One Woman’s Life In Several Hundred Pages
Phew. It’s been three months since my last post here. Wow. Been doing a lot of scribbling on the Charlotte Zietlow book. Right now, the bulk of it is at the local FedEx Office store being photocopied and collated. It’s a thick stack representing 81 years of Charlotte’s life — and one and a half years of mine.
So, the project’s sorta finished. We just need it edited and a coda chapter or two tacked on at the end to let the world know what lessons Charlotte has learned in this life and how you too, if you follow her lead, can became the Grande Dame of a small-sized Indiana city.
It’s been so long since I’ve hung around these precincts that the whole WordPress platform has become almost alien to me. The WP geeks redesigned the dashboard and just writing this post up is taking twice as long as it normally should because I’m busy looking for things like the italic button.
Oh Yeah, There It Is!
Anyway, the world has been spinning along, bumpily, frighteningly at times, exhilaratingly at others, without me helping the mass of humanity negotiate its path through fate and the solar system.
Somehow you’ve managed not to blow yourselves to smithereens, not that there aren’t plenty of members of Homo Sapiens sapiens doing their damnedest to accomplish just that.
So whaddya need me for?
The more important Q is, what do I need you-all for? Simple answers; to read me, to nod your head, to roll your eyes, to tell me I’m full of horseshit, to alert the FBI to my rabble-rousing, to marvel at my deep insights, to titter at my bons mots, and to send my daily hit count through the roof so that movers and shakers’ll think this blog carries a tad of weight around these parts.
I’m excited. How about you?
What’s (Been) Goin’ On?
I was listening to one of my fave albums in the car yesterday eve, Marvin Gaye’s brilliant, anthemic What’s Going On, released — believe it or don’t; although you’d better because it’s true — May 21, 1971, a Friday. That’s 44 flippin’, freakin’ years ago, babies! The gist of the disk is the return of a Vietnam War veteran to this troubled holy land. He fought for…, well, for something in Southeast Asia and when he got back home he found the entire nation ready to pick sides and whale the bejesus out of each other. He learned, too, about the scourges of drug addiction, poverty, systemic and institutionalized racism, and even the nascent threat of environmental disaster.
Well whaddya know, nothing’s really changed in those 44 years, has it? Only, I suppose, that the threat of environmental disaster is no longer nascent — hell, the Marshall Islands, f’rinstance, are in imminent danger of going completely underwater should the average global temp continue its annual rate of rise. The nation of 70,000 populating 29 bars of sand and coral over a million sq. mi. of the south Pacific already is rapidly losing land to the rising ocean.
Marvin Gaye created one of the most stunning, gorgeous, compelling song cycles of the pop era, warning us about the world of shit we were falling into. And guess what: We didn’t pay a whit of attention.
Here we are, well into the 21st Century and our highest-profile presidential candidate is a nativist, xenophobic, Know-Nothing, boor whom gazillions of Murricans are enthralled over because he “speaks his mind” — this despite the fact that his every utterance is prima facie evidence that he lacks one.
The Ugly American
Cops are gunning black guys down and municipal officials are standing on their heads to cover it up.
The New Nixon
Anti-abortion zealots are shooting people for the stated purpose of “saving lives.”
Religious fanatics are pumping lead into co-workers and friends because god has instructed them to pull the trigger.
Fer chrissakes, even a US Supreme Court Justice has suggested that maybe black people ought to stop trying to get into top-flight universities and just settle for mediocre ones because, y’know, they oughtta go where they belong.
Don’t Go There
Protesters are in the streets, the deck is stacked against blacks, whites feel they’re the real victims of racism, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, and “what about this overcrowded land, how much more abuse from man can she stand?”
Talk On The Street
How in the hell have you-all refrained from blowing this planet to smithereens? Well, I’m back on the case now, pretty much, save for an occasional break here and there to put the finishing touches on the Charlotte book.
Of course, if you expect me to save the planet, you’re hanging on by the thinnest strand of hope imaginable. But as long as we’re tumbling down the rabbit hole together, you may as well pay heed to The Pencil and we’ll all have a laugh or two along the way.