I am trying to decide if I am getting old or just numb. Maybe both. Or maybe I am officially 110 percent dead inside. Whatever it is, I am just having an increasingly difficult time getting fired up about anything at all in the news. Especially on the national front.
I went to bed early Monday night so I missed all of the initial frenzied outrage and/or glee over the FBI raid of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence. I caught up quickly on Twitter Tuesday morning as I scrolled through all of the takes from both conservative and liberal pundits.
But I thought, I bet about 90 percent of these “hot takes” are completely wrong. None of these people had any idea what was on the warrant, but they were all so sure they knew what this was “really” about. The sad thing is all of the wrong takes — many of which will erroneously work themselves into someone’s belief system permanently — will just fade away and no one will make a correction. Oh well, on to something else.
Who even can tell what is true or believable anymore?
My husband and I toggled back and forth between MSNBC and FOX News just for fun to watch the dramatically different takes on allegedly the same set of “facts.” It’s almost comical to watch at this point. I think I would just start laughing out loud if I had to — with a straight face — light my hair on fire every day and babble the same basic incendiary commentary.
But, I will say, there was 100 percent agreement between the two cable news networks that Olivia Newton-John, who died on Monday, was a treasure. And she was. We grew up pretending to be the Pink Ladies too. I never got to be Sandy though. With my brunette hair, I always ended up being Rizzo. I was bitter about that, but in retrospect, Stockard Channing is a treasure, too.
But back to the “raid” or “search” (depending on who is talking about it). I find myself thinking this could be the beginning of a civil war or this will be a brief blip on the radar and fade away into nothingness — but not before everyone can fundraise off of it, of course. I find myself shrugging this off and moving on to what I want for breakfast and, “Oh, ‘T.C.’ from ‘Magnum, P.I.’ died, too. That’s sad.”
Sure, our country may be falling apart at the seams but I am just like, maybe I’ll have a waffle with some peanut butter on it this morning.
When everything is posited as “the beginning of the end,” you start believing absolutely nothing will be. We will just continue navigating the best we can in the good ol’ Divided States of America and that’s that. Same song, different verse.
I have been growing increasingly apathetic and pessimistic about national politics and discourse for some time now, but I still had at least a little faith in our local institutions.
Accountability and change are easier to accomplish there, right? Wrong.
It seems like no one will do anything about anything.
This newspaper has written extensively on how the executive director of the Alabama Ethics Commission, Tom Albritton, used a charitable trust he was on the board of to pay for his own children to go to a pricey, out-of-state college. This is the man charged with making sure, as their website says, “public office is not used for private gain; and, most importantly, that there is public confidence in the integrity of government.”
Even if he managed to dance around the law enough not to be criminally charged in this matter, at the very minimum, it looks like total crap. And this guy is charged with being the arbiter of what is ethical behavior in the state of Alabama? What a joke! And yet, no one does anything about it. Looking at you, Alabama legislators!
Alabama Power is allowed to bury toxic coal ash next to our delta, “America’s Amazon,” and almost none of our elected officials in South Alabama seem to care. It has recently come to light that a company Alabama Power has paid millions to did some really shady stuff for Florida’s utility company, including following reporters and candidates for public office, not to mention trying to influence elections through strong-arm tactics and intimidation and pouring money into so-called “news” websites to influence public opinion.
I don’t think Alabama Power was paying them to create those cute frog ads. It has already been alleged the same shenanigans were happening here (of course they were!), we just don’t know how bad it is … yet.
And I have zero faith Alabama Power will ever be held accountable for any of this. I guess the best we can hope for is that when a massive hurricane causes all of that toxic coal ash to poison our delta one day, they promise to clean it up “real, real good.” I am sure the “news” sites they pay around the state will be happy to say they are doing just that.
And even closer to home, the Prichard Water Works & Sewer Board seems to be as dysfunctional as ever (see the story in this issue’s Bay Briefs). Sure, former Manager Nia Bradley is being held accountable for her actions. But what about the people who were supposed to be overseeing her as she allegedly charged purses and other personal expenses to the board’s credit cards? The DA’s office says it was at least $200,000 in theft but probably more.
The people of Prichard are sitting up there with the same infrastructure and bill problems that have plagued them for years and all the board can do is bicker and play the blame game?
Can’t anyone step in and at least attempt to extinguish this dumpster fire?
Looking at you, Prichard City Council.
I can’t even think about this all right now. I mean, what’s the point? No one has the courage to do anything about any of this. It’s hopeless.
Wait, that reminds me of my favorite Olivia Newton-John song — “But now there’s nowhere to hide / Since you pushed my love aside / I’m out of my head / Hopelessly devoted to you.”
RIP, ONJ. Now, what should I have for lunch?
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