Quiet Desperation

A handful of clues before we choose

Posted

This is it, I promise. My one and only political column.

Nationally, roughly 43% of eligible voters did not vote in the 2016 presidential election.

Let’s try to do better.

That’s all I am going to say. You’re not going to get an endorsement out of me, but if you can read between the lines, I think you’ll know.

I have never seen anything like 2016-20. If nothing else, it has been entertaining.

However, there has been a whole lot of else. Daily. Hourly.

The past three and a half years have been exhausting and exasperating. There’s no other way for me to look at it.

It’s been what’s called an “eye opener.” I simply didn’t realize as many of my neighbors believe in what they believe in.

Maybe that’s the silver lining.

The United States are not united states.

I often wonder if the exhaustion and exasperation have wicked into our conscious and unconscious behavior.

There seems to be more disrespect and belligerence.

I would prefer to be either informative or amusing and leave the deep dish editorials to others.

Will Rogers said, “I am not a member of any organized political party. I’m a Democrat.”

Does anyone remember Rogers?

He was born to a Cherokee family in 1879 and died in a plane crash in Alaska in 1935. In between, he was a humorist, actor, cowboy, social commentator and newspaper columnist.

“Folksy” always appears next to his name.

He once said he never met a man he didn’t like.

Boy, I sure have. Including myself.

Each and every one of us is imperfect. Except my sister. No, I take that back. She bites her fork.

Some people are more imperfect than others.

I could name names all day, but why be that unpleasant?

It’s so easy to be unpleasant, and I admit my own voice participates.

If I had only one choice, I’d choose “humorist.”

I can’t change, improve, or enthrall anyone, and I don’t want to try.

I wish I had kept track of the films I have watched since November 2016. Have there been more comedies than tragedies?

How about music? My preference was wordless classical music before the 2016 election and it has remained wordless classical music.

When I hear Beethoven it improves my day. It’s so good, it makes up for the headlines, at least for 10 or 15 minutes.

There’s something else that improves my day: writing. It’s my banjo.

One of Steve Martin’s routines had him playing the banjo. Playing the banjo whisked away whatever troubles he was having.

As soon as I sit down to write, I leave (most) of my troubles at the doorstep. With one exception: I often write letters to the editor of the daily, and it’s rarely to praise someone or something.

I reminisce more than ever these days. Partly because of my age and partly because of the past three and a half years.

I lived alone throughout college in little apartments, generally with wafer-thin walls that let in every imaginable sound.

My dream was a home filled with silence, if that’s what I wanted. Now I have it. Silence is one of my best friends.

Soon enough it will be Nov. 3, 2020.

To conclude, I quote Bob Dylan: “Here I sit so patiently waiting to find out what price you have to pay to get out of going through all these things twice.”

Craig Marshall Smith is an artist, educator and Highlands Ranch resident. He can be reached at craigmarshallsmith@comcast.net.

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