"I don't think about time. You're here when you're here."
--John Lee Hooker
Time, in these concluding gasps of the Bush Age, doesn't move like it used to.
We used to have time to think, talk things over, work together, figure stuff out.
To maybe watch the river flow on brisk afternoons under purple skies.
To read, not just emails and news alerts, but books too.
But this was before Bush and his neocon sidemen hammered away at our self-esteem with their reckless war and torture policies for eight long years.
Relentless in their pursuit of havoc, the bliss-challenged Bushies saved the worst for last by dropping the atom bomb of financial insecurity--i.e., the specter of 1929--on us even as the clock was running down on their era of destruction.
All the hits, and particularly the most recent one, have left us hustling to make sense of things, to find order and stability where we can.
No easy task. Nothing screws with the nervous system like the threat of insolvency.
Instead of having time to think, we live headline to headline, jolt to jolt--astonishment to fear to indifference and back with no time to process any of it.
Iraq. Halliburton. Wall Street. Trillions. Foreclosures. Bank closings.
"If you want to know what God thinks of money," Dorothy Parker once said, "just look at the people he gave it to."
Imagine what He'd think of those who steal money and then make people with far, far less pay it back.
A single week here in the final gasps of the Bush Age can feel like 24 hours. A month is like a week.
The layoffs and cutbacks keep coming.
Those who still have jobs work more hours.