Shutdown from my point of view

Day 15 of the (partial) government shutdown


I’ve moved on. I can’t seem to stay interested in a bunch of old fogies, namely Boehner and Obama, disagreeing on the national budget. It’s as interesting as being involved with my parents’ disagreements.

Dad: “Your mother can still wash the dishes.” Mom: “Dad just doesn’t get it.”

Obama: “Government can re-open right now, this minute.” Boehner: “The President won’t negotiate.”

There is no other appropriate reaction to this kind of banter than to roll one’s eye-balls.

Days 3 and 4 of the shutdown, on the other hand, was a little frightening. By day 3 there was Miriam Carey’s high-speed car chase that started near the White House and ended in shooting a young mother dead. The next day there was John Constantino’s self-immolation at the National Mall. I thought I was witnessing the symbol of people who had enough and snapped.

Self-immolation investigation on October 4, 2013 Photo by Alex Brandon / AP

I mean who rams their car into security barriers and through police officers with a one-year old in the back seat unless they are just flippin’ pissed off? And who stands on the nation’s front lawn and quietly pours gasoline on his body only to burst into flames a moment later unless they have resigned, but want to make a bold statement?

The media reports that both victims had histories of mental illness. This explanation certainly helped me calm down and perhaps that was the point. Who knows? Maybe mental illness was a government cover-up to keep the rebellious acts isolated. I mean, it’s pretty coincidental, mentally ill or not.

Staycation on the Big Island

Staycation on the Big Island

By Saturday (day 5), I was on my way to a ‘staycation’ on the Big Island. By Sunday, I was sipping a wonderful coconut milk distraction, pool-side with the most calming view of sand and ocean expanding out to an infinite horizon. Government shutdown? Disturbing acts of angst and frustration? I let it all go.

Returning from vacation in the second week of the shutdown, I completely moved on. I am after all part generation ‘x’ and part me, me, me millennial.  There’s too many other interesting, colorful and pleasant distractions to pay attention to. Like splendid days in the Candy Crush Saga or watching popular YouTube videos of pets doing funny things or of kids being absolutely adorable.

Any distraction is preferable to another picture of Boehner in the ongoing, uninspiring saga of congressional dysfunction. Keep it behind closed doors Mr. Boehner. Work it out and do your job while I do mine and don’t bother me with the details.

Call me when the government defaults and something big happens like the dollar collapses or something. Then maybe we can do something really exciting, like start over.


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