Upsetting
Sunday, December 21, 2003
 
The dogs don’t know anything about Internet settings, The Clash or heightened terror levels. They know sniffing and peeing, eating and sleeping, chewing on balls and loving their owners.

It is a dog’s life, they say.

Cold wind blows through the Northeast, but change is not on the horizon. As it was before, so will it go on, and the traits are passed on to the children. We will say, I wonder how we got so fucked up? The answer will be right in the mirror.

Men in their 30s are on the radio, eulogizing the great Joe Strummer. On the same day, millions of well-dressed Latinos flock to churches. Other fill themselves with football viewing. Millionaire players and billionaire owners. Those who can’t see past the commerce in the pastime are called cynics or relics.

Taxpayer dollars. Civic pride in having a team. Build them a stadium, and do they let you in for free since you constructed the stadium? Or do they charge you more for what they call a better product.

A homeless man by the bright golden arches lulls gently in the gray December breeze. A daughter nearby tells her father a lie about meeting someone at the mall. She is 10, and the meeting was not arranged on the Internet. She has the name of a great jazz singer.

Everyone wants to know who is to blame.

This is simplistic, reductive. No one asks, they say, how it can all be fixed.

They want peril in the homeland. A neat Irish whiskey and off to bed with you. Let us worry about the grown-up problems. Kiss your kids and tell them everything will be all right.

See you in Topeka or Tuolumne, where they don’t know Miguel and Maria. But they know of their universal disconnect.
 
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