Stream of Consciousness

The impeachment proceedings have reached a point where the introduction of witnesses, or at least John Bolton as a witness, is being whispered in the press. I hope the trial is still going on at State of the Union time. It’ll be good that Trump still has the trial hanging over his head as he stands before the nation and tries to say something that resonates beyond his “God-fearing” base. I still think nothing much is going to come of any of this and Trump will walk, but maybe he’s at least feeling some heat. 

I can’t watch any of the proceedings, mainly because my mind is as closed as anyone’s and I can’t stand listening to what the Republicans or their lawyers have to say. I guess this is mainly because recent history reveals they really don’t have anything to say. They change their stripes and their stance to suit the moment. They talk with raised voices and hope the feigned passion and increased volume pass as validation of their righteousness.

I’m already weary of the Kobe Bryant coverage. It’s amazing how quickly that happens anymore. I was a bit shocked on Sunday when the news came, but the shock has given way to fatigue. The media have now managed to saturate the airwaves with follow-up coverage and turn it into an emotional roller coaster.

It’s amazing how many people live vicariously through someone else. They feel their own lives aren’t amounting to much, but at least they have some hero to worship and look up to and shed a tear over.

We have to work on who our heroes are. More often than not, they’re just old kids who get paid shamefully well to play a game. Yet they get put on a pedestal and worshiped as deities of a sort. It’s the same for actors and musicians and anyone who somehow looms larger than life because we see them on TV or a movie screen. No doubt there’s a certain amount of envy in this view of things, but I also think the reason this bothers me so much is because it contributes to a culture of self-centered priorities and aspirations.

Let’s just cut to the chase: it exposes a clash of philosophies. It challenges one’s profession of faith as a Christian. We appear to live in a world that claims one can have it all, that it’s always both/and and never either/or, or not at all. “We want it all and we want it now” is a gross and terrible mantra, but indicative of where many are at. 

Why are people grieving Kobe Bryant? Did they know him? Many think they knew him. They were well aware of his athletic exploits, his lifestyle, his fame and wealth, maybe his philanthropic efforts. But did they really know him? Of course not. People live their lives based on myths and dreams and envy and a desire to be anywhere but where they are. Or to be anyone but who they are.

This American culture, at least at first glance, gives off a vibe of crippling superficiality and selfishness. One might get the impression that all we want from life is to be rich and famous and to always be able to call the shots.

And a Christian nation? Hardly. The brand of Christianity being espoused by the party with the real power at the moment is ill-informed, narrow-minded, and strategically deployed to reach the undiscriminating ears of small-minded lemmings who think of themselves as true patriots possessive of unassailable moral character.  And the current Dynamic Duo in the White House are the worst offenders and enablers. 

Especially Mike Pence. He’s just plain scary.

Trump, on the other hand, is just an entitled bully from Queens who loves the sound of his own voice. Though the fact that he’s the POTUS renders this problematic.

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