For awhile, I updated this blog every day.
I wrote down topics and bookmarked articles. I tried to publish something before 9 a.m. I wouldn’t go to sleep until after I’d drafted something.
Lately, I find it hard to be bothered.
It’s not that I don’t care. I just can’t think.
I have so many questions about the politics of this country, and so many fears about where America is headed. You might have some of the same ones. (Unless you’re a “Judge Parker” fan, in which case you probably have other questions. Statistics show that my “Judge Parker” posts have been among the most popular on this blog. Go figure. I guess I’m not the only one wondering what happened to Sophie.)
I thought of writing a post about what Donald Trump will do the first time he has to give a speech following a tragedy, like a mass shooting or natural disaster. Past presidents, whether Democratic or Republican, have been both inspiring and humble — even choked up — on those occasions. But that kind of rhetoric and empathy isn’t Trump’s style.
How will that go over? Will it even matter?
I thought of writing something about isolation. Every time I read something about voters in the western world turning away — from globalism, from immigrants, from the cosmopolitan world that’s come to be associated with “elitists” — I keep hearing a portion of Howard Beale’s speech from “Network,” the one before he orders his audience to open their windows and yell, “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!”:
It’s like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don’t go out anymore. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we are living in is getting smaller, and all we say is, ‘Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials and I won’t say anything. Just leave us alone.’
(Especially that bit about “steel-belted radials.” I love you, Paddy Chayefsky.)
Is that the world we’ve created?
I considered a piece about how people may be amazingly generous to an individual — say, a homeless person on the side of the road — but rail against “the homeless” as a group as welfare cheats and bloodsuckers. (“But some of my best friends are …”) And I’ve wondered about religion — how it moves some people to open their hearts, and other people to close their minds. (Hat tips to F.B. and S.W.)
All of this … unsettled thought.
I can’t get a handle on it right now. I try not to pay attention to the daily shocks of the Twitterer-in-Chief, because they’re all about stoking outrage — or expressing his, if nothing else. But they’re unavoidable, even if you’re trying to avoid them. Can You Believe He Just Said That?
Maybe I’ll have more energy tomorrow. It’s been a long day and I have actual work to do.
Here’s a picture of Mulligan.