Today, I read WUMO again. It’s a comic strip that’s growing on me. Steve faces an alligator playing a trombone and the caption reads, “Feeling absolutely nothing upon encountering an alligator playing the trombone, Steve knew he had lost all interest in life.”
It was the morning after the State of the Union address. Years ago I used to watch and listen to the State of the Union and, oh how seriously I took it. For me that goes all the way back to Eisenhower and well before deja vu, cynicism — skepticism at best, had set in. My parents used to play gin rummy or Scrabble as well as chatter when they watched the annual address to the nation. For them there was more sense and gravity when the president was Republican.
Last night, when the speech was over, I regretted not spending two hours reading or playing catch with my new terrier. My feelings and thoughts about our President and the loyal opposition had nothing to do with my mood. It was, rather the whole ritual and especially the bored journalists who commented vacuously on everyone’s vacuous palaver. And I didn’t feel like an engaged, voting citizen — as I used to. Speech that is non-speech causes my apathy. . It has to be that way, you know, because we expect no real content from no one. Content loses elections.
Right now, I see two images: a terrifying man in a black mask holding a knife over two Japanese citizens dressed in orange and an alligator playing a trombone. I have not lost my interest in life which the image of terror renders so very precious. Both images are absurd, but WUMO makes me laugh. I need a laugh.