On Safari

I’m visiting family in the Ozarks. It is very quiet here. Unlike Brooklyn, there are no firetrucks or ambulances roaring by every ten minutes; no incessant construction and traffic noise. It’s like a decompression chamber.

The big event in the community today was a golf cart parade followed by a hot dog roast. But it’s raining, so I didn’t go. I hope the rain doesn’t cancel all the local fireworks displays. Otherwise it will be a few days before something else happens.

The politics ads are very depressing here. One candidate after another gets on television and swears to be a constitutional conservative who will protect our rights to guns and to refuse to bake gay wedding cakes. One guy actually shoots a gun in his ad.  They’re also big on cutting taxes and reducing crime. (When “crime” is mentioned, the ads show what appear to be videos of Ferguson.)

The Missouri state legislature, which always was crazy, spends most of its time coming up with ways to restrict abortions and gay rights and un-restrict guns. I can’t tell that they do anything else. The primary function of the governor, a Democrat, is to veto stuff. He vetoes a lot of stuff. But his second term is about to expire, and he can’t run again.

The Democratic candidate for governor, Chris Koster, is a centrist who at least is good on reproductive rights and gay rights issues. I don’t have a sense of where he stands elsewhere.  The Republican candidates are tripping all over themselves to earn the title “Crazier Than Thou.” If any of them get into the governor’s office, the state is doomed.

8 thoughts on “On Safari

  1. “(When “crime” is mentioned, the ads show what appear to be videos of Ferguson.)”

    Maybe if it rains, and there are no fireworks, they can show video’s of meth labs in people’s homes and garages exploding on TV, accompanied by patriotic tunes?
    I imagine meth’s a problem down there (and if not, sorry for assuming – making an ass of me – not u!).
    Here in the Mid-Hudson Valley, we have more heroin problems, than meth ones – but, we’ve got those too! 🙁

    Enjoy your time back in your old haunts, maha! 🙂

  2. When I would visit Texas I found cicadas, crickets, and frogs to be much noisier on a hot summer night than Brooklyn city sounds. I used to entertain dreams of going back some day. Then the insanity hit.

  3. I live in Missouri, the result of a bad decision several years ago and am now stuck here. To say that Missouri is crazy only scratches the surface of this insane place. The latest nutcake gun idea is to let *anybody* carrry a concealed weapon without any training or license whatsoever. What it looks like to me is that Missouri has not progressed beyond the end of the Civil War and that William Cantrill’s people are still alive and well. I am originally from Texas–I have *never* heard the word NIGGER so many times in my life as I have heard here. This is a beautiful state if you don’t look at the people.

  4. Missouri resident myself. When the crime ads don’t show Ferguson footage, they slip in shots of the demonstrations at MU a few months ago. Yes, that is considered “crime”.

  5. Missouri sounds like a representative slice of the American pie. (Sorry, I hate that song.) Each half of America thinks the other half is living in La La Land, and they are, we are. Sometimes it’s hard to see how we go on from here. It’s the proverbial bad dream in slow motion. The crash seems inevitable, and when your foot finds the brake, it’s “kind of like stepping on a plum,” to reference an old Dave Dudley song.

    As your post reflects, the talking points and wedge issues have covered up everything else, we can’t penetrate the surface, because the mere effort sends us into a rage and the possibility of any real exchange disappears. For some of us, crazy is the new normal. If we let it get us down every time we encountered a vicious whacko, we’d never get out of bed. When the percentage of whackos reaches a certain level, you get pretty habituated to them. That’s life in the greatest democracy the world has ever known.

    I saw a great example of Trump’s method the other day. It was the video where one of his supporters expressed concern about TSA workers and described them with a portmanteau that seemed to mix, “heebie-jeebies” with hijab. So, I assume that she was worried that some TSA workers might be Muslims. She asked why they couldn’t all be replaced with military veterans who needed work. His answer was, “We’re looking into that.” I am personally skeptical that he has ever seriously “looked into” anything beyond a series of clever scams. I am skeptical that there really is a “we” involved. (Some believe that mankind was created to reflect the glory of God. But, Trump is perfectly capable of reflecting his own glory, as we have seen so often.) To some of us, the response seems like a pathetic dodge. But, to the receptive, he appears wise, organized and analytical. Moreover, he claims agreement and ownership of whatever suggestion has been thrown to him. The woman undoubtedly came away thinking that Trump, was “speaking for her.” It’s like a bit of parlor magic, some see that “it’s all done with mirrors” and others don’t.

  6. Be thankful you escaped.

    In a month, I’m returning to the heartland for a family reunion, in the economically cratered rust belt. It’s always an adjustment.

    There’s lots I don’t like about my life, but I am oh so glad I don’t live there any more.

    I’m fascinated by those studies that show people sorting themselves out geographically, moving away from others with different beliefs / politics.

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