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My Morning Ritual

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I woke up, and began my day as I customarily do: opening a bottle of breakfast wine, opened the newspaper and rapidly concluded: being American has gone to our head.

The last several months have highlighted, more than any time I can remember, the confluence of commerce and politics, the loss of faith in government, and the widespread acceptance of people buying into cartoon scenarios in order to make sense of the chaos in their lives.

I inhaled the woody bouquet, sloshed some around the glass and tossed it back.And I thought: is it just me or did Tom Ridge always look like J. Edgar Hoover, just what in the minds of those pleasant neo-con artists a head of Homeland Security should look like? Now that's good breakfast wine.

On another only slightly related topic, how about the sheer dunderheadedness of all those boobs who would stall any climate change initiatives, decry health care for all, defend the right to carry concealed weapons in churches, schools, bars, etc? I mean, whatever the reason for climate change -- man-made or intelligently designed or whatever lays in between -- wouldn't the world's resources still come under historically unprecedented strain? And shouldn't there be an effort to either combat it or simply deal with it?

I filled my glass again. Jesus, this is good. I feel so...so...so sesquipedalian.

You're right. I shouldn't drink in the morning. Especially since I am carpooling. But my Steven Weber Assortment of Fine Breakfast Wines Makes a Great Christmas Gift selection for this morning -- "Runs Red" -- has led me to the sickening conclusion that all of our most simplistic scenarios for good or evil (save those fusty religious myths which are now about as relevant to reality as Pong is to an X-Box) are closer to being believed by the gullible American masses as they were once thought to be pleasantly dystopic fiction by a once-informed majority.

It's as if humanity's genetic imperative to ensure its own demise is kicking in and there's not a damn thing anyone can do. Hic.

And everyone's milling around the electronic town square now, equally empowered and able to access a sloppy multitude of topics and interests; it's a world where everything is accessible and nothing is special.

The few who seem to give a shite about the way things are going, those who've become so disappointed by life writ large, have actually begun to create their own localized worlds: making their own food, generating their own energy, creating their own God.

And if there's anything we have taken away from the past several months, it's that each candidate for political office should wear a label listing their ingredients and detailing their loyalties and sponsors.

We've survived world wars and plagues, depressions, suppressions. We fancy ourselves a great nation, both merciful and strong, holding our freedom close, fighting for it, dying for it. But will out current arrogant march toward self-destruction make it possible for future generations to despise history? Despise us for our stupidity and solipsism? If religion was good for something it suggested that even the dumbest humans possess a spirit. But judging by the retrograde behavior of many in our land, even that flimsy premise is punctured. Dumb is sexy now; it's the middle ages but with more sports channels.

All these aren't signs of the apocalypse. They are merely validating the law of gravity: Man apparently was meant to sink, not soar.

Whoo. Bottle's only half empty. Or should I say...half full?