Saw another poll or something this week that pointed out how America is divided almost evenly on just about every key issue (although the tea baggers are doing their best to drive more people away from the GOP). How did this happen? How is it that I could be living in the same country as someone who hates gays, hates black people, hates anybody who isn’t exactly like them? Haven’t we all been subjected to ROUGHLY the same set of facts, information, and whatever else you get in school and just walking around on the streets of Anytown, USA? (Right, I know, I’m dreaming.) Have they never heard of “the melting pot” theory of why America is different from the inbred, scared and hateful postures other countries have traditionally taken? The fact that there are differences is a strength. It’s even embodied, for Christ’s sake, in our president. He’s both black and white! What could epitomize this country more perfectly? And somebody should warn all those people all over the world who, despite the damage done by eight years of Dick Cheney playing puppet master, still want to come HERE, not someplace else. They might be in for a disappointment when they realize how many hunkered-down, scared little ostriches we’ve got here. But on the other hand, there’s the other fifty percent — I like to think of it as the “Me Fifty” — which, although it’s basically more timid, more hesitant to step forward and raise hell, is still half the country. And why is the 50-50 split seemingly worse today than it has been in the past? Well, it’s just my opinion, but I think the Dark Forces (and I don’t mean the folks who are comfortable with black people) are far more charged up and filled with zealous tunnel vision than they were in the past. They seem to think they’re God’s legion, and those of us who are still dumb enough to be Democrats (as in “the Democrat party”, rather than the Democratic party, which is what it’s actually called) or doubters are clearly Satanic or just dupes in the horned one’s evil machinations. Give me a break. As much as anything, I think it boils down to religious zealotry. Let me be clear — I have no problem with religion. I don’t partake, but I have no problem. Except that it tends to put blinders on the bearer. It tends to foster the idea that YOU, not they, will go to Hell if you don’t think like they do — about ANYTHING, not just God. They blur the lines between God and individual freedoms and rights, so that they only like the individual right they seem to think they have to tell the rest of us how unamerican we are. And they really believe it, for the most part. If you’re not following the dictums of the God-Right, you’re unpatriotic. Well, bushwah. I say it’s time for a little back-stiffening among the liberal half of our nation (or more liberal than the other half, at least), and that we should be just as aggressive as the God Right about the Great Arguments of our time. Enough of feeling like the ceiling’s about to fall in and we’ll lose everything we’ve gained. That would come under the heading of “self fulfilling attitude” in my book. And look at it this way. We only have to sway half the country in order to have everybody on the same page! That’s not nearly as daunting as, say, seventy-five percent, right? So this is a winnable argument! It’s just a matter of expending thew energy. Putting forth the effort and persuading the Dim. But not right now… I’ve got to go get some lunch, and then there are the phone calls I need to return, the car that needs washing, trash needing to be taken out… jeez, what made me think I had time for this blog? I guess we’ll have to let the Dim remain dim, and hope they can’t find their guns in the dark.
As I dive into the blogging discipline (and this time I swear I’m going to stick to it) it’s a good idea to consider the many things that will instantly, with the zeal of white blood cells rushing to crush a newly invading bacterial infection, hit me with a fog of distracting, demoralizing, sticky complications that prevent me from doing what I want to do most — which is write. First, my family. They love me, they want my attention, they mean well. They also have no idea, no matter how often I tell them, that I can’t jump up and get the trash cans taken out and then just sit right back down and pick up where I left off. It doesn’t work that way. This concentration business is no mean feat. Then there’s my checking up on the baseball scores, the ever-present game in progress, which of course commands my fatalistic attention. I’m a lifelong Dodger fan, you see, (that’s the LA Dodgers, to those of you living outside the USA and wondering what it might be that so fascinates Americans about that damn game — which is the subject, I would think, of another blog at some point) and the attendant pain of following that particular team is both epic and the stuff of legend. It’s also the stuff of bonding with one’s father, at least it was for me, and for that I will forever love the Dodgers, bums or not, because they’ve given me cherished memories of times I shared with my Dad. Football, shmootball, I say. Anyway, also among the distractions creating that aforementioned fog (which is the source of my blog’s title, Bloginafog) is my own personal weakness — hunger. The stomach is the enemy of the mind, and don’t let anybody tell you any differently. Then come late night tv shows, the life crises of one’s children, the somewhat wearying quest for a JOB in this economy to underwrite one’s life — including one’s writing — and of course the snowstorm of internet distractions, social media, and the various means, in my case, that one must employ to market and publicize the books, movies, and television I write. Now you might well say that I have successfully managed to crank out this particular first blog without any of the above mentioned tormentors driving me to distraction. And you’d be right. Sometimes in the writing life, the writer wins. Chalk one up for me (although upon checking, I notice that we can’t chalk one up for the Dodgers tonight).