Remember when news was boring? It wasn’t long ago, six maybe seven years. I googled the biggest stories of 2013. The Boston Marathon bombing—that one was huge. Things get pretty tame after that. Lance Armstrong’s doping scandal and Prince George’s birth. Those are a couple of the more notable stories of the year.
Midday today, as I usually do, I clicked on CNN. Breaking News (there’s always breaking news): Trump knew the dangers of Covid-19 in January. He discussed it with Bob Woodward. No, I’m not surprised by this revelation, I also knew the dangers of Covid-19 in January, I even blogged about it. But Trump insisted repeatedly that he had the virus under control. Fake news? No, roll the tape, it’s actually on tape. Now he says he was just trying to keep America calm. An aggressive mitigation strategy might have saved lives, but that would have agitated Americans. No, I’m not surprised by this news, just depressed.
Susan came home from work today. “We need to renew our passports. Trump is going to win.”
“What would we do with passports? No one’s going to let us in.”
I’m tempted to list the hundreds of things going wrong in the world right now, especially in the United States, but you know them as well as I do. Each day the pile gets bigger. From the past week alone: Military personnel are suckers and losers; Coronavirus deaths to top 410,000 by January; Seven Rochester police officers suffocated Daniel Prude with a ‘spit sock;’ California sees ‘fire of the century.’
This last one strikes me as hyperbolic. Over the last three summers, California repeatedly saw fires of the century—we need a new phrase. Each story leaves me a little more off balance. If Donald Trump was hoping to save Americans from agitation or anxiety, he’s failed miserably. I spend my days with a flutter in my stomach. Every time I see an article about the election, I feel sick.
I can’t imagine a single election scenario that doesn’t end in pandemonium. Regardless of who wins, we’re going to see nationwide rioting that far exceeds what we’ve had so far. No one is going to settle for a loss. The United States is coming apart at the seams.
Part two: Defund the Police
I get almost no interaction on Facebook. I was late to the game (2016), disdainful of those who ‘friended’ people they don’t know, and over the past year, every time I get a friend’s birthday notification I think “Is this person really a friend?” My birthday gift to dozens of people last year was one less Facebook friend. I get almost no interaction because I hardly have any friends left.
Yesterday, I posted something that I thought was important, but I only got three likes. Because I thought it sage beyond wisdom, I assumed no one saw it. In a second attempt to spread the word, I decided to post the same thing here. I linked an article with the headline: A 13-year-old boy with autism was shot by police after his mother called for help managing a ‘mental breakdown’
My caption: A perfect example of why we need unarmed intervention teams as first responders. Not to replace the police, but to address crisis situations that are not law enforcement related. This is what people mean by the ridiculous phrase *defund the police*.
Part three: The World’s a Mess
Forty years ago the rock band X released a song talking about everything we’re going through today. Have a listen: The World’s a Mess it’s in my Kiss