Monday, November 13, 2006

Is there a muse in the house? Anywhere?

November's almost halfway through, and I'm still wandering my way through a crippling case of blog-boredom that's been plaguing me for months. Where I once watched eagerly for evidence of lies or sensationalism on television, now I can only manage to turn the set on for Sunday football games. I used to be an avid politics junkie, and now, even the recent mid-term elections barely elicited a peep as far as writing goes.

While on TDY, I watched the relentless election coverage on CNN, MSNBC, and even FOX. When the results came in showing the Democrats had wrested control of the house from the Republicans, who have led what has been arguably the worst congress in the history of the United States, I hardly even cared. When Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld -- who was, in some way, my boss -- was shown the door shortly afterwards, I shrugged. Thursday, when the Virginia Republican incumbent conceded his senate seat to the challenging democrat, handing the DNC a one-seat lead there, I was just glad it was over.

To be honest, at this point, I'm actually excited to see the U.S. government come to a screeching halt. If you meet anyone who claims to believe the bullshit about "a new need for bipartisanship" or "civility in government," ask them which American-flag-pin-wearing creep is paying them. You don't need a long memory to know that while opposition feeds growth in the market, it creates screaming stalemates in our government.

Bush is having lunch with the soon-to-be speaker of the house Nancy Pelosi. He's appearing in press conferences and cracking lame jokes about "thumpin's." The winners are expansively praising the losers, and only a couple weeks ago, both were running television ads claiming their opponents were taking naturalization applications for suicide bombers and flag-burning pedophiles. The losers are pledging not to leave their former constituencies behind, and meanwhile are even now settling into new lobbying offices from which they'll launch new smear campaigns on different fronts.

Entropy is the tendency of any system to become more disorderly and chaotic as time passes. The more independent factors that are involved, the faster the system reduces to chaos. There have been civilizations in the world that have lasted for hundreds of years, perhaps even thousands. But could it be that this huge, free country of ours just has too many independent variables at work? Is our inherent entropy spinning us toward chaos and destruction faster than any empire before us?

There's a part of me that's desperately hoping so. If it's true, the next few years could be very interesting, and I wouldn't want to miss out.


Postscript: I'm not actually reading that Kurt Vonnegut book anymore. I picked up a copy of Chuck Palahniuk's Haunted in the airport, and I've been devouring it this weekend. It's really a collection of ghost stories -- but instead of ghosts, Palahniuk uses the mundane and ordinary things we're accustomed to... and in twisting them, makes them more horrifying than any vampire or Frankenstein's monster ever committed to the page.

It's filled with the kind of obsessive research that characterizes Palahniuk's work, and it's also incredibly gory. If you're struggling to make it through a Dean Koontz, give Haunted a wide, wide berth. If you giggle when the helicopter lops off the top of the zombie's head in the original "Dawn of the Dead," then this one's for you.