Spring is Sprung
Fall is Fell
What the Hell
The gloom of the nearly denuded trees and the cement gray skies outside puts me in mind of this old bit of doggerel, but begs the question: is Fall Fell because the leaves all fell from the trees, or is it Fell in the more ominous context – i.e. one fell swoop?
Fall doesn’t begin on such a foreboding note. For many it’s the best time of the year. Summer’s bug-infused heat eases and the roar of lawn mowers and air conditioners is replaced by the sound of feet whishing through piles of leaves. The fragrance of BBQ is supplanted by smoke from chimneys as folk fire up their fireplaces. Thoughts of Halloween and Thanksgiving evoke visions of young goblins and zombies prancing to the next candy stop, and families gathering for an orgy of food, football, and reminiscing.
Depending on where you live, the primary anticipation of fall may be the color. Summer’s sea of green breathes fresh oxygen into the air, but while there can be shades of jade it seems a one note hue. Leaves lose their inhibitions in fall, their Halloween costumes veer to yellows, oranges, browns, and reds.
Little wonder that people make special excursions to see the leaves. Walking about in the brisk fall air, seeing the warm colors adds a sense of wonder to what was once a monochrome landscape. It gives a feel good ending to the growing season.
But the leaves and their color do fall, swooping to and fro on their way to earth, leaving an empty, melancholy mood in their absence.
Is that a fall swoop or a fell swoop? The recent fall election had a fell feel to it.
While the outcome was surprising, perhaps it is understandable. For many, business as usual was unpalatable, they felt that they were being left out. That it’s currently all about special interests and Washington insider deals. It is reminiscent of the throw the bums out movement 8 years ago when Obama campaigned on Hope and Change. This year’s hopeful for change cadre chose to ignore the realities of Trump’s behavior and history and took an “any change is a good change” approach. And if they took his demagoguery at face value the change had to be ok.
In addition to ignoring Trump’s track record, they also forgot history. Obama wasn’t able to do all the Hope and Change things he wanted because the president can only attempt to steer the ship of state, it’s Congress that has to carry out change. And Congress hasn’t changed, it’s still mostly the same congressmen, dependent on the same lobbyists for campaign funding who are in power. The disenchanted forgot they have to kick out the current congressmen and the lobbyists too, to have any chance to supplanting the special interests and insider deals. I forecast many of those Trump supporters will end up as disillusioned as some of the Obama supporters became. It will not be the “little people” that make out like bandits, it’ll be the mega-rich, including Trump, at the expense of a ballooning national debt.
Meanwhile, we have a president-elect with a history of belittling and insulting both individuals and groups with no apparent sense of remorse, but yet somehow feels an apology is due from the theater group for the play “Hamilton” to VP-elect Pence. They had the audacity to ask Gov. Pence, who was attending a performance, to uphold the rights and values of all Americans, including the more diverse.
But not all is lost. VP-elect Pence is more politically astute than Trump; his response was that no apology was needed, he was not offended. He better get used to putting out fires.
The reality is many, perhaps most of the folks who voted for Trump are people of good character. If Trump does not amend his ways, if he continues to embarrass the United States and the Republican party with inappropriate remarks and actions, his own party and the folks who voted him in will impeach him, if only to save their own skin – to avoid guilt by association. It will be interesting to see how this upcoming season plays out; will this be a “what the hell?” winter of our discontent, or will something more reasonable evolve.
I prefer to believe in evolution, be it in the natural cycle and hidden beauty of leaves, or the character of good people to rise up and overcome negative and destructive influences.