Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Gift of Quiet

Here's what I"m thinking, since we're now hip-deep in the holiday weekend, maybe all the bobbing talking heads on the 24/7 Noise channels can follow Larry King's lead, if for only 72 hours, and not bring me their version of the Ghosts of Independence Day Past, Present and Future. On a good day, downhill with a strong breeze at their backs, most of these folks can't diagram a sentence much less construct a coherent argument that doesn't involve the use of 'Democrat' or 'Republican' as an epithet.

A lot of people had to sacrifice everything, and far more sacrificed a great deal (from space you can't tell us apart, trust me on this one) for us to choose to barbecue, watch fireworks, go to the beach/the mountains, do whatever, for "America's Birthday" that I'd just like us, just for today to NOT have to pick a side, unless it's either Cole slaw or potato salad, if you follow my drift.

Television is everywhere we go, and in some places, though none that I frequent, that includes public bathrooms and newborn nurseries (like a six hour old infant can tell Hannity from Colmes). We can't know everything but we seem to be hellbent to try.

The chatter channels make sure we never have to be alone-and if you and I are distressed by the vicious belittling of those who don't share a studio host's views, we may be the only people who grasp that two diatribes don't make a dialogue. I'm not sure that's a good thing for us, especially this holiday weekend, as we'll get stomped from both sides for lacking the purity of faith that their ideology, mislabeled as patriotism, demands.

So maybe later, instead of turning up the big screen so you can hear it better over the charcoal in the grill, you can hope for a lull in the battle that has become life in these United States, where the sides are no longer clearly defined and the tradition of Right and Wrong hasn't been "improved" by situational ethics. We're not the first Americans to have seared our souls searching for a better life, but if we can't find or create a common ground to continue to do so real soon, there may not be that many more after us.

I don't know a soul who's not been battered. Don't have a friend who feels at ease. Don't know a dream that's not been shattered, Or driven to its knees. But it's all right, all right; we've lived so well, so long. Still, when I think of the road we're traveling on, I wonder what went wrong, I can't help it-- I wonder what went wrong.
-bill kenny

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