The Ferengi are our rulers now, and the constitution has been replaced by the Rules of Acquisition. Worse, we are surrounded on every side by battalions of ignorant, hate-filled cowards, who believe that everyone who isn’t exactly the same as they are is out to get them. There is no evil, no scourge that is worse than having to live with republicans and their ignorant, fact-resistant, greedy, immoral agenda, which they seek to impose on all of us. It is the death of hope. They’ve taken a page from the Borg: resistance is futile. Assimilate or die.
This article was in the paper this morning, as was another article about K-9 police dogs dying, by the dozens, apparently, in hot police cars. I ask you — how do you live in a world where this happens?
That’s one of my all-time favorite movie lines from one of my all-time favorite movies. The Untouchables. Their friends have been murdered, they’ve given up, defeated, they have no further recourse, evil is winning, and the world is in chaos. Ness’s wife calls and asks if he cares what color she paints the kitchen.
This is how you know your life is good. You are not under threat, you are not afraid, forces beyond your control are not in control of you, you feel safe– if you still care what color the kitchen is.
Now is the summer of our discontent. Not the first. Surely not the last. People have been murdered; we don’t know if there is a place to go next; evil is winning; the world is in chaos. Yet in some part of the world, the part of the world where people feel untouched and untouchable by the evil and chaos, there are those who still care what color the kitchen is. Whether or not the pool has enough chlorine. If the man is coming today to mow the lawn. (And there are those for whom the evil and chaos are constant, and it’s no surprise. Do I have the money to buy enough gas to get to work? How will I pay for my mother’s insulin? Will someone break in while I’m asleep? Will my son be killed by the police today? Those people don’t care what color the kitchen is either, but they’re not stunned by it. It’s just what “normal” is.)
Since the first time I saw the Untouchables, years ago, I have remembered that line, and it occurs to me frequently: when I’m trying to decide what color I should paint the kitchen, or I’m tired and don’t want to pull weeds. When I’m angered because dandelion seeds from the neighbors’ yards are blowing into ours. I whine about those on my blog, and then at night, when I lay awake, I remember that those are the very things that let me know my life is good. That I’m safe. Evil and chaos are somewhere else, not here.
Today I’m not caring what color the kitchen is. Evil and chaos are at the door. I am sad and tired and the world is making me sick. I don’t want to open the door.
So today I discovered why I am continually disappointed. I’ve always thought of myself as being solidly pessimistic, but today I learned that is not the case.
It all started three years ago when I hired the three stooges to restain our deck. I was *optimistic* that they would do a good job and I wouldn’t have to worry about the deck for ten years, or even longer! That very summer, though, the stain started to peel off. Not only did I hire these guys who knew nothing about staining decks, I found out by doing an internet search that the stain they used, Sherwin Williams, was rated the WORST deck stain you can buy.
The next year, the deck steps rotted away. So I hired our usual handy-guy to rebuild the steps. This summer, handy guy, yesterday, in fact, replaced 8 or 9 other boards on the deck that had rotted away. I had been thinking that the stain is now in such bad shape that a pressure washer would no doubt be able to get most of it off. I mentioned this to handy guy, who said “I have a pressure washer. I could do that.” Oh yay. Optimism!!!!. I won’t have to do it myself, and because he knows more about it than I do, he’ll do a better job.
Today he pressure washed the deck, and some of the stain came off. When he was finished, I went out with my paint scrapers, and scraped sheets of it off, which would have come off with the pressure washer if handy guy had just used more pressure. And while I sat there, scraping loose stain, with sweat dripping onto my glasses and into my eyes, I realized that I get so disappointed so often because I am unrealistically optimistic. All my life I’ve been saying that if you’re an optimist, you’re continuously being disappointed, whereas if you’re a pessimist, once in a while you are pleasantly surprised. But am I really pessimistic? NO. Fuck no.
Optimism is a sociopathic beast. It leads you on with false promises, gives you hope, then laughs while you cry. It tricks you. It leads you into temptation, then delivers you into evil. Optimism is a menace. A plague. DO NOT make the mistake of being an optimist. The only result possible is sore disappointment.
Some lunatic dentist, Walter James Palmer, from Eden Prairie (MN) has killed a beloved, protected lion in Africa. Cecil was the lion’s name. Cecil was Walter’s 48th “trophy” kill of big game. Trophy, my ass. Murder. I think Walter should be shot with an arrow, then, 40 hours later, skinned, then have his head cut off. Just like he did to Cecil. Why is big game hunting even legal? Anywhere? And what kind of demented, evil, useless waste of air wants to kill magnificent animals for the fun of killing them? I hope they all die. Slow and painful deaths.
our house and yard are killing me. I don’t believe I’m exaggerating. Every day I go out into the fucking blazing sun to pull weeds, stain the fence, scrape the paint on the side of the garage, (later I’ll prime and paint, and reglaze the windows), water (although both hoses have holes in them), paint the front steps, dig up recalcitrant plants, and/or put water seal on one thing or another. I’m so sick of continuously cleaning up after the two apple trees that tomorrow I’m calling the tree guy to come and cut them down. Tomorrow men are coming to replace the furnace and air conditioner. Yesterday men came and cleaned out the gutters. Today I cleaned up after them. When I get get overheated, which takes about ten minutes, I come into the house, run cold water over my head, and cry.
I have, at any given time, approximately two dozen chigger bites. And cuts, bruises, scrapes, slivers, rashes, aches, stiffness, and, between the sunscreen, bug repellent, and sweat, I smell like a goat. Oh joy.
while I’m wearing myself out, other people have nothing else on which to spend their time or money besides hunting lions, or planning parties, or traveling to exotic locations. All in all, I’m glad I’m not doing any of those. Wretched as I am doing what I do, it’s better than being a shallow, spoiled, swell who wouldn’t be able to do anything practical or worthwhile even if their life depended on it.