Monday, July 11, 2011

When the temperature goes way up...

It's getting hot. It's the kind of hot that causes men to duel. (As a matter of fact, today is the anniversary of the  Burr/Hamilton show. ) This heat is causing people to go crazy. Impatient. Self-centered. Ready for something. Once such person, a truck driver, was  so impatient with a traffic light delay (the train must have been arriving) that he thought of driving up onto the sidewalk where he could get around the tie-up, and drive merrily away while raising a middle finger in defiant genuflection at the receding cars. The problem was that he did more than think about it. He tried to do it. And in the trying, savoring that joyous moment of self-expression, the truck ripped the marque of the Latchis Theater apart. That was at one o'clock and the temperature is still rising.

This picture was purloined from The Brattleboro Reformer, and is credited to Bob Audette

I'll have to write down a history of the Latchis soon. It was quite a showplace once upon. The anchor of the corner of Main and Flat Streets is the Hotel, housed in one of Vermont's two or three Art Deco buildings. Money was splurged by the family in celebration of an immigrant father who did well. Even the bathrooms are trimmed in terrazzo marble. The theater's opening was delayed by the 1938 hurricane, and houses a vaudeville stage - and the upstairs movie theatre which used to be a ballroom.

Anyway, it's hot. There's a mean and nasty heat wave out there and it's probably headed straight here. We're gonna pay for that week of nice weather.  And our patience is near its end. The 40 hour work week, the 8 hour workday, is gone save for some office workers and Federal Employees. The economy is falling apart. Ten years of Foreign Wars - three or is it four now? - and wealth redistribution upwards have created new monsters of the Upper Class, who drained off damn near well everything else they could get their hands on. The 99 weeks of unemployment help (I reject it being called a benefit or entitlement) is ending. Medicare and Social Security are now up for budget slaying discussion.

Out of every $10.00 in most Americans pockets last year, $2.00 was from Government programs. 2 out of ten. What happens when that money stops? The tilt of wealth to the rich is slowing - no one has money anymore to buy thieir goods or services. Where unions still exist, they are finding their rights to negotiate for themselves have been squandered like oil into a river. Or gulf coast. And all those people still have their jobs. The dreams and ideals of my country, as well as a collective belief in a better world, have been trampled from Abu Ghraib to Guantanamo Bay to the Mexican border, China, into Russia, and back down to Afghanastan (and on to Lybia! Wait, No, I meant Somalia, or uh...). And who paid the price? A couple of low level military miscreants. Who among the bosses lost their jobs? And the banks and insurers who together purposefully played mortgage monopoly? Who lost their jobs? Who pays the price? We were told to forget all those lives destroyed. Forgive. It'll be dealt with. Meanwhile, we're all set for a new feudalism. Er, Federalism. Something.

It's too damned hot.