Those folks who were fished out of the Hudson from US Air flight 1549 have undoubtedly been contemplating the Meaning of Life, The Universe and Everything more than most of us ever will. Even more than Douglas Adams who introduced the idea that the answer is 42. Frankly, being chased by Bible Thumpers as a kid then reading a boat load of philosophy when I got older hasn't produced a better answer to the question of Life, The Universe and Everything than 42.
I would say that I can't imagine how those folks felt as they careened earthward yesterday, but I can imagine it fairly well. That's why I always take Valium with a glass of red wine just before boarding a plane and often in flight as well. I also pray when the airplane takes off because I learned from Hamlet that if you kill a sinner while he's praying, he won't go to Hell. I don't really believe in Hell, but I'm not willing to take any chances. It's kind of like Santa Claus - the minute you confront your parents with the idea that there is no Santa, He could quit stopping by on Christmas Morning. I'm not the first person whose entire Christian gestalt was fucked up by Santa Claus. As Kinky Friedman reminds us in They Ain't Making Jews like Jesus Anymore, " We Jews believe it was Santa Claus that killed Jesus Christ." Frequently the best jokes are the ones that present the truth. Just look at George Carlin.
If Life, The Universe and Everything sometimes provides us with metaphors that give insight and hope, I'm going to hope US Air Flight 1549 is a metaphor for the Obama Presidency.
This country is heading to Hell in a Handbasket. It's not just because of the greedy war criminals who have been running the show lately. For decades - ever since Ronald Regan declared an end to the sixties and sent white people back to the suburbs to shop -- America has embraced a lifestyle driven by consumerism and the idea that an individual's professional accomplishments and acquisitions are more important than the well being of people and the planet - a simple count of SUV's will prove this point.
America today is the plane.
Obama could be the pilot.
Due to the mastery of the pilot, everyone on the plane may have shit bricks, but they are safe. Emergency workers of all varieties plunged in to rescue everyone. A ton of boats were at the ready - all in a matter of minutes.
Obama is not walking across water into the White House, but with skill, commitment and a prayer or two, and the willingness of the American people to act like a community instead of a pack of wild animals stomping each other to get a bargain priced piece of plastic at Walmart that nobody needed in the first place - we may come out of this shit storm okay.
And just maybe, Dick Cheney will be tried as the world class dick he is.
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