Let me guess: You're short of breath, your palms are sweaty, and you're not sure where to run and hide. In fact, you suspect this could be the Big One, ala Fred Sanford's eternal get-ready warning to the previously departed Elizabeth. You imagine this must be how the first lungfish felt, when they heaved themselves out of the primordial ooze, and up onto the shore, trying to evolve workable lungs, right on the spot, while hanging out in a Darwinesque While-You-Wait Bait and Tackle Shoppe.
Don't worry about it. It's only one of a couple things -- or, maybe, today's combo platter. I mean, it could be your body struggling with a severe disease or sudden medical condition, but, I'd urge caution here. This is a year evenly divisible by four -- so, your symptoms could mean at least three different things:
- It's an election year, so all bets on Corralling the Crazy are off.
- It's a leap year, and your subconscious is launching you into that time vortex early.
- You've just heard that Trump's VP will be Martin Shkreli.
There -- feeling better?
No, really -- what you're feeling is simply a normal reaction to modern life and to ourselves, and to Our Little American Fantasy World, where no one pays the slightest attention to facts.
We have a clear majority of news media members who believe their jobs concern entertaining the audience, pandering to the lowest common denominator for ad-revenue eyeballs, and they want nothing to do with informing a dazed electorate or watchdogging wielders of power.
We also have a clear majority of self-inflated politicians who are self-contained perfect vacuums of dark matter, dust motes, and absolute zero, who campaign based on the latest polls, and on the latest red-alert, red-phone calls from major contributors and PACs which are themselves in the throes of cerebral meltdowns.
We also have potentials voters -- and/or random party-hardy party-crashers and assorted camp followers -- all a-dither and a-drool, in various stages of emotional fevers and brain stem overheating, jumping into the fray like flailing mosh-pitters on doses of meth and steroids normally reserved only for intramural elephant-juggling.
Then, we cover everything in the major food groups (salt, sugar, fat, beer, and chocolate)... then we dust it all with trainloads of sparkly stuff and confetti... then we chop down its attention span to just under two whole seconds, making damn sure, along the way, that all memory functions of longer than a week or are definitely axed out with a hatchet, put through a stump grinder, and flushed out to sea.