April wasn’t a great news month for the country and the world. May is starting out just as bad!
It’s been a while since the last Around the Block. Over a month in fact since my last post on March 30. That post was called, “Cruising, Covid, and Trump being Trump.” (https://around-the-block.com/2022/03/30/cruising-covid-and-trump-being-trump/). I checked back and found I was particularly prolific in March:
- March 25: “Can it get any worse? I’m talking about Ketanji Brown Jackson’s SCOTUS confirmation hearings!” (https://around-the-block.com/2022/03/25/can-it-get-any-worse-im-talking-about-ketanji-brown-jacksons-scotus-confirmation-hearings/)
- March 23: “The ‘Party of Lincoln,’ and the ‘not-so’ Grand Old Party (aka, the GOP)” (https://around-the-block.com/2022/03/23/the-party-of-lincoln-and-the-not-so-grand-old-party-aka-the-gop/)
- March 18: “Vacation is coming at the exact right time” (https://around-the-block.com/2022/03/18/vacation-is-coming-at-the-exact-right-time/)
- March 3: “The Race to the Bottom” (https://around-the-block.com/2022/03/03/the-race-to-the-bottom/)
- March 1: “Палки и камни могут сломать мне кости, но слова никогда не причинят мне вреда” (“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never harm me”) (https://around-the-block.com/2022/03/01/палки-и-камни-могут-сломать-мне-кости-н/
- March 1: “Quora Digest poses the two most important questions of the day” (https://around-the-block.com/2022/03/01/quora-digest-poses-the-two-most-important-questions-of-the-day/)
And since then, silence, nothing, nada.
Some readers have actually asked why Around the Block hasn’t been around for a while; most probably haven’t noticed. I, of course, have been trying to figure out why I went from the productivity of March to the nothingness of April.
Perhaps it was the fact that, as alluded to in that March 30 post, subtitled,” What I learned about America and Covid from a cruise vacation and its aftermath,” I tested positive for COVID on that cruise. And, although my symptoms were mild (flu-like), COVID, combined with the two other subjects I covered in that column, “Cruising” and “Trump being Trump,” seemed to have both sapped my energy and also my drive and desire.
Is that it? Or is there something else?
Certainly, it’s not because there hasn’t been anything to opine about in the last month or so. I mean we’re watching, in real time, 24/7, a slaughter in Ukraine which we in the West can’t seem to stop without triggering even more tragic “unintended consequences.”
And, while Joe Biden was taken to task for calling Putin’s actions in Ukraine a “genocide”,* given what’s going on, I’m not going to join the “dancing on the head of a pin” crowd. Make no mistake, Putin is engaged in an illegal, outrageous, catastrophic slaughter of innocent people.
*(According the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the following do not fall into the category of genocide: crimes against humanity, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and mass killing.)
Or, could it be that I decided to focus my attention on all my other writing projects, (which some might say are too many)? Not a chance; the number of projects I’m involved in now is virtually identical to the number in March.
Maybe it’s simply ennui?
What is ennui anyway?
Is my lack of output due to any of those things?
Or is it simply this: With every day, in every way, both the world and America sink deeper into disrepair or, for some of us, despair. Whether it’s Ukraine, or COVID, or GOP deceitfulness and lack of shame, or climate change inaction or racism and anti-Semitism or…
And, although I write and I post and I opine and perhaps even try to come up with solutions to the world’s woes, the question is, “to what end.” Does anything I write make a difference? Or mean anything? Or promote change? Or is all this simply misguided, but ultimately, useless catharsis on my part.
I wonder to whom am I speaking? A few hundred regular readers who agree with me most of time anyway? I reach more in my occasional Op-Eds in the Palm Beach Post but those columns are not regular enough to make a difference. And aren’t there enough professional commentators, smarter, more clever and with bigger audiences than I, making some of the same arguments? Am I simply “pissing into the wind?” (Which, of course, would be a more appropriate metaphor if my stream was stronger…but that’s another problem!)
By the time you read this, you’ll know that the Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v Wade after 49 years. We know that because a preliminary, scathing and disrespectful draft majority opinion, written by Justice Samuel Alito, was leaked last night. I’ll let those professional, smarter commentators I alluded to fill in the details, but the horror of this decision can be summed up in these three points:
- Roe v Wade has been the law of the land for almost 50 years;
- It is settled law that has been reaffirmed several times in those 50 years;
- This will be the first time in history of the United States that citizens have been stripped of a Constitutional right.
The justices who will vote to overturn Roe…Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch (whose seat was decetifully and illegitimately stolen from Barack Obama and Merrick Garland by Mitch McConnell), Kavanaugh and Coney Barrett are all Republican presidential appointees. All but Thomas were appointed by presidents who acceded to the presidency without a majority of the electorate.
In making this ruling, SCOTUS has inserted the United States of America in this distinguished group of countries:
Think about that.
When you add the Constitutionally undemocratic Senate to the mix, the only takeaway is this: the great American experiment, the world’s oldest “democracy,” is being ruled by the minority. Hungarian Prime Minister, Victor Orban, must be thrilled as he welcomes the United States into his “illiberal democracy” club.
So, what does all this mean for Around the Block and me? I’m not sure. Perhaps I’ll need to rethink what I write about and how often I post. Perhaps I’ll return to Around the Block’s satirical “News with a Twist” roots. Perhaps I’ll spend more time on those other projects.
You’ll know as soon as I figure it out.