ANYONE ON THE STREETCAR FEELING DESPAIR?

It was right there all along. It’s been right there since the beginning of time. An undeniable feeling that there is nothing to life and that to reveal that extreme angst would be disastrous. What if you are the only person feeling this way? Would you be up for some sort of peer review and judged as a hopeless person. Depressing to be around. Destructive to ‘normal’ social interaction.

Lately there has been an overdose in print of that despair in the NY Times, the ‘leader’ of the news in our country? Gator has been keeping track of the transitive and intransitive verbs and so far has 20 of the most common ones used by their columnists. Gator will list them for you now. Be prepared to the obvious despair generated. Why this ‘news’ is prepared for us is somewhat of a mystery. But then, most of the columnists do not speak of it directly and never mention the only place to look for truth and the freedom involved in finding confidence.

Here’s the list: Chilling, Raging, Surging, Terrifying, Disturbing, Severe, Bizarre, Suffering, Hardship, Worst, Exhausted, Pain, Difficulty, Perilous, Intensely, Most Difficult, Terribly Painful, Staggering, Nervous and Spectacular.

This is the newspaper hawked by newsboys on the streetcars everywhere…Ok, Gator’s memory is a bit out of date but you get the idea of the far ranging effect of this sort of oppressive journalism. Can you envision the rustle and snap of newsprint being read on a bus and all that wonderful encouragement settling in to our frontal minds? Given a chance, Gator finds solace in Opus or Zippy the Pinhead.

Of course, there is the utter distraction of the sports page and Gator actually uses that information to initially bond with others. Gator was fascinated with baseball and the athletic ability of a second baseman to grab a fast grounder, touch second base and get off a snap throw to first for a forced out and then dance back and forth to get the runner who was on first tagged out. Training and physical achievement hidden in a man with a glove, resting his hands on his thighs. Waiting for what would need to be done instantly. Of course, now Gator cannot afford to attend a game but would like to in Kansas City as an excuse to visit some good friends down there in Grandview. Besides, the BBQ in KC is by itself a standout. So, sports can be used to entice conversation into deeper waters.

First the trust has to be engendered. Bait and switch to the clear cool waters, miles deep within. It works often. The verbal newsletters of old London in the pubs or coffee shops comes to mind. There were no newspapers then and small societies formed of writers and poets to share and, of course, critique each other’s drivel. The topics then were a bit deeper than the Kansas City Royals. Raison d’ etre (look it up) was a favorite. Why are we here? Who are you and who am I to see you? What is my destination and why do I feel despair? What is my soul? Things like that. Things we all think about

unless we are so dull that only sensations and pleasure float in front of our vision. Look farther, look inside and ask someone else what is going on. It’s pretty good. Jack Gator

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