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Classify This
It seems as though our leaders don’t really care that much about national secrets. Trump stole them and lied about it to the cops. Biden littered every available residence and garage with them. Mike Pence doesn’t even know how he got them.

I went from shock and outrage with Donald, to crushing disappointment with Joe, to mild unease with Mike. And now I’m thinking, maybe we should just declassify everything. Publish it in newspapers all over the world. Stop already with all the secrets!

We have nothing to hide, right? Apparently not.
Still with the Football?
If you follow these writings closely (as my dog does), you know that a few years back I stopped watching football. It’s just too violent.

When I say “stopped watching,” of course, I mean “kept on watching.” It has been difficult, moreover, for me to shake my lifelong habit of watching grown men savagely assault one another. I do like to tell myself, however, that the reason I still tune in is not for the brutality, but for the ascendant feats of athletic brilliance on display during these contests. That’s my excuse, anyway, and I’m sticking with it.

I can also say, as a further defense, that I don’t watch as much as I used to. The playoffs are now underway, for instance, and rather than spending three hours in catatonic transfixification, I have relegated football to just one position in my channel-surfing rotation. As I sweep by the game, I am keeping an eye out for great plays, comebacks, and other sports heroics. If there’s nothing, I move on. Usually.

Another reason I continue to watch is that I still have a rooting stake in these games. I want some teams to win, and I want others to lose. The Niners, for example, are my home team, and they must always win. The Dallas Cowboys, on the other hand, must always lose. You may remember that it was they who killed JFK.

Preferences involving other teams are strictly relative and subject to my complex and arbitrary rating system. The politics of players, coaches, and owners is an important variable, as are their various personalities, uniforms, mascots and haircuts. Sometimes the slightest offense can tip the scales for or against a team. Mispronouncing “Jaguars,” for instance. There is no such thing as a “Jagwire.”

At least I have a code. Otherwise, I’d just be into football for the bloodlust. Like I am was for boxing.
Dark Thoughts
As I sit here in the darkness, waiting for power to come back on, a familiar thought enters my mind: what if it never does?

And by that I mean, what if civilization just died? Because of some natural catastrophe…or because we messed up and killed it? What then?

What would happen to me and my 8 billion fellow humans and planet Earth and all the wonders we have wrought? And what of the story of our species, both good and bad? Would that history, that struggle, that aspiration, simply flicker and vanish?

Wup! The power’s back on! Awrite!

I wonder what’s on the tube?
Bonepile
The San Lorenzo’s mouth
Made wide by the storm
Has disgorged a flotilla
Of long-dead bodies
Into the waiting sea

Jumbled limbs and saplings
Vine-strangled trunks
Rootball hobgoblins
Broken woody knee-joints
Of impossible behemoths

And a thousand-year stump
A Sherman tank of solid burl
Rests among the ghost fleet wreckage
Strewn on a Main Beach that is now
A makeshift graveyard by-the-sea

Where we can hear,
Lifting across the sand
And above the boardwalk
The wails of mourners as they ride
The Giant Dipper
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Yes, voting matters. Polls do not.
~ H, Santa Cruz