My wonder year
I recently binge-watched the entire first season of the show Stranger Things, and it made me nostalgic for the 1980s. The storyline is a cross between The Goonies and a Stephen King novel- think Firestarter. But it was the costumes and set design that really took me back— all the way to the way-back of the station wagon we had when I was growing up. I suppose every generation goes through this, looking back on their formative decade with a sense of longing; wishing for the good ole days to return and bring with them the innocence and hope that vanished somewhere along the way…
No other generation yet has lived through such leaps and bounds with regards to global communication. Generation Xers grew up talking to each other on telephones attached to the wall (as they had been for a hundred years) and now we can facetime our childhood friends from almost anywhere in the world. And yet, for all our technological improvements we are stuck in a rut of Me First and the Gimme Gimmes (also the name of a great band with roots in 80s punk.) Are we so desperate for attention and validation that we’ve turned our own government into a reality show? Each day I wake up wondering if today’s the day, the day when some little guy with ears that stick out will jump from behind the curtain and say, “Gotcha!” The day when they will take Trump away in a white van to get the help he so desperately needs. The day when reality regains some ground, and we can move towards a sane, safe, sustainable future.
But alas, each day is better than the next.
Instead, we’re losing ground— not to mention face with the rest of the world. Withdrawing from the Paris Agreement, dismantling protection for National Parks, leaving Cuba stranded between Miami and a hard place; everything this administration does seems to speed up the Trump Train of Inconceivable Hubris. In my opinion, the people who voted for Trump are not entirely to blame because the oligarchy needed a puppet and he was simply Narcissist Number 1. They got punk’d. They thought they were voting for a guy who would shake up the establishment, give the mic back to the workers, but instead they voted for a charlatan who wants more than anything else to be invited to the billionaire’s table. I believe that’s why he won’t release his tax returns— not until he can report those important extra 0s as income.
Donald Trump is the freak on a leash to get us to buy a ticket to the carnival, but even his staunch supporters must admit the show is winding down. The main tent that is the Republican Party is mostly empty with GMO popcorn strewn about the bleachers. This manboy is mentally unstable and incapable of building up our infrastructure, much less a bridge to the future. Sidebar- to all non Native Americans who think a wall along the US border is a good way to handle the many issues associated with immigration: go sit in the corner and seriously consider whether your hypocrisy is worth everything our ancestors went through to get here. Then get on Travelocity and book a trip to a developing nation. International travel opens our eyes to what it means to live in a country of opportunity; a country that was built on the backs and voices of immigrants.
“If you are more fortunate than others, it’s better to build a longer table than a higher fence.”
Unfortunately, I think this egocentric administration is going to crash the economy right through the front yard and into our living room. They say you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone; just like the hideous clothing, Slurpee brain freeze, and bike-riding all day until the streetlights come on…, oh— how I miss the summer of 1980! And now that Congress is working to make the Dodd-Frank Act go the way of shoulder pads, it shouldn’t take long for the housing market to collapse. Maybe when we’re all out on the streets we’ll stop slinging mud and bullets at each other and focus on getting everyone a seat at the table.