“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”
~Benjamin Disraeli, 1804 - 1881
Last night I dreamed about spider webs. Lots of spider webs.
I mean no offense to my arachnid friends – I appreciate everything you do and every mosquito you eat. But your webs make me nuts.
Every morning I step off the front porch into a spiderweb that’s been built overnight, usually from the maple tree to the gutter. I open the door to the truck and there’s another one, waiting for me to step in and tangle myself up.
They drive me nuts. I ought to know by now where they are, but every time I run into one it still surprises me – how stupid is that?
They get in my hair, they get in my eyelashes, they surround me with delicate sticky tingles that I can’t seem to ever get off, no matter how much I thrash around.
I can sweep them down with a broom before I go to bed at night and another dozen will be waiting for me the next morning. There are more spiders than I can keep track of, and the last thing I want to do is kill them – I’m just not that kind of a person. I like to relocate them when they come in the house. To me, it’s bad luck to kill a spider.
These dream webs reminded me strongly of the pervasiveness of ultraconservative thought and dishonesty in the Bush administration. Everywhere you turn – and I mean everywhere -- you run into another instance of hypocrisy, downright dirty-ass lies, and a scary us-or-them mentality that quite frankly has me pretty damned jumpy these days.
Yesterday was a hard day all around. The lack of nicotine and lack of sleep was making me beyond edgy. Duckie was a mess – I really think seeing Dick Cheney on the TV and hearing his oh-so-smooth delivery of No Response At All may have severely traumatized her. Brian’s going through a rough time of year, too, so there are a lot of odd energies running rampant through our valley.
I’m spending probably too much time reading other people’s blogs, but I can’t help myself. Before I went to college, there was this school out in the desert that I was lucky enough to attend for a special summer session, and folks out there were much smarter and more well-informed than I was. And we would talk all the time, obsessively, about things that mattered and things that didn’t, about what was right and what was wrong. The sheer scope of the ongoing discussion was intoxicating.
That’s what my discovery of the political blogosphere feels like – intoxication, but not in a good way. You know how when you’ve been driving for hours, when you finally get to that cheap, stinky motel and close your eyes, you still see the lines of the road in front of you? That’s what it feels like. Like I can’t stop the thoughts, like there’s this compulsive clicker sitting at a desk in the back of my head, her hair unwashed, her skin pasty from lack of sunlight, her right wrist aching from the repetitive motion. Eyes red from regular outbursts of tears and fury, blood pressure through the roof, a stream of obscenities pouring from her mouth.
On the other side of the dusty, neglected attic in my head, the clicker’s twin sits curled up in a ball, her face crushed between her knees. She rocks back and forth and occasionally emits a low, helpless moan. Make it stop, she begs the clicker. Please, God, make it stop.
Occasionally it does stop, especially when I can escape to such sublime banality as Dancing with the Stars, or some other schlock meant to drug the masses into unquestioning sleepwalking. Or I read, usually fiction, because it’s really hard to assimilate Thich Nhat Hahn’s loving Buddhist outlook on life into the current conservative hell I’m living in now. Although he’s quite likely exactly what I should be reading now, given his experience with totalitarian governments.
Now I’m reading Ursula K. LeGuin’s The Lathe of Heaven. Damned if I can remember where I got the reference from, but it’s fascinating and incredibly creepy stuff. It’s about a man who dreams things into reality.
So, given the variables in my life right now, it doesn’t surprise me at all that I dreamed about spider webs.
I’m escaping this weekend to our happy backyard haven, at Brian’s suggestion. We’re pitching a tent on the newly mown grass-hay, filling a small pool for Duckie and spending the day outside. Our good friend Coz from Charlotte is coming to visit, too.
I will enjoy the sunshine, I will drink inordinate amounts of Splenda-sweetened tea, and I will not turn on the news one single time.
In the meantime, the Bush administration will continue to spin their web of lies, and doubtless I will discover some of them on Monday. For now, I wish my loyal readers (the five or so of you out there) much happiness and stable moods over the weekend.