It is Friday September 4th, 2020. I sit here in my shed breathing in moderately polluted air from the fires that burn the state of California. My mood is on the melancholy side lifted only slightly by thoughts of a three day holiday weekend.
It is difficult to be happy these days for a number of reasons which I’ll explain in no particular order.
Trump is still the President and there seems to be no limit to the depths in which he and his supporters can go. There is a danger of him losing the election so they try to limit the vote by stifling the post office with the mail in votes, they encourage their supporters to vote twice which is illegal and there is a possibility that Trump will declare victory even before all votes are counted! America is in its very first kleptocracy and it remains to be seen if it can pull itself out of it. One would never have imagined that so many, otherwise very rational people, would fall for such a conman. They are seduced by the propaganda from the right wing and their anger grows daily. Even my own friends and some family have fallen for it. If Trump wins again then we’ll continue on a very dark path to very bad ends. Democracy is already under threat through the President’s actions meddling with the votes. There could be a devastating war although America has always been very good at starting wars for the past 70 years so not much difference there. My thought is that Trump could start a devastating war where nukes could be employed. Americans know nothing of suffering having never been invaded and so many enthusiastically support war even though they could not even describe the adversary involved let alone the neighboring state. But even if there was a devestating war and many Americans died, they would just be losers right Trump? Sadly, nothing will shock his base. These are dark times for America.
Another reason for the melancholy is that we remain in a pandemic and the state of California is on fire. We are not too threatened by the fires but we sure have to deal with toxic smoke. Iv’e never run my air purifier so hard and I’ll have the energy bill to prove it. There have been times where I had to gather everyone in one room and block off the entry way with a sheet as the pollution had spiked up near 200 AQI levels and the purifier just couldn’t keep up. The fires continue and most times we cannot even go outside due to the smoke. We are lucky that we live near the ocean because we just need the wind to blow a certain way for pristine air. Others in the state are not so lucky and have smoke coming at them from multiple directions. The world changes and I find it strange that I now it is only the quality of the water I must pay attention to but the air as well. I remember when bottled water and water filters came on the market. Suddenly our water wasn’t safe and we needed products to purify them. I asked myself, what is next the air? Yes, yes it is! Smoke from fires aside the air pre-Covid was mostly yellow in all the places I frequented which are The Bay, Columbus, Ohio and Japan. All yellow all the time. Now I must spend money to ensure the air we breathe is not shortening our lives.
I’m also down because I was just served a summons for jury duty. I’ve never had to do jury duty and I’m not enthusiastic for the first experience. I’ve been more on the liberal side ever since studying abroad but all I had to do to convince myself to limit government involvement was think about my distaste when I have to deal with the government myself. I do not like taxes, immigration, the DMV and now jury duty. With all the talk of socialism being bad coming from the right, isn’t jury duty a bit socialist? Why, in a capitalist country can I not just pay someone to go do it for me? America is all about money, power and the individual best exemplified by our President isn’t it? Well, if I were to follow that example, why do I need to participate in this social ritual and be threatened with jail if I do not? If I were to follow the American example of individualism, I do not care about the person on trial right? Work it out themselves through money, prison or execution, why do I have to get involved? Because it is our system and how our system of justice works??? Excuse me, have you been paying any attention to our current President? He’s got the entire Department of Justice under his thumb.
Wait, my apologies, we only “say” nobody is above the law, but any person with a modicum of intelligence knows this is a silly phrase.
Finally, my spirits are down because we are about to lose more family friends. Our tight circle of Japanese friends all seem to be finding their way back to Japan over the past couple of years. This weekend is a farewell party for yet another family in our inner circle. When before, our circle of close friends was abundant, it has now become sparse.
Time goes on, everything changes. Before long, the world we know is nothing more than old memories preserved in photographs.