Like a lot of people I know, I'm a little dazed and disoriented. I didn't expect to be hit quite so hard by the outcome of the election, although I knew I was invested in 2004 like never before. Never before did it seem to me so imperative to change the direction of the country. Never before was it so clear to me that we had not only an incompetent President, but a cruel one, propped up by a vicious and greedy Administration. In the months leading up to the election, I made phone calls, wrote letters, talked to anyone who would listen, supported my candidate. I was heartened to find that there were many others that felt the way I did. Surely, after the Travesty of 2000, things would be different this time around.
Alas, it was not to be.
On the morning of Nov. 4, I woke up in Hooterville.
Hooterville, for those of you who don't remember the '60s TV sitcom "Green Acres", was a small rural town filled with crazy people. Let me take this opportunity to fervently stress that it is not the 'ruralness' (for lack of a better word) that I am referring to here. These same types of characters can be found in virtually any sitcom setting - big city, suburbs, rich, poor - so don't go thinking I'm bashing the 'Heartland' like some over-educated, no-values-having, Cosmopolitan-swilling liberal elitist. It just happened to be the setting for this show. For those still unclear on the concept, think "The Simple Life" meets Franz Kafka. Anyhow, the story is about a New York City lawyer who longs to lead a simpler, more uncomplicated life - to buy a real farm and really farm it; to get 'back to the land'. His ditsy-but-sexy Hungarian wife loves the big city and has no interest in leaving New York. The husband puts his foot down, however, and off they go.
Once they get to bucolic Hooterville, though, nothing is as it seems. Bets are taken by the locals as to how long the greenhorns will last. Right away poor Oliver Douglas has to start dealing with the resident Con-Man-In-Chief, Mr. Haney, who, having begun the show with a swindle, makes it his mission in life to fleece Mr. Douglas at every opportunity while ladling on the country charm.
Everyone on that show, including his wife, was just nuttier than a fruitcake, and yet Mr. Douglas was the one who was unable to prevail. A reasonably sensible man, he stood no chance of success, because he was trying to deal with his neighbors in a rational, logical way. In return, he was constantly lied to, important information that everyone else knew was routinely kept from him, he was tricked into paying for things that already belonged to him. And, of course, always served up with a heapin' helping of hot, steaming corn-pone.
I didn't watch the show all that much growing up because it made me vaguely uncomfortable. It seemed wrong, somehow, that this basically decent guy couldn't get a break, ever. He didn't try to come in to the town and change things; he just wanted to learn how to fit in. He tried to play by the rules, but they kept changing the rules on him. His only fault was not being as crazy as the rest of them.
This is how I've been feeling lately - as if I have somehow wandered onto the set of "Green Acres". The inmates are in charge of the asylum. I've put up this blog in order to try and sort out what the hell happened, what the hell's going on now, and what the hell to do next!