I generally work out around 6 a.m. at one place or another, and today, a late cancellation meant I was the only one in boxing class. Woo, personal training! Two rounds on the speed bag, three on the mitts, two on the heavy bag and the usual grueling 12 minutes of core work, and I feel ready to kick anyone’s ass right now.
Actually, strike that. I feel calm and focused. Say what you will about this ghastly sport, but practicing its skills leaves me far more relaxed than yoga does.
So, late update today. I was out last night with a friend, seeing Sam Quinones speak about his book, “Dreamland.” I haven’t read it, but I will, after hearing his riveting tale of how heroin took over America, about the entrepreneurial youth of Xalisco, Mexico, who single-handedly built a ruthlessly efficient distribution network in cities like Columbus, and of course, of the tragedy of Portsmouth, Ohio, ruined first by globalization and later by junk. He talked for more than an hour and basically told the story of the whole book, but I’ll still buy it. It’s an important piece of work.
One of the things he did in that hour was explain his theory of how heroin (and prescription opiates) came along at just the right moment in this country, the key to a lock we didn’t know we had, salving our pain and soothing our anxieties about pretty much everything. He didn’t take questions, but I might have asked him how Donald Trump fits into his harmonic-convergence theory, as he’s doing the same thing. I see he got to it in some fashion on his blog recently, so that’ll have to do.
I also might have asked him about economics, because that’s the other part of our rot, and far more important than us just getting soft and pouty and achy. Portsmouth would likely not have a heroin problem if it still had a functioning economy, a shoe factory and steel mill and the other businesses that kept people working and providing for their families. But some questions don’t have easy answers.
The community center where the event was held exists in a cell-phone dead zone, so it wasn’t until I left that I learned John Kasich had won Ohio, depriving Trump of a coronation, at least for a little while. I heard part of his victory speech on the radio, driving home. Surely he knows he’s dead meat everywhere else, and it seemed to reflect a certain ruefulness over the ultimate result of this charade.
I’m not looking forward to November, not one bit. Who is?
Do I have any linkage for you? Let’s see…
A lot of talk on the national front about the big salvo by the National Review (can’t link to that, paywall), taking aim at the po’ whites of Portsmouth and other members of the GOP base. You can read about a million words about it elsewhere — Google Kevin D. Williamson + gypsum — but I prefer Roy’s, because they’re so amusing.
Stephen Henderson, locally, is more measured, and quotes one of the original essay’s say-amen-brothers:
“Simply put, Americans are killing themselves and destroying their families at an alarming rate. No one is making them do it. The economy isn’t putting a bottle in their hand. Immigrants aren’t making them cheat on their wives or snort OxyContin. Obama isn’t walking them into the lawyer’s office to force them to file a bogus disability claim.”
The economy isn’t putting a bottle in their hand? Spoken by a man with a sinecure at the National Review.
Rubio’s out, but I’m still glad I read this piece about him, in a home-state newspaper. A very small man in many ways, it turns out.
OK, time to make the donuts. Happy hump day, all.