♫ And there’s always something more
Lost in talk, I waste my time
And it’s all been said before
While further down behind the masquerade
The tears are there
I don’t ask for all that much
I just want someone to care
Answer right now ♫
— A, not the, bridge between singer-songwriter earnestness and power pop jadedness1
Your emotive WPT host yo-yos from sepulchral2 to giddy from moment to moment while keeping up with the political, policy, legal and societal news of the day. Call this lability an overabundance of empathy. Denounce it as not knowing when to keep one’s eyes on their own paper.3 Recognize the reactiveness as a real problem when maintaining a reasonable mien remains a reasonable expectation.
Still, who would not rage one minute after learning six of nine U.S. Supreme Court justices will almost surely ignore all precedent and violate every principle of the rule of law to allow Texas’ ban on abortions to stand, empowering vigilantes as the deputized enforcers of statute and leaving the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in tatters?
Who would not the very next minute hearten to hear the Brazilian Senate filed paperwork to charge reckless homicidal maniac Jair Bolsonaro with crimes against humanity? The effort may come to naught, but the attempt fosters hope of holding the worst actors to account.
And then, sprinting along the continuum of cognation, laugh out loud to know innumerable committees—and surely more than one historian of aviation—allowed the State of Ohio’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles to strike a run of commemorative license plates showing the Wright Brothers’ Flyer towing a banner from it nose instead of its tail. Check it out. Hilarious.
Lather, rinse and repeat each half hour every half hour through your waking hours each day for the rest of your life. Who can live like this?
Uvular hates giving away spoilers, but the answer to the question of who can carry on amidst the maddening madness of modern life boils down to “most people.” A great lyric and song title from a great band out the Great North runs “It’s a Good Life if You Don’t Weaken.” Which, hell to the yeah. Toughness matters.
Except also and essentially, no.
The world stays too much with us, some old dead dude once wrote in so many words.4 When that reality becomes oppressive and threatening enough, even the most-inured people break.
♫ Meet me in the middle of the day
Let me hear you say, “Everything’s okay”
Bring me southern kisses from your room
Meet me in the middle of the night
Let me hear you say, “Everything’s alright” ♫
This header’s epigraphed song opens with the above chorus. Because why wait to realize moments of grace, solace and reprieve mixed in with the maelstrom. And why forget, Steve Forbert interposes, that we can ask for the respite we require?
All the songwriters refenced in this referential reminiscence make the larger point that while Jean-Paul Sartre committed a valid cavil concerning Hell and other people to print, those strangers we call friends and family5 are all we have. So, allow Maria McKee and Lone Justice to make it all better, if only for a lapse of 257 seconds.
Now, back to the battle for the soul of society. Or at least to the contest of culling upvotes on comments.