I hardly go out any longer. Instead, I invested in a flat screen TV. There are several programs that Melody and I enjoy and I like to keep up with the news and commentary. A few posts ago, a commenter to this blog suggested that anyone that vexes himself over political matters as much as I must have other issues. At first I laughed it off as a "no one is blinder than he who won't see" remark, but then I began to worry that someone had posted the results of my Minnesota Multi-Phasal Personality Index on the net and I had to reconsider the commenter's statements.
I am by nature reclusive, but even I can recognize this last round of social withdrawal as pathological. If I were female, I might say that after the Cohen primary victory, I was so shocked from backing a winner that I went into a sort of post-partem depression from dealing with these unfamiliar feelings; or a Jimmy Carteresque malaise waiting for the other shoe to drop. Since I was diagnosed twenty years ago with a genetic pre-disposition for depression, these episodes don't concern me as much because I understand them now and know they will pass. Still, I feel like I should call my friends and apologize for going missing in action, but this frame of mind also accepts that most people are so self-absorbed they never notice the comings and goings of anyone else, and my real friends understand anyway.
Of course my days are colored by the tenor of the times and I remain disconcerted about the workings of this government. But the discord created by this administration manifests itself in almost every other aspect of life. In every arena of public life I am daily disturbed by the combative, confrontational, inconsiderate, or just plain mindless attitude of people's interactions with others. I have previously written about the chore driving has become. When Melody and I go anywhere, she insists on driving because my explosive responses to the cell phone talkers and bad drivers were not disturbing anyone but her. An example; today, we were driving behind a new Escalade driven by some unconscious preppie wannabe, and there was a brand new "W" sticker on the rear window that said "Still the President." I wondered if it was necessary to continue to remind us? The polarization that exists in general society today makes me nostalgic for Nixon.
I watch my wide screen and wonder how the Evangelicals must feel hearing their born-again President compared to the Devil at the United Nations, to the general amusement of other world leaders. I see Bush's approval ratings above 40% and wonder who can still be defending this Chucklehead when he says to Matt Lauer about the terrorist threat, "This is people who want to come here and kill your families." I hear Darth Cheney brag that there have been no further acts of terror on our soil since 9/11 and I immediately search for a wooden surface to knock on. I think that before any "alternative" interrogation techniques are approved for use by our forces, that Bush should have to try them out first. The way they make it sound, waterboarding is a pleasant summer sport. I try to put this growing hatred I feel towards the members of the Bush administration in context and tell myself that it is their policies that I hate, although it's difficult to make the separation with this strutting, stammering fool in your face all the time who feels he can better make his point by saying the same thing, only louder. I wish Bush's handlers would just tell him to shut up and go to Crawford and do no further harm, but he consumes my reality with his arrogance and constant hurtling toward further wars. I wish there were more I could do to hasten the day when accountability arrives, but I fear that the Bush group will use future conflicts or aggressive actions to fan the flames of nationalism for their cynical partisan use.
But I'm just one man looking for a brighter day when my sense of humor returns and I can enjoy the simple comforts of time passed easily with friends. This election is only 46 days away. If by some chance the Democrats snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, I honestly don't know what I will do. I could benefit from the use of a psychologist, but I am one of the uninsurables, and psychotherapy is a luxury for which I cannot afford to pay retail. I had health insurance once, but the company dropped me because I needed it. Until then, you are my psychologist and I thank you for withholding your bill until times get better.