A Projection of Madness

“Nobody today is normal, everybody is a little bit crazy or unbalanced.  People’s minds are running all the time. Their perceptions of the world are partial, incomplete. They are eaten alive by their egos. They think they see, but they are mistaken; all they do is project their madness, their world, upon the world. There is no clarity, no wisdom in that!”  ~Taisen Deshimaru

I see that a lot in the media.  I see that a lot in politics.  I see that a lot in myself.

If this were a Dickens’ novel, Steve Scalise would awaken and renounce his mean spirited, racist, homophobic past, and work tirelessly to ensure that all Americans have access to the same level of health care that saved his own life.

Sadly, this is not a Dickens’ novel.

*bang*

Steve Scalise pushed through a “health care” bill that will strip coverage from millions of people, resulting in the deaths and suffering of– at a minimum– thousands.

They will die one at a time, surrounded by family or alone. They will live lives of poverty, crushed by overwhelming debt. They will linger in pain, even though cures and medications exist, because they don’t have the means to access them.

Violence doesn’t always happen with a bang.

Sometimes it’s as quiet as the stroke of a pen.

Dormant Fears

I don’t know why this thought occurred to me in the small hours of the morning when I should have been sleeping, but it suddenly hit me that when the bomb exploded over Hiroshima that morning in August, it wasn’t just 70,000 people who died instantly. It was also animals and plants.

There were cats and dogs who had just had their breakfast. Kittens were nursing. There were birds coming to feeders, butterflies coming to flowers. The flash would have caught some birds and insects in flight, never to land.

Carefully tended autumn gardens would never be harvested. Flowers that were sources of beauty vanished. Bonsai trees, lovingly cared for sometimes for decades, in an instant turned to steam and smoke.

I was a child of the Cold War, and grew up with the fear that a madman would destroy the earth. Sometimes when I left for school I wondered if I’d ever see my parents again. I knew I could vanish in an instant, before my mind was even cognizant of what was happening.

Those fears faded with time. For most of my adult life I didn’t think anyone would be so evil, so cruel, so unthinking.

Until now.

Rambling About Us

Right now they kind of want it both ways. On the one hand they’re saying, “This is a you’re-on-your-own kind of a country,” but then they also want us to have warm, fuzzy, patriotic feelings because we’re all in this together.

It doesn’t work that way.

The flip side of “Nobody owes you anything” is “Then I don’t owe anyone anything.”

I’m not sure I want to live in such a place.

You would think after thirty straight years of daily bombings they would have figured out that violence doesn’t work as a means to solve your problems.

The sad thing is, you can’t be sure which side I’m talking about.

(polite applause)

There’s a kind of joke comedians call “clappers,” jokes that aren’t really funny but it makes the crowd clap.  At the end of his career, Bob Hope did a lot of those.  He’d say, “Boy, politicians sure are stupid,” and everyone would clap because they, too, believed that politicians were stupid.

And to me, that’s the worst part of having Trump as president.  The only thing comedians and comic strips are giving us are “clappers.”

And I’m bored with them.