Snow clouds are gathering. There is a forecast for snow tomorrow. I noticed on my campus walk today that the clouds look promising for some snowflakes. I was thinking that we live in a time like I have not experienced in my 63 years. We are surrounded by grim reality while many of us seek fantastical fantasy. I have been watching and listening and reading of the logistical challenges surrounding administering 1 million Covid 19 vaccinations a day in the United States. The goal of President Biden is to administer 1. 5 million per day. Life is full of the intricate hard work of making things function and operate. It is not like the actress Elizabeth Montgomery did in the 1960’s sitcom Bewitched…where when there was something difficult to be done she wiggled her nose and it was accomplished by witchcraft.
Over my 32 years and 2 months and 3 weeks as a member of the Building Services department at SIUC I encountered on innumerable occasions the opinion that our customers believed that housekeeping was easy and that they could obviously do a better job than the professional staff. Living in a physical world requires an appreciation of physical reality.
Simply put fantasy has never put food on our families table nor paid our bills or placed a roof over our head. Three weeks ago, tomorrow, a riotous mob stormed our Capitol and desecrated the People’s House…and caused death and destruction. This insurrectionist political action was not fantasy…it was reality.
When our pandemic began in 2020 I saw postings on social media asking if anyone knew a person that had Covid 19. Others said that the fake virus would be over after the election. Workman like conduct is not as exciting as conspiracy theories…’truth is still putting its trousers on while a lie runs around the block.’ Gossip spreads like a fire in standing corn.
Truth is kind. Truth is freeing and liberating and creates a real road to travel on. To be prepared for reality it is important to accept reality. We witness political courage so seldom that it seems strange and unusual to our sensibilities. When leaders do what is best for the people that they have been elected to lead…rather than doing what is politically expedient for them the unusual altruistic action is deemed by many as…not smart. Our culture of capitalism and accruing as much money and power as we can…as a barometer of our wisdom and success had blinded us to the lone voices in the wilderness…that respect us enough to tell us the truth.
Have you ever been lied to and both you and the person telling you the lie understood that they were lying? One of the insidious elements of public speech is the obfuscation and lies that are not even creatively told to the listening public. Somehow we have changed the parameters of honest communication. I first saw the usage of the artful masking of truth in sales. Much as the magician creates his illusion by causing his audience to focus on one area while he is performing his magic in the place that you are not looking. When our leaders are singularly focused on what is best for their political career and thus democracy is negotiable…we must be able to critically think about the outcome.
When I first watched Lady and The Tramp at a theatre in Chicago when I was 3 or 4…I identified with the happy band of canines. I thought of the Disney film often and still do today. It portrayed a fantasy that was comforting and uplifting to my childhood…especially with some of the reversals that I was soon to experience when my mother and father divorced… and mom and I experienced some significant hard times. Fiction and fantasy and prose and poetry is a tremendous assistant in navigating the rocky shores of our challenging human existence. I love Santa Claus and now have a Laughing Santa that is just like the one that I had as a child…courtesy of Jonathon. However when our leaders, either in our jobs or government or faith communities, tell us lies and falsehoods and insult our intelligence…we sheep are dealing with wolves in sheep’s clothing…
Political/Religious extremism is frightening and a hydra headed creature that it is extremely difficult to stay in the good graces of. Have you ever attempted to stay in the good graces and have the benevolent favor of a narcissistic dictatorial leader? The Blues Brothers were on a comical mission from God and were wonderful entertainment for Chicago Blues fans. True believers in the dark fantasy of conspiracy of Religious/Political leaders are difficult to deal with…as they are on a mission from god…