The Fat Lady Sings, Off-Key, Drools
At about this time every year, like
the swallows to Capistrano or the buzzards
to Hinckley, Ohio, the WORD migrates
to its summer musing grounds at the
sanitarium —St. Mumbles Home for
the Terminally Verbose.
The reason is clear, and never moreso
than as this season —the WORD's
13th —peters out.
It's been a fraught year of high palaver
and eye-popping transition, both good
and not-so-much. An interminable presidential
campaign saga finally did end, and in
extraordinary and historic fashion.
Meanwhile, the bottom and everything
that's below the bottom fell out of
the economy, with families, homes, entire
industries and —of particular
interest to WORDsters and the civic-minded
—dozens of daily newspapers ("I
don't so much mind that newspapers are
dying--it's watching them commit suicide
that pisses me off." --Molly Ivins).
. . all evaporating. What replaces them,
from the individual to the institutional
to the societal? Are we looking at a
future of in-depth Tweeting?
As any newsperson or firehorse knows,
it's hard to turn your back on day-to-day
catastrophe --we just have to look at
the car wreck. But even the most deranged
and driven need a rest. As philosopher
Lilly Tomlin once observed, "No
matter how cynical you become, it's
never enough to keep up."
So this morning, as a near-frost hovered
over northern Utah, the unmarked van
pulled into the driveway and the gentle,
soft-spoken men in the white coats rolled
the WORD out of bed and into a straitjacket
for the usual summer trip to St. Mumbles,
where the blathering one will be assigned
a hammock and fed soothing, healthy
foods --like tapioca, dog biscuits and
salmon --while recharging the essential
muscles of cynicism, outrage, sarcasm,
social engagement and high-mindedness,
in preparation for the next edition.
Summer well, friends.
and suggestions--printable and otherwise--always
welcome. "There are no false opinions."