There was a joke circulating in Lebanon during the height of the Civil (Un-Civil!) War whereby a man approaches a public computer and types in: Shoo fee ma fee (What’s going on?) at which point the computer crashed! There was just too much going on at the time for even the computer to be able to process!
I believe that my brain was about to crash also as it couldn’t anymore process how much was going on in our world, even though I am sadly aware that except for some differences, settings, actors, and costumes the issues have been pretty much the same since Moses, Abraham Jesus and Mohammad! Pathetic!
Two weeks ago I went to a Shopping Center that I had not been to since February of 2020. First of all, I thought that I was lost, because that road, on which I hadn’t been, again, since 2020, seemed totally unfamiliar and, being paranoid, I panicked for a few minutes thinking that I was lost! Second, I shopped at the store that has my Middle Eastern stuff, stopped by two other places and then met a friend for lunch after which I came back home shaking with excitement at having spent a Normal morning! Normal! So, I got to thinking that “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like . . .” Normal? Is it? It felt so Comfortable, Predictable and Nice!
Frankly, I do not have much to complain about as not much in my life changed during the Pandemic Lockdown – and the weeks before, as well as the months after – since I am mostly a homebody anyway and, at this ripe old age, I have arrived at an intellectually snobbish state of mind in which I prefer my own company to so much banality out there.
Nevertheless, and despite the humongous problems around the world, it seems that people are traveling, vacationing, filling the arenas, eating out at restaurants, drinking at bars and . . . Is It Normalcy? Are we all in a state of euphoria that we can be up and about doing our “thing” (whatever that may be) once again? Of course, many of us are! And it feels good! However, there is Nothing, Nada, Zilch that is even close to Normalcy for millions of people across our world, especially in those numerous war-torn, ravaged and mismanaged countries who’s citizens are also yearning, begging for their Normal! Moreover, the Pandemic is not done with us yet. Scientists are now warning of other variants yet that might be emerging, while others are warning that come Fall we might be in a worse situation should people continue resisting the vaccine, and as most of the world is still way under-vaccinated.
Anyway, during these past two weeks in the United States we have been witnessing the heroic efforts by first-responders at the Surfside tragedy in Florida. It was heartbreaking! That building, though, seems to have been built on sand. Some days it feels like this whole country, this whole world in fact, has been built on sand that is beginning to crumble from the effects of a Climate Change that so many continue to deny. How can this be? Are we going to wait until it all crumbles around us and swallows us the way those poor, innocent people got swallowed up in Florida? Incomprehensible!
Also, during these past two weeks, amongst everything else happening, we heard that Donald Rumsfeld passed away. It struck me as eerie that this occurred in the same time period when we are in the process of pulling our troops out of Afghanistan. Could it be an omen that all our Forever Wars will pass away and end same as Rumsfeld, who, with the other Bush gang members, supported those unwarranted, futile, destructive and criminal foreign adventures? Let’s hope so! And let’s hope that Biden keeps to his promise (and all the other promises!) and shutters up our illegal American military base in Guantanamo, where my children keep facetiously reminding me that if I continue my ranting and bitching on this blog the Black Helicopters are going to swoop down on our house one day and whisk me off to that same Guantanamo, although I tell them that I’d rather be flown to Club Fed where the coddled people are jailed! And what a hoot that would be! I think my kids still carry with them the illusion from their childhoods that I am much more powerful than I really am. It must be from when I told them things like: I have eyes at the back of my head and I can see everything! The innocent babies believed me! I began screwing them up then, a process that, like most parents who inevitably end up screwing their progeny in one way or another, might have had all the good intentions at its core. Alas, there is No Rewind, or Undo button to remedy this and so much else! But then, I think of some youngsters in this country who are being told: The Election Was A Lie, and then with that same zealous breath being told: If You Lie God Will Punish You! How much more screwed up and schizophrenic can it get? At least I never told my children such bizarre stuff! They ought to be very grateful!
All that aside, after my lovely outing that day I decided that since I’m feeling Normal, I needed to give it all a rest, to live, for a brief moment, worry and stress free away from all the turmoil swirling around me and congesting my brain. Simply take a break away from all of it! After all, if Bezos, Branson and Musk are carefree and seem to worry not one iota over all the stuff that keeps me fretting and awake, but are only busy stroking their egos and protruding parts as they vie for who’s going to make it to space first – a nauseatingly tasteless competition at a time when the Planet is agonizing in every sense of the word – then I am quite entitled, and definitely deserve to go on pretending that all is Normal and that there is nothing to worry, or stress about! I know that this interlude will pass by pretty quickly and I’ll be back to ranting and bitching in no time!
Meanwhile, if I am asked: Is It Normalcy? I’ll answer emphatically that, yes, it is and, while it lasts, it feels so Comfortable, Predictable and Nice!