In case you didn’t notice, I took a month off.
It’s the first vacation I’ve taken in many a long year, if you can apply the concept of vacation to a period of intense busyness and business and physical labor of any and all kinds other than writing, but what was refreshing was to be away from deadlines and a sense of urgency to put out some product, whether for blog or magazine or personal work on a short story or novel. I not only didn’t turn on my computer for almost three weeks, but I couldn’t, in part because of lack of service where I was, and in part because I deliberately packed the damned thing away. Since I was traveling during much of the month, I also got away from television and newspapers and the shrill cacophony of hate and malice and dishonesty that passes for news these days. That alone was refreshing enough to make up for much of the physical activity I was involved in.
And what did I come back to? Hate and malice and lies. And, of course, the usual willful ignorance that accompany hate and malice and lies.
Case in point: The very first news story I happened to watch was the hysterical media ranting on and on about Donald Trump’s son-in-law and advisor, Jared Kushner, who was apparently monitored by US intelligence positing the idea of a “secret” back channel of communication with the Russian government, thereby causing media pundits to shriek words like “traitor” and “impeachment.” Uh, excuse me, but didn’t Barack Obama have a secret back channel of communication with Iran for almost the entire eight years of his administration? And while I freely admit my knowledge of recent history is nowhere near as good as my knowledge of more ancient history, I do recall reading that one of the reasons any of us still exist on this lovely old planet is because John F. Kennedy had a secret back channel of communication with Khrushchev that kept both countries from stumbling into a nuclear holocaust during the Cuban missile crisis. If I remember correctly, Kennedy was universally praised for his use of his secret back channel, and Barack Obama’s secret back channel dealings with Iran have been ignored by a pandering press that considers the same actions by Trump to be grounds for impeachment and charges of treason.
A more accurate assessment might be to scream the words “traitor” and “prison term” at whoever it was in our intelligence community who decided to leak this particular piece of information, to say nothing of the many other leaks that have been mysteriously happening on a regular basis ever since Trump took office. A more accurate assessment might be to say that the fact this information was leaked is, ipso facto proof of the need for a secret back channel of communication.
I may pack my computer away and start traveling again.