I look back at 2013 and wonder if it’s me or the rest of the world that went mad.
First the personal: we spent most of the year wondering if the main income of this household would still be there, all the while knowing if he lost it it would be hard to find another, even as, from every magazine and newspaper – for years in a row – we are assured that we’re on the brink of a recovery.
To be fair, most of them say we’re on the precipice of a recovery, and perhaps they have read the dictionary definition of precipice, and just think we haven’t.
[pres-uh-pis] Show IPA
a cliff with a vertical, nearly vertical, or overhanging face.
a situation of great peril: on the precipice of war.
We seem to be among the lucky few because our proposed doom has been postponed for at least a year maybe two, unless we all hit the cliff together – and in that case, well, we’ll be like everyone else. “And we’ll all go together, when we go/and we’ll all go together when we go/ with the currency diluted/and our sovereignty disputed/yes, we’ll all go together when we go.”
Meanwhile, of course, this lays an obligation on us to write like demons, so maybe, just maybe if/when the main breadearning proposition fails, there will be lots of little others to take their place. The kids are starting to pull their weight in writing. Dan is making time for it. He/us are also trying various other gambits. I still think our future is multiple small streams of income.
“So, will we go over the precipice?” — Who knows? But even if we do, life tends to go on. Look at places like Zimbabwe. So, shut up and keep rowing.
Grandma used to say that “Where bread is short, everyone argues no one is right.” Given how much groceries have gone up and salaries haven’t (good thing that food and fuel are no longer counted towards inflation, uh?) Much of the year can be explained in that vein.
There was for instance the amazing insanity of the SFWA glittery hoo-has trying to create a storm in a B Cup by accusing men of sexism for being men. One wonders if they think the world would be better populated by castrati and women only.
I really wish we’d bring back single-gender schools. Why? Because any woman who has attended a girls- only middle school will not have any sort of illusions about a society composed of females only. “Peaceful because there are no men” my sore big toe.
And to the extent that SFWA seems determined to kick out anyone who isn’t “different enough” (in a purely genetic way, of course, because diversity of thought is evil) I can see them fast becoming like the middle school I attended: Nasty, full of gossip, a place where no loyalty nor honor apply, and occasionally and unexpectedly unbelievably violent.
Then there was the shut down, because the republicans wanted to delay the onset of the Deathstar… I mean, Obamacare. That was a moment of total surreal confusion. “Wait, the people who’ll suffer the most from this craptastic “law” are the ones wanting to implement it? The ones who have the most to gain from its implosion want to stop it?” There was the Park Service taking orders to harass the citizens who pay their wages because Befehl its Befehl. There was the news stations ASSURING us that the Republicans had lost from causing the shutdown (I’m still not convinced this bears any more relationship to the truth than the jobless figures do, or the inflation figures, either.)
But it turns out they’re drinking their own ink (no, seriously) and think that they really thought that their law HAD to work, because it was ideologically correct, even if it makes no sense, doesn’t apply to the real world, and can’t do anything that it said it would do…
The prognosis on this for 2014 is: I’m going to drink heavily. But not as heavily as they’ve been, and not their ink.
We will pass over, with averted eyes, the bizarre notion of us becoming allied with Iran and getting them the right to enrich uranium, and the other… oddities of a foreign policy that’s come completely unglued from reality. Never mind. This too shall pass. Hopefully without taking us along in a radioactive burst.
So, everything is in a mess, and so … And so we forge on. This is no time to get wobbly. They’re the ones that create the mess, and we’re the ones with broom and mop, who come in and clean up.
In the way these things work, this means we win, they lose. Because if all you have to offer is chaos and destruction, you’ll never (duh) build anything lasting. Maybe this is why the great statist empires, from the one that was supposed to last 1000 years, to the one that was supposed to bring in the Homo Sovieticus last a maximum of 70 years and reduce everyone and everything to sh*t. Odd how that happens, uh?
Not to say I’m willing to give them even 70 years over the land of the free – no. This is where we settle their hash once and for all, hopefully with a minimum of unpleasantness.
Be not afraid. We win they lose. But the times ahead WILL be interesting. That I guarantee. Fortunately, you ain’t seen nothing like us yet. And neither have they.