Sleep eludes me this early morning, as a perfectly-orbed moon floats across the illuminated sky. Deep in my bones, I sense the fear, malice, and terrible injustice which seem to have led us to this moment.
Stubbornly awake, I try to wash the images from my mind—scenes from that oh-so American Shakespearean tragedy/reality show, currently playing out in Washington and around the country. Video clips and sound bites, some already permanently archived, others springing from the imagination, come faster, increasingly furious, flashing across my psychic screen, accompanied by the haunting melody Crimson and Clover, over and over…
I have recently wondered what the late great writer, David Foster Wallace, would have to say about all of this. His last completed novel, Infinite Jest, an exploration of the outsized influence of media on our modern lives, surely seems a prescient warning. Americans have elected as their president a reality television personality, who along with his accomplices, traffics in “alternative facts,” while promoting the notion that there is no such thing as objective truth. We awaken each day to rumblings of war, malevolent mandates, and new deceptions; lie after lie streams incessantly across the airwaves. I wonder, would my literary friend ruefully shake his head and laugh at the infinite jest, now an American reality? Or would he hang his head and weep for his country?
I don’t know how this great drama will end, but I hope that once it unfolds in all its horror, the damage is repairable, and like the morning moon adorning the western sky, will soon disappear with a sigh into the dawn of a new day.