It’a a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

July 18, 2014

These have been a really, really awful few weeks! Yes?

We have a war in Ukraine we really don’t acknowledge, and a bizarre missile attack on a commercial airliner which reminds us that, in fact, Ukraine is at war. (My theory? The separatists intended to blow up a plane, because they could, never intending to hit a commercial airliner. No reason for them to have messed with this plane. Bad move!!!)

We have yet another war between Israel and the Palestinians. There have been so many we don’t identify them as we did in the past. No 1948, no 1967, 1973, etc. No one knows for sure “why now,” but we have a war.

Awfulness in Africa is off the radar screen. Those screens can only hold so much, and there’s simply not any room right now.

At home we have Sarah Palin demanding impeachment, and Jon Stewart having a grand old time beating up on the former almost half-term Alaska Governor. I confess, in this regard, that I’m old enough to remember when Congressman Gerald Ford wanted to impeach Justice William O. Douglas, the Birchers wanted to impeach Chief Justice Earl Warren, everyone was ready to impeach President Richard M. Nixon (and only didn’t because he quit first), and the Republicans did in fact impeach President William J. Clinton over lying about cheating on the woman who will likely be the 45th President of the United States. (Of course, I didn’t even mention the stupid-a*s lawsuit that may or may not ever get filed by the Speaker against the POTUS, which doesn’t seem to have any rationale other than “Judge, tell that imposter in the big white house he done wrong!”)

Also at home, we’re totally focused on birth control, thanks to five pretty old to almost older than middle-aged Catholic guys. Oh, yes, thanks also to the couple whose business—which has sincere religious beliefs—sells crap it buys from China, where the primary birth control method is, in fact, abortion.

It’s also hot out. True, it is summer, and that matters, for when climate change deniers mention snow, we all need to remind them that no one has ever outlawed winter or weather. But I think it’s hotter than it used to be. And the notion that we’ll find out for certain that man-made climate change caused this in about 30 years—and the deniers will claim we just didn’t explain it so they could understand it, so it’s not their fault—makes me totally nutso!

Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, as the King of Siam might observe about now.

Which brings to mind Prairie Home Companion and Garrison Keillor, who might be mentioning about now that this might be a good time for a piece of Bebop-a-Rebop Rhubarb Pie. (I did have a rhubarb pie once for breakfast, in college, which was amazing. I stayed with a friend at her family’s home in Illinois. We cut the rhubarb fresh from the patch early in the morning, made a crust quickly, added lemon juice, sugar, and butter to the rhubarb, and had a great breakfast 45 minutes later.)

Now, while rhubarb pie is great, and I am—to Ms. J’s amazement and chagrin—a Garrison Keillor fan, my escape this week was a delightful eight minute mini-documentary on bread and butter, featuring Dan Richer, owner of Razza Pizza Artiginale in Jersey City, New Jersey. Yes, the world has many problems, many of which will be with us for a long time. For a hiatus, however, spend eight minutes with someone who truly cares about what he does, and about making his customers happy. And gosh, if you’re anywhere near Jersey City, go, eat, and report in.

P.S. This piece was first titled Untitled No. 202. I was ready to pose the question Do you have a better title for this post? when It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World passed by my Vesper-addled brain. Great movie, no?

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