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Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Writer's Life 1/21 - Winners & Losers

I don't understand how rioting will convince citizens to vote for leftists. The hostility on Facebook seemed to have abated until yesterday. I guess reality has finally sunk in to Trump detractors. One friend, a guy ten years younger than me who I had the privilege of coaching at the high school level, is particularly embittered. I know he's a good person, but he seems unhinged. I suppose it's good that he has an outlet to vent. Everyone needs that occasionally, but anyone whose happiness depends so much on who is in office is bound to be unhappy. The lunatic fringe is more likely to drive people to the right of center than convince them its ideas are better for America. I'll say it again - the left has lost its collective mind. Its leaders should be concentrating on convincing a majority that its way is best. I don't know if Trump will be successful, but I'm willing to give him a chance, as I gave President Obama, who I did not vote for, a chance to prove he was a centrist. Unfortunately, all the suspicions and fears I had about him proved true. Trump will not unite all Americans. That's impossible. But he may be able to create a climate that stems economic decline. The main problem remains health insurance. How does a nation of 300+ million insure everyone without stunting fiscal growth? Several friends who are Democrats cite their admiration for Canada's health care system in Facebook posts. Canada's population is only 35+ million. Its oil industry alone may cover costs, as Norway's does. Sometimes it seems the left is terrified that Trump may actually succeed.

A blurb in today's NY Post brings good news. Doubleday has acquired a recently discovered fairy tale from Mark Twain's archives, The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine. Another blurb cites 109-year-old Ruth Benjamin of Illinois, who believes, contrary to what doctors say, that her love of bacon explains her long and happy life. She never smoked or drank.

For the first two hours of operation, the floating book shop was ignored by passersby. When Mike, a local Super, stopped by, I told him I hoped he'd again brought me luck. Immediately following his visit last Monday, the floodgates opened. He pooh-poohed the comment and went off to buy a cup of coffee. A moment later Ralph showed and bought three works of non-fiction, including Don't Shoot Yourself in the Foot by Daniel G Amen, a manual on overcoming self-defeating behavior. I hadn't spoken to him since before the election. He was an early Trump supporter and is very pleased and hopeful. On his heels came a young man who I know has a fondness for the works of Danielle Steel. I picked up and showed him The House on Hope Street, which he purchased. Soon Mike returned. He laughed when I told him what had occurred. "Love you," he said as he left to see how the work on his building's boiler was proceeding. It was the second time a male had said that to me this day, the other being Steve, aka Mr. Conspiracy. I was relieved that he and Ralph had not arrived simultaneously. If a political argument had ensued, and escalated to more than words, the burly Ralph might have annihilated Steve. Ralph, who attended Lafayette High School while I was coaching there, called me an "inspiration." Shucks. My thanks to these kind folks, and to the woman who donated about 20 hardcover best sellers in pristine condition, several each by Nora Roberts, Sandra Brown, Iris Johansen and others. I didn't make much money, but it was a good day, topped off by the ride home when Iggy Pop's foray into existentialism, Winners and Losers, popped up on Car CD #21. Eyes glazing, I sang along: "...Winners and losers in love with themselves/ no Santa Claus, no happy elves/ In this smoking gun existence/ it gets harder to unwind/ I'll just eat my breakfast/ Try to keep my questions starving all night..."
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