I'm a little slow today. I just switched to Sanka. So...have a heart?

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Soon the skies will rain blood, and the Four Horsemen will nigh ride.

Tonight is one of those gorgeous nights... that I remember used to infuse me with energy when I lived in Maryland. It's 73 out and humid, there is no wind, crickets are chirping, the air smells clean, accented by the smell of damp tree bark and new oxygen from all of the plants respirating. It feels like one of those nights that I still think back on very fondly - it would probably be June of 1996, I would have gotten home from my job at Bassett's Original Turkey in the mall (worst job ever) where I would have spent the bulk of the afternoon around spattering grease from baking turkeys, and steam from steam trays - the last of the evening, starting at around 8:30 and going until 9:30 or 10, would be spent in the back of the restaurant, over two sinks of hot soapy water, scrubbing crusted macaroni off of stainless steel steamtrays, and washing knives and bowls of cranberry sauce out.

I would then call my parents to come and get me, and I would walk out of one of the access hallways in the mall, with my legs killing me from having stood for six hours, my fingers pruny from washing dishes for an hour, and my body sweaty, and gross, the damp smells of mopwater and turkey fat buzzing around me like a cloud of pungent mosquitoes.

In my hand, I would usually carry a club sandwich that I had made, a container of mashed potatoes and gravy, and a Sprite. When I would get home, I would sit on the screen porch in the back of the house, and just feel still, as I wolfed down my sandwich and potatoes. I would sit there, listening to the silence of my neighborhood, only broken by the soft whoosh of an occasional car, the peeping of the frogs down by the Middle Patuxent river and the rattling of cicadas in the trees, as the last of the fireflies would twinkle in the high tulip poplar trees that demarcated the start of the Patuxent Valley Nature Preserve. Every time I go home, I'm struck by how quiet, and safe and dark it is in our little slice of Utopian heaven that is the neighborhood of Clary's Forest in the Village of Hickory Ridge in the Town of Columbia, Maryland.

Unfortunately, I am convinced that quite soon, our comfortable house on our comfortable yard in our in our comfortable suburb will be no more. I expected the rivers to run red with blood on the day that George Bush was re-elected, but apparently the cancer that is his presidency will metasticize more slowly, gradually poisoning every aspect of American life until our country, drained of energy succumbs to his malignant policy and the putrid necrosis that he has brought upon us. At that point, a black hole will open up in Crawford, TX, and, like the burning middle of a piece of paper, will sweep outwards, until America is nothing but a charred wasteland, our people the gaunt and filthy peasants of a Dorothea Lange photograph.

Why do I say this? Because today, I put $15 dollars of regular unleaded gas into my car, and it only filled the damn thing up half way. We have just opened up the Alaskan preserves - some of the last undeveloped land in North America to oil drilling, and as consumers we will see no relief in our every day lives from this greedy Republican encroachment on one of the last sacred places in America. There is no other way to describe this administration and body politic, other than to call it a malignancy that taints anything it touches with the greasy smear of money for big business. The cartoons of the obese, monocled 19th Century Tammany Hall tycoons don't seem that out of place or ill-fitting nowadays. No, I'm not about to go all granola on everybody, renouncing all affiliations with corporate America and eating lentils for every meal out of a clay bowl I turned on my own wheel, but I am just disgusted at how these lobbies are able to push for results that earn them billions of dollars at the expense of everything else. We're drilling in a National Park, people. I wouldn't be surprised if soon we're tapping into the geothermal richness that is Yellowstone National Park, erecting Steam Derricks and pumping that resource out to Cigarette factories in Virginia, so that we can export our Phillip Morris products to Qatar!

I feel like the Lorax. I speak for the trees, the marvelous wonderful truffula trees! Our environmental policy is shot, and the rest of the world hates us. And yet, the country is shitting the bed because two men that love each other want to get married. We're totally unconcerned with the fact that our "boys" are dying "over there" as well as hundreds of innocent civilians, and the fact that we're going to be flat broke upon retirement. No matter, though, because we have yellow ribbon magnets on our SUV's, and the goll-durned right to complain if Janet Jackson's plastic emulation of a tit appears for a second on television. The stock markets keep on tanking and gas is up to 2.50 a gallon, but who gives a fuck about that shit, when vegetables are being denied their due process because they may die in a hospice after eleven years of litigation

I can't think of one positive thing that we as Americans are doing for the world. Spreading democracy? That's going over real well. Production of goods and services? We're churning out Escalades like it ain't nobody's biznazzy. Can our kids solve an algebraic equation upon graduation from high school? No, but at least we're spreading our love of the word "cuz" to people learning our language! Fuck the "America - Love it or Leave it" bullshit. I love this country enough to realize when it's going to hell in a handbasket, and this, my friends, is what I'm pretty sure we're witnessing. I'm tweaked out enough after writing my law review paper to realize that we basically have no real rights to freedom, and that our expectation of privacy is virtually nonexistent - the only reason we have any privacy whatsoever is because we haven't given anyone any reason to track or watch us.

And all this I realized as I thought back to the good ole' days, two years ago, when I could fill my tiny Volkswagen Golf up, from gaslight to flush for under $20 bucks. Now, half a tank of gas costs me $15 and I might not get to retire until I'm 67... And the air by the grickle grass still smells sweet, but even there, I wonder for how long...

"And all that the Lorax left here in this mess; was a small pile of rocks, with one word...UNLESS.
Whatever that meant, well, I just couldn´t guess. That was long, long ago. But each day since that day, I've sat here and worried, and worried away. Through the years, while my buildings have fallen apart, I´ve worried about it with all of my heart.

But now, says the Once-ler, Now that you´re here, the word of the Lorax seems perfectly clear.
UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It´s not."


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