffee shops before mobile GPS? How did we know that kittens and puppies were just too cute before Instagram? Twitter? Facebook? Where did privacy go? What happened to conversation, one-on-one interaction, and secrets?

Or is all that grumbling just the gasps and exhalations of a seventy-one-year-old man who should have taken a nap?

And now I realize I’m writing this piece for an Internet blog that will be marketed on Facebook, and that will never vanish from so-called cyber space.

I’m calling it finished. Whatever this post was intended to be, it ended up where it started. Wacky.



Manuel Ramos writes crime fiction. His latest is The Golden Havana Night (Arte Público Press.) 

1 comment:

Paul Aponte said...

True that! Randomness is the only way to describe whatever it is we're in.