Sometimes you have to escape for a while. The bellowing insanity of Donald Trump, the unending gun violence and those malignant fetishists who say the only way to solve it is for there to be even more guns available--it all becomes too much. Paralysis eventually sets in and along with it comes the terrible notion the republic is swirling down a dark drain into abject fascism.
Indeed, at times like these it is best to hop on a plane, slug back huge amounts of the over priced beer during the flight, and head for some distant locale with cool temperatures. One peopled by those who don't need to own a firearm in order to get an erection.
Right--as John Lovitz used to say--that's the ticket.
The plan was we would simply disappear into a little hotel tucked away on the narrow brick streets of Old Montreal and make sure the TV was at least off, if not unplugged. Then, we'd take an evening cruise on the St. Lawrence seaway and throw down a couple of dry martinis right before eating filet mignon swimming in a rich burgundy sauce, accompanied by large glasses of pinot noir.
For a time it worked. Virginia and I made our escape last Wednesday. We flew into Montreal and immediately lost ourselves in a never ending collage of sidewalk cafes, French themed restaurants, and art galleries. We were blessedly cut off from all news and the rancor and severe craziness which comes with it.
At least until Sunday. That was the morning she looked. After 35 years of living with me, my wife has become as much, or more of a news junkie than I am. A mere 72 hours into the self imposed black out she had to see what was going on. We found out immediately.
At that moment, the nightmare in Orlando was still developing. No one was even sure what the final body count would be. In an instant, everything wrong with the United States and the world had shattered the perfectly peaceful hide out we'd taken refuge in.
What became immediately obvious was the latest in a long line of home grown lunatics had been able to get his hands on an array of weapons as easily as one buys a bunch of bananas. Then, inevitably, he'd taken out all his horrid fantasies and seething anger, on a crowd of innocent people who were doing nothing more than having a good time.
Omar Mateen might have had tenuous connections to ISIS, might have had help from his wife, or others--hell, he might have even been a severely conflicted, self loathing, Muslim gay man. That is all still part of the investigation. What we do know for sure is that he was batty as a bed bug on meth and had absolutely no problem getting his hands on a weapon which has no real purpose other than killing human beings.
Let's face it, those evil fucks running amok in Syria and Iraq didn't have to smuggle the murder weapon into him on the sly. Mateen just strolled over to a Florida gun store and bought it with barely any questions asked.
And the presumptive republican nominee's reaction to it all--besides a ham handed and despicable hint the president of the United States might secretly be in favor of this latest savage trip into murderous frenzy? It is that we should ban not only Muslims from immigrating to these shores, but anyone else who comes from places where there is a history of terrorism. That Omar Mateen was born here a couple of decades ago doesn't matter. His law abiding parents shouldn't have been admitted into the country because their son, who had yet to be conceived, turned out to be a deranged nut.
By that standard no one from Europe should have ever been allowed onto the continent. Just ask your average Native American.
We flew back into the maelstrom known as the U.S.A, yesterday. There had been, for a short while, silence, serenity, and wonder. Now it is once again the day to day grind of madness.
Yes, Dorothy, there really is no place like home.
sic vita est