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, Salon.com, 10.04.06
There's still time to register . . .