Heat Wave

It’s not like they didn’t warn us.

Yesterday it was a 112 degrees in Portland, Oregon.

But I don’t live in Portland, Oregon.

Ever been in weather that hot? I have, in Sharm El Sheik. Back when it was still part of Israel, before it was given back to Egypt, when it was a tent city as opposed to a built-up resort. One day it was 121 degrees, another 123. What I remember most vividly is drinking seven bottles of the equivalent of 7-Up and not having to pee, that’s how much I was sweating.

But I don’t live in Sharm El Sheik either.

But I do live in Southern California, where I never know when I must vacate my house because of fire danger.

And then there’s the Delta variant. It’s all over the news, assuming you read the news. Then again, Tucker Carlson constantly implies that you should not get vaccinated while he won’t say whether he’s gotten the jab or not. Hmm… Anyway, in Israel and Australia they’re back to wearing masks, I guess they’re willing to give up their “freedom.” Yes, in Israel, one of the most vaccinated countries in the world, and Australia, where the strict quarantine of those entering the country, even citizens, kept Covid at bay. As for Melbourne, they locked down the city even though infections were in the single digits, as in LESS THAN TEN! Because you stamp out a flickering flame before it becomes a conflagration.

Now the truth is in unvaccinated parts of the country, Covid-19 cases are rising, but it doesn’t feel like they are, so it must not be happening. But then it happens to you. Too bad if you’re an American. Because the country was built on individual freedom, pulling yourself up by your bootstraps, and if anything goes wrong you’re on your own, we don’t bother to help you, or if we do you’re labeled a taker, and you circle your wagons and endure the hardship as the rest of the population ignores you.

It’s not like they haven’t been talking about global warming. They renamed it “climate change,” learning from Frank Luntz that branding is everything and in truth, parts of the globe can become colder while others become hotter.

And then it happened. Drastic cold in the northeast. And it was 118 degrees in Siberia last week. But nobody bothers to lift a finger.

We’re leaning towards authoritarianism, it looks like it’s going to happen. Yes, the left has been complaining about the death of democracy ever since the southern states started enacting voter suppression laws. But the real problem isn’t the voting laws as much as our form of government. Nothing can get done. Doesn’t happen this way in China…President Xi comes up with the plan and it’s executed, and you toe the line or you’re incarcerated. I’m not saying that I approve of what Xi is doing to the Uighurs, or Hong Kong, but the truth is they just built a ten story building in China in a day, and they’re in the middle of an infrastructure boom, highways and railroads everywhere, meanwhile America falls apart in a game of musical chairs, where you just hope you’re not in the building or on the highway when it gives out.

Nothing can get done in America.

Furthermore, the country can’t even get on the same page. There’s endless tribalism and misinformation and the truth is we can’t get everybody to agree, so nothing gets done. As for the right, their goal is to return is to a golden age of white America when things weren’t that good to begin with, as for the left…they must be wrong, they must be fought, because if the right is flawed the left must be too. It’s an endless debate of false equivalencies, although the truth is as a result of cable news and the internet you never have to see news you disagree with, your prejudices are reinforced and you should read the studies about getting people to change their minds…when confronted with the facts, they usually just double-down.

We’re past the tipping point. There may be a recall in California, but there’s no way a Republican can win, the state is far different than it was when the Terminator replaced Gray Davis and proved that government is a skilled job and experience counts.

And getting a Republican elected in a major urban center is also a nonstarter. So the divide gets wider, the south hunkers down, not radically different from the Confederate states of yore, they want to preserve their culture, irrelevant of the consequences.

As for the public?

Jeff Bezos can afford to personally jet himself into the stratosphere, but Amazon can’t have unions, collective bargaining, they must depend upon the benevolence of Jeff’s farm. And unions have a bad name, as do regulations. Come on, a building collapses in Florida and all the experts say that never happens in America. Why? BECAUSE OF REGULATIONS!

Or you sign a contract of adhesion causing you to go to arbitration where the corporation always wins.

But you live outside the battle, you’ve experienced no consequences, and then suddenly you do and…it’s just too bad, you’ve got to lose so the wheels of progress can move forward. Anybody can go broke as a result of medical costs, just do your best not to get sick, avoid that cancer, will you? And while you’re at it, don’t go for treatment anyway, better to roll the dice with your health than be out of pocket, never mind that your lifespan will be shortened.

The above are indisputable facts. Hiding in plain sight. I’m telling you, but the truth is people have been saying all this for years, but it falls on deaf ears.

I hope you’re vaccinated. I don’t care what your reasons for not getting the shot are, religious beliefs, distrust of the government, fear of side effects, none of those are gonna keep you safe if the Delta variant comes knocking, you’re gonna get infected and there’s a good chance you’re gonna die. As for going to a mass gathering, that’s like playing Russian roulette. Tell me, do you want to be Christopher Walken in “The Deer Hunter”? Oh, that’s right, you haven’t seen it, you were too busy watching cartoons at the multiplex.

So there’s heat in the Pacific Northwest. And little water throughout the west. The ski season has shrunk by a month over the past decades. But there are senators telling you to look at the bright side of global warming, that you won’t need a jacket, when the truth is science rules, trumps everything, and nothing happens without consequences, without an equal reaction. Who knew? US!

So one ends up feeling powerless. Greta Thunberg dedicates her life to saving the environment yet those who disagree with her don’t debate the issues, but her age, her delivery, her sex, her nationality…when the truth is the young people are going to inherit the earth, and they’re damn scared, that’s one of the main reasons they’re not having children, they can’t afford it, meanwhile all the economists are freaking out because without population growth our economy will stagnate, like in Japan. Human issues? Those aren’t important.

I feel powerless. Then there are those who say to join the system, to run for office. Now I vote, every single time, but the truth is when the game is rigged you just can’t win. That’s what all these election laws are all about, and based on a falsehood that Trump actually won the election. And Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz are still in office when Al Franken had to vacate his seat, killed by his own party.

There’s nothing rotten in Denmark, but there’s plenty of decay in America. But if you point out the country’s flaws so they can be addressed you’re a disloyal un-American hater who must be isolated and castigated by the tribe, the same one that tells you to be an individual, confused yet?

And this is all happening in plain sight, it can’t go on forever.

So you can’t follow leaders, because they’re all beholden to the corporations, big money interests, and as far as those parking meters, they were all sold to hedge funds and operate on Sundays and holidays now so you’d better watch them very closely.

The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls.

But there are no subways in rural areas.

And the billionaires don’t ride the subway and today artists are not prophets but mini-corporations who are income-ranked, message be damned.

Meanwhile, it’s over a hundred degrees in Portland and I can’t leave my house for fear of the Delta variant.

Comments are closed