I Have of Late (But wherefore I know not)

I have of late—but wherefore I know not—lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercises, and indeed it goes so heavily with my disposition that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory; this most excellent canopy, the air—look you, this brave o’erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire—why, it appears no other thing to me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapors.

~Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2

Anybody else suffering Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman fatigue? I know I am. Perhaps you’re wondering why, if that’s the case, I’d bother to throw up another post on the subject? Amirite?

Look, I blog for a lot of reasons. I blog to vent, to make intelligent contributions to the national conversation, to mock idiots, and sometimes, every once in a while, I blog to pour my ever-aching heart out. This is one of those posts.

Because shit is jacked beyond belief, and there is not one person of national stature trying to make it right. That hurts. And it’s scary. It’s also gotten tiring as hell. But this post isn’t necessarily about the Martin-Zimmerman nexus of our discourse as much it is about pointing out how that conversation is indicative of where we are and where we’re going.

I’m fucking exhausted watching the ping-pong back and forth between the factions. And there aren’t just two. It’s like a ping-pong free-for-all, with balls flying all over the place from every direction. America is having a national food fight right now, in July, when the food rots fast in the heat and stinks to high heaven. Fuck squirrels; we got dead skunks in the middle of the road.

Yeah, I like to fly fast and loose with metaphors and analogies. It is what it is. That’s what America gets for allowing a poor-ass creative type to get a degree in shit like rhetoric. I don’t apologize for it.

ANYway, I feel like we’re out of control, like we’re hurtling toward some unknown destination on a broken down train that might explode before we get there. FUCK! When is this shit going to stop? Never? Is that the right answer? I don’t know. I do know it’s going to be jack-shit crazy as long as Obama, or anyone of his ilk, is in the White House. Remember, we were preceded by someone of his ilk prior to him. And all kinds of people of his ilk are positioning to succeed him in the years to come.

Oh, I know, you’re looking at Hillary and Biden and you’re nodding your head, but I’m talking about so many more than just those two.

I’m talking about the Rahms and the Weiners on the left, and emergent populist libertarians on the right. I know, I know, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz are heroes, heroes, I tell ya, but you can’t seriously think, when you stop and actually think about it, that it’s beyond reason to suspect that that movement is being put together so seamlessly it could be a Trojan horse, right? I mean, recall that, once upon a time we were, most of us, on the progressive gravy train as well. I mean that shit, once upon a time, was beyond reproach.

Even if that fails, there’s always the uber-authoritarians on the right like Chris-fucking-Christy and Rick Perry just waiting in the wings. It might come from somewhere not even in our field of vision yet; George W. Bush and Obama both came out of what looked like thin air at the time. Remember when we laughed in 2000 and 2008 over whether Bush’s son or a man with a name like Barack Hussein Obama could win the presidency? Yeah, me too.

I remember when I was a kid and I fell in love with this country. It’s been one of the dominant threads of my life, this love I have for who we are, how we were founded, and what we’ve stood for. But I’m rapidly losing it. I’ve fought long and hard NOT to lose it, and maybe that’s why this shift I feel happening in my psyche seems to hurt so much. I want to be who I am, a naturally positive, hopeful person who believes in the power of right over might. But these days, as I look around at this bullshit waste of a national argument, as I look with a new and longer eye toward history, I honestly wonder where the fuck I got the crazy notions that have driven my life. And I want to give up. I want to chuck it all and become a hedonist, and I have despised hedonists almost as much as I’ve despised fascists and vile progs (but I repeat myself). I mean, really, what IS the point of living life just for yourself?

But then I think, what is the point of not?

I chafe under the awareness of my own powerlessness in all of this. I could keep talking, keep trying to contribute, but what. is. the. point? No one is listening, or going to. Persistence pays off only so far, unless one has money and connections, and I have neither. We’ve carved out a nice little safety hovel here at TCH, but we’re throwing echoes into the wind. We’re all (or most) already convinced. And while it’s so nice to know that we’re not alone, what are we really accomplishing?

I fucking hate this shit. When I was a young woman nihilism threatened to overwhelm me, and I fought hard against it. I have written volumes on the dangers of giving up and giving in, knowing that that IS the POINT of all this shit. Of the brawls between our political parties, our races, our classes, etc. TBTB (gawd, how I hate that term) want us to tune out. They want their little armies of true believers to fight their proxy wars for control of the riches, both material and spiritual, that this country is capable of producing. That’s why the pool has to be poisoned, so those who want to survive will get the fuck out of it, and leave it to the martyrs who are willing to sacrificing everything about themselves to the foul causes of their masters.

That’s where we are. And it is probably where we are going. And I didn’t want another day to pass without calling it for what it is, without owning the ache in my heart over the hopelessness of it all. That is all. Like Roger Waters, I thought I’d something more to say

About Woke Lola

Bitch, please.
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84 Responses to I Have of Late (But wherefore I know not)

  1. helenk3 says:

    I have cried for my country since at least 2000. I am watching things happen that I read about in the 60s and 70s.
    I read taylor caldwell, ann ryan, future shock and many other books and was taught in hgh school just how easy it would be to loose the greatness of this country. But I had a core belief that we would be different we would not give up freedom without a fight. That we would not fall for the bs spouting frauds.
    I have seen the educational system be undermined, I have seen freedom of the press sold out. I have watched rights be given up without a fight. Yes I have cried for my country.
    But I have seen a small band of brothers speak out about what is going on. keep a candle of freedom lit. encourage telling others the truth. so maybe this great country will not fall in my lifetime

  2. Oh yeah. Open thread.

  3. Internal Exile says:

    As Lola more or less noted, it hardly matters whether the nominal head of the Executive Branch has a (D) or (R) after his name. 😦

    http://www.alternet.org/print/investigations/why-us-executive-branch-clear-and-present-danger-our-democracy

  4. Case in point. Tavis Smiley speaks:

    Twitter responds:

    http://twitter.com/search?q=%23TavisWeeps&src=tren

  5. DeniseVB says:

    You totally reached deep into my soul, glad you said it. You see, I love this country too and for the first time in my life and, shockingly, my live and die by the sword combat veteran Marine husband…..are thinking of moving to another country. Yes, that’s how deep it aches.

    If Obama keeps the Senate and wins back the House in 2014 (a great possibility, see: How the fuck did he beat Romney?), I really think our nation will finally be transformed to the Dreams of his Father.

    • Mary says:

      He won’t win the House and will probably lose the Senate.

      There will be a silent backlash to the last few weeks.

      Hide and watch.

      • DeniseVB says:

        These are desperate times for the Obamablahmas, I think the GZvTM was a test for his dog whistles. Will try and remain as positive as you are Mary 🙂

  6. elliesmom says:

    I feel like a broken record, and I’m tired of being “a traitor to my gender”, but the next contender for the “come out of nowhere” candidate is Elizabeth Warren. The Democrats will be looking for the next historical candidate. If it was going to be a Hispanic guy they wouldn’t have risked demonizing George Zimmerman. While seeming to promote Hillary Clinton, they are systematically putting the nails in her coffin. If they were planning g on running a woman with a proven track record, we’d be hearing more praise for women like Gillebrand. But we only hear about her when there’s nothing else to report on. In the meantime, in a few short months Warren has gone from being an eccentric Harvard law professor with questionable credentials to being the senior senator from MA. They tried to make her a media darling as the philosophical mother of the OWS movement, and when the movement failed miserably, they “disappeared” it from her resume. If Someone is grooming her image. If you’ve only heard Warren online or on the TV, you haven’t heard Warren speak. She’s the perfect candidate to follow Obama, and while we were racist for not supporting Obama, we’ll be sexist if we don’t support her.

  7. helenk3 says:

    http://weaselzippers.us/2013/07/21/nanny-bloomberg-bans-food-donations-to-the-poor/

    between nutso bloomberg and meeschelle deciding what and what not we can eat the crazy are becoming very annoying

    • westcoaster says:

      That reminds me of the “muffin top” skit on Seinfeld:

    • DeniseVB says:

      When I visit NYC, the “original” compassionate liberal in me always makes the restaurant box up my leftovers nicely so I can drop them off to the next homeless street person I see. I love the God Bless You’s !…….. Until, I met one who refused my kind offering because he didn’t like meatloaf. Ya got cigarettes? Money? No, then f**k off bitch.

      Didn’t once bring up salt content 😉

      • elliesmom says:

        My Girl Scout troop held a sock collection drive for a well-known Boston women’s shelter. When I delivered the hundreds of pairs of socks these kids collected to them, I was told to bring cash next time instead. There never was a next time.

        • 1539days says:

          Once charities started discouraging donations of anything but money, it sucked a lot of good will (pardon the pun) out of the process. Now they want you to impulse donate with your cell phone without even knowing what you’re donating to.

  8. driguana says:

    Great blog, Lola. You raise the most important question of all….what can you do? The idea that voting solves problems is such a myth in so many ways. One group wins, the other hates them and tries to get them out. Then the other group wins and the pattern reverses itself. It is really just cyclical antagonism. Everything in our society should be about “problem solving”. Politics, obviously, does not solve problems. In many cases, it exacerbates them. Who is going to solve Detroit’s problems? Who? Obama and/or the federal government just going to bail them out? No. They have no plan for Detroit or any other metropolitan area.

    Problem solving requires thinking and actions on a local level….people need to be involved. We all need to be involved. Yelling at each other and name calling is not involvement. Of all the problems that exist in the community that you live in, pick one, examine it and understand it the best you can, then get involved in helping to fix it. It really is the only way.

    As far as leadership is concerned, I continue to scream that politicians are not leaders, they are politicians. Others need to step up. When I hear people like Ben Carson and Pastor Manning step up to the plate, I breathe a sigh of relief. More of us need to do that.

    As James Brown once said, Get Involved!

  9. votermom says:

    Anybody else suffering Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman fatigue?

    Yup.

    • DeniseVB says:

      I am too, but it’s going to be around for awhile, I can’t ignore it. Team Trayvon had their fun little rallies, now waiting for the Team Zimmerman shoe to drop. With hopes his attorneys has a plan to shut the Sharpton/Jackson machine down.

  10. helenk3 says:

    do they even teach history like this any more

    THESE ARE THE TIMES THAT TRY MEN’S SOULS

    http://www.ushistory.org/Paine/crisis/c-01.htm

    • elliesmom says:

      Assuming your question isn’t rhetorical, they sort of do. US history used to be the curriculum for 7th and 8th grade. But now it’s been pushed into the lower grades, and ancient history and the middle ages have replaced it. Also in middle school the kids study comparative religions. Kids are just starting to develop their thinking skills beyond the concrete level in 7th and 8th grade. US history was a great way to let the kids begin to explore real critical thinking because it was up close and personal for them. In the earlier grades where it’s taught now, Thomas Paine may be mentioned, but reading his works is over their heads. US history comes up again in high school, and Thomas Paine is in there, but by then a lot of the kids have tuned out of history because they view it as a lot of “memorization of dates”. Which up to that point it might have been. Not many middle school teachers are going to risk letting kids explore their new found critical thinking skills while teaching about Islam, but letting the kids debate whether they would have been a Tory or a Patriot was kind of fun – and safe. I don’t know what was behind the change. Maybe the people writing the national curriculum standards were worried our history curriculum was too American centered. A lot of them live in Cambridge.

      • helenk3 says:

        when my kids were young I used to find books about kids that lived in different times to try and make history personal and interesting. It did work for a while then they found the opposite sex and forgot history

        • DeniseVB says:

          Do you remember the (elementary) biography series of famous people as children? Those were my favorites, and the original “backstories” of great people we’d learn about in later grades. Those books inspired the Baby Boomer generation 🙂

        • helenk3 says:

          yes but my kids would remember them more.

  11. jeffhas says:

    I have been feeling like this for some time; totally adrift – at the mercy of the currents.

    It’s frustrating to know that your life is really meaningless in the great scheme of centuries of empire building…. and that even your limited window of time you occupy, your voice cannot be heard, because ‘the currents’ are dividing your energies.

    I sometimes deal with problems (even business problems/dilemmas) by employing a strategy of burying my head in the sand like an ostrich and paying no attention to it… some associates and friends have heard me talk of this ‘strategy’, and tell me how ridiculous I am to do this… But I’m telling you more often than not (in fact the vast majority of the time), when I come back to that problem/issue, the landscape (or currents if you will) has changed, and a problem that seemed unresolvable is now wholly available to resolution, usually good, solid resolution (even lemonade outta lemons is resolution).

    So, even though I feel very defeated now – especially after 2008 and 2012 – but particularly NOW with the discussions that are going on….

    Eventually, the sands of time will change. The currents will flow in another direction, and I believe (higher power, whatever) that I/we will have our time and our say about that which is creating such frustration for us now.

    I will just keep my head in the sand, popping up every once in a while to see if things are better or worse….

    I do believe there will be positive resolution – and even if it doesn’t happen that way, I need to believe it in order to wake up each day and take care of my family and loved ones. I do not have to pay attention to the bull (my head fits nicely in the sand thank you) – but I WANT to pay attention to those things which provide me some joy while I am here in this life, and pass along some memories for my future generations.

    • elliesmom says:

      I hear you, Jeff. My life was in a lot of turmoil. Then my son was diagnosed with cancer, and it was the only thing that mattered to me for almost exactly a year. When I resurfaced, I don’t know if the turmoil had disappeared or if it just had paled so much in comparison, it just didn’t matter anymore. lol Either way, it was gone. I had forgotten. Thank you. Maybe I’ll concentrate on gardening for awhile. The yard could use it.

      • jeffhas says:

        I feel for you… Illness or death in the family should stop you in your tracks…. Make you focus on what is really important. We lost two family members last month. Lovely memories though, and that makes me peaceful (and even laugh), not sad.

        I don’t care if you bury your head for a day, a year, or 8 years…. You will (or your memory will) be here to fight another day. Just pay attention to your family, loved ones, friends that matter (you can’t bury your head with them) – they’re the ones who will carry your memories (and your perspective of the struggle) with them long after you’re gone.

        • DeniseVB says:

          I hear you too jeff. I think it was in God’s plan (and I’m not a religious person) to give me a special needs child to focus on what’s important, prioritize and laugh. After 40 years, he’s still my sunshine and still loves me unconditionally. The other two, eh, not so much. /sarc

          But Obama and the spineless Republicans really do concern me now, it’s like a free-for-all money/power grab. Let the peons eat cake and choke on it 😀

      • Somebody says:

        Elliesmom you already know that my youngest battled cancer. She’s fine she’s a survivor; for us it was two and half years of chemo then about 8 months to return to “normal”.

        I don’t wish that fate on anyone, not even an enemy……..but it really does help you focus like a laser on what is important. So many things that bothered me before just roll off my back now.

      • driguana says:

        Such incredible comments here. TCH is the best refuge for so many of us right now it seems. Community comes in so many different forms.

        I have a 30 year old Down Syndrome son and I consider him the biggest blessing in my life. He is amazing. He is fun, creative, smart and so very, very kind. Sometimes our blessings come in packages we least expect.

        Ah, yes…and gardening…the sprouting of my soul.

    • Excellent comment. It fed my soul.

    • Constance says:

      The Media is the problem. They do not reflect American values. The way we can help rescue America is drive the Media in to a free market and you can do that by encouraging people to cut the cable and only get the content they actually want from the internet. We need to stop subsidizing a media who hates all things American with our basic cable payments.

      • DeniseVB says:

        Bingo! Media sucks. With all that’s going on in ObamaWorld, I turn to the UK media to learn about it.

      • driguana says:

        It’s almost hard to comprehend how disgusting the media has become and how horrid some of those people are…I don’t watch or support them any longer….I think that’s the only way to deal with them.

    • lililam says:

      I can relate to that. I used to think that was an avoidance or denial technique, but I find it useful with personal interactions as well as professional responsibilities. It seems to be a non-egocentric way of looking at things and removes the repercussions of overreacting. Things that seemed hopelessly insurmountable, as you say, seem to change with little if any personal input. It’s kind of a zen thing (from a hopeless neurotic). I originally learned it when my husband was dying. Now I’ve relearned it in more trivial situations. Your idea for employing it toward the scary world writ large is intriguing.

  12. DandyTiger says:

    Honk! Great post. I’m hoping we turn around. Lots of people are dissatisfied with all this crap. But do their votes count? And even if they do, is the ability to manipulate so good that we’re lost already. I have hope though. The small crowds and the low polling re the zimmerman trial gives me hope. We’ll see soon enough.

    • DeniseVB says:

      That’s my hope too. We’re all news and political junkies here, probably too well informed for our own sanity.

      100 Justice for Trayvon people showed up in Norfolk, VA, all the local media were covering it like white on rice. 2500 people show up for a tea party rally, crickets, okay, maybe a column inch on the 6th page of the VaPilot. 🙂

  13. foxyladi14 says:

    Amen jeffhas,It is called.
    Let go and let God. 🙂

    • yttik says:

      It’s such good advice. Stop thinking we’re going to fix everything all by ourselves 🙂

  14. helenk3 says:

    random thought that made me laugh

    When William and Kate were dating the english press called her
    waity katie. now look how katie is making the english press waity for the news of the baby

  15. Constance says:

    I am kind of excited to see Liz Cheney running for the Senate. She is a Republican running in Wyoming and very well spoken. Sure she is a carpetbagger and I don’t know why Wyoming would elect her but maybe they will and I think she is a possible first woman President. True she is the daughter of VP Cheney and I think he is one of the most self serving elitist evil people around but he exudes that and Liz does not exude evil and seems to value America.

  16. helenk3 says:

    years ago on this day they came home

    http://ace.mu.nu/

  17. Lola—-thanks for reaching so deep to write what many of us have been trying to wrap our brains around lately. It’s a tough time. But we’ve lived through tougher in this country—–

    • You’re welcome. I know we’ve lived through tougher. And I know that this time of year always brings an intensity that just must be lived through. But I just felt like writing what I was feeling for a change.

  18. votermom says:

    OT I scheduled a whatcha readin post for 2 hours from now.

  19. yttik says:

    Something else to keep in mind, we are the silent majority. The morons on the TV have the loudest voices, but that’s all they are, loud. It distorts our perceptions, so after a while you start to believe that you are part of a powerless minority facing a tidal wave of idiots. The exact opposite is true. Our democracy is clumsy, full of mistakes and unwanted outcomes, but the quiet majority are unbelievably persistent.

    • Anthony says:

      Something else to keep in mind, we are the silent majority.

      That reminder is sometimes the only thing that keeps me going.

  20. myiq2xu says:

    TCH is a hovel?

    When did we get upgraded?

  21. helenk3 says:

    I am on the computer a lot. for my own sanity, I try to find some things of beauty every day. be it nature, or space or good things happening to people. That may not make a lot of sense to people but we have to remember the good in the midst of the bad

  22. helenk3 says:

    this is what I was taught to believe,
    ps the kmart ad drives me crazy. speak properly

    • helenk3 says:

      I think too many in this country have drank from the bottle of isms. but there are many that have not. those are the people who will fight fo keep this country free even from enemies within

  23. 1539days says:

    Back when people fought the glorification of thug life.

  24. votermom says:

    Book thread up

  25. 1539days says:

    Because Stand Your Ground is only for white men in upper class neighborhoods.

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/06/27/2870294/miami-man-freed-in-controversial.html

  26. swanspirit says:

    Without a doubt , it is the media

  27. conner43 says:

    Lola, thanks for expressing what so many of us feel..It seems that gov’t has become a runaway train, Zero is the engineer and Congress is the conductor. But here’s the thing, they are only invested in keeping the train running at breakneck speed and never notice the landscape whizzing by. The Train is the Point, you see, not the destination or anything else for that matter.
    I read somewhere that if the same number of people who voted for McCain had turned out for Romney, Romney would have won.
    Everyday Americans had a huge hand in creating this monster train, and we still have the ability to stop it, so from somewhere deep within we have to find the will.
    If we find that will, we can start demanding. that All states support voter i.d. , it would be a place to start. Demand that your neighbors vote, drive them to the polling place if necessary.
    Never surrender, never give up. Even if nothing changes, you’ll still feel better for trying.
    I was close to making myself sick, worrying about the country I was leaving my grandchildren, I have figured out that considering how well I know each of their bright, shiny faces, they will adjust and survive just fine, besides I won’t be here to know the difference..
    This helps me sleep at night.
    Keeping a historical view of this helps too, once we regressed from the Bronze Age to the Iron age, this is just history repeating itself. The past is always prologue.

  28. conner43 says:

    ps..”the country I was leaving” how mortifying, of course I meant my generation.. {need an editor}

  29. Lola – thanks for this post. I tagged it this morning and worked all day and just now got on the computer to read it. You have done a wonderful job of expressing how SO MANY OF ‘US’ FEEL! Thank you for you effort.

    Although not as eloquent – I had this same conversation with my non-Obot client today (we both agreed you cannot speak to Obots intelligently and get anywhere – so don’t bother at all). I said until recently, I always believed when Obama leaves office at LEAST America will have a President again who is president of ALL the people, but of late I am not sure I believe that.

    I agree with the upthread comments about fucking Elizabeth Warren and her fucking made-up life (ala Obama) and that Hillary would be foolish to run as the left elites hate her and her husband more than they hate McCain and GWB. She would be toast. IMO And the right – oh the right – what have they got? President Cruz? President Gowdy? President Paul? Ain’t gonna happen. So they will run someone whose TURN it is it the Republican pecking order (or pecker order – which ever is more important that day) and Elizabeth Warren or someone like her will win – with PROBABLY Michelle Obama as her running mate.

    I have been talking New Zealand for some time now. I can’t stay here if THAT is where we go as a nation. The tension is far too great, and I too am far too in love with the USA to IGNORE it – but I will not and cannot engage much longer in the game politics have become.

    I grew up in Atlanta and NEVER – and I mean NEVER had a problem with black people. It is the WHITE LIBERAL MEDIA who are TRYING TO MAKE ME hate blacks now – AND to hate people like Paula Dean.

    And I hate them for that. But I cannot live with hate as a daily reality, so I long ago gave up cable. That helped some – and saved me over $600 a year too! But even on the internet reading stories, after the first 1-2 comments, people devolve into name calling and bashing and bullying and accusations and never address the ISSUES in the given story. It’s maddening. So I get up – walk away – go work on my paintings and listen to historical documentaries on Netflix. I just can’t stand the tension – and since May 31, 2008 live and in person in Washington DC – I don’t believe a single thing my government does is for the good of the nation. It’s a very sad time.

    Enough of my disconnected rant. But that you for your very good one.

    Have to work early. BBL

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