On a July Saturday

The mariner often emulates two champion naysayers from history: Old Testament prophet Amos and Children’s literary avatar, Chicken Little. True to their warnings of doom, the mariner has railed against political, cultural, economic and environmental trends.
But in the last three weeks, the mariner has felt tremblers. The tremblers have been subtle but they have been widespread. The rumbling has moved through FIFA women’s soccer, allowing a new sport and a women’s league to burst from the Earth in full bloom. Combined with the arrest of FIFA management for classic mob behavior, world soccer will never be the same.
The Earth shook when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of LGBT marriage, struck down a law that eliminated Women’s health centers in Texas, and upheld the Affordable Care Act. The theocratic right was wounded but didn’t die. Nevertheless, their leash was shortened significantly regarding attacks and pillaging of State laws and blackmailing elected politicians with their reelection if Tea Party legislation was not forthcoming.
President Obama updated the overtime regulations to make it more likely that workers will be paid for their extra hours. Minimum wage is on the increase in States ranging from $10/hour to $15/hr.
Bernie Sanders introduced American citizens to a forgotten word: socialism. Running ideologically as a democratic socialist, Bernie’s speaking events draw many more than any other candidate, including authoritarian candidate Trump.
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), a rare combination of conservatism and sentimentality, challenged the Fox News version of candidate selection claiming it eroded the primary process put in place by both parties. The Fox News popularity contest has put Donald Trump at the top of the pile because of name recognition in national polls.
If the mariner may be Amos for a moment, beware the popularity of Trump. He stays at the front not only because he is unabashedly a showman, but because he speaks the specific words that many, many citizens have wanted to hear for a long time. He may seem a clown to 95% of the public but he is spot on with the other 5%. Lest you think 5% is insignificant, only 57% of eligible voters voted in the last presidential election. Given all the extremists will vote, that raises their influence to about 9% – enough to throw a close election – especially in primaries and State elections.
The mariner accompanied his wife to her 50th high school reunion. The turnout is better than expected. The restaurant is crowded and very, very noisy. Imagine riding in an automobile with one of those super loud sound systems. Everyone is deeply engrossed in conversations about who, where and when – at great length. It is difficult to move around in any case but a crowd of about eight people stands crunched together blocking the path into the room; further, they block access to the appetizer bar. Why is it, the mariner asks, that people will stand and talk in a space obviously needed for passage? The mariner calls this phenomenon the “doorway syndrome.” Doorway syndrome occurs in one’s home, after church at the exit, in grocery aisles, in driveways, and any other space where a group of people can camp and be as potent a blockage as Hoover Dam. The mariner has no couth so he loudly shouts for them to move out of the doorway and let people through. It’s okay; they don’t know who he is and even as he pushes through, they don’t move anyway. Frankly, they never stop talking.
Sunday, at 9:00A Eastern on ESPN, Djokovich will play Federer for the Wimbledon title in men’s tennis. It is a battle of Titans. This is as it should be British complaints notwithstanding.
The reader should be pleased that when the mariner began to look at work as an issue, the popular press followed suit. The latest The Atlantic has a major article by Derek Thompson, “World without Work” and a new book is out by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, “The Second Machine Age.” The mariner will review these publications.
Today, the mariner’s town is awash with flooded streets and drains after 2+ inches of rain fell on an already soaked town. Tragically, the rain turned the midway at the County Fair into a creek with a firm current; the demolition derby scheduled for tonight is cancelled due to a flooded infield.
The setting Sun is out now as the day ends. Except for the Fair, it is a good day, tremblers and doorway blockers included.
Ancient Mariner

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