Friday, November 4, 2016

drip, drip, drip

The unremitting and sleazy vaporousness of the 2016 presidential election cycle drip-drip-drips towards next Tuesday and Election Day itself. Like a lot of what seems to be happening around me, there has been cacophony and insult and volume without much concern for the onlookers/electorate that is allegedly concerned. After Election Day, Hillary Clinton will be able to stop dropping to her knees in thanks to Donald Trump next Tuesday: If there was one voter who put her in the office she will assume, Trump is the man who did it. Trump's impassioned and unsupported belches of emotion and insult have struck a nerve without supporting evidence. Clinton's 'statesman-like' distances and issues of trustworthiness looked almost adult by comparison.

But nowhere has there been much evidence that either candidate has a goal in mind and a path along which to achieve it. The electorate is left to vote with his or her gut ... which is to say, without evidence or credible building blocks.

It has been sleazy and endless and among the electorate-hermit-crabs like me who stuck a head out to see what was going on, the news is not convincing. Tuck your head back in and watch America drip-drip-drip into third-world mediocrity where schools go begging, healthcare is a political football with no goal lines, and war is easier than the sticky wickets that peace might entail.

On television sport shows and television financial shows, network genius seems devoted to adding more and more talking heads, each disagreeing with the other ... or piling on so much information that the onlooker cannot find a focus. Volume is substituted for argumentation and the louder anyone is -- somehow -- the more truthful s/he becomes. Fuck the viewer, fuck the electorate -- it's MY opinion that matters. Only of course it doesn't: Again and again, intractable fact shows itself for what it is -- intractable fact.

But perhaps I am whining as once agrarian societies swooned and keened when the steam engine made its indelible mark. Or I am just another old fart looking back but unwilling to call it what it is -- looking back. I keep wishing someone would tell me that there were a point at which everyone could get off this highway and address and assess the actual-factuals as distinct from the heart-felt volume of the under-educated or well-spoken or much-dressed. Just a few minutes. It ain't gonna happen, but that doesn't mean I can't wish it might. Stop it, please!

Old fogies dress it up no less than the "millennials" who dress their Kewpie dolls. The grey and grizzled too have their volume and loneliness... and if you just whine loud enough, maybe you can drown out the others -- so young and so assured that they won't die -- who are likewise drowning you out.

Election Day is almost here, but the period on the sentence does not exist, I'm afraid. The drip-drip-drip awaits the advent of yet another drip-drip-drip and the laughter remains hidden in shadows no flashlight can dispel. It has been an anxious-making tsunami, this election business. And unfortunately there's no fat lady to sing.