Feb 8, 2008

The Chords Underneath

You read about the nursing student who shot and killed two classmates at a school, in Louisiana. Her mother has no idea why she would do such a thing. In Arizona, a man who was angry that he couldn't secure a liquor license to open a bar, which he wanted to call Drunkenstein's, set out to kill a lot of people at the SuperBowl. He got to the parking lot with a rifle and ammunition, but at the last moment he caught himself and went to police. There's been an epidemic of shootings lately. Many of these involved multiple victims. There was a shooting in Chicago of five women, the shooter still at large; a couple of shootings in Colorado. In San Diego, and gang shootings in Pittsburgh. Bar shooting in New Orleans, Restaurant shooting in Seattle. The city council shooting in St. Louis. The shooting in Memphis: Two boys at odds; one shot the other at school. In Oakland of course there are shootings every night. And so what is that? Underneath, something is stirring again. The economy you'd say or soldiers returning from Iraq. Folks are jumpy. Weird weather you'd say, the icebergs melting. Or else maybe it's the same thing causing bees to drop dead. Bad transmissions. Electric lines. Radar's out.

Maybe, you can trace it to the year of the rat, the 60th year for some rats. Big change all over the place. And doesn't it feel cyclical. Things coming 'round again. Every 30 years, there's a convulsion. That's a real theory and look how it works. Look at the turn of the last century, the end of an era; in the 30s, the end of an era; in the 60s, and now, a little late, but there's something familiar. The beginning of a new era. There's a war, the economy has turned to quicksand, a "once-in-a-generation" presidential candidate is on the move, Amy Winehouse, direct from Rehab is singing Back To Black, the Janis of her time; old boomers having more sex, driven to recreate if not themselves then the feeling of themselves, the moth's last minutes.... New energy. Optimism. Disgust. The illusion of new. And a new cold war, albeit with Islamodogs. Everything is adjusted to this time. You listen to the music and the violence and you can hear the faint sound of something approaching.

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