In a desperate land

Dead in the water

Jacob Stewart, Columnist

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I asked for a column, and for my sins they gave me one. The trip has been long, readers, yet I’m still on it, lost on this LSD fueled circus ride. It’s a Friday night, but the hours are bleeding away into Saturday. I’ve got a glass of rotgut whiskey and a head full of nightmares, the only companions I could find, as I continue up the Nung River once again. What is the point of all of this? I’m sure that’s what some of you might be asking if you happen to be new to this column. For those who have managed to stick around over the years, you’ll know the answer to this, and that is that there really is no answer. Just one question after another, endless as the river itself.

Since 2016, I’ve been tracking down a renegade. It was a noble thing. Yet over these last few years, it has become something akin to pure, unquestionable madness. This thing was once known as the truth, but now, I don’t know what we can call it. All I know is that it is out there, somewhere on this long and twisting metaphor, but if I ever do manage to find it, I have no idea as to what will happen.

What I can say, with any certainty, is that we have endured enough of the bizarre ugliness that is our current presidential administration. And there, readers, is why I’ve spent these last three years on this river. The truth is that none of this should have happened, but it did, and now, all we have to show for it is ruin. The red, white and blue are faded upon a battered, torn flag. The bald eagle is starving, on the verge of falling from the sky. Lady Liberty has been gagged, left to stand upon weak, crumbling knees. The “swamp” is overflowing, and all of the vicious beasts have spilled out from it, spreading their venom across televisions and smartphones.

There are some who will say the opposite, that will defend what they are seeing. Of course, these are the same people who are too ignorant not to see the similarities between the detention centers along the border and the concentration camps of Nazi Germany, or the internment camps that the United States built to keep the Japanese-Americans in lockdown. There’s no chance with people like that. They’ve abandoned reason, and for what? To embrace the ugliness of being the schoolyard bully who hurts others for no other reason than to hide how little they truly are?

I’ve heard it mentioned that we’re caught in a cold civil war due to the extreme differences we’ve come to find amongst one another during this current presidency. For some time, I found that to be true. Yet, the truth no longer is what I once thought it was. El Paso changed that for me. The heat got turned up that day, and the war became real. It’s the sane against the unhinged, laudanum drunk fools who still believe in our deranged president. And believe me, readers, the sane need to win this fight. Otherwise, we aren’t going out with a bang, but a whimper.

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