The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Alienated and Confused

Last night I was watching Keith Olbermann's hideous program on MSNBC and found out that three U.S. Congressmen . . . Gerald Nadler (New York), John Conyers (Michigan) and Robert Wechsler (Florida); all Democrats . . . were beginning to make dark rumblings of "widespread voter fraud" in Ohio and Florida; hinting that the election returns in those states may not reflect the actual votes cast last Tuesday. The minute I saw who was floating this proposition, I said to myself "Ugh. Those guys". Face Cards from 1998, I thought; three shopworn items from the Clinton Impeachment imbroglio. There was no way . . . no conscious way . . . I was about to take anything these hacks had to say seriously. But another part of me soon emerged from out of the shadows and started clinging to this as though it were a last slim reed of hope. Maybe there should be some sort of investigation; just to see if anything hinky did happen out there. What would it hurt? Without volition, I started believing that a dim light of salvation now existed that might yet deliver us all from another four years of George W. Bush's calamitous stewardship.

Eventually reason soon again took hold and I accepted the reality I'd known all along: that there wasn't going to be any last-minute Hail Mary pass that would usher this administration out for good; that these were just three Congressional fruitcakes trying desperately to stir the pot and get something up on its feet that was dead before they ever thought to breathe life into it. What could I have been thinking by even for a moment entertaining this crackbrained scheme of theirs?

I know what it is now and it's simple: I'm still bothered by this election, just as much as I was a week ago. If anything, I'm even more disturbed by our new Red Menace than I thought I could be. I don't like what's happening to this country; I feel alienated in a strange way by it all. Which is odd, since I don't belong to any of the groups the majority of voters in this country rejected last Tuesday with such stunning finality. I'm not Muslim, I'm not gay, I'm not African-American, I'm not even a Democrat (hell, I voted Republican in 1988, 1992 and 1996). I despised Bill Clinton's endlessly mendacious Presidency; thought him worse than even Richard Nixon (which is saying a lot). But this is something different. I can't stop thinking that very soon we'll be facing something we won't be able to turn away from.

And the worst part is, I don't even know what it is we'll be facing.

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