One of my elders, Bush Hog James, writes this epistle from his retirement home in Arizona, after having watched a segment on FOX News:
Laden with self-disgust, I search about in the predawn gloom for a suitable tool with which to flay myself. I had been attempting, in my befuddled way, to find my niche here in Covid Days when what suddenly appeared on my television but a description of my wretched persona:
“It’s incredibly selfish of older people or neurotic people who are timid and afraid and won’t come out of their basements to confine children and young people to miss out on the most important part of their lives.”
I am in debt to Miranda Devine, a pro-Trump New York Post columnist, for giving voice to the above in an interview on Fox News. (Never mind that someone at Fox News interviewing someone from the New York Post, of itself, is sufficient to cause psychic overload.)
Holy moly, I exclaimed! That’s me! Older (check), neurotic (check), timid (check), afraid (check) won’t come out of my basement (well, actually, I don’t have a basement but if I did, I’m sure I wouldn’t come out). Finally, at long last, I learn that my appropriate state is one of shame.
Not unexpectedly, the wellspring of this realization is our leader who, fresh from his COVID-19 battle at Walter Reed, messages the faithful to stand proud and be not afraid of the killer virus. He has shown us the way. Lift up your heads, O ye gates. Follow me! Follow meeee! And here I am, timid and afraid. The shame of it all.
And that’s not the worst of it, according to Ms. Devine. I’m not just packing my own life into a trunk, but I am squeezing the life out of children and young people. And not only am I selfish, I also lack awareness in my failure to recognize that youth is the most important part of life. Perhaps that is a relic of my personal wretchedness. (For whatever reason, I don’t necessarily recognize my youth as having been the most important part of my life, although it certainly was necessary for me to have gone through it to get beyond it. Again, speaking only of my distressed self, my youth appears now to have been a time of singular unconscious selfishness.)
Some of us, in fact, fail to make the transition from youthful to grown up until some time in later years. Some of us never get there. And even those who do make it beyond psychic and spiritual adolescence are subject to relapse. In which case we might be doomed to uttering stupid crap like Ms. Devine.