Dead In The Water: Winter is coming, that feeling in your bones


Jacob Stewart

This time of year is a difficult one for me due to having had both of my knees dislocated as a youth. As the pain settles in, I find myself thinking of that phrase made famous by Game of Thrones – “Winter is coming” – and I curse the fact that it is not only an ominous truth in that fictional world, but in reality. Unfortunately, the feeling in my bones is far more than physical. There is a psychological pain that is verging on fear. The presidential election.

Yes, winter surely is coming in a terrifying way, the battle between alleged treason and loudmouthed insanity, and the American people are caught right in the middle, on the firing line. When considering this horrific situation, the famous opening line of William Shakespeare’s play, “Richard III” comes to mind. “Now is the winter of our discontent,” and to think, our troubles come from more than a corrupt and murderous hunchback, but from both sides of the political spectrum. Surely, we are in dire need of a Richmond, a model of the young Henry VIII, to ride in and save the day, but alas, all we have are a few independent candidates with no hope of climbing their way to the top of this bizarre ladder.

My guess is that not many people will follow all of the references here, but in my racket, you tend to have to focus on Shakespeare (believe me, it isn’t easy to get through an English degree without having to deal with him), and besides, Shakespeare’s characters are easily relatable in the sick and twisted reality we’ve made for ourselves in this century.

More and more, politicians maintain the mental instability witnessed in “King Lear,” and with social media, people can spread rumors just as deadly as those created by Iago in “Othello.” It’s all fun and games until you sit down and realize that we haven’t advanced in morality, but instead, bounded forward in terms of our darker nature, the tragic flaw of mankind.

Of course, maybe I’ve just been thinking too much into all of this. Perhaps the pain forming in my knees is just throwing me into a bad state of mind. Things could work out fine for common people like you and me.

Then again, we truly won’t know until the freak show that has been the presidential campaign of 2016 is over. If life has taught me anything, it’s to plan for the worst, even when times are good, and now I’m just wondering where to start. I could build a Doomsday shelter, but with the way my knees are aching, I highly doubt I’d get very far, and so now I’m just walking with my head down, doing my best to avoid the winds that are rising.

Winter is certainly coming, readers, and all we can do is dress warmly, at least for the physical winter. In terms of the metaphoric, well, perhaps we should brush up on our Shakespeare. There must be an answer somewhere in all of his work.