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Suburban Worldsick Blues

27 May

by Roger White

 

With a tip of the hat to a master chronicler of the American age, it must be noted that Bob Dylan never lived in a 3/2/2 with central heat/air and two and a half mortgages during a time when, by all appearances, our society is on the verge of utter decay—all viewable with the click of a mouse or touch of a pad.

 

So I give you “Suburban Worldsick Blues.”

 

Perry’s in the Capitol, railin’ against abortion,

I’m lookin’ at my taxes thinkin’ it’s extortion,

The man in the trench coat shootin’ up the school halls

Says he got bullied so everybody must fall.

 

Look out, dad, the economy is bad,

God knows what we did, but the country’s on the skids.

 

You better duck down, turn page, watch out for road rage,

Another mass swhyhooting, another senseless rampage,

Sterling’s on his cell phone reminiscin’ ’bout slavery,

Miley’s twerkin’ onstage, scandalous behavery.

 

Look out, mom, Gotta stay calm,

Soldiers in Kabul dodging roadside bombs.

 

Get sick, get well, they’re laying off again at Dell,

Are we winnin’ whatever war, it’s gettin’ kinda hard to tell,

Presidenidiotst says our healthcare system’s unfit,

All Congress says is where’s your birth certificate?

 

Well, Hormel, GM organizin’ recalls,

Bad meat, bad brakes, pickets down at town hall,

Daughter’s college fees call for medical sedation,

Building border walls to stifle immigration.

 

Look out, pop, no tellin’ where it stops,

Younger daughter’s boyfriend working at a head shop.

 

Mortgage underwater, excess beer consumption,

Viagra wants to help with that erectile dysfunction,

The factonoworkry just made a Chapter 11 declaration,

School board says it’s gonna teach divine creation.

 

Text tweet online, your selfie looking so fine,

Kids in Bosnia steppin’ on old land mines.

Icebergs meltin’, droughts killin’ all the wheat,

Just global warmin’ lies of the liberal elite.

 

Well, get dressed, get stressed, face the day’s traffic mess,

Oops, your job’s just been outsourced to Bangladesh.

Don’t follow leaders, take pills for all the cedars,

Find yourself a new position as a Walmart greeter.

 

Look out, mama, you’re dyin’ from the trauma,

Increase yer Prozac dosage, tune in the dalai lama.

 

Well, jump down a manhole, filibuster gun control,

thebardThink I saw a shadow up there beyond the grassy knoll,

Headin’ to the car, another day in the loony ward,

Shakin’ yer head ’cause the vandals keyed yer new Ford.

 

Roger White is a freelance writer living in Austin, Texas, with his lovely wife, two precocious daughters, a very fat dachshund, and a self-absorbed cat. For further adventures, visit oldspouse.wordpress.com.

143a.

 

Public Notice: Now Seeking Repumocrat Party Supporters

26 Jun

by Roger White

            Enough! Enough, already. Attention, all dogma-driven talking heads, all self-serving politicos, all idiotically uncompromising ideologues—and, yes, all fallow-minded followers: shut up. Please, please, shut the hell up.

            In this high-wire act of a column, in a squeaky office chair some two and a half feet off the ground (without a net, mind you), I am going to attempt one of the most dangerous, possibly career-ending maneuvers ever risked by an aging, pot-bellied freelancer with two mortgages. I am going to ruminate on politics without straying one iota from the fence. I vow to roundly box the ears of both donkey and elephant alike.

            In fact, it is my goal to shred these stubborn creatures to the point that, when I am finished, there will be only pieces left to fashion one political animal: the donkephant. Could make an elekey, I suppose, but donkephant sounds better.

            Seriously, folks, the middle path is the only way out of this terrific mess we’re in today. Don’t you think? Never in my [mumble] years on this little planet have I witnessed the viciousness of partisan politics as it exists now. The oft-used cliché is “rancor.” Oh, the partisan rancor. Kids, this puny word falls far short in describing what’s transpiring in D.C., on the talk-and-shout shows, and in state capitol buildings of late. This is akin to calling World War II “a bit of rancor among the countries.” A more appropriate term for today’s political divide might be unlimited nuclear warfare.

            In the nasty climate du jour, compromise is a dirty word. Negotiation is a black mark on a Congressional resumé. Truth is an opinion, either red or blue. And progress is sacrificed. We have not only the politicians and money-grubbing media to blame; we have to hold ourselves accountable, too. But who am I kidding—it’s approximately 97 percent politicians and the media.

            You can basically lump your elected officials and the news hounds in the same group: They’re both out for No. 1; they’ll say just about anything to keep their ratings high; and they wouldn’t tell you a real truth even if they had an intelligent grasp of what it is.

            How’m I doing so far? I’m a little queasy from the view up here.

            Real people—Redcrests, Bluetails, Independents, and every other feather in between—are sick to death of nothing of real consequence ever being accomplished in Washington because the two major factions under the big dome are too busy bashing each other like Punch and Judy.

            And we follow along, don’t we? Brainwashed to the point of demonizing the party we oppose instead of trying to see the other side, even for a minute.

            Think about it. (Here’s where it’s going to get tough. My chair’s getting a tad wobbly.) Let’s look at guns. As I launch into this, understand that I’m painting with a broad, flat, over-generalizing brush, so bear with me. By and large, conservatives believe guns are necessary for self-protection; liberals think the proliferation of guns means more deadly violence. The real thing we’re after here is personal safety. In the larger picture, both sides would rather not have a criminal kick down their door and savage their family—it’s the means of achieving the same goal we’re debating. Mostly.

            Abortion? (Boy, it’s getting tougher. A crowd’s gathering below me. Helloooo down there!) Conservatives say this is taking a life; liberals say what about the desperate life of the unwanted child? Bigger picture—both sides, if they’re sincere, are wrestling with the issue of basic human rights.

            Government. Hmmm. Let’s pick just an aspect here; this is a big, steaming hunk of rancor. How about social welfare? Let me just say I believe in my little ol’ heart of hearts that both factions don’t want to see weathered stick figures on the roadside carrying “Will Work for Food” signs and old ladies dining on Alpo. Some see it as the government’s role to provide; some believe it is the purview of private enterprise and charities. Again, means, not end, is the rub.

            There must be room for, gulp, compromise. Hey, I said it! Felt good, actually. Look, if the Israelis and Palestinians can make noises about peace talks, maybe Republicans and Democrats can, too.

            Remember the big Congressional “prom” at President Obama’s 2011 State of the Union address? When members of opposing parties sat together to show unison in the wake of Representative Gabrielle Giffords’ ghastly shooting? I think some wore corsages. As laughingly transparent as that move was, it made me think. We should form a new party—not independent, not extremist, but one that seeks common ground whenever possible.

            We’ll call it the Repumocrat Party. Our mascot, of course, will be the donkephant. Our color will be purple (red + blue, natch). We shall not use the words “staunch,” “never,” “always,” “left,” “right,” or any term including the words “wing,” “trending,” or “spin.” Our goal will be the greater truth always, our motto: “Ends matter, means are negotiable.” We’ll start a TV channel that features only good news. Station NAGS—News About Good Stuff.

            I’m thinking we’ll need a fundraiser to get us off the schneid. Hundred bucks a plate perhaps, payable to oldspouse.com. We’ll need a party chairman—that will be me, thank you very much. I’ll work away from the spotlight, in the wings, and I vow never to stray from our staunch principles. I promise that the Repumocrats will always seek what is right and that no one will be left behind. How are we trending thus far?

            OK, I’ll shut the hell up. The fall from my chair has me in a spin.

 

Roger White is a freelance writer living in Austin, Texas, with his lovely wife, two precocious daughters, a very fat dachshund, and a self-absorbed cat. For further adventures, visit oldspouse.wordpress.com.