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DEPRESSED?

Plenty of good reasons, many in your own backyard (where burglars got in, or the front sidewalk you can no longer safely walk down, or the driveway you can no longer get your car out of…) Fatigued? Paranoid?! You know what they say about feeling paranoid: if you don’t, you’re not paying attention.

If I were Jewish, I think I would have to find some ancient path to keeping my sanity these days. Thousands of years of this horrible unthinkable lethal nonsense crap, and here it comes again? The holocaust didn’t shock all humanity into… humanity, once and for all time? Humans have short memories (thus the necessity of “Never forget!”), and in their laziness and willful ignorance too many humans seek out revised history, something they can like better than what really happened.

Brazil just elected a tRump stand-in who denigrates women and minorities (don’t forget: women are not a minority, they’re just treated that way). Sadly, I could go through a list of nations that have been swerving right the last few years. Will they leave tire tracks on their local enemies (“of the people”)? Only time will tell.

They say that political leanings in this country are like a pendulum, when it swings too far in one direction it swings back. I’m not so sure anymore.

“OUR SYSTEM IS COMPLETELY BROKEN”

— my well-informed and wise 20-something daughter declared this morning, not for the first time, upon hearing some latest bit of depressing news. I couldn’t disagree with her, but offered that I felt the structure is worth saving, even with serious flaws in the foundation.

For a li’l ol’ example, only white male property owners got to vote and run for office in the beginning of USA; the foundation was cemented with the slavery — slavery — of certain humans for the economic gain of certain others. It took a horribly bloody civil war to change that because half the country would fight and die to keep those certain people enslaved, and the persistent ugly echoes to this day are our biggest national weakness and shame. And look how long it took to give women just the “right” to vote? Still not paying them enough, or giving them equal protection under the law.

OK, I do have a blueprint for fixing the whole thing, not going to roll it out here but let’s just say, emphatically, that it begins with wresting power from Trump and his traitorous, cowardly, Putin-pushing puppets on the Hill. Just as there was no need to wait to see if the Mango Mussolini would become “presidential” — we had a lifetime and a campaign-full of proof otherwise — the GOP has had plenty of time to show its stripes. And they are yellow and wide, straight down their collective back. We’ve had bad presidents before; Nixon comes to mind. But his own party members then said, oh no, this is not what America stands for, and they stopped him. McConnell and Ryan and all the others will go down in history as conspirators in the attempted assassination of American democracy. We do not yet know if that attempt will be successful.

SO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO

Vote this Tuesday, inform yourself and bring your friends in droves and don’t vote for a single Republican. Not one. No matter how fine a human and/or politician you believe them to be. Unless they have been vociferously renouncing all that has gone on in their Republican name — and if they had, they wouldn’t have the GOP nomination, that’s for sure — they must accept the traitorous taint. Someday the GOP may find its way and we can once again judge and vote for candidates individually, but I’m afraid that will take a while. In the meantime: Dems, or maybe some independents, only. And don’t be fooled by a Republican of color or of a non-male gender.

Locally? Maybe you can just substitute “incumbent” for Republican in the above admonitions. You’ll be pretty close to right, IMHO. There is one incumbent City Council member I will vote for (same way I voted for Hillary), and one school board member definitely deserves to stay there. Otherwise, we need a fresh start for this sinking ship Santa Monica.

I know it sounds like I’m discouraged, depressed, paranoid, given up on people. Actually, I’m not. For all the horrible words and actions of some, who get the publicity of course, I believe that by far most people are good and believe in their fellow man. Why, my buddy Bernie just sent me a note saying, “Charles — All across this country people are standing up and fighting back — not only against Trump, but for an agenda that works for the working families of this country. What I saw on my tour was a people who are united. People who know that real change is possible when large numbers of ordinary Americans speak out, get involved in the democratic process, and vote.” And then, of course, he asked me for money. But we’re close enough that I can say no and we’re still buds.

I don’t believe in astrology but I believe wisdom can come for anywhere, and this is my horoscope for today: “The ugly side of history can be hard to reconcile, so hold on to the glimmers of benevolence around you.”

CORRECTION: An insignificant one, perhaps, but I always intend to get it right. I repeated the inaccuracy that all the members of the Rent Control Board are lawyers, and I would bullet vote for the non-incumbent candidate who was not and was the only apartment owner (triplex). I don’t know why I even mentioned the lawyering, except to further set apart that candidate, but I was really off; there are two (2!) non-lawyers on the board at this time. I don’t personally, like Shakespeare, condemn all lawyers; I know one or two who are decent folk (of course, they’re retired). I’ve been telling people for the last year that olde Will got it wrong: he should have opined, Kill all the Bankers.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

Charles Andrews has lived in Santa Monica for 32 years and wouldn’t live anywhere else in the world. Really. Send love and/or rebuke to him at therealmrmusic@gmail.com

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