End of a too-long road

We’re finally heading into the last few days before the election, and at this point, I wouldn’t give a plug nickel for either the Democrats or the Republicans. I can’t turn on the TV or radio without some negative piece of crap (worst I’ve ever seen) being played. I’ve just brushed up against the one millionth vicious, barely coherent political brawl in weblog comment threads.

My postwoman, who has become a friend over the last few years, probably will have take a deskjob after this year because her wrists are so bad from delivering the mail. Now, I watch her weighed down by useless political flyers in combination with even more useless Christmas catalogs, and I wince at the pain I see on her face.

We can’t answer our phone anymore, but that’s okay – the political group who is calling has an automated response that talks to our automated response.

Everyone acts as if Wednesday is going to become a political The Day After Tomorrow, and the fate of the world will rest on this election–we’re all going to die if we don’t pick right. Worse, we’re going to go to hell.

Now with all the people hovering over the ballot places (pretending that they know what to do and they’re objective when every damn one has an agenda), what was once a friendly experience is going to turn into the re-creation of the gladiator fights at Rome. Not to mention all the doomsayers saying that no matter what happens Tuesday, the election will be so hotly contested with fouls cried on either side, that we could be deciding this for months.

We’ll have a chance to listen to Ralph Nader whine about how he didn’t get on the polls or get invited to the debates and what’s wrong with the country is the two-party system. You mean, Ralph, you want more parties involved with this? Have you ever seen the Australian political scene with its many parties? Seems to me, they don’t have it easier or more open because there’s more people greedily grabbing at power.

I’m watching the race for governer in this state and I’m seeing a young man who is going to be Bush in about four to eight years, if he wins. I’m sure he’ll give Ashcroft a place at the White House.

All of this is magnified and amplified here until when I read a poem posted in another weblog, it seems less a work of art than an act of defiance.

I woke up with a sour taste in my mouth, and realized it wasn’t something I had eaten, it was what I was reading. Am I a sad, lonely puppy for feeling that whatever this environment was, once upon a time, fresh and new and interesting, has now become the dominion of the professional Neocons and Progressives, the target of corporations, and the gleam in the eyes of the people always on the lookout for the main chance?

Of course, if it has, what’s the harm? After all, if this environment generates opportunities, opportunity is good not bad. We couldn’t stay buried in the amber of obscurity forever; we know this. I think it is just my melancholy mood that makes me see the shadows in the piles of gold, rather than the sparkle of the medal.

We’ve shared so much. The death of a beloved friend to terrorism. Battles with alcoholism and crime and despair–not all winning battles, either. Then there’s the brighter side, with new jobs and rekindled romance with old lovers, and new romance with souls chance met over the wireless void. And the code and silly memes and cat photos; soft, sad reminisces, the loss of family, but the joy of new babies; poetry and art, and silly jokes and gleeful moments; linguistics and irony, and raucus parties all night; our favorite walks, trips, books, and people. And opinion–we are not a shy group when it comes to giving our opinions.

All of what we love is still here, including the friends we’ve made and the writing and photos and technology others have shared, and that we cherish. But there’s a fine film of gray over it now, a faint smell of burnt birth in the distance, and that tinned, shiny hollywood tinsel taste in our mouths.

But next week the US election will be over and all things will be better once that’s past. Right?

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