Friends in No Places

Everyone is out to get you.  At least your paranoia is justified.  And it’s good to stay sharp.  A lack of pals keeps you on your toes.  It beats trusting strangers like some sort of fable where the protagonist is mugged for helping a stranger.  I’m still seeking a publisher interested in Rough Lessons for Kids.

Having no allies is frustrating, as you turn to find someone with the same gang jacket manning a switchblade and see only the alley’s garbage cans. But knowing nobody has our back is liberating.  There’s no hope of avoiding a shanking, so take comfort in a clear fate.

Everything’s new, seen as how there are two crummy parties instead of the usual one and a half.  At least it makes following the news easier.  Sure, it means the country is doomed.  But at least it’s not our fault.  It will be blamed on us, naturally. But the supremacy of the individual remains a constant, which means we’ll know who the idiots are.  Spot them by how they’re trying to save the nation via pointlessly excessive infrastructure spending.

Going without a party isn’t so bad considering who’s in them.  Besides, we can still have Andrew W.K.-style ones.  Look for enjoyment in everyday activities now more than ever.  Those who tweet angry replies to non-political posts for the lack of focus don’t seem happy, if you can believe.

Look at government fans rabidly lauding unctuous congressional dopes and ask yourself if you’d really like to join.  Try listening to music instead of C-SPAN.  It turns out melodies exist, which is a blessing to those who’ve only heard both sides argue they want to keep entitlements cushy through insolvency.

Without cable news on every waking moment, we can’t monitor the dreadful updates of the day repeated like agricultural mottos at Jonestown.  The absence of onscreen tilted panels isn’t as exhausting as imagined.  There’s no news channel for us, which means freedom like you couldn’t imagine if you’re unfortunate enough to care about our government.

It turns out there are are other things to watch.  In fact, many people have futuristic television services with more than three channels.  The abundance of music, cooking, and murder fiction fantasy networks are a blessing in an era where it’s desperately important to have outside interests.  This is a good time to find something else over which to obsess, as politics is the stupidest hobby of all. Following it in one’s free time is the only thing more shameful than pursuing it as a career.

Sail past news stations on this unanchored journey.  A cruise is much more peaceful without Fox News blabbermouths at the ship’s wheel. Those of us who once put it on first thing just to make sure there wasn’t a fireball that enveloped a city while sleeping are adjusting to looking for updates elsewhere.  There are ways to learn about breaking news away from conspiratorial lunatics with primetime hours.  Perhaps the internet contains news.

The lack of background noise is peaceful for more than reasons of volume.  Cable news detox wasn’t even that shaky. Nostalgia isn’t the best quality to associate with a 24-hour political channel.  Like the cancellation of Celebrity Name Game, there’s a vague sense that something was once on the screen at a certain time.

Sure, FNC failed to be intellectually complex or a forum for important debates.  But at least there was somewhere to hear a vaguely Reaganesque defense. Now, both sides often means having one.  It’s the dull statist versus someone who wants to put a flag decal on federal projects on Fox News every hour, so you don’t have to tune away just to avoid Shepard Smith.

If crummy plans are the norm, at least it’s nice not having to defend them.  Everyone is trying every policy but ours.  This is going to get pricey quickly.  Parties battle as if the last oxygen tank on a space station is the prize.  In reality, they’re just fighting over who gets to suffocate us.  Debating terms revolve around just how much to expand the brute’s dim influence into our lives.  Both combatants are quite eager to take credit for a decline that’s broke in more ways than one.

Principles remain even as the rubble crumbles.  Conservatives believe the only thing worse than government is those who want to be part of it. Could there be any stronger examples?

Join a party just for the chance to be in charge, as rewarding toadies is the very inspirational goal of contemporary governance.  Rule over people who don’t have a choice to prove beneficence.  Why try to convince when you can order?  Walmart took over our wallets through voluntary transactions, and at least we get chips and tube socks out of it. But attracting customers is hard work.  Just do it once with an election.

Nobody speaks for us, which means that we do.  That’s a responsibility worth having no matter how easy it would be to foist it on some politician. Besides, the relief from reasoning isn’t worth the price.  You don’t want either Chuck Schumer or Mitch McConnell speaking for you, right?

Conservatives are not expecting any leader to articulate our philosophy, especially this one.  Parties, presidents, and channels hold hands and slide down the mountain.  Their altitude isn’t rising no matter how much they use each other as sources to verify.


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