Monday, November 13, 2006

Gerard Vanderleun on States of the Union

America is alive and well, thank you. The lacerating arguments of election season, carping, complaining and cussing, have run off the back of the country like rain on ducks. He's here to testify that there is joy in Mudville after all. Go take a little reading trip and lighten your day. This is poetry in the form of prose. Really good craftsmanship.

The long wave laved beaches of the Isle of Palms outside of Charleston reinforce the new rule that no poor -- or even middle class -- people are now allowed to live by the ocean in America. The lots on which the endlessly elaborate houses that look out on the sea stand now cost between three and four million dollars each. If you bought one and immediately burned down the four to six bedroom three-story house, the cost of the lot would still be three to four million dollars. The house is, in essence, free.
After the casual and lightly populated Carolinas where everyone is slow and polite and easy, there are far too many people happening in the Happy World of Las Vegas. So you rent a car that rides like taking your sofa out for a drive and comes complete with 300 radio stations, and move out to where there will be, surely, not very many people at all, ever: Death Valley.
Ferris Wheels and Merry-Go-Rounds. Lots of circles in life. It clears the mind to ride our metaphors in the real world from time to time. It lets us see where we stand and where we've been and where we might be going. Even if it is only to "arrive where we started and know the place for the first time."

Take your sofa out for a drive. I love that image. Several years ago My wife and I were in the market for another car and ended up with a Buick. That was before we wanted to be behind the wheel of a geezer car, but a deal is a deal. Well here we are several years later. We wore out that one and guess what we bought to replace it. You got it. Another Buick. We became card-carrying geezers in just ten years. And yes, it's just like taking your sofa out for a drive.

(I can't get the permalink to work for this post. The link is to his home page. If I forget to come back and correct this, look for November 12, 2006 in his archives.)

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