Last Saturday, it snowed. Today, it’s 60 degrees and sunny. Lawns are out of control. It’s been too wet to mow. Finally, there is sun. We can breathe again.
soap can wash your
body. But nothing can
wash your soul right now, not
I think a lot about our country these days. We started when some people in England got pissed off about being persecuted by a monarchy. They boarded a rickety Mayflower and came to the New World. England controlled things. But it was a long way away and didn’t matter much.
After a while, England wanted more tax money. They wanted to run America as if it were a remote county in northern England. The rag tag band of American ne’erdowells got tired of this, so they rebelled. There’s all sorts of American heroes who came out of this effort. We still hold them in high regard.
One thing that came out of the rebellion was this idea that we were gonna be a complete democracy. All men are created equal. No one man was gonna be more important that any other – unless you were black or a woman. Then all bets were off.
The basic tenet was that every free man would get a vote. And we came up with this complicated system in which states would each get two senators and then a certain amount of representatives based on population. We would revere the Constitution, which was a radical document at the time. In the end, it was feel-good government.
All for one, one for all. Equal opportunity. Share in the power. We are all a part of the democratic process. It’s a bit touchy feely, but it worked.
cherry pie in
a glass case behind the
counter at Miner Dunn
in north Highland.
But what if you ran your family as we run our country?
“Okay, kids, let's have a meeting. All six of you get a vote. Who should be the head of this family? Raise your hand if you want it to be mom.”
And only you raise your hand.
“Okay, kids. How about me? Should I run things?”
Only your wife raises her hand. This process is repeated until the second oldest child, a teenage boy in the throes of hormonal discord, becomes the chosen leader. The first thing he does is outlaw bedtime.
“And no forced homework duty, either. And mom and dad – you sleep in separate bedrooms. I’m tired of walking down the hall and hearing wrestling sounds out of your room.”
Drusba, right? Mom and dad are in charge. That’s the way I always thought it should be. A smoothly run family is a complete dictatorship. You could experiment with a horizontal family, but those fall apart sooner or later.
Maybe we’re at “later” in America. Really. Maybe this whole touchy-feely democracy thing can’t adapt to a modern world dominated by social media and scream therapy. Maybe the tried and true organizational methods of autocracy and fascism are rearing their what we always thought to be ugly heads –
And we like it.
and me. Land of the free
and home of the brave and
The current situation in which our president, Donald Trump, can do whatever he wants and even lie about it may be irksome to a couple of you. The other couple of you might like it.
I don’t know what to make of what is happening – and I don’t really take a side in the whole matter – but something is happening. Really. These days, these moments, this story, is about to turn in a huge way. I don’t even know if it’s gonna be a bad way or a good way. It depends on how you look at it.
But the possibility is there that we just don’t really want all the responsibility of engaging in a democracy. Maybe we’re just so comfortable that we’d just as soon let somebody else deal with the headaches of leadership. Kind of like letting the busybody have complete reign over the PTA.
“All power to you – literally – just let me have my phone and Netflix and I’d like to watch the Super Bowl and some porn once in a while. Oh, and a spouse and some kids would be nice. After that, do what you may.”
why don't you go
look at your beauty as
once did Amerigo
I am as guilty as the next person when it comes to shirking my duties as the member of a group. First, as the purveyor of a media group. it’s pretty much my way or the highway. I don’t say it like that. But in the end, I run the place and give the orders and if you don’t like it, bye.
That’s a dictatorship.
But at home, I’m the opposite. I don’t want duties. This morning, Alexis made the mistake of asking me, for the 10,000th time – “How would you like your eggs?”
“I don’t care. I don’t ever care. You know that.”
How I like my eggs is not a decision I want to make. Nor where we go out to eat or what movie we see. I drive, and I mow the lawn. I pay the bills usually and once in a while I get to decide that we’re gonna watch the NBA semifinals instead of The Voice.
But past that, I don’t want to make home and family choices. I have completely ceded that control to my wife and, to some extent, my adult children.
So where, in any of this, is democracy? Beats the hell out of me. And it seems to work. At WJOB, everyone from the employees to the listeners to the business people and even elected officials (by threatening to sue me every so often) accept that I’m in charge. I am ceded that authority. I even get to choose what is free speech and what is not.
At home, I am one of the king’s, er, queen’s subjects. Nowhere in my life is there touchy feely democracy. Not even in dealing with our children.
“Do as I say and not as I do,” I would tell them when they were young. And when they would complain about decisions that Alexis and I were making, I’d retort – “Life’s not fair. Get used to it.”
These leadership lines that exist in my life aren’t uncommon. I know guys who own businesses and then come home and don’t even own their next breath. Like me, they like it that way. King at work. Lackey at home.
So what’s all this touchy feely stuff about democracy? Maybe it’s run its course. We cede power to Donald Trump and family. They've got the economy revving. We’re pretty much at peace. There might be a few crackpot mass shootings every once in a while and there’s that pesky public policy debate about climate change.
But, for the most part, we’re all sitting in our Lazy Boys watching Archie Bunker yell at Meathead. Leave me alone to do that and I don’t give a f--- what you do.
guns taste better
than Russian ones when the
barrel's in your mouth and
you want a lawyer.
to listen to. You can't
say "shit," "piss," "goddamn"
or "f--- you, Lou."
By the way, that's a picture of Mark Porter above. He died recently and we had a "celebration of life" for him on Thursday night. I'll tell you about that later. For now, I'm off to different parties.