"The Winter of My Discontent"
That line, borrowed from Shakespeare, purloined by Steinbeck, for one of his novels, and skewed by me on this day...to describe my mood today.
The mood is heightened, or should I say, intensified by the weather.....the sky gray in sadness, a bitterly chill wind blowing in from the west.
And my Arizona Cardinals have lost still another game...a game for which you wonder just how many players really had their heads in it.
When their season began hopes were high. Self aggrandizement was permitted. Bragging was allowed. And now, here, after the 11th week of play, the Cardinals stand a ghastly 4-6-1, their chances for the playoff spot as distant as a desert mirage. And yet, back in September, they were strutting about, bragging of the greatness, of all the talent...already eyeing an index finger and imagining a big old gaudy Super Bowl Ring down there. Just as our politicians seek to declare themselves "emperor", holding sway over our fates, these Cardinals dared to declare themselves "great"..before they had even stepped onto the field.
And, as I wallowed in my own personal despair, I thought to equate all that pre-season bragging as the disease that plagues us in all corners of our society.
We Americans, or should I say, a large swath of us, have become "empty braggarts", "all hats and no cowboy". Under the auspices of the electronic keyboard we are all "super-heroes"...capable of leaping tall buildings in a single bound...well, you get my drift. And yet our national debt is 20 times what it was when Neil Armstrong first stepped onto the moon. And our legacy in the world is in tatters. And our jobs belong either to a Chinaman in Bejing, or is being filled by an illegal Mexican in Stockton, or Pasadena, or Phoenix, or Denver. And half of America knows that, and the other half are content with it as long as the fat government tit is never taken away.
I can remember when "modesty" was the mode of they day. One did not brag about success, instead we downplayed it...stayed silent...and allowed our silence to give "breathing space" so that others might praise.
Now we are a nation of people who strut, who announce our own "grandness", who are dead set certain that everything we think and say is right...and any contesting of that fact is met with seething anger and scorn.
So we lose a lot. We lose in the jobs market, we lose our heritage and traditions to the illegal immigrant, we surrender our safety...trading it for political correctness, we lose our standing in the world..our allies suspicious and mistrustful, and we even lose it on the playing field....everyone content with the awarded blue ribbon...just for showing up.
The sunny and carefree days of summer are now gone, and given way to the clouds that hover over us..in the winter of our discontent.