I do not talk about myself a lot in these pages. I am as I have always been, an intensely private person. I don’t kiss and tell, and I don’t bray or pad my résumé. Sometimes, like the past week, I don’t say anything at all.
This is not because I have not taken in the titanic events of the past week, but because I felt I had nothing valuable to add to the conversation: The Wisconsin Putsch has quite enough bloggers and commentators and journalists working the story. The Libyan Civil War, or Uprising, or Revolution or Rebellion (title depending on how it shakes out) is well enough covered by those with information and expertise that I do not have – although, since we’re learning very little, expertise doesn’t seem to hold that much of an advantage over near-total ignorance. And, lord knows how easily that a pushy attitude and total ignorance can translate into those big bucks and adoring fans.
But I suppose that I ought to say something, just in case somebody gets worried that I’ve fallen off the turnip truck. Don’t worry, I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck. Sadly, as I look out there, there seem to be an awful lot of people who have.
(But this is merely beating about the Bush — which I always thought funny, the notion that George H.W. Bush, who re-popularized the phrase, would have ever had any knowledge of turnips, let alone turnip trucks. I’d have pegged him for some rustic colloquialism having to do with finger bowls and the improper use of salad forks. Just goes to show what I know.)
Which is just about nothing at all, save that I know I cribbed this line from Socrates.
Or, in the imbecile-worship of a Beavis and Butthead, Bill and Ted, McCain and Palin America, SO-crates (spelt, no doubt, Sokrates.)
Socrates and Ned Buntline, by Raphael
Now, at this point, you might accuse me of trying to pull a James Wolcott, whose writing for Vanity Fair, with mots both bon and juste, sometimes strives so earnestly* to continuously weave a mellifluous tapestry of prosaic badinage that his mots ofttimes seem afflicted with the literary equivalent of morbid obesity.
But that would be wrong.
[* It is important to be earnest, but not Wildley so. sic.]
I have led you skipping down this primrose path to impress upon you the ease with which a practitioner of the scrivenly arts can, with artifice and cunning, say nothing at all, while giving you the indistinct impression that you’ve actually heard something.
And it’s been a week of that, sure as hell.
Which explains my stunned silence.
Like I said, all I know is that I know nothing. In the face of the Nation, the Wisconsin Republicans engaged in a naked, Nixonian power-grab. And a lot of people said obfuscatory stuff like I just did and I know nothing.
In yet another “re-edit” of phony “sting” footage from the ever-creepier James O’Keefe, the media AGAIN acted like it was “real” news and not the timed manipulation of Murdochian forces “spanking” National Public Radio and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting by attempting to strangle them in Kongress.
And a lot of talking heads went skipping down the primrose path, yet again.*
[ *Yes, Virginia, it IS a mixed metaphor, to call up the irrational, surreal image of a talking head skipping, presumably with his/her tongue down some kind of florid footpath. OK: tonguepath. Onward.]
And people stood up to a military dictator in Libya and he sent tanks and jets after them.
And the dithering and blithering moved to an international blather. And I still know nothing, but I am firmly convinced that a lot of people who also don’t know anything believe most sincerely and eloquently that they, in fact, do.
And I watched a tidal wave roil across the Pacific Ocean to kill one person down in Crescent City, California.
And the astonishing spectacle of a tidal wave rampaging in black over geometric farmland, with a fine alphabet soup of floating cars carrying along ships, debris, and burning buildings: chaos made flesh.
What the hell can you say to that?
Sometimes you have to get out in the streets. Sometimes you just have to hunker down.
Oh, and this: nobody’s ever been able to defeat the humble dandelion, not with all the sprays and biochemical laboratory reagents known to a species that sent itself to Earth’s moon and back several times.
And, no matter which dictator governs or governor dictates, the people are the dandelions.
Be safe. Take extra special care.