Saturday, November 12, 2016

And Perhaps We Were Too Dear

As we rode our bikes in our diverse cities, with our jobs, our clean desk jobs.  Jobs where we didn't need to bath and scrub to get them off of us at night.  With our access to information and broadband and noises and smells that forced us to face those not like us and see them.  Those maligned immigrants, holding onto the poles of the subway when the seats were full, mowing lawns, washing dishes, washing cars, washing our homes and our children, passing us helmet-less on bikes we discarded, riding from need to affordable transit and not from desire to achieve.  With our intellectual curiosity, and our interests in other cultures, without fear and hatred.  With our world travels, with our degrees, our four dollar coffees, and our farmer's markets.

With our algorithms linking us to other like thinkers.

With our love of international aid projects that encourage extractions abroad without irony, while our coal mines closed at home.  With our knowledge of how government really works and the vacant, gaping blindness to where it was not felt.  With our love of volunteering, of public health, of things bespoke.  

As civics classes died, as cable networks took over, as people stopped reading and stared at the screen, alone, at night, when the gremlin thoughts emerge.   As the free, the network news, moved under the entertainment wing of networks.  As medicine ads sustained the old and sick who watch television network news and receive the very public assistance that paid for the very medicines being advertised.  As maps of heroin addiction and despair appear like ink blots atop shuttered factory towns.  As people hunted for a bad guy, for a place, a face, a single target for blame for a loss of manufacturing jobs that technology and progress would insure never returned.  And the same of us bought piles and heaps of cheap things made elsewhere without any thought to consequences to harm to damage, real and psychological.

As we walked over decaying leaves while the sunlight shined in our eyes, wearing our custom Red Wing Shoes and our turned up jeans.  As we voted for candidates that raised millions of dollars from those placing a bet, gambling that we could put the faith of the greatest nation in the world in the hands of single person who would think themselves capable to running the greatest power.

As we sat dismayed to find that elsewhere, the pain is so deep, the minds so willing to buy that lottery ticket that may change the loss of face and esteem, even when all logic says that dollar would be best sent elsewhere.

We stood uncertain of everything we knew about us, uncertain that were as kind, as sure-footed, as special, as great.  And a few wondered if that was what the Romans thought right before it ended, right as they realized what was happening outside the city.

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