“There but for the grace of God go I.”
Who hasn’t at least heard John Bradford’s phrase? Usually uttered by some drip who believes he or she avoided catastrophe by the skin of his or her teeth, but actually missed misfortune by miles.
Now that I reside in Las Vegas, Bradford’s expression bears zero currency. Maybe when I lived back East one could’ve spoken or thought such in true, though heightened, honesty. There, fate at its most capricious could’ve convinced the devout that disembodied powers managed their destinies.
Here, personal calamities are manmade. Often after heedless headlong rushes. (Guess what topic I’ll occasionally bear down on through 2014.)
Decades ago during an particularly bereft of cheer Christmas season, a bunch of us congregated. In a bar. Oh, without a doubt.
Continue reading Another Camus Christmas
Our holidays were so desultory, all we lacked were a revolver and remorse to have made it a complete Camus Christmas. Being between jobs let me skip New Year’s Eve festivities. Just as well. I would’ve been ringing out 2011 anger and ringing in 2012 anxiety.
The whole stretch of cold-weather holidays from Thanksgiving until St. Valentine’s Day darkens my outlook. An extensive slough of despond.
If it were possible, I’d enter hibernation the day after Halloween and awake on St. Patrick’s Day. Early on St. Patrick’s Day. Was there ever a man less deserving of enduring the enforced spikes of autumnal and winter jollity?
Yes. The above is an exaggeration. Thanks to the American labor movement my present unemployment is bothersome, not troublesome. The safety net so many Republicans yearn to shred keeps the wolf at bay. Unlike GOP governors, each a mouthpiece for America’s Mr. Potters, I’m quite appreciative of past labor agitators who organized and fought for workplace dignity, be they have been Wobblies, Socialists, or — shudder! — even Commies. Continue reading Crossing Off the Crossroads of the World