“Alexa, What’s Wrong with My Life?”

Falling through the universe at the speed of life

By David Glenn Cox

Sometimes you want to ask yourself, is this the last act? The last days of Rome the dagger in the heart as civilization lies bleeding on the stage as the sun fades out. And then you tell yourself, “suck it up buttercup, pandemics happen!” Don’t adjust your television set it’s not you. There was a time when “Why does the United States have to be the world’s policeman?” was a relevant question well look around, now you know. All around us are the signs that things cannot continue along on this current path. Wages suppressed until even the idea of getting ahead has vanished. College graduates were once lauded for their hard work and dedication and now are questioned for their financial intelligence.  Things are so bad the public wonders, why bother?

When I was a kid, the weather was on the news but wasn’t the news. Hurricanes were memorable we remembered them by their names. Today they blow by like traffic on a busy street with the names of someone we met at a party a week ago. Until a few years ago, I didn’t even know California had a fire season. It reinforces the notion that California must be awesome. Earthquakes, mudslides, windstorms, wildfires, crazy people, regulations and high taxes and people just can’t wait to get there. California is the land of dreams, but the dreams are on fire. When the Beatles first appeared on Ed Sullivan there were only two or three other television choices. You could watch Disney, or you could watch Bonanza take your pick, Ben Cartwright or John Lennon.

Today the fab four wouldn’t even be a blip on the radar with hundreds of channels the Internet and You Tube. It appears that what we’ve gained in volume we have lost in focus. Perhaps someday Americans will watch themselves each with their own personal TV channel where they can observe themselves in their unobserved lives in their native habitat because they are too fucking busy to get up and see who is at the door. “Alexa, What’s wrong with my life?”

Everyone has an opinion on a network or a blog or a You Tube channel until political debate becomes a shouting match in a crowded room. Crippled kids tap dancing across the TV screen for money or Sarah McLaughlin singing behind suffering animals. Ten thousand inputs from a hundred different directions making it difficult without being Amish to opt out. There is no national consensus on anything. The NFL returned this week, and the players locked arms in unity. Not Black Lives Matter, just unity and the crowd booed. The crowd booed unity how can that be explained? The frustration factor and the alcohol factor of season ticket holders who just want to watch a damn football game. Like the rest of us they are tired of what is going on. The pandemic, the economic emergency, the kids are out of school. George Floyd and Breanna Taylor and the constant drumbeat of Trump chaos. “Nobody told me there’d be days like these.”

The President has nominated himself for the “Noble” Peace Prize!  Just when you are about to facepalm yourself, you realize that the person that created that ad had a supervisor and that person had a supervisor and they both approved it. This isn’t a whoopsie, this is as bad as your son showing up at your convention coked out of his mind. Never mind Hunter Biden look at Junior! Strawberry fields nothing is real back when music was psychedelic, and the world was normal the President’s son didn’t show up whacked out of his mind. If he had, sane people would have stopped him and made other arrangements. But it is all part of the maelstrom and as much as I’d like to ignore it, we live in an age of atrocity. Young Gatsby was far too self-absorbed to see himself as he was as an illustration of the Gilded Age 2020.

Societies can and do fail the Mayans began irrigating crops after the population swelled and they cut down all the trees causing a drought. The Easter Islanders and the cliff dwellers of North America. The ancient city of Petra once had 20,000 residents two thousand years ago. If you want to know about climate change, ask a historian instead of a scientist. “Didn’t people used to live here?” How’s that Viking settlement doing in Greenland? What is the Viking word for volcano? What made the Oakies want to leave Oklahoma? Denying climate science is like denying sunshine on a cloudy day. You may not see it, but it is there.

I guess that is a part of what frightens me. Two millennia into the common era the nations of earth are unable to work together on environmental regulation despite a pending apocalypse. A house divided against itself cannot stand. The plan was to lure China into the Capitalist way of thinking but instead the opposite, rich authoritarian Communists. Democracy with a capital Truncheon. Putin operates as a power broker between the Russian equivalent of the five families and the United States moves towards Fascism like fat kid on a slide.

All of this in an election year during a media thunderstorm. To the point where you don’t want to watch the news but are afraid not to. That zany orange big brother of ours you never know what he’s going to do next. There is no precedent we are lost in the virgin woods here without trail markers. The Vice President cancelled his appearance at a rally sponsored by QAnon supporters. The Vice President didn’t want to be seen with people who believe Democrats have a secret devil worshiping pedophile party room and buffet in the basement of a pizza parlor that doesn’t have a basement. All of those Democrats when they get tired of having sex with the children eat them and the only person smart enough to put this all together and put stop to it is Donald Trump. But Pence says he has no knowledge about QAnon.

Stop! I can’t take it anymore!

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