Fortino cut his hand. When you work the deli line, it’s in the job description.
I drove him to the emergency room at Highland Park Hospital. The door says, “Sliding Door: Caution.” By the time you get to the sliding door of the emergency room, it’s a little late for disclaimers about caution.
Play with knives, you’re gonna cut your hand. Play with guns, you’re gonna turn schools into shooting ranges. Play with money, you’re gonna turn bankers into con men. Play with war, you’re gonna turn war criminals into fly fisherman. Play with cars, you’re gonna turn God’s Farts into 2-mile wide tornadoes.
Walking around the emergency room parking lot, waiting for all the paperwork to be signed by Fortino, I happened upon a storm drain. Bored, I took a picture, missing the message entirely. Later, I noticed what it said beneath the word storm: MADE IN USA.
We live in the culture of reaction. Cut your hand, race to the emergency room. Shoot up a school, bow your head. Bankrupt a nation, bailout the criminals. Willfully lie about WMD’s, turn the crime scene filled with evidence into a presidential library filled with glorified artifacts.
Drive to work, drive from work, day in, day out, listening to the radio, listening passively as so-called journalists interview the victim-hero du jour who pulled her dog from the rubble in Oklahoma.
We used to build bridges. We used to build subway tunnels. We used to believe in leaving things better for the next generation coming up behind you. Now we tune-in to overpaid pretty boys and women with perfect hair in split-screen on CNN.
It’s porn, victim porn. You can pretend you’re not getting-off. But you’d only be pretending.
Where does it end? What’s the pay off? We’re in the 2nd act, headed for the 3rd act climax, so what’s the controlling idea?
Hmmm, how ‘bout this.
We only catch a glimpse of our better angels when we tune-in to the aftermath of a televised catastrophe. Brought to you by Viagra.
Despite our differences, despite our skepticism, despite our unrelenting need to win, no matter what, love is the glue that binds us together. Brought to you by Match.com.
In a world where 43 consecutive mostly irrelevant white men occupied the highest reaches of power, and the title of Mister President, along came a black man who overcame a funny name, along came a woman who overcame the public shaming ritual of marital infidelity, only to discover once they occupied the highest reaches of power, and the title of Mister President, and Madame President, doing the right thing only passed in Congress if you do the white thing. Brought to you by Skittles.
Taste The Rainbow.