Wednesday, February 08, 2017

The Last Time

Welcome to the spruced-up and modernized "The Gods Are Bored!" I'm your host, Anne Johnson -- it's not even a pen name. It's a measure of anonymity in the age of 15-minute fame.

One blessing I have received multiple times in this life is the gift or purchase of a splendid car at a bargain price (or for free). My grandfather gave me his glittering Oldsmobile when he could no longer drive. When that wore out, I bought a  Ford Escort hatchback from a church lady who had used that car so lightly it was just begging to be driven. More recently, my mother-in-law gave me her car, a dubiously road-worthy relic that reluctantly creeps from Point A to Point B.

In the great state of New Jersey, we must get our vehicles inspected every two years. The relic (I affectionately call this vehicle "The Bucket") was up for inspection last month. The only thing they inspect in NJ anymore is emissions, and the "check engine" light had been on in this car since Mother-in-law purchased it in 2005. For the record, it's a 2001 Saturn. Vintage!

The mechanic said he would fix an emission sensor that might be the problem, and if we drove the car 100 miles without the light coming on, it would pass inspection. Voila! Done! In fact, I've now tootled 200 miles, and the light has not returned!

That's a big deal. The car was free. And the insurance is cheap, since the only thing I would pay for is damage I did to someone else's car.

To celebrate the Rite of Inspection Passage, I took some time this afternoon to clean out The Bucket and spruce her up a bit. While I was doing so, my next door neighbor pulled up in front of his house, showing off his new bumper sticker because he knew I would be jealous as fuck. And I was. He felt so sorry for me that he went inside and brought out an identical bumper sticker for my Bucket!

Even in New Jersey I'm courting slashed tires. No matter. I believe in putting my views out there to be scorned or embraced.

My neighbor and I inevitably began talking about these tense weeks since the Orange Menace assumed office. He said he couldn't remember any time like this in his life, and -- since he's younger than me -- I agreed that it was the worst in his time.

However, I do remember something worse. It was an awful time.

I remember when Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated, and the cities erupted in rioting. I was still a kid, maybe about 10 years old. I remember how scared everyone was. I grew up south of the Mason Dixon basically, so I was surrounded by white people who thought black people were just biding time until they could unleash fury on the very fabric of society. So everyone around me was scared.

It was an extremely tense time. There were soldiers on the move, and curfews, and martial law, and other stuff that sounds extremely frightening to a kid. This went on for a few weeks, and then life resumed a tense state of near normal.

Yes, I can foresee similar behavior on the horizon, but this time I don't think it will emanate from the ghettos in the big cities. This time I think it will start in the country and move toward more populous areas. It's scary to contemplate. A lot of people have guns. Remember what I said about guns: production for use. It's easy to imagine many, many itchy trigger fingers out there in the hinterland right now. All they need is a word or two of encouragement from someone who feels he isn't being given enough respect.

Nevertheless, my car identifies me as a member of the resistance. If it goes ill for me, well, who wants to be the last one standing when the world goes to Hell? I cede the future to my daughters. I'm scared as all get-out, but someone has to go down with the ship. Hope it's not me, but oh well.

My blog has received over 800,000 views since 2005. Post by post, I've become a best-seller.


anne marie in philly said...

ooooooooooooooooooh, I'd love to have a bumper sticker like that!

Anne Johnson said...

I don't even know where he got it. Sure to be popular.

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

That does sound scary as hell. But someone has to speak up, right? How else would things ever change/get better? Anyhow, stay safe!

Bob Slatten said...

I, too, will be on the hunt for that bumpersticker!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Hey, nice bumper sticker and nice blog makeover! It's especially good to have a visible Followers gadget too -- makes it easier for new people to follow you!

e said...

Nice blog make-over! And, of course, I love your rallying cry... We will all persist.

You could drive the Bucket here with no one giving you a second glance. Here being Portland, Oregon. However, a trip over the mountains into the hinterland of the state is still a bit of a risky proposition.

Davoh said...

"the last time"? sheesh, and here's me thinking that you were closing this blog - or dead.

Janie Junebug said...

I love your bumper sticker. I fear attacks from his supporters, but I won't stop saying what I know to be true.


Davoh said...

O, by the way ... our local Prime Minister (not quite equivalent to an Amercan President -Australa actually operates under a sort of "real" democracy in that we can - with a smidge of "public pushback" can actually replace our "Prime Ministers"; mid term.

Not only that, we have the choice of multiple "Party" candidates to choose from (though yep ... essentially there are only two. Um, one and two and ahalf?. Labor and LiberalNational
Coalition. Um, the LNP are sort of vaguely equivalent to the American 'Republicans' ... sort of, the next contender for political "Power" is the Labor Party (um sort of equivalent to something Bernie Sanders was on about ... and there are quite a few "uncommitted" INDEPENDENT persons in both Lower House and Senate - we don't really have any 'constitution' that could cope with any sort of "Executive President"
so our actual parliament is sort of real, and mostly rambunctious ... but we somehow always end up with more oe less "sensible" Laws and policies
- self will still think that your political system is bizarre .. very much food for jesters and comedians.

(oddly enough, 'tis what the Drumpfkopf craves - attention. Might be difficult ... but the best way to make him subside is, simply, ignore him. Deprive him of media attention oxygen.

Davoh said...

Um, while Bernie Sanders may well be current - "Bernie 2016" seems somewhat 'out of date'.

Am with you (in spirit) with the RESIST bit ...
D x

Ol'Buzzard said...

I think the real danger is a reset: back to the 1950's. Or perhaps 1984.

Congrats on the readership. I think I have about 25 people that follow my blog; but for me it is about the writing, not necessarily the readership. I think most of us write because we have to. I am doing resistance publishing of sorts: I am sending regular letters to the editor of all the major news papers in Maine, including submitting an open letter to my legislatures at regular intervals... hoping to hold them publicly responsible for their votes.
Keep resisting.
the Ol'Buzzard

Jono said...

Resistance is not futile. I have lived the better part of my life and I agree with you. If it all goes down then so be it. I feel bad for the next generations, but will do what I can to keep them from having to live in a fascist state.


I have a pagan bumper sticker(the fish with feet) a equal sign and 2 anti trump I want a sticker like yours ..I'm googling and finding me one..and I love your new set up..but I miss the fairy..just like I miss my praying rocks header on old blog...but I do love my yellowdog..

Anonymous said...

Rodger C said:

I'm out of the loop down here. How did a fish with feet end up as a pagan sign? My scientific materialist friends must be steamed.

Davoh said...

Seriously Anne, Malcolm Turnbull is (or was) a very successful lawyer With MacQuarie Bank experience. Trying to 'monster' him is not the best start. If he wishes Australia could ... and well within it's Dominion .. Insist that 'Pine Gap' (America's Southern 'eyes in the sky'; be dismantled - Fuck off). Also take back yer troops, and bases, on our soil.

Doubt that all this will happen. A smidge of hyperbolic electoral overreach?
But never underestimate Australia.

Davoh said...

Seriously Anne .. at least one person in Australia is on your side ..