Back from a whirlwind trip to collect the keys from the builder of our new house almost 800 miles away. Quite exhausting… but what wears me down more is pondering how much brush I have to clear. The crew pushed things around to create space for their construction—not to leave space for my garden and orchard. And to think that the Master Builder marveled at the number of snakes he had seen about the site! When you produce brush piles, O Rugged Captain of Joist and Beam, you get snakes. (Which is just as well… because you also get rodents.)
And there were other, more minor nuisances… our builder set out a mailbox post with a street number because the Fire Department requires it, but didn’t bother to add the non-requisite mailbox. We hard-working, home-grown Americans don’t go the extra mile in business dealings any longer, apparently: we sidle up to the legally stipulated boundary and then stop. The builder, I hasten to add, comes highly recommended and is overworked (“If you want a job done, find a busy man,” runs an old adage that—of course—none of my students had ever heard). And he did lay all the joists and beams with admirable precision. I’m not griping… I’m just sighing.
It’s a start: the beginning of my life’s last chapter, after I have wasted so many intermediate pages trying to live out a hopeless narrative in the academic world. I got the first of my long-suffering, probably dead-on-arrival fruit trees in the ground… and my cactuses fared much better. Nopales mean antioxidants at my doorstep if… if our socio-political train finally runs off the track. I stared down a deer through the kitchen window with the same grim reassurance. I’m neither a hunter nor, on most occasions, a carnivore… but it’s nice to know that Bambi’s mom is in the larder if I absolutely need her.
Speaking of neglected work, cultural meltdown, does and fawns, and slimy serpents… I’m not exaggerating when I say that much the most annoying part of last week’s adventure was having to listen to CNN carry on in the hotel breakfast room (a hotel, because the house wasn’t quite ready on the evening promised). Oh, I’d heard plenty of protests about CNN’s “fake news” coverage… but I had shrugged them off as the hyperbole of competitors, since I myself hadn’t regularly watched cable news for years. The phenomenon, it turns out, goes far beyond mere bias. It leaves me more determined than ever to ready the drawbridge for cranking up, because some of us are obviously losing our minds.
Now, what I’m about to write is based on the five-minute walk-through needed to soak up two cups of tea. (I postpone breakfast and squeeze it almost into lunch—the so-called “starvation diet” that’s actually done me a lot of good). Yet the very fact that my sampling was so brief and casual raises its own alarm: at any given moment, this is what you get. Alisyn Camerota was leading a chorus about how frightened those de-parented toddlers along the border must be. There were storms in the South Texas forecast—and, and the storms would bring thunder… and, and the little children would be so very terrified because they had been wrested away from Mama and Papacita! Oh, my God! Oh, it was all so uncivilized and beastly!
Yes, Alisyn (keens another Woman of Corinth), and I talked to one person (one person of many, none of whom had names… but what would a border-jumper’s name mean to you, privileged Americano? We’ll call her Maria…) and… and she was in tears, and she said that she didn’t know where her child was!
Hrrrumph… yes, Alisyn (as we switch to Clive Coat-and-Tie on the steps of the Capitol). It seems that there are some advisors surrounding this president, and indeed many Americans among the president’s supporters, whose philosophy is that immigration is bad for the nation and should be brought to a complete halt for the indefinite future….
At this point, I growled over my tea, “No, we just want the damn laws enforced so that not just anyone gets to wander into the country!” It was a very audible growl… but I was on my way out, and anyone who wanted to savor the anguish of the cuddle-your-child advocates further (a team strangely silent on the public funding of Abortions ’R Us Planned Parenthood) was instantly relieved of my presence.
I’m just not getting it. I have seen the edges of the Chihuahuan desert, and I will hazard this generalization: anyone who either leads or sends a child across hundreds of miles of that terrain is very likely a child-abuser of the first order from whose influence the toddler ought to be liberated permanently. Or if the situation in Mexico is really so bad that mothers are fleeing with their babies in arms—fleeing into a yet more lawless vacuum than their native village where they will be that much more likely, both mother and child, to be raped or murdered—then we should approach our southern neighbor and announce, “You have a civil war going on, and your refugees are spilling into our nation. We insist upon intervening. You need help.” When the refugees do reach American soil, by the way, the good-faith option would be to go straight to the authorities rather than to attempt sidestepping them under the expensive and criminal guidance of the very cutthroats whom you claim to be fleeing.
Dividing kids from such adult “supervision” seems a very good idea to me, even though it has now been scrapped and we’re right back to “catch and release”. Why not put the kids up for instant adoption? My wife and I will take one. Will Alisyn Camerota? Will Chris Cuomo?
Meanwhile, certain municipalities in Canada are swooping in and placing children in foster care if their parents protest the school system’s LBGTQ agenda. Several cases in our own cities have lately involved children being forcibly separated from their parents after hospital visits, not because physical abuse is suspected, but because the white coats want to experiment and observe. Where were the mainstream media on these stories?
Remember the body of the toddler lying face down on a beach that stirred such a surge of compassionate border-opening in Europe two or three years ago? No one has ever explained to me why there were no footprints around this lamentable little corpse in the soft, wet sand. Did the photographer really snap the shot without first checking to see if the boy had vital signs? Or was the whole thing staged?
Are we really such an irrational, impulsive mob now that an image without context and a talking head wearing crocodile tears suffice to advance the cause of major criminal enterprises?
The answer appears to be “yes”. Naturally, it has always been so with respect to a minority—a large minority—of the republic. Any republic. Our imbecility is now approaching critical mass, however. It scares me a lot more than snakes… and snakes, remember, actually eat rats.