Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pig Pen

Was it Oprah who said, "Depression is rage turned inward." Or was she just the person who slapped a trademark on the expression and made 40 billion dollars in twenty minutes? I don't remember, but its a good description. I'm pissed at everything right now.

I'll start big.

It makes me crazy that all this apocalyptic weather is taking place all over the planet and its all our fault, and we can't stop ourselves. Even if we’re Ed Begley, Jr., we're still fucking it up just by being here. As humans, we are the Pig Pen character from Charley Brown. Only instead of, or rather in addition to, stink waves wafting from our comb overs, we also have a fog of noxious nerve gas curling merrily from our footsteps. We're are, individually, pollution cannons, and collectively, the death star.

It seems all the oceans are now made primarily of discarded plastic, which we then eat.

Sickened by the effects of swimming in and digesting of, a used bottle of Nair, we consume unprecedented numbers of pharmaceuticals in the form of anti-depressants, birth control pills, and cholesterol medication, which we then urinate back into the ocean, so we can better eat it in the form of expensive mollusks who no longer have erectile dysfunction, or zits.

I hate it that pretty soon there is going to be one psychotic polar bear sitting on an ice cube in the middle of Bermuda, probably in my own lifetime.

I hate it that we are totally wasting another good president. Poor fucking Obama. Is that the worst job ever? I'm sorry, man. That's our fault too. We were so not ready for your kind of presidency. We handed you this teetering house of Schlitz cans, built so skillfully over decades of hard, hard drinking and we just knocked you into it and said, "Go", say some nice things and make us feel better about the clear surplus of douche-baggery and the deficit of resources for humanity. And you showed up, all sparkly, with that poetry and verve and we just wanted it so badly, the eloquence, the clear reasoning. It was like a salve to our poor brush cut souls, feet blistered by cowboy boots, our faces shot into by friends. It was awful back then. I feel terrible about how we've fucked Obama. I'm so, so, sorry buddy.

I hate it that from a birds-eye view it seems like four old guys went in and hacked all the zeros off our bank accounts and had them direct-deposited into their own. How did that happen? I've had economics explained to me so eloquently by NPR, but even after Planet Money enlightenment I'm still asking, Yeah, but how did that happen?

And then the earthquakes buried in a hundred feet of water, followed by shooting and looting and unmanned drones.

It's like the Earth is a giant Etch-a-sketch, and its just trying to shake enough to wipe itself clean. A massive fire here, a huge wave maybe, a little famine, a corpse in the well-water, some radiation, the deaths of millions. Wave good-bye to the nice people, she smiles.

So I've been feeling a little depressed lately. Somewhat doomed. Though mostly I've been having a jolly time of it. I surround myself with nice people and good food, and noise canceling headphones, which I can't say enough kind words about. I try to breath through the brutal things like they are contractions; a temporary agony through which something marvelous will be born. Sometimes I just sweat while crying into my window fan.

I'm not negative; I'm just completely overwhelmed. I took my kids to the zoo where some of the coolest animals I'll never see again, were represented geographically by a tiny red dot, the size of a hypodermic prick, on a far away continent. I look into their weird nocturnal eyes. I see you, little fella, I see you there. I wave good-bye.

I don’t know what else to do but ask quietly, and with respect:
Be more gentle, friends, be small. Contain thy tempest.


  1. wow, eloquent depression. nicely done schickel, as always. i'll do my best and lets teach our children well

  2. Maybe my most favorite blog post EVER.

  3. Think of the Civil War. Think of the Blitz. The Crash. Yellow Fever. World War I. World War II. And somehow we're still here.

    All in the past and with no Wolf F-ing Blitzer!

    We've enjoyed an age of stunning prosperity. So now we're in the crapper. Seesaw. So it goes. Our forbearers dealt with the here and now. We have to deal with all the news in all the times zones all the time. And we can't. Our connectivity has made us anxious and helpless, all a-twitter, and mostly passive.

    Texting ourselves to death?

    Step away from your mobile devices. Put your hands up where we can see them. You have the right to remain silent which might just be a very good idea until we have a better one. This one isn't working.

  4. Nicely said. Abstaining from meat is a nice start. Abstaining from having more than 5 children. Good too. Being kind, check. And thanking your president. I am totally with you here. I get so frustrated with liberals who are down on him for compromising. That's what presidents have to do. But at least we can trust him for making decisions based on the greater good, not the good of a select few. I believe in his motivations and his judgment and we will never do better. Curious what the hubby thinks.

  5. this made me cry.
    so apt.
    so crystal in your anger. and justified.
    a big voice trying to be small and powerful.