Friday, June 5, 2020

It's time for a break

Okay, I’ll admit that I let myself get carried away with my last post. Why did I feel the need to rant about the possibility of a “New Normal,” especially when it seems to be arriving before I ever made sense of the “Old Normal.’?

What was I thinking? So what if more than 107,000 of us have died a distressing death from what we were assured was a “hoax”? No matter what the source of our consuming plague the fact remains we stumbled mightily in our national response.

Then for weeks a large portion of our population hunkered down, filling once-vibrant cities and towns with a ghostly silence. By the time we finally woke up and smelled the coffee more than forty-two million of us (42,000,000) had lost their life-sustaining employment……many of them are still waiting for the safety-net benefits promised by state governments that have been literally overwhelmed by the sudden surge.

Meanwhile businesses, large and small, are paying a staggering price for our ill-prepared pandemic response. Tens of thousands of small entrepreneurs have lost everything……years of dreams and efforts have vanished, and for many are lost forever.

So again, what was I thinking? Sure, things were tough. By any measure it had been one devastating “hoax.” But hey, we were still carrying on, weren't we? Things were bound to get better. They sure as heck couldn’t get any worse. Could they?


Well, of course they could……and they have. Just as that lethal pandemic was claiming tens of thousands of lives, and creating unimaginable levels of economic pain, an all-too-familiar societal goblin once again raised its ugly head.

Racism….police conduct….peaceful protest….rioting and looting……stir them together and you may create a toxic blend, capable of producing a wide range of sad outcomes…..especially when viewed against the Constitutional guarantees of freedom of assembly and expression, and the accompanying assurance that “all men are created equal.”

All that emerged in a single brief, hard-to-view instant, documented by a spur-of-the-moment video. In those few seconds the aforementioned health and economic problems were suddenly overlaid with a shocking level of social unrest sparked by a single uniformed policeman reverting to long-standing, often-criticized law enforcement attitudes and techniques. 

In a matter of hours the already toxic blend of societal distrust and dysfunction had turned even more sour…..until it felt like we must be approaching its outer limits. After all, what more could go wrong?


Then, in a matter of days, we had our answer. From the depths of a White House bunker came the “official” American response. If “fierce dogs” and “tremendous weapons” were not sufficient, then it was time to “dominate” those who dared protest. 

The US military, the strongest forces on earth, would be activated. And sure enough, overnight the District of Columbia effectively became a war zone. “Martial Law” had been dusted off and brought to the sidelines, ready to be used as necessary.

And that is where we are today. Charges have been brought against the officers whose actions set the latest events in motion…….but who certainly did not invent the crimes they committed. At the same time George Floyd has been memorialized over and over.

And in the process I have dealt with about all grief I can handle for now. It is time for me to escape for a while, to move on to something more tasteful and productive. You’re welcome to join me if you wish.


I don’t know what you do when your need a break from the real world, but I know what works for me. Over the years I’ve learned that feeding my own wanderlust virus can be an effective antidote for reality overload.

It takes only minutes to revisit people and places I have known, or wish I had known. ( a click on the red headings will take you there)……for instance...........

Head Rambles…..a blog of rural life in the Wicklow Mts of Ireland as seen through the eyes of crusty old fellow whose motto is ….. “Grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference.”

Silver Tiger…..A retired London fellow who blogs about his daily travels among the sights and out-of-the-way places around London. Has a chatty style with lots of photos and a historical bent.

Big John…..Another Londoner, opinionated and outspoken on the events of the day.

Grit and Giggles…..Amanda, the self-proclaimed Bush Babe of Oz blogs about life on an isolated cattle station in the Australian outback.

Peter-Pho2…..Photo sights and insights of expat life in present-day Paris.

Gerry Hasson…..When it comes to making sense of today’s world as seen through UK eyes I enjoy Gerry Hasson’s view with a Scottish slant. For instance his thumbnail sketch of English PM Boris Johnson…..”He is a habitual liar, a cheat, a cruel betrayer of the women he seduces, with no redeeming character… short he is unfit to lead the country.” (Where had I heard that before?)

Meet me by the sea…..a photo-filled offering of one of my own favorite English delights…..the beautiful Cornish coast. If this doesn’t transport you to a better place I don’t know what will.

With that in mind I will trek off into the sunset…..reminding myself that none of us get out of this alive.