Perhaps the time has come for a bile holiday. Or a hatred holiday.
Shortly after he was inaugurated, FDR declared a four-day bank holiday. This was after all the states declared bank holidays. The idea was to calm the turbulence caused by so many bank failures.
I propose a bile holiday — to help clear this nation’s air of some of the hatred that infuses, saturates, and pollutes it.
This, in the wake of the recent nationwide hate-spew. After our latest mass murder incidents, more hatred was puked into our air in a week than ever.
The intro to the old radio series “Chickenman” used to declare “He’s everywhere! He’s everywhere!” Well, we can say that about poisonous remarks from politicians, Hollywood folks, and media commentators. Their hatred is everywhere! Everywhere!
We can say it about Aunt Tilly. She smushed a pie into Uncle Harry’s gob at last Sunday’s family dinner. The tiff was over climate change, automatic weapons, and President Trump. I don’t need to remind you we have a lot of this sort of behavior across our fruited plain. It breaks up families, shatters engagements, and destroys friendships, not to mention pies and crockery.
Don’t you wish this was a laughing matter?
If you seek relief from the smog of bile, you might find haven with your newspaper. First, you read fewer disgusting, vicious, tasteless remarks in your paper — because editors screen out some of the worst. Secondly, when you read this filth you can skip to the crossword. Or you can take a breather, rev up another cup of coffee.
The news channels on TV give you no such relief. They batter you with the hatred — in news programing, in commentary, and in late-night programs. It’s everywhere! It’s everywhere!
From TV you get the screaming. Everything is emergency-grade “breaking news” that you absolutely must watch right now. And editors screen little. Idiots calling our president a neo-Nazi, a Hitler-lover, a KKK supporter fails to snag their attention. It is breaking news.
One network recently allowed a guy to claim the White House was signaling evil villains in when it lowered its flags to half-mast and raised them back.
After watching news channels, I get this feeling — that producers delight in tossing stink bombs into the public arena. They love anything that will foment and inflame the situation. They head home from work mumbling “There: That’ll keep them deplorables stirred up.”
Watch clips of ugly demonstrations against Trump and other political leaders. Listen to the vile language, the insults, and the verbal vomit. When I do, I can easily wonder whether the country is descending into anarchy.
That is why I retreat to the newspaper. Nothing in the paper assaults my senses with the same intensity or immediacy. It is easier for me to see the loons in perspective. From the newspaper, I don’t get the sense that their feces is being flung at tens of millions of Americans the moment I read it. Maybe this is simply wishful thinking.
I suppose this is a benefit from the craziness: A lot of the hateful language has been sucked or squeezed of its original meaning. For example, who can take the terms “racism” or “racist” seriously any longer? The mob flings them about like Johnny flung his apple seeds. They wield them to brand everything from tipping your cap to flags at half-mast. We used to snap out of our slumber when a celeb accused a president of being a Nazi. Now we mutter “Oh, it’s them again.” And roll over.
For solace, remember Rudyard Kipling’s words. He advised that if you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs you will be a man, my son.
Whoops! Better not remember his words. Cannot say them anymore, can we. Too sexist.
OK. You will be a … you will be a being, my person.
Sorry about that Rudyard. You would hate being with us these days. Absolutely hate it.
From Tom…as in Morgan.
Tom Morgan writes about political, financial, and other subjects from his home in upstate New York. Contact him at email@example.com, read more of his writing at tomasinmorgan.com, or find him on Facebook.