Kage Baker didn’t have much faith in political organizations. As an historically-inclined person, she studied a lot of political systems. And she pretty much decided that all of them sucked.
She watched the pattern in the long story of the British in a kind of objectified horror: all the times the Brits stood up valiantly for individual freedoms – gender equality, establishing the rule of law, giving women the vote, abolishing slavery, de-criminalizing homosexuality (all done before the US even tried to accomplish any of them) – contrasted with the times that they gave away their own freedoms with frantic haste.
Some of these things, the Brits have established; then thrown away; then put back again: several times, in fact. It’s amazing it still works over there at all. There are only so many times you can hope for Bran the Blessed or King Arthur to come back and fix things … but they do have some advantages that we here in the United States do not. The Royal Family must be a tremendous help in maintaining calm: not only do they throw up heroes at dependable intervals, but they are also a grand show and distraction without requiring the populace to actually hate anyone. Better still, the government can be dissolved at any time that the Prime Minister annoys enough people. And then a new government must be elected at a speed unrivaled by anything in America. Hell, we don’t elect grade school class presidents as fast as the British elect Prime Ministers.
I would absolutely love it if we could dissolve the current government, and immediately elect a new one. The only real problem would be convincing the current Chief Executive that he is not actually a king, emperor or god; and giving him the boot. But I can dream.
Instead, we are once again on the Everlasting Re-election Merry-go-round. I think it’s indecent that it began merely halfway through the incumbent’s 4-year term; it’s a little better now, a year and some change before the primaries. It’s still horrible, though; especially since everyone has begun in an effort to keep up with the President’s unseemly haste to find some excuse to stay in office. Personally, I expect our long history of a bloodless transition of power to end in 2020. But I also pray nightly to be proven wrong.
Weirder things have happened in the Federal government. Then again, that’s how we got into the present mess.
In the meantime, I follow the news because it is my duty as an enfranchised adult to be aware of current events. I send letters and emails, I sign petitions, I stay alert. When I must take some time off in order to retain my sanity, I return to the fray as soon as my brain and gut can take it. Better a belly ache and some migraines than to live in ignorance and trust that the Wrong Will Fail, the Right Prevail – as the old carol runs. Peace On Earth seems even less likely.
So, Dear Readers, why this diatribe tonight? Well, it’s been a difficult year so far, and the last month has been especially wretched. The political news is so horrible it’s probably giving us all cancer. Ray’s death in July gets first place in my personal competition, but we have also been dealing with some of the usual “Why on Earth is this shit happening NOW?” problems that usually attend a death. Most we have managed to solve so far, and what has been too much for our frail resources has been heroically assisted by good friends and true. My undying gratitude goes out to the saintly people who have sent us food baskets, sweeties, books, cards and help in dealing with the demons of bureaucracy: especially Cynthia, Susan, and Steve and Carol and Neassa.
Still, my patience has been sorely tried. I am not even pretending to be nice to the endless stream of realtors on the phone, all offering to buy the house since one of the mortgage holders has been noted as being inconveniently dead. One of the bastards actually came to the front door this morning – on a Sunday! – to try and frighten poor Kimberly into listing the house. She sent him away with, as they say, a bug in his ear – and he was lucky it was only a figure of speech. The younger cat is excellent at catching cockroaches.
So, anyway, I am sick and tired and full of rage at most everything. Binge watching British mysteries helps. Reading treatises on biology of various sorts helps. Writing will help, when I can do it; but I cannot yet. Not quite. I made a small beginning tonight, though, and am confident that in the very near future I can return to a good 1,000 or so words a day.
Thank you for your patience, Dear Readers. The world is full of tyrants oppressing all of us, in endless ways, everywhere and all the time. But they will die and fall. And we will not.