Between Lee Harvey Oswald and Herpes

Falling through the universe at the speed of life

By David Glenn Cox

There is a cliché scene in movies and television where a car goes off the cliff tumbling end over end down the mountain side coming to rest and exploding. Happy Fourth of July! A trifecta of terror each exacerbated by the other, each menacing on its own right and each bleeding into each other. Independent from what? Oh, right England. What are we independent of lately? What the F*ck is going on with us? It’s like there’s a party on the Titanic and they just ignore the iceberg. Alarm bells are going off red lights flashing all over and they waltz the night away.

Wall Street is soaring over a good job report this month. The BLS monthly jobs report is a picture in the rear-view mirror of last month.  In the light of soaring infection rates and new quarantines it means nothing. The participation rate is the overall picture of who is working and who is not and is at an all-time low and is a picture of right now. Corporate bankruptcies are piling up like cord wood outside the banks and sooner or later someone must write a check. There is a bleeding hole in our economy you can’t tear a three-hundred-foot gash in the side of the economy and do the Hokey Pokey.

The Cheeto has gone full tilt Bozo and is no longer relevant to the conversation. He’s independent of reality lost in a world all his own. Independent of his responsibilities and independent of the sensibilities most humans acquire naturally during childhood. His statements are self-serving and 100% grade A select Bullshit. Anything he says today he’s likely to contradict tomorrow delivered with a rusty gate squeaking insincerity that is almost painful. Is he an old man wishing on a chicken bone that good times are ahead of us? A Floyd Lawson, “Oh, Andy the third quarter is going to be great!” Hello? McFly! Hey, I’m over here! Got any plans for the economy there Gramps? Any ideas percolating in that stable genius brain you’re always telling us about on how to get us out of here? I didn’t think so.

An old maxim in Congress says that nothing is done during an election year and because the House runs for office every two years it explains a lot. The theory is that by doing nothing more than the minimum you will alienate fewer voters than by being active. Angry voters are more likely to remember in November than their sleepy cousins. The nail that sticks up gets voted out, unless you’re a Republican. Then the door is wide open, get beat up by your neighbor What the hell do experts know? Have secret children living in your house. It’s all good! Sell your stock, it’s all good, I got a friend at the Justice department. Ted Cruz asks, “Does anyone know a good bovine attorney? I think I have a case.” Alexander Hamilton would take his dueling pistol and shoot you himself.

The American people have put this motley collection of Republicans in charge and can’t escape responsibility for it either. Look at this mess, are you happy now? The rich and powerful wanted them too. During Truman’s term a Republican made a speech decrying government intervention in business affairs. Truman answered, If Franklin Roosevelt hadn’t interfered in your affairs you wouldn’t have a business.  How appropriate for today put your damn mask on.

Americans are falling sick at record numbers. People are dying and more will die and for the most part it was all preventable. Millions denied life while millions are denied life. A food bank in Brooklyn has gone from serving 200 per week to 15,000. History tells us that like the hospitals private charities will be overwhelmed by demand. This dreamy time of wishful thinking is over you can’t stroll the promenade deck forever while ignoring the masses headed for the boats.

A health crisis and economic crisis and the most monumental government failure in the history of all governments. Herbert Hoover had an excuse at least; he didn’t know any better. The wholesale abrogation of responsibility and abandonment of the American people en mass amounts to a crime against humanity.

“Once in khaki suits, gee we looked swell
Full of that yankee doodly dum
Half a million boots went sloggin’ through hell
And I was the kid with the drum”

That’s us Mitch; It was Al all the time. Perhaps 2008 was just the dress rehearsal for the big show. Get shed of all those little people. Izod Ken and Overfed Barbie now come with weapons. Scared to death they remember reading about the French Revolution in college. Ken cries, “Do one stupid thing and my reputation is ruined!” Ken, let me tell you about a Christmas party I attended in 1994, you’ll get over it. So, this 4th of July millions of Americans myself included find themselves Independent of work with a government that shows no indication of concern. Oh well, I’ve slept outside before.

But being independent of work does not make you independent of anxiety. Millions of Americans are living in an economic pressure cooker during a pandemic which has harsh connotations for society. But they want to go hang at the bar and have a nice meal without a mask. They want one more dance before the music stops. Those days are over there is a new reality now. Already the Republicans are feeling the cold-water ankle deep as the President’s popularity is now somewhere between Lee Harvey Oswald and Herpes.

“You only have power over people as long as you don’t take everything away from them. But when you’ve robbed a man of everything, he’s no longer in your power—he’s free again.”
― Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Happy Independence Day!

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