Dead In The Water: When the storm ends


Jacob Stewart, Columnist

2017 has been anything but a smooth year. Harvey drowned Houston, and Irma left the Caribbean and Florida in a state of fear. Aside from the natural disasters, our nation’s political scene seems to be a constant ground zero, one explosion of questionable activity after another, leaving us angered and confused.

It’s a repeat of those great hits from the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, a
nation divided between more than just red and blue. Is it any surprise
then that a large population of this country succumbs to opioid addictions?

With that in mind, allow me to rephrase my previous assertion. It
hasn’t just been 2017. In fact, the entire 21st century has not been
kind to American politics and to all those who find themselves down
and out, living on the ragged edge of sanity through the crippling highs and lows of addiction.

I guess it’s only appropriate that I’m listening to Steve Winwood’s
smooth but sorrowful classic “Can’t Find My Way Home” as I look out
beyond the quiet peacefulness of a Wayne Sunday afternoon to the
dark depths of America’s soul.

We’ve proven that history does repeat itself — in its wars, its presidents, its choice of narcotics—and the one major factor is that we haven’t learned a thing.

From the jungles of Vietnam to the deserts of Afghanistan, Iraq and
Syria; from Nixon to Trump; and from reds to whatever a kid can find
in his mom’s medicine cabinet — all the while, our education system
stands upon a crumbling foundation beneath the haze rolling in from the vices we pump all the way to the stratosphere.

We’ve gone from Winwood to Steeler’s Wheel, “Stuck in the Middle With You,” and that’s just how I’m feeling — ugly politics on one side, the drugged out masses on the other, and then there’s me, right there in the middle behind the banner of the dogged bourbon minority who want nothing more than peace and quiet with a stiff drink.

That comfort will have to wait, though, as I contemplate these harsh realities, trying to get them all out on the page.

It seems that the storm is far from ending, readers. It’ll rage and it’ll howl until we decide to put an end to the delusional circus that believes pumping money into prisons rather than schools is the right idea.

It’ll blow down houses and leave families wandering the broken and
flooded highways until we come to the realization that our world is
trying to tell us that it’s hurting and needs a break from the drills and the smog.

The winds will die down when we’ve finally come to terms with the
fact that despite our differences, we all come from the same blueprint, that bullets and bombs aren’t the answer.

History repeats itself, and until we catch on, we’ll be lost in the
cycle, caught in the eye of the storm. That’s all for me, readers. It’s been a cynical day, and I think it’s time for that stiff drink.