Jim Trainer

The End of Summer In America

In Uncategorized on August 27, 2020 at 6:19 pm

Behind every cynic is a disappointed idealist.

180,174 Americans dead at day 158 of this thing. 200k shy of a million world wide.  How does one integrate? How does one even comprehend?  It didn’t have to be this way.  We could’ve had our lives back, in six to eight weeks, but the man in charge of the once greatest country in the word did nothing–which is exactly what he’s always done.  His brand’s been updated but nothing’s changed.  We can’t really be shocked anymore, but the most astounding thing is how his base buys this administration’s snake oil even at expense to themselves. 

We really hate here. In Trump’s America any person, creed, belief or stance that can get punched down on will be.  Cursory psychology posits they bully because they’ve been bullied, but, looking at these people–what have they had to suffer that any and all of us haven’t–and worse?  Working for a living in The America is neither it’s true.  The diminishing returns of the American Century seem to have started at the New Deal and only crumbled ever since.  No doubt these nutters have seen the same shrinking standard of living we all have.  But that’s where the common ground ends. There is no talking or reasoning and no base reality. From a Vaterland fetish to pedophilic, satan-worshipping cabal fears to good old end times fantasy, it’s perverse and tragic that to hide from an admittedly bleak reality human beings have conjured something worse.

I haven’t run into any of them on the street, though Garrett Foster was murdered only blocks from here and where that asshole Steven Crowder had his table shut down and run off in the days following.  Most of what I’ve seen has been on the socials but all that means to me Good Reader is I’ll need to use the internet as a tool of the new media and nothing else.  It’s no arena for politic or affecting change.  I’ll talk it and bring it here, and from my platform, and despite my previous columns at The Coarse Grind I’ll strive to affect change from the desk.  You reading is the torch passed.  I can’t thank Editor Phil enough for the monthly space at Into The Void, and you, for always being there.  It’s a weird fortune to have been reporting on the end of the world so long that when the curtain tumbles down I’m here anyway, at the desk with coffee hot, black and honey-sweet. 

I’ve had to grind the beans finer due to a bad break of the pot last month.  But I’m still here, much as they’re still out there and if this summer’s proved anything it’s this–I should know my lane and battlefield, and stanchion myself there.  Let them rally and rage on the street while in here writing it down.  The guilt’s got me nowhere, though the futility I’ve elucidated has been in service.  It helps knowing you’re not alone. Giving up is better than fighting for a lost cause.  I’m not saying protesting is a lost cause, it’s everything–I’m saying that rueing the fact I’m not out there only takes up precious column space and I might as well get right to it and do what I’ve always done.  Live from a room and with you at the other end.  Aho.

In fact I sat down here this evening, to attempt to peel the veneer off a Biden ad.  Make you know that without presentism our lives are reduced to a shitty and liminal present, locked down and viewing the world from behind a screen, and that no Bruce Springsteen song will ever be able to deliver the future it promises.  So I watched the ad.  And Goddamn if I didn’t get choked up and knew somehow, strangely, obscenely–hope is still lodged somewhere within me.  I believe.  They can’t have it either, this belief.  The fucking nutters.

I can’t grasp how they can still smile like idiots.  Perhaps they’d be happy anywhere their ignorance isn’t interrupted by cold hards of science and diversity.  But let’s be done with them.  Let them be dumb and angry and you and I, we can believe.  I’m struck suddenly, realizing how little we have to lose by hoping for the best.  Crushing disappointment is imminent, sure. It was always a risk. But maybe when the bad news comes like it always does we can hope for the best then, too.  It seems to me I’ve been a doubting Thomas, playing it safe wrapped within my own cynicism.  Don’t get me wrong I’m far from being a Democrat.  Considering the left is the other wing on the same bird I’d be hard pressed to give up being an Anarchist, let alone by an establishment candidate as far right of moderate as Joe Biden.  Of course the right is odious and those people are on a seriously low vibration.  It’s a given.  The Left aren’t much better but they’re looking like an oasis in the desert.  Let’s hope it’s not a mirage.

Curator at Going For the Throat, columnist for Into The Void, progenitor of stand-up tragedy™. Jim Trainer publishes a collection of poetry every year through Yellow Lark Press. To sign up for Jim Trainer’s Poem Of The Week, visit jimtrainer.net.
  1. Today I have read so much that is trying to destroy my hope. Thank you. Like you, I do still have hope. Hope our country will survive. And I even hope that in surviving, we become better. As a country, we are nowhere near as good as we think we are. But we could be. I still have hope.

    • Thank you, Emily, for reading and for your kind words. No one is more surprised than me to discover I still believe. In what, I’m not sure, but Damn it, I do. Thanks again.

  2. […] think about it.  It matters too much.  I can’t just rattle these off anymore.  Part I of The End of Summer In America went up on the Throat last week (and Part II) but it should’ve been published here.  So […]

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