All things must pass-George Harrison
I’ve has enough of watching scenes with schizophrenic, egocentric, paranoiac, prima-donnas All I want is the truth, just give me some truth- John Lennon
But if this ever changin’ world in which we live makes you give it a cry Say live and let die. – Paul McCartney
You know it don’t come easy- Ringo Starr
I knew this day would come. It had to. Nothing lasts forever. Life goes on. Pick your own cliché and insert here. The fact of the matter is when one feels like what they are doing is accomplishing nothing more than a fair amount of personal therapy without moving the needle one wishes to move, it becomes time to take stock. I want to be clear here dear readers; this is not about you. I have been more than juiced on too many occasions to write for you and to read your comments which have always been worthwhile and given me encouragement. There are about 70 of you who get the personal email alerts of the newest piece. Many of you are not Word Press subscribers, so the email was the best way to alert you. I do hope you haven’t minded the intrusion into your in-boxes. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I also want to thank the many people of whom I have no personal acquaintance from all across the country and the world who have tuned in for an article or two and have even become followers. I don’t have the numbers of followers that some seem to collect like the most successful trick or treaters on Halloween night. I don’t begrudge those bloggers; they are doing something for the most part very different and the audience for whatever it is they choose to write about is simply more diverse. I follow quite a few of them myself.
But I find my anger of late getting the best of me and the tone of too much of what I am writing is turning in a direction I do not wish to follow. I want to be clear; I am not afraid of the passion; I am not even put off by spurts of anger germane to a moment. This can enhance that message and that moment. But too often of late I find myself battling with demons I can never hope to defeat. So I surrender. In short, I have given up on the idea of America. I do not wish to present myself here as some type of naïve Pollyanna in my views of what this country is or aspires to be or what it has been. I have always been aware of the fault lines in this country. I know that the America my father fought for when he charged a beach at Anzio was an ambiguous ideal, in need of shape and finer definition, but it was an ideal, and it was based on good principles. And for most of my life I have taken comfort in the progress I have seen. The systemic racism and brutality wrecked upon human beings of all different varieties for the sin of not being “white males” makes me embarrassed to be a white male. But as bad as so much of this has been there has also been enough movement, at times, to give me heart. The awful murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and too many others gave way to the rise of the BLM movement, spurring the heightening of consciousness by many outside of the African American community. The kaleidoscope of humans joining the marches this past year elated me. The election of 2020 elated me even more. But we now face a time where truth no longer matters. Thirty percent of the country with an overwhelming commitment to an aspiring tyrant have sacrificed whatever values they had to the altar of a golden-haired fatted calf. If representative democracy truly worked, the wishes of the other 70% could not be so easily overwhelmed. But partisan gerrymandering of election districts, continued efforts to depress voter turnout and delegitimatize legal votes among certain populations all but insures the inevitable rule of a significant minority over the majority. Liberty has become just another buzz word to sell toothpaste and pillows on outlets dedicated to nothing more than keeping their ad buys up by appealing to fear and loathing everywhere. Flag lapel pins worn by medicine show clowns camouflage the message of unity consigned to the banner they represent, while elixirs of phobia produce huge profits. The fruits of my optimism have been squeezed dry.
But a good goodbye should be short. I will use this time to rededicate myself to my other writing endeavors. I have a large play project, a few possible screenplays and maybe even some short stories. I have even, for the first time in my life, considered a novel. There is also a talented playwright I hope to produce in some way shape or form in the not-too-distant future. I have never sought profit from The Ledge. I pay Word Press a small fee to keep the blog up and since I am paid up for the year, you may continue to check out any old pieces you may have missed or wish to revisit, they are all there. Except for the piece on Louis Armstrong which I had to take down because it seemed to be drawing some very suspicious interest. A shame because he was the touchstone of all American popular music.
But really, I am tired of working for this very unreasonable squirrel. Thank you all once again for your support. Please stay healthy and alive.