Uncle Sam

Summer and the 2% crescent of the Bar Mitzvah Moon

Thursday gratefuls: Irv, Paul, Tom. Rich. Joan. Jamie. Tara. Talking politics under the starlight with Rich. Rescheduling with Joan. Tara today. Driving in the dark. Going to bed really late. This July 4th, 2024 life. Dreams that may come. Joe Biden. The New York Times. Newspapers. Printer’s ink. Justifying the galleys. Linotype machines. Letter presses.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Journalism

One brief shining: A dull steady drone, quiet yet woeful, persistent, challenges my hearing since I cannot locate the source which increases and decreases according to the position of my head, clamoring for all the attention I would rather devote to writing, in the background yet pushing itself into the foreground. Acchh.


Wednesday. A busy day. Up sticks. Shema. Back exercises. Write Ancientrails. Over to Evergreen Medical for my Prolia shot. Back to Conifer, Aspen Perks for breakfast, pickup flannel shirts at the dry cleaners, ready for storage, back home to Leo. Get Leo’s stuff together for his Dad’s afternoon arrival. Read. Watch a little TV. Shower. Order from Beau Jo’s to pick up on the way to CBE. MVP. Then, a half-hour with Rich on the Supreme Court, Joe Biden and our hapless nation. In the parking lot, a warm Mountain summer night with a clear field of stars. Home around 10:30 pm. 2 hours past my usual bedtime. Oi. A little THC.

Then up at 7:30. For the life that happens on July 4th, 2024.

Happy birthday, Uncle Sam! Speech. Speech.

Thank you. Thank you. No. Really. Thank you. (puts hands out, palms down. In response the crowd quiets.)

I know. I know. This has not been democracy’s finest year. Anywhere. Except maybe Britain. A bit of a nod to India, too. Otherwise the forces of autocracy and prejudice, of chauvinistic religion have proved ascendant. Yes. I read the newspapers, too. Online of course.

(crowd laughs)

So. What to say. A time of peril for our government and its authority granted by the citizens of our nation. Raising the President above the law? That’s not an American idea. Remember King George? The divine right of Kings? No citizen, no matter what their title or station is above the law. I’ve said that over and over since the founding. A hard lesson, one that may seem too hard to some. But to me? Essential. Sine qua non.

And on that divine right business. Who knows about divinity and what it wants or who it wants to lead? That’s why we established a government of the people, by the people, for the people so help us the non-intrusive god of the Deists who wrote our constitution. Now many of our citizens, in defiance of that bedrock principle, want to put so-called Christian values as superior, as national values. They even want me to preside over a Christian nation.

No. I will not. I’m agnostic myself. Not to mention the Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Sikh’s, Jains, Taoists, atheists, humanists and who knows how many others. We are a quilt, a tapestry, not a pristine white altar cloth.

Enough of that. I’m headed to Coney Island for a hot dog and some fireworks. Enjoy the 4th.