November 15, 2016
"Now the sneaking serpent walks/ In mild humility/ And the just man rages in the wilds/ Where lions roar." — William Blake
About the time Florida fell, I began searching in earnest for where I had stashed my well-thumbed copy of "Applied Mathematics." Something, a deepening sense of tragedy perhaps, told me I would need it by morning.
But, alas, as it turned out, I would have to look elsewhere to locate a formula configuring the evaporation rate of "bile."
Instead, I came upon a tome of Shakespeare. I thought maybe something in "Othello" or "Macbeth" might assist in making sense of the current human condition — so off the shelf it came. As an upside to the process, its heft provided a "cardio" workout sufficient that I was able to skip my normal evening routine of re-filling the ice cube trays.
I found myself wallowing in the blues, maybe even subconsciously enjoying them. I became immersed in the pleasure of being bummed, as it were.
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I found myself wallowing in the blues, maybe even subconsciously enjoying them. I became immersed in the pleasure of being bummed, as it were. Anyway, I steered clear of Robert Johnson and Buddy Guy and Taj Mahal and all the other blues singers, including Sinatra, with a history of bringing me out of a funk.
Luckily for us aspiring adherents to the old Cactus Ed Abbey quote, "a pessimist is an optimist in full possession of the facts," I maintained a coefficient of bleakness adequate to the occasion.
Of course, the minimum daily requirement of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen didn't hurt. (I steered clear of "Forever Young" and "Hallelujah.")
I also postponed a reading of my friend Teri Orr's weekly Saturday column in this same publication. I knew there would be more than a quantum sense of hope involved and I wasn't nearly bottomed out to my own satisfaction as of yet. Hallucinations from the depth of the Marianas Trench beckoned, and defaulting them to voicemail wasn't an option.
Maybe joining a cult would help keep me from the light. Haven't come upon anyone sporting an outward "Goth" look of late, but then again, I don't get out of Heber much. There must be someone out there who could round me into shape as an easily identifiable member of the darkly inclined.
Although glances at the mirror quickly assured me that I had nothing to worry about in that area, I continue to stoke the fires. Thoughts that those soon to be in power deny climate change, calling it a "false science," and that a proposed Secretary of Education has as part of his creation myth the notion that the earth arrived, geologically speaking, last week, give my brows a satisfying sense of brooding.
Now when Nixon was first elected, my then lifestyle allowed me to seek refuge via acquisition of various perspective enhancers from Joe's Pool Hall down on Tweedy Boulevard in South Gate, a neighboring burg with an outstanding, fully-lit-for-night-play three-par golf course as an adjunct to their City Park.
Come to think of it, a quick stop at Joe's also enhanced fully-lit-for-night-play that didn't involve wedges and putters. Incorrigibility ran amok. There were at least as many reasons for "taking it to the streets" in those days as, by the looks of things, there are now. I would argue that the time for our youth to engage in the snorting of tear gas in lieu of drugs is long past due.
As much as anything else portended by the recent election results, it's not hard to fathom a western lands giveaway to state interests that would immediately put them on the auction block clothed in windfalls for "jobs" and "education." Embedded in that fallacy, of course, is the continued extraction of fossil fuels and the inherent feedback loop involved.
So, Barry, how 'bout you as a lame-duck President doing everything in your power to remove the "For Sale" signs from these often sacred lands. Maybe the answer is in the Antiquities Act and the creation of National Monuments. Bears Ears would be a good start.
But, whatever you can do to keep the "drill baby, drill" bunch at bay and best serve Mother Earth would be greatly appreciated. Also, of course, you might free Leonard Peltier while you're at it. Then when you see James Comey, you can wink at him!
Jay Meehan is a culture junkie and has been an observer, participant and chronicler of the Park City and Wasatch County social and political scenes for more than 40 years.