Soundtrack in my head: Tommy Roe, “Dizzy”
Years ago I read a short story by Robert Heinlein called “The Year of the Jackpot.” It was written in 1952 and the story takes place in 1962. It is about a statistician who makes notes of trends and plots them on a graph, which he refers to as the silly season. He keeps news accounts of them and adds them into his charts and graphs. According to his chart, all of his graphs are supposed to bottom out during 1962. The statistician encounters a young woman who inexplicably started removing all her clothes on the street. She faints when he wraps his coat around her and when she comes to, he asks her why she was compelled to remove all her clothes and she said she had no idea what moved her to do that. As the story moves on, they become a couple and get married, and then move to an isolated spot in the desert right at about the time everything is supposed to bottom out. I won’t spoil people with the ending.
Every now and then I run into one of those situations where I look at something somebody did or somebody said, and my first thought is, “Huh?” As in “Am I crazy or did I actually just see what I thought I saw?” A situation where an action by someone defies logic and reason and yet they are carrying on as if everything were normal. Silly season, right?
Without saying where in my life I’ve seen this happen, I can say that it seems to be happening more frequently. More frequently in my personal life and also in national and global politics.
I’m not going to vilify anyone by talking about these specific situations. And I hate talking about politics nowadays. Let me just say that we as a nation and we as a human race have some lessons to learn. We have a choice as to whether we want to learn these lessons the harder way or the easier way and we seem to be consistently choosing the hard way.
Sometimes it’s not an action by a person at all–or is it? In my last post, I talked about how unseasonable warm it was that day–the temperature climbed to 64 degrees. It’s not that unusual in March to have one unseasonably warm day in which the mercury climbs to near summer temperatures.
But TWO WEEKS?
Seriously silly season. Today’s high was at least 80 degrees according to my phone, shattering the previous record of 70. Yesterday–St. Patrick’s Day–hit 84. It’s been in the 70’s pretty much for the the entire previous week, and will be again most of this week, with things dropping into the 60’s by the following weekend. Remember, it’s still officially WINTER in Wisconsin and the normal high temperature for March 18 here is 44 degrees. We’ve had blizzards in April and I’ve seen snowflakes as late as May 1. The climate change deniers seem awfully quiet right now.
A lot of people, particularly New Age types, have spoken speculatively about 2012 (oddly enough, 50 years after Heinlein’s “Jackpot”) and what will happen this year. I’ve tried to keep my distance from the rhetoric, just as I try not to give any mental energy to Mercury Retrograde, which we are reportedly in the midst of.
But I’ve pledged to myself to make double-sure that I let what I see with my eyes and hear with my ears be my guide, as opposed to what other people tell me. It’s hard for me to live any other way.