Wow. A new Pew Research Center survey now says that 1 in 5 Americans think the president is Muslim, and perhaps as many as a quarter believe he was born outside the U.S. I pause now for a moment and thank whatever gods may be that I don’t live in Indiana anymore, because I would surely know a few of them, and my head would have exploded by now with the strain of keeping a civil tongue in it. Hell, for all I know my current neighbors are totally down with this. One already told me her Polish priest had said he hadn’t seen so much socialism since he left the eastern bloc. I flapped my hand and said, “Gotta run.”
Truth be told, I’m trying to be more tolerant in my old age. Fat chance, sure, but I’m trying. It’s been my experience that when people are upset about something, they don’t say, “I fear a lonely death,” they say, “The president is a Muslim.” One sounds pathetic, the other like you’re engaged in civic life. For as much as they bitch, moan, and bitch some more, most people have very little to fear from individual presidents, with obvious exceptions — soldiers, Foreign Service officers, etc. Their local city council and school board representatives make more decisions that they’ll see the results of day-to-day, but even there, things are all out of whack. What starts as a curriculum change to encompass AIDS education gets all wrapped up in anxiety over one’s baby growing up and developing an inner life that does not welcome a parent, and the next thing you know you’re standing at a podium begging the board not to undermine your home teaching, which is that AIDS is God’s punishment for homosexuals.
No, not begging. Demanding. The police had to take a geezer out of a recent city council meeting in Eastpointe this week. (I’d link, but the DetNews site has been hosed for the last hour.) He hit the police chief on the head with a cell phone. He was upset that the council is considering a tax increase to cover shortfalls in the city budget. Eastpointe is a blue-collar suburb, and like every other municipality around here and probably around you, too, the council is grappling with how to sustain operations when property values, and tax receipts, have fallen off a cliff. They cut and cut and cut, and finally say, OK, here we go, it’s either a tax increase or we all start burning our garbage in the back yard. Chances are excellent that geezer will still be paying less in taxes than he did even a year ago and certainly five years ago, but for now this is worth hitting a cop with a cell phone.
What would he have done if a city councilman had leaned forward, smiled gently and said, “There’s help, you know. There are people out there who want to help you. Contact your local council on aging.” Probably showed up with a rocket launcher.
Meanwhile, thanks to Jason T., for showing me I need some new T-shirts:
Or maybe this one:
Well, it’s plain I’m a dry well at the moment, so let’s forge ahead and get the hell outta here:
This isn’t as funny as Coozledad’s account of how his bull, Llewd, got out of the pasture one night and tried to breed his own daughter, but there’s something about this clip that amuses me, and yes, I will stipulate that at the moment, I am not feeling the milk of human kindness.
Art Caplan, everybody’s favorite medical ethicist, on what happens when hospitals say treatment is futile but families say, “Press on.”
I love the internet, because there are people out there who will watch “The Rachel Zoe Project” for me, and make it far more entertaining.
And now I’m gone. Apologies for lameness. It’s just my way, today.