There’s danger on the edge of town / Ride the King’s highway, baby / Weird scenes inside the gold mine / Ride the highway west, baby — The End, written by The Doors, 1967
As I walked upstairs to my Scribbler’s Sanctorum to write these words, I noticed daughter was watching a hockey game. That’s hardly unusual in this house; both of us are hockey fans and unless otherwise occupied we will watch any game that has a puck and a dearth of New York Rangers fans. But instead of nodding my head in regret, I was thinking of how surreal our times have become.
I do not believe we have ever had the privilege of watching the Stanley Cup playoff games in the middle of a workday afternoon. I’m pretty damned certain we never had new playoff games aired live in August. Hockey in the height of summer just feels wrong. To be fair, so does a team in Las Vegas, where it is (as I type) 106°. And I know for a fact that the Las Vegas Golden Knights, who dress like Doctor Fate on stakes, beat the Chicago Blackhawks Tuesday night. Las Vegas, very hot. Chicago, very cold. The only thing we’re missing here is Porky Pig’s landing at Wackyland.
But in these deeply surreal times, Tuesday was downright phantasmagorical. Tuesday was the day America tried for the fourth time to elect a woman to the highest station in the land. No, grow up! Biden did not change his position on legalized cannabis. But, despite that, he remains the great Not-Trump. However, the Democratic Party’s choice for vice-president might be the most American candidate in well over a century.
First, Kamala Harris is a woman and women have been allowed the vote for a whole century now — overlooking the previous 132 years when they weren’t, of course. We need to finish righting that wrong. Second, she’s a damned strong person — smart, clever, witty, and born of the same clay that gave us Diana Prince. Second, Kamala Harris is a Black woman. We haven’t had a Black woman up there before, and this is the perfect time. Black lives matter; deal with it. Third, oh yeah, the other part of her family is from south Asia. She is the daughter of immigrants, and — don’t tell this to the Orange Fool — all that is what America is all about… or so we were told in civics class. I understand that’s now called “political science fiction class.”
When she stood next to Joe Biden yesterday as she stepped up to her new role, I thought about her toughness, her experience, and her massive courage, I felt something I really haven’t experienced in several years. I felt that maybe, just maybe, America is turning the corner. At least we’ve been offered a corner to turn.
Kamala Harris would not have been my first choice, but the top of the ticket rarely has reflected my first choice. I have a knee-jerk reaction to most all district attorneys because they go after people who, in some cases, should not be prosecuted. They tend to do everything they can to secure a conviction, and they occasionally cross the line to do so. Her career in the U.S. Senate has mitigated that, thankfully, and her experience as a prosecutor has toughened her up to the point where in the presidential debates she had the courage and the wherewithal to take on the venerable party stalwart, Joe Biden.
Can you imagine the Orange Fool selecting as his veep a person who spoke truth to his power? Yeah, I know. That’s an unfair question. He wouldn’t be able to get past the “woman” part, let alone the “Black” and the “Asian” parts. We need people who shout truth to power.
That, to me, is the most noble activity an American can undertake.
As I’ve said before, most of the electorate has made up its mind and are unlikely to change. The fight is focused on getting the vote out, a point — maybe the only point — the Orange Fool understands. Biden voters are anti-Orange; we will vote. Women voters are tired of all this shit will stand in like for three or four hour in order to vote. Black women voters will stand in line to cast their votes for as long as it takes.
All that also makes me proud to be an American. It’s damn well time Americans took America back from the fascists (I’m proud to be antifascist — I’m proud to be antifa, just like my relatives who fought in World War II), proud to take America back from Vlad Putin and all the other James Bond villains who whisper in the Orange Fool’s orange ear.
I can get used to hockey in summer, although quintuple overtime is a bit much to ask. Saving America from the Orange Right will take a lot more work and a much greater commitment, but as David Mamet said, things change.
Sometimes they change back.