30. March 2010 · Comments Off on The Shape of Things to Come · Categories: Ain't That America?, General, Media Matters Not, Politics, Rant, Tea Time

Not being one of those terribly imaginative people – except when it comes to my books, and then it’s katy-bar-the-door – I’ve managed over the years to avoid being caught up in many of those OMG-TEOTWAWKI panics. I know that people with books to sell, and local television news reporters, not to mention the talk shows love this kind of thing, but the truth is, I’ve just seen too many of them fizzle out. Future shock, global nuclear winter, satanic abuse in day-care, overpopulation, Y2K, and AWG . . . not any of those sent me into any kind of panic, although it wasn’t for lack of trying on the part of various peers. Chalk it up to a skeptical gene, inherited from Dad the research biologist. Or maybe I just have a sort of mental time limit rule about this – if it’s still a concern after half a decade, then maybe I’ll dredge up some shreds of more than passing interest and concern.

That having been said, I wasn’t one of those entirely crushed by the election of our current President. You know, said I to myself cheerfully, ‘Self, although he is almost totally inexperienced, never been in the military, never managed a shop or met a payroll – he could develop into an effective administrator, since he doesn’t have a lot of pre-existing baggage to overcome. He’s supposed to be bright enough – everyone says so, and perhaps this time some of them could be right. He can adapt and learn – OJT! The United States is a big, strong, stable entity; this is just one president – how can just one kark up anything too badly in the space of one term? And since he is kinda-sort of black, or at least half of him is, maybe with him in office, people will get off our case about the inherent racism of the establishment, for once. What do you think about that, Self – room for optimism?’

And Self chuckled darkly, and answered, ‘Just have to wait and see about that, beeyoutch! And while you’re at it, pour me another glass of Chablis – the good stuff, not that gack-from-a-box.’

So – train-wreck. I hoped it wouldn’t be, but it’s been happening in slow-motion, all this year long. It’s not just a matter of ‘Will the administration kark up this?” but more a question of “How badly?” as the overall approval ratings for the One sink. Seriously, at this rate, by mid-summer, they’re going to have to batten down the hatches and do whatever it is with the ballast tanks that they do in old war movies to make the submarine ready for a deep dive as the alert horn goes ‘Ahhh-oooo-gah! Ahhh-oooo-gah!‘ This would all have considerable cynical amusement value for Self and me – save that a lot of other stuff will sink with the One – and no, this time I am getting worried with all the rest. Before, it had always seemed to me that the worry was more of a theoretical thing; all that was required seemed to be that you worry, too. Maybe sign a petition or two, post about it on your blog – even go to some long meetings and short protests, if you really, really felt strongly about the issue.

I keep sensing all kinds of oddball stuff, not precisely internet or news-media based, but in the no-kidding-real-world, or some mixture of the two – like a whiff of smoke in the air, or some straws blowing by, a casual comment here or there. Timmer remarking about how farmers are moving out of California, and setting up in his state. Friends of friends, moving up into the Hill Country, and having a well dug, buying a generator and plenty of emergency gasoline for it. My friend Alice’s internist grouching to her about how he is about to close up his medical practice, now that “Health Care Reform” has been voted through. Various firearm enthusiasts complaining to each other about how hard it is to buy ammunition now. And this last Sunday, when Blondie and I went out to a local nursery and specimen garden (a place of which I am terribly fond, since a lot of my money – when I had it to spend – wound up there). It was very, very crowded last weekend, more customers than I had ever seen unless there was a special event going on there. I asked one of the long-time managers of it was all right to take pictures, since I wanted to do a little feature about the beauties of spring flowers for one of my paying clients. This manager has known me casually for years, and asked after Blondie, and what she was studying in school. Blondie explained about her major – research biology, and the manger said cheerfully “Well, at least you can earn something of a living at that!” and went on, unbidden, to make mention of what Obama and his “Health Care Reform” were going to do to the medical professions – and then to tell me about how they had been selling flat after flat of vegetable starts this spring.
“Everyone’s starting a garden,” she said, “And it seems like everyone who started one already is expanding it.”
“Oh really,” I said, noncommittally.
“This is the best spring for vegetables that I’ve ever seen,” she said.
And now, I am really, really, wierded out.

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