Roger Marolt: A mighty stinky wind is blowing in America
July 26, 2018
It is 100 degrees and a Limburger cheese wind blows curdled gusts from the east, over the stockyards which are upwind on a normal day. And yet it's OK, because when it dies down for a second, the flies come in sorties to wipe their filthy feet and nibble on our hamburgers, and so we'll take the buffeting blasts, the dust and the smell.
We are eating outside, because that's what mountain people do. We like it, if only to prove to ourselves that we possess a special appreciation for nature and have learned how to commune deeply with it, no matter what.
The locals think we're nuts. At this drive-thru they roll their windows down long enough to order quickly. All decisions concerning pickles and mustard were nailed down with engines idling and air conditioners on full blast. They know something we also know, but won't admit — nature is not always on our side.
As I wait for our order, trying to look relaxed with sweat forming designs and changing the color tones of my clothes making me look like an infrared scan of a human being after vigorous exercise, it occurs to me that most of us make compromising concessions for money. In Aspen, we metaphorically kiss the hind quarters of tourists. In the Texas panhandle, they sort of do the same thing with cows, even in a more visceral way, accounting for the olfactory offense.
A little further south of here exists the rare circumstance where nobody cares whether the customer is always, sometimes, or ever right. They pump oil out of the ground. The locals call it "God's Country," but I'll bet the best even he can do is a couple cents off each gallon with a loyalty card. Some years ago the modernizers arranged things so that now we have no choice but to dedicate perpetual homage to these oil barons' bums and an outsized portion of our paychecks to what they sell. It's no wonder West Texans walk into any town and act like they own the place. The reality is worse — they own us.
The farm report today is all about the international slap fight we are having with our trading partners. We slap tariffs on them and they slap tariffs right back. Somebody got too much knuckle on our cheek, and capitalism is crying to the school nurse. Nobody wants to buy our tariffed-up cotton and the government announces it will pay farmers to make up for the losses. Everyone wonders why we don't just shelve the tariffs.
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Did we really just declare a war on capitalism? I thought capitalism was one of the things we stand up for when they play "The Star-Spangled Banner" before football games. Don't worry and put it on our tab. We must have a lot of frequent-flier miles by now. How's about a nice vacation when things settle down?
I am lunching in a brand new welfare state. I swear I just listened to a song that talked about putting a boot in the behind of any country that dare mess with us. That is a full harvest away from now handing out food stamps to formerly hardworking farmers with million-dollar super-tractors sitting idle in their barns.
Yet, who knows if any of this is true? The air in the studios of Fox News and MSNBC is more rancid than what is coming from the stockyards. Everything in between is tainted with the odor. We are instructed by our government not to believe what our most vaunted news outlets report. The media is our enemy and Putin is our friend. The American Way has nothing to do with truth or justice. We believe what we want and tune into social media for support.
Yet, we can't find any more room for the weary and weak. We only want the oppressed with high IQs. We will tolerate any form of religion, as long as it is a branch of Christianity that's not Catholic. Don't bother searching your soul, everything you need to know about God has been tweeted by people wealthier than we.
The communists have won. Not a shot was fired. We lost our way following Facebook. Our nation is divided and we are falling. While we were busy making sure everyone was standing for the flag, it took a knee. Nobody bothered to protect what it stood for. We are no longer free. We are officially slaves to the excess that it allowed us to amass. Lunch is over. It's time to get back in the car and drive.
Roger Marolt is trying to stay cool as the temperature soars to a record high. Email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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