This week we had enchiladas.
That’s how a post starts sometimes when you stare at a blank piece of virtual paper long enough, wondering which of the myriad ideas coalescing in your mind are worthy of full expression. I’m not lacking in things I want to say; I’m lacking in ways I want to say them.
It is the last day of September in the year 2017. It’s just after 5 in the morning. The weatherman is calling for a partly cloudy day and a high of 86 degrees. That’s how we transition from summer to fall around here, with a thing that some folks call an Indian summer. Still a little hot, at times. No rain in the 10-day forecast. 70s and 80s. Nearly 90 some days.
None of that was really what was on my mind.
Puerto Rico lies in devastation from a wind they called Maria. The Republican health care bill, which helped no one but the filthy rich, is dead again. The Republican tax reform bill, which will help no one but the filthy rich, is up next. Some 200 players in the NFL had the nerve to kneel in respect to the national anthem, instead of standing in respect to the national anthem, because the leader of the free world decided to call them sons of bitches. Some people, mistaking a silent protest against a disingenuous president for a lack of respect for the American way, have decided not to watch football for a couple of weeks, in retaliation. Anger, fear and misery are rampant.
I finally finished Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens. It took me a while because, you know, life. It is, without a doubt, the best book I’ve ever read on the subject of humanity. And, really, all books are on the subject of humanity.
Unfortunately, the Sapiens regime on Earth has so far produced little that we can be proud of. We have mastered our surroundings, increased food production, built cities, established empires and created far-flung trade networks. But did we decrease the amount of suffering in the world? Time and again, massive increases in human power did not necessarily improve the well-being of individual Sapiens, and usually caused immense misery to other animals…
…we have advanced from canoes to galleys to steamships to spaceships – but nobody knows where we’re going.
If you haven’t read Harari yet, you should. I read it electronically then ordered it in hardcover for my bookshelf. I want to look at the spine all the time and be reminded how far mankind has come and how far we still have to go.
A friend of mine handed me a copy of Matt Taibbi’s Griftopia a few weeks back and that’s what I’m consuming next. Homo Deus, by Harari, will be up immediately after. In that, Harari tries to guess where we’re going. I have faith he’ll come closer than anyone else in figuring that out.
At this point in my entry I figured I’d have found a direction and quite a bit of focus, but this hasn’t been one of those entries. This one is about the weather, about books, humanity, kneeling, standing, devastation, health and taxes and death.
Those are all pretty important subjects, though, overall. So I guess this wasn’t a total loss.
My wife, whom I’ve mentioned before, can really cook. She has some real staples she likes to stick to, but she’s usually nailed anything she’s ever tried, when time and inspiration strikes her. I get tacos a lot, and spaghetti, and this amazing baked chicken and equally amazing sautéed chicken and vegetable dish from time to time. She makes an unforgettable Chile Colorado, from any meat you can imagine.
This week we had enchiladas.
That last part was an attempt to bring the whole thing full circle. I don’t know if it worked or not; I’m still kind of staring at a blank page wondering what I’ll write.
I’ll get back to you when I think of something.
Happy Saturday, to you all.