♪ [Eddie Kendricks]
People moving out, people moving in.
Why, because of the color of their skin.
Run, run, run but you sure can’t hide.
An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.
Vote for me and I’ll set you free. Rap on, brother, rap on.
Well, the only person talking about love thy brother is the preacher.
And it seems nobody’s interested in learning but the teacher.
Segregation, determination, demonstration, integration.
Aggravation, humiliation, obligation to our nation.
Ball of confusion. Oh yeah, that’s what the world is today.
Woo, hey, hey.
The sale of pills are at an all-time high.
Young folks walking round with their heads in the sky.
The cities ablaze in the summer time.
And oh, the beat goes on.
Evolution, revolution, gun control, sound of soul.
Shooting rockets to the moon, kids growing up too soon.
Politicians say more taxes will solve everything.
And the band played on. ♪
Your humble WPT host nearly went with the chorus to The Yardbirds’ “Over, Under, Sideways Down”
♪ Backwards forwards square and round.
When will it end, when will it end,
When will it end, when will it end. ♪
to précis this particular post,* but he deemed it both insufficient and too on the nose to summarize the madness into which this world has descended by virtue of never ascending from madness.
The Temptations released their psychedelic soul classic in May 1970. Every word rings truer than ever, amplified by the comical villainy of appointing avowed enemies of given U.S. government agencies’ missions to lead said agencies. Listing all the instances of that precise act of administrative homicide would take several screens. By way of merely transitioning into the real point of this steamrolling-toward-insufferable surfeit of sanctimony, cast a scornful eye toward Betsy DeVos’ complaining about educators pointing out numerous instances of her intentionally refusing to fulfill her duties as Secretary of Education: “DeVos said it’s ‘hurtful to me when I’m criticized for not upholding the rights of students, the civil rights of students.’”
So that whelms. No one could never feel shocked when a multibillionaire who married into the Amway pyramid sales fortune and grew up with war criminal/Blackwater founder Erik Prince as a brother throws a self-pity party about not doing a job for which she had no experience or inclination.
But this week also hit even causal politics and policy observers full in the face with underwhelming events in the form of a budget deal that Congress could have struck in the spring of 2009 and saved us from a decade of nonsense and, likely, a Trump presidency. We also saw wifebeaters decide to die on the hill of defending fellow wifebeaters, a new slew of high-profile resignations from the White House staff and the Executive Branch as a whole, and Trump breaking faith with reality by doing literally every goddamn thing he does.**
Which leads, inevitably, to getting overwhelmed by looking beyond America’s borders. Capetown and Madagascar have no drinking, agricultural, or sanitation water. Like, at all. People surrounded by water — admittedly sea water — will soon start dying of thirst and unwashed because no one can summon the will or cash to implement solutions such as desalination. Israeli’s equivalent of New York City’s Police Commission demanded multiple indictments of Prime Minister Netanyahu because Bibi took notes on a criminal fucking conspiracy with builders of illegal settlements. Ireland stands on the brink on new Troubles thanks to an abortion referendum in the Republic and an unwanted Brexit in the North. The North Korean cat has snuggled up to the South Korean lamb. And @Merve demands this of Uvular:
Write about something outside U.S. politics. There’s lots of stuff happening in Iran right now, the Olympics are under way, Canadian politics is reckoning with a massive string of resignations due to sexual misconduct allegations, and India is about to implement a massive public health insurance scheme.
Can’t Merve — can’t all of you — recognize a man pinging around inside an isosceles triangle with vertices of whelmed, underwhelmed, and overwhelmed? Whelm, whelm, whelm. What have we here? Somebody please answer.
Make sense of what you can in the comments.
*A little alliteration. And whatever you call the arrhythmic rhyming sleight of hand of “a little alliteration.”
**Wildcard, bitches! But really just to break up the wall of text while making a point about how out of control things seem.