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Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Wednesday, March 16

Buffoonigans & Quality of Life Today

Just as people are morbidly drawn to accident scenes and find themselves staring at blood and guts, unable to turn away, I’m now fascinated by the articles and Twitter comments about Donald Trump. Every day, I scour the Arizona Republic for Trumpish blood and guts. What’s the Donald been up to now? Doesn’t matter how long or short, I just have to read what’s there. Almost everything and everybody says how awful a presidential candidate he is, what a terrible mistake it would be to actually vote him into the office, what the world must think of us for even considering his candidacy. A few days ago I read a letter to the editor and thought it was so clever I have to include it here:

“It has been said that language is a living and evolving thing. To commemorate the current political climate in which we find ourselves, I have coined a new word: buffoonigan. The definition of which follows: someone who, in defiance of all rationality and common sense, is a committed supporter of The Buffoon. If, by chance, any individuals who can be so described feel my word is mean-spirited and insulting, I invite them to ponder why they find it so amusing when the vulgar insults and name-calling emanate from the mouth of the aforementioned Buffoon.” (Linda Snider, Gilbert, AZ)
Thank you, Linda Snider. I love your neologism, a combination of “buffoon” and “hooligan,” and it so aptly describes both Trump and most of the Trump supporters.

And while I’m on the subject of current political debate, I point to the moaning of so many people and politicians that our economy is almost beyond repair, that President Obama and his ilk have sent us on a path where the rich get rich and the poor get poorer, a sinking of the middle-class and a rising of the upper. But then I saw an editorial by Robert Robb (Arizona Republic, 3/11/2016) that put it in a more proper perspective. I couldn’t agree more with his assessment.

Mr. Robb said: “In the United States, the path to at least a lower-middle-class standard of living remains remarkably straightforward. Get a high school diploma. Don’t have a child out of wedlock. Don’t abuse booze or drugs. Get a job, any job. Be punctual and do assigned tasks diligently. ¶ A lower-middle-class standard of living in the United States today is probably better than that of 99 percent of the people who have ever lived, and 90 percent of those living on the globe today. ¶ Education remains a universally available path to even better. Regardless of how rotten the overall performance of any school, a student who pays attention and does school work diligently can go to college and get a degree. And that’s a ticket to an enviable standard of living in historical and relative terms. ¶ The average American today lives in a larger space than ever before. He shares it with fewer people than ever before. He has more stuff, and his stuff does more stuff, than ever before.”

Yes, I think back to my parents' lives when I was growing up seventy years ago. They'd have been considered middle-class, maybe even upper-middle-class. Yet they didn't have nearly as good a life as nearly everyone today has. Yes, even the lower-middle-class today enjoys a far better life than my parents had--longer, safer, more comfortable, and with a whole lot more stuff to make that life better. Thank you, Robert Robb, for making that so abundantly clear to me.
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