Barking mad — American life at the end of 2017

barking madI had some structural work done on my house last week—several men beneath my kitchen floor made scary noises for a day or two, while upstairs the dogs went barking mad.

They heard strange men’s voices, but they couldn’t figure out where those voices were coming from. They ran from the front to the back of the house, looking out the windows. Not a creature was stirring, not even a squirrel. But the noise—it was definitely real, definitely a threat. So: WOOF! WOOF! They ran in circles in the kitchen, barking at the air until a friend mercifully took them to her house.

I know how they feel.

Barking mad. Aren’t we all?

A threat you can’t put your finger on? A sense of real danger with little tangible public evidence? So many possible sources of danger you can’t keep track of them all? (And that’s probably a blessing, because if you could it would surely drive you crazy.)

Welcome to the United States of America in the first almost-full year of the current presidency.

California’s burning—but, hey, North Korea could nuke it tomorrow. Losing net neutrality could make it impossible for me to do business online—but, hey, the tax bill signed yesterday ensures that the entire economy will implode. Party at the protest or on the breadline—your choice.

Robert Mueller’s investigation continues to be one bright light at the end of the endless tunnel we’re slogging through. But he could get fired any day now. My guess is Christmas Eve for maximal Scrooge-factor and minimal news coverage. And then it’s goodbye turkey dinner and hello protest march. God bless us, every one.

Stock up on the comfortable shoes and warm outdoor clothing, folks. And don’t let them make you feel crazy. Stay barking mad.

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