Another weekend so perfect it needed to go in a record book somewhere: Temperatures in the low 70s, cool nights, skies of such clarity it hurt to go outside without sunglasses. Kate took the ACT on Saturday and then hit the road for a no-parents Up North weekend with three friends and I decided not to worry about it. That’s a difficult thing to do, but at some point it has to be done. She’ll screw up; of this I have no doubt. I just have to accept that the screwups are something I don’t have much control over anymore. This was my advice as they left:
“And what do we do if we see a deer in the road?”
That’s exactly right, and advice every Michigan driver should know and heed. Never swerve. That’s how tragedies happen. Hit the deer. We have plenty.
(Obviously this is advice for if you see a deer in the road when you’re traveling toward it at high speed. You don’t just randomly speed up and run Bambi down on, say, a country lane. But you knew that.)
Speaking of cars, Alan brought home a monster Friday — a Chevy SS, which looks like a four-door sedan on the outside but has so much horsepower its ass end threatens to break loose on the regular. Gas mileage: 18 combined and say what? Eighteen? Yes. It’s less fuel-efficient than the Yukon he brought home earlier in the week. But so powerful, it’s a rolling Viagra commercial.
This is a perk of being on the auto staff at one of the Detroit dailies, one Alan barely uses. Of course my worry is more about carjacking than that he will fall out of familiarity with the product line, but it’s always fun to cruise up to Harrison Township and get some ice cream with the Underground Garage on the satellite radio. He works very hard. He deserves a little fun.
The car, and the weather, was a welcome distraction from self-torture, i.e., reading some of the response to the Iraq situation. I’m sort of done listening, and this John Cassidy piece on the New Yorker website says it all:
Senator John McCain, whom the President telephoned on Friday, has called on Obama to fire his entire national-security team, claiming, “Could all of this have been avoided? The answer is absolutely yes.”
McCain is right; it could have been avoided. If, in the aftermath of 9/11, President George W. Bush had treated the arguments of Feith, McCain, and other advocates of the Iraq War with the disdain they deserved, we (and the Iraqis) wouldn’t be where we are today.
If, in the immediate aftermath of the U.S. invasion, Paul Bremer, the American proconsul in Baghdad, and his boss, Donald Rumsfeld, had not decided to disband Saddam’s army, the one institution that somewhat unified the country, the Iraqi state would be stronger. If, in addition, Bremer and Rumsfeld had ordered enough U.S. troops onto the streets to preserve order, then Iraq might (and it’s only a might) have held together peacefully instead of degenerating into sectarianism, anarchy, and violence.
This is a bigger clusterflick than Vietnam, albeit with a lower body count. But what we’re looking at now, in the Middle East and now Africa, is going to have worse fallout, I’d wager.
So that was the weekend, topped by a visit to the market that yielded garlic scapes, fresh spinach and all the dark green leafies we expect at this time of year. And strawberries. And peas. I’m going to salad my butt off this week.
I think the lead to this story might say more about our pathetic world than anything else I can find at the moment:
Farrah Abraham: reality star, singer, pasta sauce creator, sex tape maker and now, erotica author.
I hope that’s my epitaph someday. With the name and a few details changed, of course.
Almost time for “Game of Thrones,” and a new week, to start. Best wishes for a good one for all.