Yes, friends, I am back.
It has been a while, I know. When I last left you, the ground was white in Kentucky, the air was cold and things really...REALLY sucked.
The ground is not longer white where I am, it is also no longer Kentucky but things still really suck. In fact, they are far suckier than before.
Into the Mist
I say 'into the mist' because I am now living in Pittsburgh where the early morning mists will often obscure the entire city from view. I am working in a law firm in the city, a proper normal 9-5 job, since the IRS- with the sharpened talons of new healthcare legislation- saw fit to destroy the industry in which I had until this year operated my own business. Kathleen Sebelius: May the flies of a thousand camels infest your nether region.
Don't get me wrong. Pittsburgh is my hometown and I do love it along with all of the trappings of city life. I am glad to be home. But, some things have changed. My old stomping grounds, it would seem, are not immune to the forces that have been operating back in Kentucky and indeed all over our country. I was humbled by the immense patriotism I saw during the 4th of July festivities. Knowing Pennsylvania to be a solidly blue state, I had expected a half-hearted and scaled-down event catering to a tepid crowd of PC fretters. What I saw was a throng of persons standing shoulder to shoulder in alternating heat and rain belting out "God Bless the USA". Everyone was wearing red white and blue. Here, the malaise that had so thoroughly riddled the Kentucky consciousness had not taken hold. While still a union-adoring group here up North, it seems that the love of personal liberty, autonomy and the American dream are more deeply sown.
Still, the passions are greater here, both positive and negative. The culture war is in full play and I have seen more hatred welling up along racial lines in my beloved city now than ever before in my life. I have to conclude that politics has a fair deal to do with that, when racial differences tend to break primarily along party lines. Politics, after all, comes down to our choices in ideology and lifestyle.
On to the Guillotine
If anyone had doubted that we were on the verge of revolution with the emergence of the Tea Party, those doubts were laid to rest, along with civility and hygiene, when we were introduced to Occupy Wall Street protests. This rabble of leftists, hippies and professional agitators lacked both a coherent list of demands and an iota of forethought into the ability to maintain their clamor long-term. Within days, they had taken pristine public [and sometimes not so public] land and made it, well, shitty.
In the Tea Party, we wanted an American Revolution- a chance to reaffirm those founding principles that gave us the greatest nation on earth. We wanted it 1791-style.
What we are getting is revolution au francais- the hack and slash, violent civil turbulence that left a bloody streak through Frances history, the same example that our founders shied from when pursuing our own revolution.
With the first day of Spring upon us, the Occupy crowd is gearing up with a fresh volley of threats and its instigators more clearly at the forefront. Will the Steven Lerners and Frances Fox Pivens in the movement be drawn to a 'Martin Luther King Jr.-style' protest of CIVIL disobedience?
Magic Eightball says, "Don't count on it."