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The Poacher, Jean Pierre Alexandre Antigna
"We're the ones inheriting that wind."

By mid-August, mornings smell of campfire, though campfires have been banned since May. The primary East/West freeway across the state was yesterday closed until further notice due to a zero contained wildfire burning through Glenwood Canyon. Even the transcontinental train service was suspended until further notice. The round and about alternative route, a twisty two lane up through Aspen, was closed after a semi-truck jackknifed on a tight switchback turn. Sunrises and sunsets come in brilliant oranges and reds and our usual pristine view up the Front Range is filtered through a smutty haze. We're suddenly all smokers again, shirt collars reeking and sinuses clogging. The sign at the county park reminded hikers that rattlesnake activity has been reported in the area, so keep those pets leashed and keep yourself safe. Everyone leaves reminding everyone else to stay safe. The world seems especially dangerous right now.

The Presidential race is off and running now that Biden has named his running mate, a formidable African American/Asian woman the opposition can't yet properly denigrate.
They can't pronounce her name, it not being an old fashioned Karen or something, their every utterance dripping with venom. They've just started practicing. It will certainly get worse. The lack of respect seems stunning, as if merely running for office were a grave offense. A thousand poison tells yell their terror, for they can see that their end time's drawing nearer if, indeed, it's not already here. We're all properly terrified now, but none apparently more so than those who have little to fear. Small town sheriffs buttress their defenses against anarchists who could not care less what's going on in Podunk, Arkansas or Crackerton, Florida, or Franklin Country, Washington, where the local constabulary publicly defy their governor's masking policy and the citizen's common sense gun ordinances passed into law last fall. They speak in glowing terms of law and order while defying the law and sowing disorder. One sheriff went so far as to order his officers and visitors to his offices to not wear masks under some trumped-up penalty of the law, he says so that Antifa and Black Lives Matter protestors can't sneak in under face cover and wreak havoc in their "fair" county. Fare's what you pay to ride the bus. Our seat still seems to have been reserved in the back.

Shopworn phrases freshly dusted off, desperate candidates go on the stump, dealing in personally useful terrorism. The world simply must be repeatedly characterized as much worse that it actually is and real threats minimized, seemingly at all costs. The Colorado Senator representing Trump suddenly becomes the environmentalist of the century, repeatedly filmed fishing with his kids with no mention of what his support did to all those caged kids at the border. No conservative seems all that interested in complaining about how, under their watch, US citizens have been banned from visiting all but a handful of countries and our cities feature homeless camps to rival The Bonus Army's encampments. Hardly any on ramp lacks a tramp, sign pleading for mercy and assistance. I could hand out twenties all day without making much of a difference, though I do what I can. Trump's primary campaign message seems to have morphed into Turning American Into American't (Again). The dissembling should properly continue until well after the upcoming election.

A handful of key words and phrases reliably tickle the American imagination, usually producing the opposite of what they seem to promise. Ronald Reagan could spew absolute garbage and leave me weeping, he seemed so skillful at tugging even my jaded liberal heartstrings. Children fear a dreaded socialism, believing themselves patriots by supporting a President unworthy of any office and even more unworthy of even the least of us. I figure that they learned that garbage at home, parental influence trickling down to poison their own offspring. Each day a new catastrophe emerges, almost all utterly avoidable and likely deliberately invoked. The system seems a shambles but it's not the much-derided system's fault. Throw mud on a Chevy and it'll look like a Renault.

The poachers came to power in the night, a darkness they cleverly fashioned from deliberate misrepresentation. Aided and abetted by a twenty-four seven noise machine designed to turn every head, they loaded up the airwaves with transparently trumped up dread. The liberals, they said, were freedom's mortal enemies, as they ferreted our freedoms away to maintain their own privilege. Hillary's emails contained nothing damning and never did. They were stolen by our mortal enemies and disseminated by our even more mortal ones, clowns intent upon ridding this world of another striving democracy, which, of course, is the only kind ever existing. Their indifference deeply disturbs me. They communicate with DogWhistlingInTheDark, navigating while encouraging watchdogs to bark in induced disarray. Let me try to count the ways they've subverted decency and I'll spend every day between now and the election distracted from making any difference at all.

Job one entails ridding us of these damned poachers, people determined to encourage us to take mean advantage of ourselves. Those who encourage us to destroy ourselves while waving right-altered flags, unconvincingly insisting that All Lives Matter without ever once mentioning To Whom; certainly not to them. We have been locked in a room with firebugs, professional theater screamers, schemers thinking only of themselves, we rightfully rush toward cynically blocked exits, trampling each other. We remain The People however much we might have been encouraged to think no further than our self. Wildfires rage along The Western Slope, pushing smoke and pall over everything downwind. We've been downwind but we didn't cause these fires. We're the ones inheriting that wind. We're enjoined now to act to produce a real difference regardless of how intense the disloyal opposition.

©2020 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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