James Clay Fuller

Things We're Not Supposed to Say

Monday, December 14, 2009

Here again, at least for a while

Back around the end of May, I decided to take some time off from this blog and from other public writing, except for occasional letters to the editors of various publications. Initially, I did not intend to stay away for quite so long.

First, I knew that I was heading into a ridiculously busy summer, filled with many house guests and travel. We had one period of more than a month during which we had house guests continuously.

(Yeah, even if you love 'em, it can make you a little crazy.)

More importantly, it was time to step aside from the daily crises and distraction issues and try to figure out what's really going on in this mess of a country, which now can be accurately described as the world's largest and most powerful banana republic. It's official policies frequently are incoherent and often are patently irrational; it is almost ungovernable, yet swarms with authoritarian politicians, clerics and other demagogues eager to tell others how they should govern or be governed. It is greatly burdened with politicians too cowardly or too venal to act as they should.

It's very easy to get caught up in the latest, the almost daily scandals and hot stories –- what really is the significance of the fact that Tiger Woods cheated on his wife or that Sarah Palin is using her persona as a political Paris Hilton to make millions? -- and fail to see the massive changes taking place in our government and society. A lot easier, as well, to avoid facing those changes directly.

Americans are given to watching the ripples and entirely missing the shifting of the tides.

Even the health care battle is largely trivialized, while the real importance of that battle – important beyond even the question of whether Americans ever will get decent, affordable health care – is ignored.

Through the summer and fall, I read, listened and came to several mostly unhappy conclusions. Now, for awhile, I'll write again.

Yes, I know. Who gives a damn? I'm nobody and what I have to say doesn't matter.

I don't imagine myself to be a great pundit. Usually, only a few hundred people – very rarely a few thousand – ever see what I write. I'm a hick from the sticks, lacking a PhD and lacking a major newspaper or syndicate to inflate my importance. So read it or don't. At least I'll be able to consolidate my gleanings and get the conclusions down so that I can stop spending most of my waking hours ruminating on things over which we, the people, no longer have much power.

The first couple of articles to follow probably will not be on the really big subjects, but rather on things that offer clues to where we're going on the life or death issues.