Wednesday, October 04, 2006

the old and the angry

My old friend Sid asked what happened to the good-humored guy (meaning me) he enjoyed hanging out with in the 90s.

My answer is, that guy is searching for something to be good-humored about.

I'm not totally lacking in joy but it is measured against the pain of watching somewhat helplessly as my country reboots - forgetting many, perhaps most, of the core values that made it more than a continental placeholder.

The beauty of the internet in general and the blog in particular is nobody (even well-meaning friends who wish I would make them laugh like I used to) can shut me up. They can tune me out, of course, but here I am, writing as if someone were reading.

I'll take a swing at making my friends laugh again but right now I'm angry about the hijacking of America and there's just not anything funny about that.

I've been watching somewhat helplessly, but not completely. With any luck my grumbling will drive someone to the polls for the first time. I'll be there; casting my useless vote against someone I regard as a party hack in an overwhelmingly Republican congressional district (against him as much as for the earnest, inexperienced Democrat on the other side of the ticket). Because, who knows? Maybe my vote will align with a bunch of the neighbors who feel like I do about the need for at least one chamber of Congress to resist and reverse this Administration's insatiable lust to appear right when they are so clearly wrong about so much.

I believe I'll be back. Maybe soon. Anger and the vote are a potent medicinal cocktail.

The power of righteous vexation is what keeps so many old Democrats hanging on in nursing homes long past the time they should have kicked off. Ancient crones from FDR's time are still walking the halls, kept alive by anger at what has been done to our country. Old conservationists, feminists, grizzled veterans of the civil rights era fight off melanoma, emphysema, Montezuma, thanks to the miracle drug of anger. Slackers and cynics abound, not to mention nihilists in golf pants and utter idiots. Time to clean some clocks. As Frost might have written, "The woods are lovely, dark and thick. But I have many butts to kick and some to poke and just one stick."
— Garrison Keillor, Miracle Drug of Anger,, 10.04.06

There's still time to register . . .


Heidi Renee said...

Well, I'm listening Jim!

Please remind people to register before the deadline on October 8th if they live in Arizona, Pennsylvania, Ohio or Florida - all crucial swing states.

I had a hmmmmmm this morning. Like many I have been bothered by the lack of democratic muster. I thought maybe it was because they are afraid that if they win the house and the senate this year, that in two years they might have to share some of the blame for how screwed up the country will be before presidential elections?? But if they are a no show at this election the GOP will have to shoulder all of that on their own??

Just wondering...

J.P. said...

Blogs are like the Blues, they aren't about making yourself feel better. They are about making other people feel worse.


jim hancock said...

this is part of what i worry about J.P. i don't know why this is, but feeling bad seems to be a really good substitute for . . . what? action?

and i don't mean for other people; i mean for me.

yuk. now i feel so bad i probably won't be able to do anything. you wanna watch some tv tonight?

jim hancock said...

interesting you should say that, Heidi.

i find myself wondering if some of the flurry of congressional insanity a couple of weeks ago was a cynical acknowledgement that 1) substantial portions of the new laws will be rejected by the judicial branch and 2) upon the redistribution of House and Senate seats in the new year the old guard will be positioned to brand Democrats as soft on terrorism in the roll up to 2008.