My mother and I talk on the phone every day. It seems the least I can do. Boulder, Colorado, which offered so much when my parents retired there, geez, more than 30 years ago, isn’t quite the jubilee it once was. Now in their mid-80s, they aren’t charging up the trail to Wonderland Lake anymore.
It can be a frustrating conversation. Particularly when my mother is planning to go to the store. “Ma!” I’ll say. “Don’t risk your life for coconut shrimp!” Or, when that doesn’t work, “Ma! You’re going to die alone, surrounded by strangers in masks.”
My father is sometimes watching television when I phone — CNN, thank God, not Fox — and my mother will mention something on the screen, the latest aftershock from our president’s daily twirl in the limelight, like some demented ballerina on the music box in an insecure girl’s nightmare.
“Don’t watch TV news, Mom,” I’ll say. “I never do.”
That’s true. Primarily because I read four newspapers and follow events online, so anything on TV is repetitive. Even big breaking stories — the last time I fled to TV news was when Notre Dame burned. After 10 minutes of time-filling and tap-dancing, watching the same static shot, I bailed. What’s the point? As for the president’s daily 5 p.m. nervous breakdown, “Fortunate the person,” Soren Kierkegaard writes in his journal, “who did not need to travel to hell in order to see what the devil looks like.”
People who do make that journey, the daily descent, feel obligated to react. This has gone on years, and I’m sorry, but by now those doing so seem merely slow on the uptake. “What? You’re saying that the president is lying?!? Oh, my gosh, that’s awful! When did he start doing that?”
And yet. Sometimes, you must join in. State the obvious. For The Record. Yes, there is something OCD about keeping track of the president’s lies. Maybe it’s like baseball; to ignore even one wild pitch is to lose the fabric of the game. To abandon history. I understand that. Was that a strike or a ball? Hard to determine the next day. You have to pay attention now. Though I bet journalists wish they had decided to keep track of his true statements — a much shorter list.
To the matter at hand.
On Monday, he — no need to speak the name, we all know who I'm talking about — tweeted this:
“In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens. I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States!”
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