Clinton, South Carolina, Sunday, August 5, 2018, 10:22 a.m.
People seem habitually, chronically and incurably mad at one another.
They are divided into warring camps. My theory is that everything is slowly becoming a sport. My team is made up of incredibly gifted student-athletes who will follow up a national championship by huddling up to cure cancer. Your team, on the other hand, streamed across the Mexican border, bearing guns, knives and controlled substances.
If I do not understand, at least I know the subject matter. I have an exalted view of athletes who play at my alma maters. Alma mater. Mama. Many years as a journalist have taught me to root for the story, not the team, but I mostly keep myself and my academic mamas at a professional distance. At least I try.
I am incapable of loving a New York Yankee. A Yankee can only earn my grudging respect.
But politics is not sport, or, it didn’t used to be. The country has no middle. The blue has no baby in it. The red blazes. It never darkens into crimson or lightens into pink. No states are purple. They just crash into each other at the middle, the blue oil, the red water.
Social media aggravates the trend. In some ways, it’s freedom to the extreme. On Facebook, people regularly yell “fire!” in a crowded theater. Thankfully, it’s not a real theater. They post personal attacks that they would never make face-to-face. And even though we’ve ever met, they invite me to make a charitable donation for their birthdays, but that’s probably a mostly different set of people.
It’s not just sports. It’s not just politics. We should be so lucky.
To me, it’s a little ridiculous to rate things like food and beer, simply because people have different palates. One man’s perfect beer is another’s bucket of horse piss. If you don’t believe me, read the ratings.
Barbecue! I’m surprised there’s been no armed conflict for the land between Memphis and Kansas City.
Hot dogs! Sneakers! Wine! Weed! Choice! Life! Life of Choice! Choice of Life!
Social media is a great way to keep in touch. It’s a way to learn how people have changed and aspects of their personalities one didn’t recognize when they were allegedly close.
People like to look, and more and more don’t like to click.
I like Twitter better because there’s less room to be mean.
Another way I cobble out a living is with my books, a wide variety of which is available for sale here.
The new novel, my eighth, is called Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
Lightning in a Bottle is now available in an audio version, narrated by Jay Harper.