Bear with me. This started when my friend Keith sent me a right-wing screed called “I’m Tired”, an old fart doing an Andy Rooney number. You know, down with Obama, socialism, left-wingers, liberals, Muslims, George Soros and Michael Moore, and the main stream media; up with Fox and Tea Parties and so forth.
(One interesting thing is that Keith’s version attributed the nonsense to “Robert A. Hall, the actor who plays the coroner on CSI if you watch that show.” Actually, that would be actor Robert H. Hall who didn’t write the piece, altho it is his picture that is attached. Never trust the provenance of anything that comes in a chain letter. Snopes is your friend. The real author’s blog is linked in the first graf and he now includes a note exonerating the actor Hall.)
Anyway, I’m older than Robert A. Hall, and I’m tired too. I’m tired of a few old crotchety white guys embarrassing the rest of us with their silly, frightened, anarcho-libertarian rants.
I’m tired of reflexive fear of change in this amazing country which is actually built on and devoted to change. Muslims and universal health care are not a threat to the dreams of the Founders. Changing over from fossil fuel to green sources is not the same as a Stalinist Five Year Plan.
I’m tired of people closing their eyes tight and wishing that if they pretend hard enough it will again be 1954 when everything was alright and as God intended.
I’m tired of unexamined, unacknowledged racism and bigotry, unchallenged by ‘leaders’ and even fostered by some of them. I’m tired of our failure to acknowledge the fabulous energies, ideas, creativity, and wealth immigrants are bringing to our country. Except for the surviving Natives, we are a nation of migrants and I’m tired of reminding people of that.
I’m tired of Christianists believing that they are superior to anyone who belongs to a different cult than theirs, and of the rest of us who know better but let them get away with it.
I’m tired of how long it took for Liberals to recognize how nasty and unsporting the other side is, and I’m tired of my own retreat into nuance and complexity when bumper stickers and soundbites are what seem to be called for. I’ve got five or six hundred words here when three — “Palin’s a Ditz” — are probably enough to make the point.
I’m tired of overlooking the spectacular failures of my generation while criticizing the younger folks who are in power now. We had two Boomer presidents — Clinton and Bush II — and both were fuckups. Before that half us played at Best-And-Brightest and the other half smoked dope and dodged the draft. I did both serially. We had our turn.
I’m tired of the corporate take-over of everything…. of my old craft of journalism, of the names of public facilities, of government. I’m tired of bright-shiny and empty.
I’m tired of hearing that technology is going to save us. Technology is a driving force in getting us to the ditch we’re in. The iPhone isn’t going to save the world, altho a person holding one might. That’s different. Innovation isn’t a gadget, it’s an idea.
I’m tired of excuses for defunding education and I’m tired of the teachers and public service unions who have given up and are out for themselves.
I’m tired of American Exceptionalism and its corollaries. I’m tired of people who think we can continue to use a disproportionate share of what’s left on earth, who compare us favorably to Saudia Arabia (as if that were the standard we hope to reach), , who think English is the only language smart people speak, who think public servants are some special breed of drunks, crooks, communists and layabouts, who think history began in 1941 with the American Century and will never end.
I’m tired of The Stupid.
I’m tired of people like Mr. Hall who is ‘just sorry for my granddaughter.’ Have you heard a sadder comment, one more redolent of personal failure? My grandchildren are young and optimistic, as was I. They will have a lot to cope with and probably they will be alternately thrilled and frightened, which seems realistic. I trust that when they get old they won’t be tired and disgusted by change, by the lovely messiness of life, and by the new cohort that comes along to confront it.