“We’re on Our Own Out Here”

Falling through the universe at the speed of life

By David Glenn Cox

So as the world goes dark a Federal judge blocks the Trump Administration’s plans to throw 700,000 people off of the SNAP program.  Based primarily around state waivers for age related work requirements. Funny isn’t it, the Republican Party that champion of state’s rights doesn’t give a hang about state’s rights. Under our system of government, because you want to isn’t considered a good reason. Even the most amateur politicians know that. All Dickensian program cuts have to be wrapped in silk tied with a bow served with cream and sugar. The judge said the program changes were arbitrary and capricious. Hinting that making older people food insecure in the face of a pandemic didn’t really have a good look to it.

The whole affair gives insight. They know what they want to do but are too incompetent to know how to get it done. Like the Cheeto’s Muslim ban, just a baby with a nail gun firing around the room wildly. A thousand ping pong balls on a thousand mouse traps all going off at once! Each department struggling to come up with some way to hurt people and please the boss and it all comes down to which side of the decimal point you’re on.  Do you make change, or do you make change?

How’s that testing thing going? Who’d a thunk it? That their incompetence would come back and bite them on the ass. Why, do you suppose they declined the shelf ready World Health Organization kits in lieu of an American producer? In the age of the Orange one how many reasons could there be? Occam’s razor strikes again! King Trump bans travel from Europe exempting the United Kingdom only twenty miles from Europe and connected by tunnel. Everybody else here owning Golf Resorts in Scotland raise your hands.  They’re just no good at this. Because you want to, isn’t a good reason. You have to declare Guinness a strategic material and call it a national security issue.

The wealthy are supposedly fleeing New York city for the countryside to escape the virus. Maybe a couple of weeks in Scotland isn’t a bad idea. Only, you double your chances of catching the virus by trying to get there. Ditto three hours at Sam’s club fighting the crowds stocking up on paper plates. Besides, you can stay home and watch the Tiddly Winks competition from Bratislava and after that is the Rock-Paper-Scissors, quarterfinals from Reykjavik!

Here in Denver I can’t see any change. The streets are busy the jogger’s jog and the biker’s bike. The stores are out of toilet paper. Do they think it’s not coming or think I’ll stop if it gets worse? The streets of Rome are deserted. American exceptionalism, it can’t happen here! But I’m buying enough toilet paper just in case does. Waiting for something to happen, waiting for the Aliens to land. Waiting for a bell to toll, to begin.  Like a slow-motion train wreck with Choo, choo Charlie at the controls of the Orange express. You don’t want to be cynical but its hard not to be.

The world is signing off and no one knows what will still be there to sign back on. A sure sign of spring, I saw a road sign for Little League tryouts. I don’t think that will happen this year. How will we remember this time? The year we stayed home?  Or perhaps, the year of living dangerously or the year of empty shelves. I attempted to outwit the crowd by getting to the grocery store by seven A.M. the smart money was out at six.

It was interesting in a hurricane’s coming sort of way. If I’m going to be quarantined its not going to be with Healthy Choice frozen dinners! The shelves around them empty their full line was still available. No bread and eight gallons of milk. If they aren’t selling now, they aren’t selling. For seven A.M. on a Sunday morning the store is busy.

Living in a science fiction movie, a meteor with our name on it. But we don’t know where and we don’t know when. We don’t know what and we don’t know how. My emails are full of warnings from my credit cards to the library with contingency plans but what I want to know is, Am I gonna get sick? Am I gonna have enough toilet paper? Am I gonna die or lose my job? Am I going to end up eating Healthy Choice frozen dinners?

“We’re on our own out here. I wish we had leadership from Washington. We’re not getting it.”- Illinois Governor, J.B. Pritzker

They really aren’t any good at this at all. The orange ape sits on his tire swing

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