Saturday, September 19, 2009

Cubic Zirconia and Diamond Dust

At the point of intersection on the horizon line between our hopes and our fears lies real life. The day-to-day grind that reminds us that the objects seen in the rear view mirror of our mind's eye are sometimes much closer than they appear. And that, also, they can be significantly farther away as well.

This is indeed the final weekend of the final summer of the Aught decade - the first decade of our newest century. How's it treating you so far? Here in the State of Jersey Gardens and too many other shopping malls to count or even accurately estimate it was as if Mother Nature did not bother to turn her sprinklers off until some point in July. It was so wet and so lousy here through the month of June it seemed at times as if moss was going to be named the official State flower. I play softball every summer in the Essex County Lawyer's League. Our regular season began this year in early May. Between May 13 and July 6 our team played but one game. We had seven rained out during that sixty-day (give or take a week) stretch.

In the dying breaths of summer - from late August on - the weather improved quite a bit. Of course, in our zeal to prove that we are "way" smarter than our parents (a hypothesis that could be defeated solely by pointing to the explosion of "way" as an adjective and adverb in our parlance) we have determined that it is never too early for a first grader to study the Romance languages and Advanced Placement U.S. History so we moved up the starting date of the 09-10 school year in a significant number of districts across the country from September into August. It is as if we have adopted the mantra about misery and the pleasure it derives from company on a national scale and decided to subject our children to attending our pity party.

Here in September as brains (or reasonable facsimiles thereof) have baked under the hot late summer sun, asininity has been on display for all to see. I find it a bit convenient that we, a society, have decided that every time a white person behaves in an ignorant and obnoxious fashion and that behavior is directed at least in part towards someone other than another white person and every time an African American person behaves in a similarly ignorant and obnoxious fashion and his behavior is directed at least in part towards someone other than another African American person that the actor is a racist.

Perhaps in our instant everything, I want it only if it comes an app on my I-Phone world it is indeed better to be fast than accurate. I am not ruling out the possibility that Joe Wilson and Kanye West really are twin sons of different mothers and each is a cold-blooded, unapologetic racist. However, given that the a##hole has been a part of the human gene pool since time immemorial I would be willing to wager that race has scant little to do with it. Rather, both in the case of both yet another fine, upstanding public servant that South Carolina has foisted upon us (it is starting to get easier to see why Strom Thurmond got re-elected to the Senate from there 8 dozen times - including once after he was dead) and yet another musician/performer whose talent and sense of self-importance are not anywhere in proportion to one another, do not allow their skin pigmentation to fool you: they are indeed both cut from the cloth of the A-Hole. And no, in case you were wondering the fact that the doddering old idiot who spent four years too many as President of the United States thirty-five years ago declared at least one of them to be a racist carries no weight with me whatsoever. I think, however, that President Obama's assessment was spot-on. And I think -although the President would not say so himself - it applies with equal force and effect to each of them.

We put on hold now for nine months or so the search for the endless summer. This year, it seems as if we fell a bit shorter in the pursuit than usual. Perhaps we learned a thing or two along the way. I am not sure I know. Then again, I have not always had a firm grasp of what passes for knowledge these days. Do you?

-AK

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