I keep meaning to write more blog entries and I sit down at the keyboard and nothing comes out. It’s like a guy who eats a block of sharp cheddar, straining on the pot at two in the morning after his gut ache keeps him awake. The primary focus of this blog was supposed to be politics, but I also write about pop culture, blindness, and occasionally, some personal observations. Politics frankly depresses me right now. So, for that matter, does pop culture. Living here in Omaha with the state of things as they are means that blindness issues now depress the holy hell out of me as well.
So, I guess I better write about something cheerful like… Monsters.
There are all kinds of monsters out there in the world. You’ve got giant mutant dinosaurs and comic book monsters and the kind that derive energy from the screams of little children and you even have Cookie Monster. Then you have real life monsters, like Cardinal McCarrick, Louis Farrakhan and Nikolas Cruz. They are all very obvious monsters.
Then, you have the monsters that aren’t so obvious. Exhibit A is Donald Trump. He’s a narcissist, a bully and a chronic liar. He has cheapened the office of the president to a level that I fear is irreparable. I call him a monster because he has done a great deal to beautify the demons of our nature.
Yes, a lot of people love to hate Donald Trump, but I find the protests of his most ardent detractors to be suspect. How many of them were happy to fuel Monster Trump before he assumed the highest office in the land?
The Hollywood left are the main culprits. That is, Hollywood, New York City, Washington D.C. and the entire space of “Flyover country,” in between. They loved The Donald when he was an eccentric millionaire mogul, beauty contest magnate and a ratings-winning reality TV star. How many of them smiled and nodded and said, “I don’t judge,” when news of his rampant philandering came out. How many just dismissed it as crap from the National Inquirer, never thinking that his actions might translate so easily to, The Swamp?
I’m not saying that Trump- was always the kind of guy who ran around yelling, “Mexico sends us nothin’ but rapists and drug dealers!” If he’d done that, his celebrity goose would’ve been cooked years ago. But how many people wrote off those same behaviors; the narcissism, the bullying, the casual misogyny, the glib lying as merely, “The Donald being The Donald?” I dare say that quite a number of folks who subsequently voted for Hillary in 2016 knew full well who and what they were getting long before it really mattered. They saw the monstrous behavior, but they did nothing to stop it. Why? Maybe fear. Maybe apathy. Maybe deep down, many of those self-same leftists who wring their hands and bay at the political moon over social injustice actually liked and admired his behavior.
If you doubt me, just google old headlines featuring Trump back in the ‘90’s and the first decade of this young millennium; headlines written by journalists who now count themselves as proud enemies of President Trump? Read some of those stories and you’ll see how Monster Trump took root.
That brings us to Exhibit B; Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Apparently, she’s a very pretty monster, indeed. You might look at her and say, “C’mon, Ry! You’re overstating it. She’s not a monster. She’s a principled woman who believes in what she believes.”
This is the young lady who said, ““I think that there’s a lot of people more concerned about being precisely, factually, and semantically correct than about being morally right.” This wasn’t a statement uttered in dripping sarcasm. She wasn’t speaking in error. She wasn’t even speaking in self-parody. She honest-to-God meant what she said as she defended herself to Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes. People who love to compare the Trump era to 1984 would do well to study the Orwellian concepts in that classic novel through the prism of AOC’s remarks.
Cortez is a monster because of the toxic ideas she purveys, all wrapped up in pretty paper and bows. In America, socialism is the Frankenstein monster taking it’s very first baby breath in Victor’s laboratory. In Venezuela, Elizabeth is trying to figure out how the hell she’s gonna breathe with a crushed trachea.
And why does AOC have such traction amongst the young in particular? It’s because many mainstream citizens, particularly Republicans, chose not to care about what their young were learning on college campuses, where socialism has been allowed to flourish. If little Johnny or Janie came home with all A’s, or made good on the football field or theater stage in spite of shitty grades, mommy and daddy didn’t care. They didn’t take a larger interest in what is being taught on campus, or in the classrooms of their local high schools. Just vote no on the latest school bond issue and go on your marry way.
There are many other monsters flourishing out there under the tent of ignorance and apathy. Abortion is one. A law was just passed in New York that grants a woman the right to terminate her pregnancy up to the point of birth with a doctor’s approval. Sadly, this doesn’t surprise me. If America didn’t care about Kermit Gosnell, why would they care about a post-birth baby being murdered? The same goes for the gun debate as referenced by a friend of mine. “If people weren’t moved to take serious action after Sandy Hook, nothing will move the needle.”
Sure, many pro-lifers cared. I don’t mean the nutjobs who bombed abortion clinics or shot down abortion doctors in church. I mean the true believers who go to the March for Life every year, and who hold picket signs and stage peaceful protests. Yes, the media ignores them, but that’s not the real reason why they fail. They fail because too many people just don’t care. Oh, they might be opposed to abortion in the safe space of their own mind and heart, but they are the same people who sit quietly at a dinner party when the topic of abortion comes up because they want to be invited back. Being liked is more important than being principled.
It is apathy, more than anything else, that allow monsters like Kermit Gosnell and Adam Lanza to come out from under the bed and drink the blood of the household.
There are monsters everywhere. And as I contemplate this unsettling truth, the wind rattling outside my balcony door, the thermometer dipping below zero, I’m reminded of a quote from an underappreciated TV gem, Homicide: Life on the Street.
“You don’t have to be afraid of things that go bump in the night, if you become the thing that lurks in the darkness.”
Trump, Cortez, Gosnell, Lanza, McCarrick… They are all our modern Prometheus. They are us, and we are them. We just kid ourselves into thinking otherwise because we haven’t really survived the darkness yet.