Center of the Universe

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Sometimes I catch myself thinking that my life, my plans, my grand enterprises, my little schemes are more important than those of the people around me. The woman washing her face in a  commercial on TV in this coffee shop in which I am sitting is a common fool, but I am an undiscovered genius.

 

If only there were justice in this world, I would be the one on TV! Somebody would be paying me big bucks to peck away on my laptop.

 

Then, in saner moments, I realize that there is beauty all around me. That other people are often more diligent and hard-working than I, and quite often more physically beautiful. The fact that I’m creeping up on age 70 allows me this new glimpse of humility.

 

What if I’ve already lost the race for money, prestige and power? Would admitting that be so bad? Would I become crestfallen, humiliated, utterly defeated? Probably not. Sure, I can still entertain reasonable hopes for a future, but it’s time to let the other fantasies go.

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The Pendulum Swings

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If you scratch the lens on your glasses, your brain will eventually adapt and not see the scratch. Likewise, if you live around a constant or maddeningly repetitive noise, you will eventually tune it out. I once asked an airport porter how he could stand to hear the automated “no parking” announcement that came from speakers all around the area in which he worked. His reply was “what announcement?”

We humans can find a way around a lot things we can’t easily go through. This latest novel turn of events, having a low-class mobster as a President may not be one of them. We may have to stand up against this decided turn to the right, this new fascism and racism packaged as “Making America Great Again.” I don’t think it will go away if we ignore it.

The shocking fact is that a substantial number of Americans would vote for him again, and will, unless something changes. That change won’t be incremental and it won’t happen without risk. Trump and his Toadies are quite pleased with themselves. They have defined their critics as “libtards” who need to run to a “safe space” when threatened. There has always been a current of anti-intellectualism bubbling just under the surface, but now it has erupted like a geyser. We all stand to get burned.

I guess Obama was just too educated, well-spoken and black. Now the pendulum has swung the other way, and it seems like there’s a good chance the clock mechanism is broken. Since this has never happened before, nobody knows if the clock can be repaired. The Saudis, Israelis and Russians are all hovering anxiously nearby, offering to take that old piece of junk off our hands and substitute a new much cheaper electric clock. It keeps better time and never needs winding.