Be The Government (2016Jul03)


Sunday, July 03, 2016                                              5:46 PM

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Well, this is embarrassing—I wrote my Fourth of July post yesterday and now I want to write something else—but it’s still the day before Independence Day, so what am I supposed to do, pretend it’s not happening and just write about random stuff? Yeah, that’s the plan. So much for topicality.

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Oh, it’s funny—and kind of exhilarating—when you look back at stuff that pissed you off and had you all off your game and under the weather for days—and you realize that your memory isn’t good enough to really remember what all that was about, so who cares anymore. If I can’t interface with the Internet without somebody getting in my face, then I just play Snood for a while and the whole thing’s forgotten—I’d like to take the credit, but honestly, it gets forgotten whether I like it or not.

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Sometimes time moves too fast (usually) and sometimes time moves too slow (that’s the worst so I’m glad it’s the rarer of the two). Sometimes time seems to stand still—but if you wait awhile, you’ll need to go to the bathroom eventually. For me time has always been a little too elastic—my musical friends are always trying to encourage me to use a metronome—but that really just makes it worse—I get confused about the time between the clicks. So I made a deal with myself long ago—that even though music is primarily about rhythm, it was okay for me to do everything without a good rhythm, anyway—we’ll just call it an overabundance of rhubato, that’s all. It’s not that I don’t want to be rhythmic, it’s just that I can’t—time won’t let me, as they say.

 

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I mean, I can feel an anger inside me—but through a combination of not remembering and not wanting to go there, I really have no idea why. Lots of things make me angry—I have an itchy trigger finger and a short fuse. Must be the Irish in me. Back in the day you could pick one thing to be angry about—the War, or Nixon, or Nuclear weapons, or the Ecology. But now there are just too many things going on, both good and bad—not getting angry is becoming an important skill, because the media will latch onto to that and make you watch TV all day or surf around the Internet until your eyes bleed.

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Yes, there are problems out there—it’s time we stopped getting scared about it, or angry about it, and started getting serious about leadership instead. We are about to have an election in which a miserable, dangerous candidate has a shot just because people are so angry and so uncomfortable—and so poor. And that’s on our establishment, no question about it. They’ve been lying down on the job—doing everything but their job. It’s time we elected new people—but not the worst person in the world, just because he sees an opening.

We need to elect local officials who are not wealthy or corrupt, who have public service in mind. Then we need to do that with our state officials, then our congresspersons. Only when we have regained control of our political infrastructure can we do anything about the big dogs—the governors, the senators, vice-president, and president. Those things are just shiny objects for us to jump up and reach for while all the real work gets done behind our backs.

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A vote won’t do it. People have to start going to town meetings, state party meetings, I don’t even know what kinds of meetings—that’s the sad part. The NRA’s zombie army all have the itinerary—surely the rest of us can start to realize that the crazies need to be beaten back at every river ford and mountain pass, that the lobbyists need to face down protestors outside their offices and in the halls of government. The reason we have such bad government now is because we have taken it for granted—but it needs work, just like your house or your yard—and they are overdue for a lawnmowing.

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We don’t get paid to participate in our government, local, state or whatever—we may not even get what we want, personally, by participating. But if we think of it as an appliance that works when you push the button, then we get a government that has no brain, no heart. Only when large numbers of regular people show up will our government ever resemble our desires, or even our needs. We don’t need smaller government or bigger government—we need to be the government.

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