Eve — ‘In The Act’

December 24, 2023

Sunshine and a bit of warmth here this late-afternoon Sunday here in California’s Central Valley. One of the better, nicer days in the last couple of weeks — a bit of rain along with the seasonal return of the valley’s winter plague, ‘tule fog,‘ has made most of this month’s weather a bit on the unruly side.
Yet this particular Eve today is a bowel wringer prologue to a new year’s hustling arrival just a week away and full of way-horrid circumstances/episodes/experiences/people guaranteed to scare the living shit out of the most callous, cynical and storm-tossed of us all.

Although it’s still supposedly gift-giving time, the empathetic sense won’t last. The looming year ahead is filled with anxiety-inducing ripples of shitty behavior from an American presidential election to worldwide climate change creating dangerous, terrible living conditions, to warfare (Ukraine/Gaza/all over Africa) exploding against/amongst civilian populations already bleeding from way-too-much violence. We’re on the Eve of an end run, an Eve of a shitty future barrelling downhill right at us. Despite the MAGA hatters and the cruel, dangerous horror of the T-Rump being a minority cult, they have the guns and the soulless ability to lie without cause or provocation.
We’re getting ready to really descend deeper into the danger zone.
Just one example off a list of shitty what-ifs for the year (The Hill last week): ‘The more Trump quotes his favorite dictators, the more his unorthodox speech becomes normalized and acceptable to voters. At last weekend’s New Hampshire rally, Trump unabashedly said: “Even Vladimir Putin says that Biden’s — and this is a quote — ‘politically motivated persecution of his political rival is very good for Russia, because it shows the rottenness of the American political system, which cannot pretend to teach others about democracy.’”

Further into the past for a bang-up clue of today — Miss Emily Dickinson, “The Future–Never Spoke

The Future—never spoke—
Nor will He—like the Dumb—
Reveal by sign—a syllable
Of His Profound To Come—

But when the News be ripe—
Presents it—in the Act—
Forestalling Preparation—
Escape—or Substitute—

Indifference to Him—
The Dower—as the Doom—
His Office—but to execute
Fate’s—Telegram—to Him—

Despite the future not revealing itself except “in the Act,” we know from whence it comes. The shit is explained just as the shit happens — so the knowledge is somewhat useless.
However, we’ve been warned a shitload.

Apt blast from the past to set up this eve of an immediate future:

On the eve of a shitty tomorrow, or not, yet here we are once again…

(Illustration out front: New Yorker cartoon by Bruce Eric Kaplan, found here.)

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