Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wag of the Finger, Shake of the Head

What is it about this spring?

It seems to me like if you look around you see a tremendous amount of business; all sorts of alarms and excursions, wars, rumors of wars, lechery (of course, lechery - nothing else holds fashion), dirty deeds done...well, not cheaply, that's certain. And the wages of wealth seem to be exploding like the flowering spring, as in the stained glass of the megachurch a camel leaps effortlessly through the eye of a needle.

We seem to be busier and more worried than ever. And yet...all of our busyness and worry doesn't seem to be really changing anything, or helping us in any way.

And - I ask this in the spirit of mildest reproof, I swear, - why the FUCK does fucking Blogger insist on inserting this FUCKING "" little html code in my posts? Can you FUCKING tell me that, Blogger? Well?

Fuck me sideways.

Just yesterday the voters in Portland rejected a construction bond for our public schools while in Clackamas County they spurned a measure that would have helped pay to reconstruct the bridge that many residents of the County use to cross the Willamette.

See? SEE? There the fucker is again! Rrrrrrrrr!


Anyway, pretty much everyone in the region agrees that many of our schools are old - not just old but old. I've taught in some of them; the boiler room at my son's elementary school looks like something out of "Titanic", while the school where I did my student teaching, Benson Polytech, is 95 years old and looks it. The entire district is housed in buildings no younger than the last round of major building in the Seventies, while many of the elementary schools date back to the 1920s and 1930s. These schools are OLD.

And so is the Sellwood Bridge.

This graybeard is only 86 years old, a slip of a bridge compared to the Hawthorne but in much worse condition. It was recently downrated to 10 tons maximum capacity, and is consistently among the worst of our Oregon bridges for physical inspection rating. Multnomah County, which owns it, has us residents kicking in about $19 a year to help fix it. Our southern neighbor, Clackamas, generates about 70% of the traffic, but because of another of these fucking "tax revolt" groundswells had to refer a $5-a-year car tag fee to the voters.

They rejected it.

The spokesgomer for these people is some poor unemployed bastard out of Molalla. He is quoted as saying:
“I want the bridge to be repaired, but I want to have a voice in choosing whether I pay this or not,” he said. “Clackamas County money should go to fix our own infrastructure. Are the Multnomah County voters going to pay to help us?”
Well, we're ALL screwed now, dummy, because you won't see further than the wallet on your ass.

All of this frustration was set off by a visit I paid recently to a periodic pullout on my internet highway, "Clueless in Carolina", where Lorrie, the mom who blogs there, had a post up about the final plunge of Osama entitled "Osama Is Dead And I’m Celebrating. Why Are You Shaking Your Finger At Me?" in which she not only says that Dead Osama = VJ-Day but roundly vituperates anyone who DOESN'T agree that Dead Osama = VJ-Day.

And I guess that sort of brought everything home for me.

Here is this woman, an attorney, a former professor, smart, well-informed, the sort of funny, cynical skeptic who could subtitle her blog "detachment parenting" and make you understand where she was coming from. And she's getting all skibbley about the World's Tallest Saudi getting his wet nap. Comparing it to VJ-Day. Rocket's Red Glare. That sort of thing, like she took an entire of bottle of diet pills and chugged a liter of Red Bull. Over one more fucking dead guy in Asia. I mean, are my brothers back home with their families? Are we through spending the rent money keeping the Karzai family in blow and hookers? Are we done trying to figure out why the Muslims we keep bombing don't thank us so much anymore? Anybody? Osama's dead - whoopie! - can we declare victory now? It's VJ-Day!


And I thought; if this bright, well-educated, fiercely independent woman, if she can go utterly completely gonzo over the 2011 equivalent of Operation Vengeance, then who the hell's to say what's black and what's white.

I just sort of ended up conflating her ecstasy over the latest release in the line of Franklin Mint SignatureTM Dead Guys In Central Asia Commemorative Plate Series like it was the end of WW2 with all the other the ridiculous crap this spring - the looney arabesques in DC over the debt ceiling, Donald Trump, the endless pointless wars in central Asia and the Middle East, the freaking Clackamas County voters cutting off their bridge to spite their face, and with the sorry reality of a nation where a working wage is ever harder to come by, where my Army brothers walk the high plateaus of Asia in pursuit of a policy that never comes, where every day more of us seem poorer, and smaller, and yet work harder and longer to get there.

And where is the wag of a finger for all of this?

Why the hell isn't someone wagging a finger at this nonsense?

Or is it just that useless? Is there nothing to do but the sad, slow, shake of the head that is the rueful acceptance of the endless, limitless, evergreen folly of humankind, the world's only truly free resource, as it propels us ass-first into a pitiless tomorrow?


srv said...

I got nothin.

FDChief said...

srv: Me, neither. I don't know why the sonuvabitch is doing this.

It probably has something to do with bin Laden. Or the Rapture tomorrow. Beats me.

Lisa said...

"the limitless, evergreen folly of humankind, the world's only truly free resource


When you mentioned the Franklin Mint thing, I am always amazed at the stupid uber-patriotic tchotchkes people buy (usually Chinese-made). And Thomas Kincade ... why do they buy Thomas Kincade? I hear there is a resto in OH chocked full o' Thomas Kincade dreck.

Sorry, I am just a stranger in a strange land amongst people like that and the woman you mention celebrating the new VE-Day.

Pluto said...

"evergreen folly of humankind, the world's only truly free resource, as it propels us ass-first into a pitiless tomorrow?"

Stupidity is valuable, Chief, because we in the US NEED to drop ass-first into the pitiless tomorrow. We've had it good for a long time but we're determined to throw it all away and we are doing so at an appalling pace.

We need to pay the piper for our extended folly and the price is going to be damned high.

All I can suggest is to do everything you can to keep you and yours from being used by the country to help settle accounts with fate.

basilbeast said...

Lisa said...


Very good. Unfortunately, I do not think we (most people) will ever slay the bogeyman or the scapegoat. It is the only way we know to battle our perceived vulnerabilities, i.e., by keeping something out.

FDChief said...

Lisa: I don't get it, either, but I suspect that that has as much to do with being a cynical old sergeant as it does the oddity of the people hopping around like squirrels because some Saudi got fed to fish.

Pluto: Much as I think some straitened circumstances might be good for us here in the Land of the Big PX, my thought is that we need to approach them with reflection and intelligence instead of looking to the Newts, Trumps, and Palins (and, frankly, the Clintons and Obamas) to figure things out since they, obviously, will take the easy, cowardly choice of kicking the can down the road whenever possible.

I don't see that happening, and that CAN'T be good...

FDChief said...

basil: Nice. Always enjoy the guy's cynicism.