Shit Show.

Decades ago, windows down, you braked to a stop at the red light in downtown St. Pete and waited for the green to take a right turn. On the corner, a smallish, stooped gentlemen also waited — for the “Walk” signal. In hindsight now, he looked like the sour, surly Bernie Lefkowitz of Cocoon fame. The signals happened simultaneously — your green and his green — so you eased the Dodge coupe forward, timing Bernie’s rendition of the Tim Conway shuffle, allowing a good seven feet of clearance. Bernie was pushing at least 80, but his hearing didn’t know it. He turned like a ballet dancer, spread his legs like a boxer, and flailing with both arms, aimed a middle finger tirade directly at your face. In the next 10 seconds, you took a graduate school course in profanity. You couldn’t know it at the time, but the episode was an instant life lesson in aging. At that time, all you saw was a bitter, bellyaching old schmuck looking for an excuse to bully and bulldoze anyone in his crosshairs. Decades later now, as you gaze into the mirror, there’s a strangely unfamiliar, corrugated landscape, etched in traces of cynicism and hostility, that stares back. You’ve seen that face before, scowling on a St. Pete street. No doubt Bernie earned his scowl in WWII. No doubt that Bernie also had his heyday. But it went away like all heydays do. And everywhere the old fart looked, new American generations were muckin’ up the place, with no appreciation, no gratitude, no respect. Like the young, impatient jerks in automobiles prodding him to get the lead out on a busy St. Pete street. You would like to tell Bernie that time eventually would teach the jerks a lesson — that one day America would be a more civil place and future senior citizens like him would be able to put aside anger and replace it with a happier outlook. But in retrospect, decades later, you recall that Bernie’s America — your America — was still in love with Mom, God and Apple Pie, even with Her flaws. Nothing like today. Nothing resembling the 2021 shit show. You don’t have to be a scholar to agree that Americans always disagreed, debated and complained bitterly about wars, depressions, taxes and crooked politicians — about hardship, discrimination, rationing and hopelessness. Americans always had a bone to pick. But through it all, Americans of all stripes — Republican, Democrat, White, Black, Poor, Rich, Crooks, Immigrants, White Collar, Blue Collar — believed in America — in what She stood for — and they stood shoulder to shoulder to protect and preserve Her core values, against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Nothing resembling today’s 2021 shit show. New generations of leaders and voters, ignorant beyond any sense or sensibility, have decided that biology is relative and children should be pushed to examine and choose their gender. They have decided that unlettered elementary school teachers should be allowed to introduce explicit sex literature to prepubescent children. They — meaning Congress and the people in robes who laughably call themselves “Supreme” — have decided that having a 30 trillion dollar debt is inconsequential — that printing money is effortless and inflation is overrated. That allowing millions of illegal aliens to pour through America’s borders may be against the law, but some laws are meant to be broken — like laws prohibiting the destruction of private and public property or laws against illegal search and seizure, or the abridgment of the first and second amendments. That the Constitution itself is an antiquated document created by white supremacist males whose sole purpose was to subjugate people of any color other than white. They have decided that the future belongs to a new Communism, an ideology that allows all individuals to share equally in America’s bounty — a system that fairly regulates and operates essential industries, from national healthcare to national energy. They have decided that ordinary Americans, ill equipped by intelligence and experience, must be required to submit to any policy that is in the so-called “public interest” — notably to comply with mandated medical procedures. You must acknowledge that quite a large number of Americans are unwilling to put up with government assembled shit. They have searched storage rooms, garages and crawl spaces to find their shovels and are busily using them. Other Americans — millions, really — are deeply worried about their country and their livelihoods. So they choose to comply, to wait and see . . . wait and see. . . and hope. You’re waiting, too. Waiting to see what manner, or what measure of shit, will Americans — all Americans of every stripe — endure before they stiffen their spines and say, “enough.” Suffering from osteoporosis, a pedestrian named Bernie somehow straightened and stiffened his back on that sunny day in St. Pete so very long ago. God bless him. He was American, through and through.

One thought on “Shit Show.”

  1. Dick. Every day I think it can’t get any worse. And every day it gets worse. We are living in bizarro world.

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