Good evening you ragged beauties; you carnival whimsical; you brazen or boarded up. Welcome to another edition of Words From The Midwest.
As I sit and listen to “Damn These Vampires” by The Mountain Goats, I reflect upon the last couple weeks in my life; or life in general, perhaps. I think it’s a fair assessment of the world we live in that history is being made even as I sit here typing. We are now involved in a War Without Borders; a wet dream cultivated by George W Bush in the aftermath of September the Eleventh and followed through by the could-have-been-a-great-President Obama. It is, as Hunter Thompson pointed out in the hours following the first attack on US soil since the bombing of Pearl Harbor, a sort of religious war. One that gleefully pits extremist against extremist; Christian versus Muslim. Our great country has now bombed seven Muslim majority countries, all in the name of fighting “terrorism” and all that word conjures. Now, this fighting is being done in sovereign nations without declaration. Unfortunately for the Nobel Peace Prize winning President, this is a war crime.
Now I’m not saying one thing or another is I sit here typing this and I am certainly not comparing the likes of Bush to Obama outright. George W Bush did things far and beyond what Obama has done. But as the final two years of his presidency are upon us, it is difficult to put either presidency into historical perspective beyond Crimes against Humanity. True that the question of what Barack Obama has done right is just as easily answered as what he’s done wrong. But I fear I will only remember predator drones…maybe also the fact that I now have health insurance.
So yes. We are at War again. Or still. And again Congress didn’t vote on whether or not to go to war so once again our rights as United States citizens have been shoved over to the side in the name of keeping us Safe from imminent threat. Although it is my belief that Isis is not a threat to United States. Neither is Ebola. And yet in a fight against death, America must participate. It is simply my belief our efforts should aid and not destroy.
But enough about some shit I don’t know much about. I have my own life to think about and I’m blessed enough to live on the side of the world without constant military threat (unless I should talk about the way the Police in this country have been acting recently) and so I can sit here and write and think about what I can do to make myself a better person.
I think I’ll begin – as Song Against Sex by Neutral Milk hotel starts spilling out of my speakers – by saying that I’m going to quit drinking. Maybe completely. The last couple times I’ve drank I haven’t been able to stop myself from blacking out. And that’s really not something I have the time to deal with and I don’t have three days to kill trying to remember how offensive or self-righteous I was this or that night. Not that I’m an alcoholic – because I know some of those people and I’m not anywhere close to that level, or any level, of dependency – but I just prefer to stay sharp and to allow the contrast between what I’m saying and what’s being said live a little louder. Plus, marijuana is an infinitely better drug than alcohol. It just is. And I enjoy it more. It’s better for you. Alcohol may actually be the worst drug there is, in a sense. What other drug raises your voice, lowers your inhibitions, and insights bombasticity? Cocaine, I suppose. But really.
So On Avery Island is on. I’m gonna roll with it until the noise gets to be too much.
I hope beyond hope that something in this world is beautiful tomorrow. Maybe a video of a dog climbing into a baby carriage or a new artist to listen to and become obsessed with.
P.S. John Lennon would have been 74 today. I wish he were here to comment on the world we live in.