I never really considered myself to be much of a writer truth be told. I mean, I could bull shit my way through essays and tests like no one’s business. That skill likely got me much higher grades in school I actually should have gotten, but I am fairly sure that my writing was so disconnected that the teachers were confused by the end of whatever they were reading that I wrote and just gave me a good grade so they never had to see or discuss the essay again. If that’s the case, that was an excellent plan. Everyone won.
I also had a gaggle of friends that were considerably smarter than me, so it is possible that I was perceived to be smarter and more talented than I actually was. Sort of a positive version of guilt by association.
So when wrote anything – and we are talking like the mid to late 80’s to the early 90’s so when I say wrote I mean long hand. With a pen. On paper- I would give it to my brilliant (seriously, brilliant, like genius brilliant) best friend Karyn and I would say “does this make sense? Does this follow a logical order?” and she would say Yay or Nay and I would go from there. It was usually a yes- likely for the same reason listed above. You can’t blame her, being my friend must have been exhausting. I was a terrible influence and without her and the rest of our little gang of geeks I can’t imagine what I would have gotten up to. They were a good influence.
These three opening paragraphs are such a perfect example of how what I write doesn’t always make sense or follow a logical order. Or have anything to do with anything else in the post.
Anyhow, with writing, apparently I have a style. Another incredibly brilliant friend of mine – the male version of Karyn it seems- tells me so. He compared my writing to Virginia Wolfe. I don’t think he has ulterior motives, like to shut me up. Maybe he does. I do talk a lot. By the way his name is Doppio as in the drink. I met him at Starbucks- he was a customer and I was a lowly barista. He ordered a doppio espresso and did the NY times cross word puzzle every day. Hence, his name Doppio. Oh, his parents call him Aaron. I don’t know why they persist in this silliness. The style he claims that I have is called stream of consciousness. Which may also be called long winded rambling. Either way the result is the same.
I was sitting at my sewing machine struggling with something I was making which should not have caused me to struggle and listening to TV. Because we are a household of nerds that fully embrace our Nerdiness we were watching/ listening to something on the History Channel “America’s Book of Secrets” or something. It was about Presidential assassination both thwarted and successful. (wow, assassination is spelled WAY differently than I ever thought it was. I was spelling it assination. Even auto correct couldn’t help me out and it always has to throw its two cents in.) I am likely the most annoying person in the world to watch tv or movies with. One reason being I don’t sit still. I never sit down to watch anything ever. I am always listening and doing something else. Knitting or crocheting or sewing or texting or reading or something. Also, I have a constant running commentary going. Then I throw in my opinions and wise ass sarcastic remarks. Brian doesn’t seem to mind it too much, at least not during shows. Movies- he has been known to pause the and then slowly turn towards me with a look of pained forced patience. He has also been known to turn the TV up louder to drown me out. Now that I think about it, yeah, he actually does seem to mind. Oh well- he has lived with it this long and I am going camping with him tomorrow so he can deal with it.
So as I was saying before I so rudely interrupted myself. We were listening to that show and while I was sewing I was climbing up on a soap box as I am wont to do and I was lecturing Brian who was likely ignoring me entirely or perhaps couldn’t hear me because he was trying to pack for camp about why America is the way it is and about presidents past and present and future etc. I decided that I have said this to him numerous times in the past and he doesn’t seem nearly impressed enough with my insights. I figured I would bring it to the world at large so everyone that reads this – all like 4 of you- can appreciate my profound thoughts.
Brian is a huge history buff (oh look, she is off on another subject…No, no I am not. This is just leading into what I am about to say so sit down and shut up. Cripes, this reads like Gollum’s script.) and he is especially fascinated with American history, the founding fathers, the constitution and all that rot. He reads such fascinating books as “The Constitutional Thought of Thomas Jefferson.” and “The Original Intent of the First Amendment.” for fun. Yet, if I send him a text that is more than a single line he won’t read it because it’s too many words. Anyhow, he will say “why can’t we have a President like the founding fathers?” ” Why can’t we have a president like Reagan?” ” you are a Kennedy Democrat, Shannon. Not a democrat like the democrats are today.” (I love when he tells me what I am and what I actually think. Cause, you know, sometimes I get confused about my opinions. Oh, that’s right, no I don’t. If nothing else I am rather sure of my opinions. But that is another post for another time.) so then I start my analysis of why we will never have another Reagan or Kennedy or Founding Father type of President. Now you will share in that wisdom.
Kennedy’s was the first administration that was in the American Living room. He was the first president on television, his wife gave a televised tour of the white house. Every American could hear him and see him and his family and life style. That administration was sort of an end of the innocence. He was riding through Dallas in a convertible with the top down for crying out loud. I think that Americans having such wide spread access to television and the media having unprecedented access to the president and his family contributed greatly to his death. Of course there are a million other reasons. Not the least of which was that Lee Harvey Oswald was crazy- one would sort of have to be to shoot the president- the cold war, the mafia, Frank Sinatra, whatever your conspiracy theory of choice may be. I have of course read books about his autopsy, the shooting, accounts from the doctors that treated him in the ER, and all that stuff cause I am morbid like that. That’s not the point though- I think that the media and global communication and the widespread access to those things changed the presidency forever and Kennedy was a demonstration of that.
The early presidents didn’t have their faces all over the world. Hell, they were barely even in a news paper and it isn’t like the picture quality was outstanding. They could walk down the street and no one would know who they were. Transportation was primitive, media was primitive, communication was primitive. The danger just wasn’t there then.
As we evolve technologically the risk to the president and his family is greater than ever. The weapons are more advanced, as is the communication, the transportation, the president’s visibility. Before the Kennedy administration would anyone really have known what the First lady or the children of the president looked like? Now not only is the President in constant danger but so are his loved ones, right? So this is my theory: A person would have to be bat shit crazy to run for president. I’m not trying to be funny. Who in his (or her) right damn mind would put himself and family in that sort of danger. Not just for the length of the term (s) but for the rest of their lives. Who would want to have the secret service become life long companions? Even better, who would want to have the secret service be NECESSARY as life long shadows? I don’t know about you but I damn well don’t like anyone telling me where I can go or what I can say. I sure as hell don’t want anyone following me around wherever I go and whatever I do. ( Imagine me with agents dogging my every step. “Get out of my way big guy- I gotta go to hobby lobby and seriously, you slow me down. also, the sun glasses are a little much and who the hell are you always whispering to in that wire? your imaginary friend??”) Imagine any mother or father intentionally subjecting their children to that sort of life.
Danger and lack of privacy from big dudes in sun glasses with guns aside- We aren’t going to have people running for president that are anything like the presidents that are regarded as great by history. You know why? Because – and I am not kidding- you would have to have a major personality disorder to even want to throw your hat in the ring. You get called names. Your personal life is dragged out and paraded around for the world to see and for you to defend. Your damn tax return is scrutinized. Your childhood is discussed. Your use or non use of drugs in college is plastered all over the news. Your sexual history is dinner table conversation. You are judged, you are insulted and so is your family. I never thought I would ever feel any sort of sympathy for any man running for office with the last name of Bush, but I have to say, listening to these debates Jeb Bush had to defend not just himself and his decisions and actions made in office, but his wife, her nationality, his mother, his father and his father’s decisions in office then his BROTHER and HIS decisions in office. I am no fan of either George, and I will reserve judgment about Jeb since he is not even in the race anymore, but why the hell should Jeb have to justify or explain or defend ANYTHING his brother or father did? What the hell? And that was only the primaries! We aren’t even in the major leagues yet, it’s gonna get a whole lot uglier. Who would willingly expose himself to that if he were sane? I’m not using words like sane or personality disorder or insane flippantly. I am absolutely serious about it. When I say that I think Donald Trump is a Megalomaniac I really think that. People with the types of personalities that are not only willing to accept but attracted to this lifestyle are not people like George Washington. The people that really want to do good in the world and really have other’s interests in mind and have humble hearts and are honest and selfless are not the same type of people that would willingly expose themselves to the danger and treatment the recent and current candidates expose themselves to.
Ok, that lecture is over. I had a bunch of other things I was going to say that were totally unrelated but I have managed to forget already and this is PLENTY long already. It may have had something to do with Donald Trump and how he is a used car salesman with terrible hair. It may have had to do with being forced to sleep in a tent this weekend. I don’t remember. It likely actually had to do with sewing. Cause the only thing MORE exciting than politics to the general population is sewing. I don’t think you all can handle that much excitement in one post. (actually- I remembered and it was about sewing and how I am such a freaking perfectionist that it takes me ten times longer to make something because I pull it apart 14 times for mistakes that no one else would ever see.) but again, you shouldn’t be so greedy. 2000 words isn’t enough for you? Cripes. Well, sit tight till Sunday when I come back to report how I managed to survive camping in the woods with a 12 year old boy, a disabled 18 year old and Brian. I will be lucky to escape with my life. If you made it to the end of this you should probably go grab a beer or a glass of wine. You totally deserve it. Also, listen to the song “He was a Friend of Mine.” by the Byrds. Then tell me what you think.