“You’ll leave. And then one day you’ll come back, and everything that you once loved about the place will drive you a little bit crazy.”
― Alex George, A Good American
We are back. It is one of the things I am most proud of: I can land at three different airports and feel as if I am coming home. There is magic in the air when the tourist no longer feels that he’s a stranger. I have made a soft landing. Here are my observations after one week:
I am predictably infuriated by the people who drive 20 miles per hour over the speed limit. They are the same ones who cut in and out of traffic lanes, as if the world is sitting back, marveling at their outstanding Grand Prix skills. These people will tell you that they are in a hurry. That endangering their own lives, and those of the people who must be on the highway while they are using it, is justified. Their needs come first. They do not understand how it could be otherwise. They need to get wherever they are going five minutes earlier. The time they have saved they proceed to deposit in a local time bank: there are many of these in business. The next occasion that they need an extra five minutes, they can easily withdraw them from their account. It works very well. Trust me.
Then there are the fully grown, obviously fit young men who stand by the door of the downtown supermarket to ask for money. I know that these are hard times. I try to help. But there is something about those requests: they are well-practiced and delivered with the confidence that only comes after hours of training. This is their job. What they do for a living. There are schools, called almatoriums (as in alms for the poor) where people can, for a small fee, learn how to beg for a living. The best of these advertise by telling us how much money their successful alumni have made in the past year. The government offers student loans at low interest for students who qualify.
The newspaper has daily reminders that I live in a dangerous world. Many men feel like murder is an acceptable solution to marital disagreements. They have learned to despise and demean women through years of careful observation of the world that surrounds them. They can access free movies that teach them that men who force themselves on women are strong, powerful role models. They know that all women carefully dress themselves every day to step outside their homes in order to “ask for it.” No matter what these women wear, or how they talk, all of them are “asking for it.” Strong, capable women with a reasoned opinion are morally corrupt, and there is something terribly wrong with any female that fails to “ask for it.”
Children who are cold, or hungry, or both, should have picked better parents before they were born. The smart, alert kids knew enough to stop by the “Parents Are Us” booth in order to browse through the online files to select promising parents. A few even went so far as to conduct preconception interviews with prospective moms and dads. But there were those who were too busy daydreaming about their upcoming lives: they got stuck with poor or neglectful folks. Their own fault. There is a chance that if we spent a lot of money feeding and housing them they will turn out OK, but why should we increase our taxes in order to help a kid who did not do her job before conception? This is SO not our problem!
Politics are disgraceful everywhere you go, but there is a better, more exclusive level in Heaven for those public servants who take the time to study, in depth, about the threats that face us daily. I want the people that I vote for to know everything about blue lasers and Satan worshippers who drink children’s blood. This country, by far, has the most politicians who spend time steeping themselves on these obvious threats. Even if it will be five hundred years before a fire-spewing asteroid magnetically removes all blonde teenagers from Earth, I want my representatives to know all about this threat. The more time they spend on the internet researching these frightening events, the more likely it is that I will vote for them. I do not understand why there are people who do not get this. We are lucky to have at least one political party that understands how important it is to browse the internet looking for these dangers. Wish there were five.
Somehow, not by chance, we have become the most powerful country in the world. We got to where we are because of all the human beings that I have mentioned above. If we insist on enforcing the law on our highways, or severely dealing with misogyny, or trying to help kids that do not belong to us, we are doomed to crash into second-classedness. We must be vigilant: keep our politicians glued to those spooky web sites. We did not get to be the best by experimenting with crazy socialist and diverse ideas. Let us stick to what works