It made my bloody day it did….(tf)

I’ve been blindsided by the blues.

Maybe it’s just all-purpose holiday-induced malaise.

Hell, I don’t know what it is but I’ve been in hibernation mostly, hoping it will pass. The recent cold snap has helped some. I don’t like the feeling of one season hanging around when its time is past. Maybe winter is finally here to stay and I don’t have to step outside to decide if I need a jacket anymore.

It’s the little things that get you at times like this.

Music that used to lift me up is leaving me flat. It’s not that it won’t lift me up next week, or even tomorrow, but I’ve been spinning my Ipod wheel and there’s nothing among the 12,000 tracks that’s either getting inside my head or getting inside my Doc Martens. It’s just background noise…..the one thing music should never be if you treat it dead seriously like I do. So I gotta look elsewhere when the lights go out. It’s dead quiet ’round here. That kinda sucks.

Sports is a welcome diversion. Saturday I witnessed the best of college basketball (unranked Indiana beating top-ranked Kentucky with a thrilling 3 pointer at the buzzer….setting the Indiana home crowd into a frenzy and turning their coach into a catatonic with wobbly knees) and the worst (cross-town rivals Cincinnati and Xavier brawling with each other at the end of their game. All the fight lacked was guns and knives). Sports brings you up and then it brings you back down again. And then you realize that it doesn’t really matter all that much no matter what happens. It’s like cotton candy on the tongue. Good while it’s on there. Long-term nourishment? Not so much.

(Tim Tebow is 7-1 as a starting QB for the Broncos, and one-third of the nation thinks it’s because he loves Jesus so much that the son of god intervenes and makes the opposing teams do incredibly stupid things in order to lose (as if the Bears need any help being dumb). What to make of such nonsense? When 1 out of every 3 people you meet on the street things Tim Tebow has the bat phone to the almighty, is it any wonder I’ve got the blues? You should have them too. Unless you really dig the Broncos.)

A presidential election is on the horizon, and the anti-Obama party has lined up a row of barely indistinguishable right wing fanatics to fight it out for the nomination. The current front-runner is Newt Gingrich, but that’s only because he seems the least likely to start rounding up poor people and putting them into concentration camps. At least at the moment. Some pizza maker named Herman Cain was the darling of the party a few weeks back until it came to light that he couldn’t keep his hands off his waitresses or something. He didn’t deny any of it, but still managed to blame the media. Rick Perry put out an amazingly insulting and homophobic YouTube ad last week that made him the darling of the American Nazi party but pretty much doomed him everywhere else. The fact Perry looked gay in the ad made every gay person I know laugh out loud. So that leaves Mitt Romney…..who is a Mormon. Now, Republicans will play just about any cheap god card they can to get votes, but they’re not ready for Angel Moroni references during the swearing-in. Romney is pure window dressing. That fact that he’s as dumb as a bag of fertilizer doesn’t help either.

So, Gingrich. A sleazy lying corporate bag man with the morals of a diseased toad. Richard Nixon looks like Eugene Debs next to this guy. If Gingrich is ever elected President this nation deserves the unregulated frenzy of poor people getting stomped in the name of the free markets that would ensue. Forget Guantanamo. Once it’s illegal to be gay, black, brown, poor, own a condom, be non-christian, or to speak Spanish, they’ll have to put barbed-wire around Yellowstone National Park to hold all the detainees. We’ll all be Tebowed. Too late for prayers boys. You should have thought of that before your grandfather voted for FDR.

Obama will roll-over whoever gets the nomination though. Even I don’t think our nation is dumb enough to allow the alternative. Not yet anyway. But we’re getting there. President Palin? It could happen in my lifetime, which terrifies me. What’s happening now is not the natural ebb and flow of politics drifting from the left to the middle to the right….and round and round again as new promises are made, broken, blamed on the other guy, and then made all over again.

No, this is time travel stuff. Back to the days of crusades and moving on to police dogs and fire hoses. To the days when fear and ignorance melded together to form a witches brew. Those who drink today are convinced it’s the lesbians across the street or the Mexican working in the old lady’s garden or them dead-beat welfare cheats with the big screen TVs who are causing all this grief. It ain’t the banks or the corporations or the politicians with their hands out…..it’s the unwashed hippies making all that noise around Wall Street, and all those pain in the ass newly-foreclosed-on-homeless families sleeping in their cars on the edges of Wal-Mart parking lots (an irony only the US could provide). It ain’t the cops cracking the heads. It’s the heads getting in the way of patriotic nightsticks. And Fox News told me to never mind the pepper spray. It’s only a “vegetable”.

It’s all getting too dicey for me….so I’m in a bit of a mood these days I’m afraid.

I know some people who feel the same way I do about these sorts of things. But I don’t know enough of them…..and I don’t talk to the ones I do know enough. After a while this sort of thing makes you feel like the crazy Uncle in the corner that nobody talks to ’cause he refuses to lie about anything….one of the few people left who didn’t have the decency gene surgically removed from the breast to make room for the flag-pin on the lapel.

But then again….it’s the little things.

I was at the mall this weekend with my daughters. We bumped into an old neighbor dropping over $200 on all kinds of stuff. Turns out the couple had “adopted” a family mired in poverty this holiday season…and were stocking up on gifts for them. Gifts for the Mom, and the kids. Somebody was gonna have one of them shocked, stuck-in-place smiles on Christmas morning. And I thought…..look what we’re capable of.

It made my bloody day it did.

I needed to hear of something like this. Something that makes “’tis the season” mean something more than frenzied credit-card swiping and elbowing others out of the way to get the latest Ipad.

On our way out I again passed the Salvation Army volunteer. A massive African-American with a smile brighter than the mid-day sun, despite a few missing teeth. I remember him from last year too. Same guy. Impossible to forget. I dropped a few coins in the bucket on the way in. Now I emptied my pockets. It wasn’t much….but his thank you was so genuine and his “Merry Christmas” so pleasant that I felt like I just helped feed the world. Not sure how a few dollars could do that, but still…..it was me who should have been thanking him. He gets it.

So many of us don’t.

That’s where the blues comes from. From not getting it when the answers to getting it are all around you.

Here’s hoping somebody makes your bloody day too.

–Tom Flannery

~ by admin on December 12, 2011.

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