The Green Screen Side Of The Moon

One minute I was pondering how we got here from there, and the next I was arriving at the intersection of Jesus and Caramba. The someplace else I dialed back to was 1980. Okay . . maybe it wasn’t the age of innocence. It was inside a time where disco was on life support. We staggered over the edge of a decade replete with post-moon landing meh, and life without torch song heroes named King and Kennedy and life with Nixon. Before Watergate sent him away in a helicopter. And Vietnam. And Kent State and the hostage crisis and inflation and race riots . . .

But if you were to fix 1980 into a lineup of comparables, welp . . 2020 would be the El Chapo to their Sonny and Cher. We took their Paradise Lost and we doubled down into a Full House of Horrors. Their dearth of heroes became our reality television. Their Watergate became our daily trend, where “gate” gets caboosed to the latest scandal as if it were a wicked smart ensemble piece. Their Vietnam became our patriotic mission to spread truth, justice and the American way by co-opting the best laid plans of our Founding Fathers into a drive through dominion where branding is our inalienable right. Kent State became Columbine and Flint, Sandy Hook, Marjorie Stoneman and Las Vegas, and then things got worse when those days no longer shocked us. Their hostage crisis became our Oklahoma City and September 11th, and Boston. Their inflation became our great big heist. Their race riots, well . .we kept that tradition going.

There was plenty of promise to the way things started off, with a bunch of college kids beating the Russians in ice hockey. We couldn’t have imagined that our sports would morph from that quaint little Norman Rockwell moment into a bread and circuses cinema. And then Reagan lied to us about a shining city upon a hill. And George H. had us focusing on a thousand points of light instead of the stupid economy. Or is that the economy stupid? We got lost in the shroud of the cigar smoke from the Clintonian Era, and while we were busy trying not to inhale, an election went into overtime with the Supreme Court serving as referee. And then W became a four letter word before stepping up inside the darkest days . . before turning back into a four letter word.

The rear view tells me it’s been a hot minute since those days were busy happening. And here we are, the numb OG’s of a feckless age where the modern day proverb- Shit Happens- is mired in the muck of our everyday existence. And this isn’t to say that our mast is hurtling to the edge of the world and that all hope is lost. But . . . . damn!

So this is where the voices in my head make their money. Because yanno . . the questions I get to cooking up possess the kind of riptide that circumnavigates all the logical conclusions we’ve been taught to abide to since grade school. And either I’m Randall McMurphy on a stick or there is something happening here, even if what it is ain’t exactly clear.

Because I really don’t know what to make of this place we currently reside inside of. Are we a miserable scrum of beastly conclusions to which there is no honest to goodness fix, outside of a runaway meteor? Is the global script we’ve been reading from ever since fire led to the invention of the cheeseburger one big lie?  Is this nothing more than one great big romantic tragedy in which the lovers (that’s us) are destined to lose in the end?

When Higgs met boson inside that celestial tryst and then mass showed up nine months later, was Trump destined to be President from that very moment? Was race supposed to be the great divider in perpetuity? Was Joe Exotic supposed to be the elixir to a global pandemic? And is it too late to call for a cosmic rewrite?

Hunter S. Thompson called.

He wants his fever dream back.

72 thoughts on “The Green Screen Side Of The Moon

  1. Being at the corner of Jesus and caramba (awesome analogy, BTW), I feel like I’m at the equivalent of Robert Frost’s Two Roads but not especially interesting in either choice in this current messed up world scenario. Stay safe, my friend. ☮︎

    Liked by 1 person

  2. PILGRIM. You must have somehow captured my nightmares last night. Sheeeeeeeettttttttttt. WTF is going on here. I can’t figure it out yet. I think we have to universally hold our breath to see how thins one turns out. I think it’s like being on a very dangerous carnival ride and all of a sudden you see a bolt fall out of the wheel. Maybe best to shut our eyes and put our fingers in our ears. Anyway, your essay was terrific.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. B,

    I have to agree with Monika: brilliant use of the Jesus and Caramba analogy. 1980 was a cut-off point, wasn’t it? And I have to agree with Peter and John… your writing? Stellar.

    And when you list all these events like that? How awful they were then? And what we have had since? Bloody hell.

    I can’t even do my usual commenting style because there is nothing to add to your brilliant prose.

    And don’t touch the Juicy Fruit, okay?

    Would that this were all a Hunter S. Thompson fever dream…

    Perfect choice of song (of course).

    Q

    Liked by 2 people

    • Q

      Sweetness is what you proffer, you know that? And yes, 1980 is probably the last stop before Timbuktu, I reckon, LOL.

      I just can’t help but think we- as presently constituted society- would scare the living shit out of John Wayne. Who died around 1980, I do believe . . even though I wasn’t thinking about it.

      You always have a clever, cheeky reply.

      No touching the Juicy Fruit.

      Hey . . maybe we ARE his fever dream and we just don’t know it yet. I guess we have to wait until he wakes himself up and goes for the rum bottle on the night table . . .

      I love that song, gracias!

      B

      Liked by 1 person

      • Aww shucks! Timbuktu is actually starting to sound rather attractive right now… though, the way the world is going, they’ve surely not be spared…

        The Duke (good call, was ’79) would be devastated, discombobulated, dismayed… k, I’ll stop 😉

        I try.

        Please don’t. Coz I don’t want nobody having to pull Chief’s duties.

        Oh! Maybe we are… would someone give him a nudge, already?

        Fantastic song!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I need to sit down and have a beer, or five, with you one day. I am soooooooo feeling the same way these days. I wouldn’t be able to say it quite so eloquently as you do, but I’m right there.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Agree with Peter – brilliant writing – but that is what you do. We are truly out of step in so many ways. On the other hand (in my opinion), 2020 (so far) may be goofy, but not even close to 1968.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh Frank- my still guest host on Heroes hopefully?- you are a charmer.

      We are frightfully out of step, and I keep thinking to myself . . this is AN ELECTION YEAR . . and you wouldn’t even know it. Which is more than a little disconcerting in its own right.

      Not even close for sure. We HAVE come a long way, but the missteps . . . ugh, they have been painful things.

      Like

  6. I’m not sure how to get out of this whirlwind of metaphorical existential horror you’ve spun me into. What a wonder of brilliant prose! Where will we go from here? I can only sit back a scratch my head, or something, and wonder. In the meantime, I’ll contemplate a beautiful sunset and glass of Cabernet.

    When it all goes to hell, I’ll bring the s’mor fixins’. K?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. That intersection is getting A LOT of traffic these days … since November 2016 to be exact. Jesus and Caramba. That was the best description. You definitely caught the moment a lot of us are feeling. And you’re right, I mean they put ‘gate’ after everything. It’s so stupid, means nothing now. Used to mean scandal but it’s just watered down like a bad drink from a bar.

    Liked by 1 person

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