For better or for worse …
If you’re looking for Quilly (Dame Amoeba) around town these days, you’ll likely find her in one of those electric shopping carts. You will, that is, if the store she’s shopping in actually has them, and if the ones they have actually work.
“Dude! That doesn’t mean she’s … handicapped, does it?”
“Read my lips, dude. Bitch, ain’t it?”
“No way, dude, that’s gnarly!”
“You kiddin’? Afta years a findin’ out that there’s, like, one parkin’ space in tha lot that’s empty, an’ she can’t use it, well now she can!”
“Sez you. She c’n get in line fer it, mebbe.”
A long time ago now, back when elephants had fur and Your Friendly Neighborhood Amoeba was playing with crutches because, then as now, he is an idiot, he somehow became aware of the struggles of disabled people to gain mobility, spelled I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-C-E. Y’know, like all citizens of these United States of America are supposed to cherish, for themselves and their fellow citizens?
“Y’mean tha straight white male Protestant fellow citizens, yeah?”
Struggles that, silly Amoeba, he thought were successful, because they begat parking places, and wheelchair ramps where once there were only stairs.
And electric carts in shopping centers.
When and if they work.
When and if they can actually be navigated around the stacks of goods in the store aisles.
When and if they can be navigated around the people who take the mere existence of the cart, never mind the person in it, as a personal affront.
Twice in the past three days, offended people have teed off on Quilly in those stores,
Who the hell let you out of the house unsupervised?
[In November 2015, Republican Party Presidential candidate Donald J. Trump openly mocked the physical disability of a news reporter who had dared to challenge a particularly egregious string of lies for which Mr Trump was responsible.
Both the mainstream and social media, or at least certain channels of them, went ballistic over this.
In November 2016, We the People – yes, you, yes YFNA – elected Donald J. Trump President of the United States.]
To be fair, it’s not just people in electric carts that are getting assaulted these days. Just ask the victims of the individual who shoved her way through the exit line at the local Costco the other day. The incidences are increasing in number and aggro.
This past weekend, YFNA had a pair of concerts in a town 40 miles up the road from the home he shares with Quilly. A narrow, winding two-lane road skirting the flanks of two mountains and ending up at the base of a third. A narrow, winding two-lane road that affords very few safe places to pass. Which means that any timid driver, either habitually or from venturing onto the road for the first time and omg!, can wind up leading a parade that stretches for miles.
A parade of increasingly frustrated and angry drivers.
Your Friendly Neighborhood Amoeba had to venture onto this road four times this past week, twice to get to rehearsals and twice more to do the performances.
Not once but twice, on the second occasion, a pickup truck (it’s almost always a pickup truck) broke out of one of those parades, in front of YFNA, in a no-passing zone, in an effort to gain ground on a parade leader. And oh, was it mentioned that this narrow, winding, two-lane road has no shoulders? You can stay on the road, or drop off a cliff, or slam into a rock wall or boulder field.
On both occasions, the offending truck managed to get back into line before anyone had a fundamental disagreement with a Japanese-manufactured lethal weapon, or a cliff.
Barely. Especially the second time.
It might simply be because YFNA has dismissed most forms of social media from his so-called life, but he senses far less of the screaming anguish over the election of Donald J. Trump to the Presidency of the United States than he did immediately after that election. He has puzzled over this, and over questions like “how the hell do supposedly moral ‘Christians’ line up behind this confessedly immoral individual?”
He ventures this answer.
Because Donald J. Trump represents the hidden – or maybe not so hidden – longing of each of us to have the authority to express the prejudices each of us cherishes. The authority that, for example, the pastors and congregational leaders of our churches seek for themselves, through which they can dispense, unfettered, their prejudices.
The authority that persons in pickup trucks passing in no-passing zones on narrow, winding mountain roads, or shoving their way through Costco exit lines, or demanding that the disabled not appear in public without their minders, claim for themselves.
Perhaps it is as well that anti-Trump rhetoric has fallen, like a Hawai‘i sunset (pre-eruption), below YFNA’s horizon.
Because, by Our electoral acclamation and Our subsequent actions (and inactions), We reveal that Donald J. Trump is a perfect reflection of Us.
Which We should human up and own.