I decided to take a month off from this. Every now and then, one must give ones’ self a break from the bullshit….. Trying to keep up with trump’s daily slights against humanity can be demoralizing. —Imbecile.
“The rain continued. It was a hard rain, a perpetual rain, a sweating and steaming rain; it was a mizzle, a downpour, a fountain, a whipping at the eyes, an undertow at the ankles; it was a rain to drown all rains and the memory of rains. It came by the pound and the ton, it hacked at the jungle and cut the trees like scissors and shaved the grass and tunneled the soil and molted the bushes. It shrank men’s hands into the hands of wrinkled apes; it rained a solid glassy rain, and it never stopped.”
—opening paragraph of Ray Bradbury’s “The Long Rain” from his book, “The Illustrated Man”
And there you have it. Our trump nightmare. The ever increasing volume and velocity of raining bullshit, corruption, insanity, and blah blah blah. A relentless downpour so bone-chilling, yet ravishingly depicted in Bradbury’s tale of four airmen crash-landed on a planet of endless rain that drives them first to despair and panic, then — one by one — into suicide and madness.
Only one survives to reach a functioning “Sun Dome;” one of a hundred-or-so wilderness outposts scattered around the single equatorial continent and providing shelter, artificial sunlight, clean bedding, dry clothing, and hot chocolate. No shit. A pitcher of steaming hot chocolate with marshmallows on the side…. and sandwiches! It is a short but excellent read with all-American eats featured in the finale.
I converted my home into such a shelter by turning away from 24-hour cable news and my usual internet watering-holes where I normally keep abreast of current events and politics. But the drizzle of politics had become a mizzle of insanity, so for a time, I curbed my heavy diet of news to a manageable leaner intake.
Now having discarded hot coco and fluffy comestibles for coffee and politicus vobiscum, it is all still a blur of circles in spirals and wheels within wheels, ‘Never ending or beginning On an ever-spinning reel’
The followers follow Trump; he follows the press; and they follow the investigations. Investigators are staffing up, Trump staff are lawyering up, and lawyers are racking-up. Beltway hunting grounds are a target rich environment for all. Ratings are up, polls are down, and for our new reality — up is down; down is up, and our prospects over under sideways down; backwards forwards square and round.
Looking increasingly to the past for an illuminating perspective or relatable cautionary tales, we all keep coming up dry. Inside the libraries of civilizations and ideas, some researchers, political writers, and editorial journalists, with entire careers spent ensconced in the history and philosophy sections, have scooped up their laptops, coffee mugs and lumbar cushions and moved en masse, one floor up to bivouac in the fantasy and science fiction department. When confronted with famine, sometimes you have to move to where the food is.
In preparing this essay, I stumbled upon something more comforting than marshmallows for an inchoate essayist such as I; hitting pay dirt with this confession from sci-fi writer, Omar El Akkad:
“I’m not nearly talented enough a writer, nor so fully in control of my sense of outrage, that I can engage with these things in the instant of their happening. I need time. One day I’ll write something about the ugliness of the present situation, if only to exorcise the demons of having lived through it—but it won’t be now.”
My Sun Dome has felt a bit confining as of late, but…
…. ‘It felt good to be out of the rain.’ —America
(h/t to Jimmy Webb, The Yardbirds, and Sam Kenison)