Politics and Panic

November 6th

Most days when my alarm goes off, I jump out of bed and hit snooze just so I don’t have to think about whatever horrific world news Morning Edition is reporting. Then I lie there for 9 minutes and think about hell breaking loose in Pakistan, child soldiers in Congo, Dinner Jacket getting nukes and how suddenly we’ve decided to police the world with several hypocritical asterisks.
Funny, but this top of the morning panic is what is fueling my desire to become more knowledgeable about all things domestic. I think about how one day Jews in Europe were living their happy daily routines and the next they were marching barefoot through the snow into concentration camps. How Hutus and Tutsis went from being family, friends and neighbors to butchers, murderers and victims of genocide within a matter of weeks. Japanese communities all over the United States were rounded up and placed in “camps” right in my own state’s desert. One day they were flower and strawberry farmers, the next prisoners. Their passports were as ‘Merican as mine.

How planes flew into buildings and I haven’t slept the same since.

How a man was caught last week driving into the nation’s largest nuclear plant with a bomb in his truck, and oh — this plant is about 35 miles from my office, where I was sitting when I read the news. I wouldn’t haven’t seen the plume; I’d have been in it.

I don’t know how to escape this sort of everyday panic, other than feel like if I survived some sort of terrifying tragedy, I could take care of myself and hopefully have the strength to take care of others too. Granted, it might just be easier to turn the dial and wake up to classical music to avoid the news altogether. I just can’t do it. I just can’t be another patriotic sheep in the apathetic pasture.

It certainly doesn’t help my mood that it is 96 in Phoenix today. That’s right — 96. As in a good 20 degrees warmer than it should be in November. Tell me Mother Nature isn’t giving us all the finger for having this administration in the White House for eight years? We are being punished and Mama Earth is, not surprisingly, a liberal.

In case your invitation got lost in the mail, Mr. Fall and Ms. Autumn, you are cordially invited to attend this season. Hurry up already. We’re sweating big, panicky bullets over here.


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17 Responses

  1. You should put Al-Jazeera on your RSS feed, that’ll calm you down…ha ha.

    Seriously though, the heat is ridiculous. It’s not like it’s that hot, but i’m still breaking a sweat just by existing and it’s not like we get that many cool days to begin with. If it breaks 100 in March, we might have to move the Colorado time table up a bit…

  2. I think I understand what you mean when you write the word “panic”. It’s almost like a helpless feeling, knowing that as much as YOU, one person, could do it still wouldn’t be enough… Sharing those thoughts and the links are so important, knowledge is key. So, thanks Kelli.

    Oh, and I didn’t hear about the nuclear plant! That is sooo scary!

  3. i know i’ve been MIA… but i had to comment about this. i get the same sort of panic (on top of the more self-ish panic of what the hell happens to me when i die, for god’s sake)

    i recently shared with a friend my fear of the mayan calendar possibly signifying the end of the world. he said something like, “oh honey, the world’s been around a long, long time. it won’t end. we may, but it won’t. we’re hurting it, but eventually we’ll vacate the premises and the world will take over again. ”

    i have no idea why that comforted me… but i know how much you love the world, so i thought it might comfort you 🙂

  4. Can I have this printed up on a t-shirt?

  5. Oh Kelli,

    I feel just like you…just below panic ALL THE TIME. Although I don’t have any comforting words to offer,(except thank goodness they caught that guy) I think you are doing what you can and more to help the world, if everyone followed your example, the world would be a better place–that and a new administration in 2008–please may it not be business as usual for the sake of America and the world.


  6. I have decided not to panic, it just send my blood pressure soaring. It is hard though Kelli, I too keep track of what happens in the world. Here’s a link to a map that will really panic you if you let it. Global Incident Map,displaying terrorist activities as we sleep.

    I’m neither far right nor far left and don’t particularly like your President. But I do think that previous administrations have not done enough either or have made terrorists their allies along the way for their own gain. Human nature I think, unfortunately Pakistan and India both have enough nuclear power to do some serious damage…ciao

  7. I think a lot of panic in today’s world. =( I don’t know if this is a human thing or what, having been on earth for a mere 25 years. It somehow seems like a more recent thing. I don’t think people in the past literally felt like they could lose their planet home any year now. I don’t think that every day by any means, but at least once a month. It’s scary. I have also been reassured with the “the earth has been around a long time…” thing, but somehow I feel like we humans should step up to the plate.
    It’s hard to figure out what. the hell. to do. about all the things going on in the world! Like last night, I was watching a program about elephant herd deaths on the rise in Africa because ivory is back in demand in China. it makes me want to go over there and get involved, even though I know I’d probably useless and have no knowledge of the culture, the elephants, landscape, or anything.
    I guess that’s my overall feeling…knowing how much there is to do in the world but not knowing how, and feeling overwhelmed. It’s definitely a big thing i struggle with and I think a lot of people in today’s world are thinking about it, and trying to come up with solutions, or at least ways to manage the stress…for better or worse. (hello, reality t.v.! one of the more addictive and useless ways of “coping” and escaping).

  8. P.S. sorry for my poorly written rant! It’s a little confusing and hard to read…haha. Too bad there’s no edit button.

  9. Global friggin’ WARMING. I’m voting for Gore. Bwahahahahahaaaa…kidding.

    I hear you though. I make myself take my mind off stuff I can’t control. I do my bit by voting, keeping informed and staying active in the community. And talking. Constantly talking about issues that are important to me. I hear ya, babe.

  10. …on a different scale – this describes the feelings I had about the San Diego fires (which burned my former home & entire neighborhood!). I outran that tragedy by 1/5 years, but it was hard to reconcile my feelings about it anyway.

    When watching the news, reading the paper, politics, trolling the internet – it too frequently feels like life changing catastrophe is imminent. As result, it’s a situational overwhelming panicky anxiety welled up in the pit of my stomach. And, I feel insecure and overwhelmed about the possibility of being both insignificant -and- significant in anything so uncontrollable.

    Fortunately, my daughter is always around and I have her as an excuse to miss the morning news editions… 🙂

  11. I agree with you, it’s so difficult to see all this going on in the world both internationally and locally! And here as one of the world’s largest powers, we have leadership who is more concerned with their own personal agenda than those of the people they represent.

    I have faith that next year’s election will take us one step closer to undoing all the political sabotage of the last seven years. I’ll be the first to mail back my ballot!

  12. Oh, didn’t you hear. “All the facts aren’t in” on Global Warming. It’s just a theory.

    There needs to be a sarcasm button on my keyboard. I’d hit it like 15 times.


    Anything that threatens the status quo cannot possibly be true, can it? We’d have to do something like, I don’t know, change our behavior?!

    Nice post, Kelli. It may provide some comfort to know that you’re part of the solution, not part of the problem.

  13. It’s all so scary. A few weeks ago we were in church when our pastor mentioned in his sermon how some nukes were transported in a non secure plane. We came right home and searched for info. At that time it was mostly being blogged about. Then weeks later it was a blurb on the news. With so little free media we really are at a loss.

    The next adminstration has such a mess to clean up it’s a wonder that anyone wants the job! I pray whoever gets it is up to the task.

  14. Kelly, all things move in cycles, we are at an end of of an Unraveling and beginning a Crisis era. Look up Neil Howe and Bill Strauss books “Generations”, “13th Gen”, “Fourth Turning” and “Millennials Rising”, there is also a web site called “Fourth Turning” it will help. This is a theory of course but a darn good one, its not religious, hocus pocus, predictions or anthing along those lines, just explanations of the cycles we move through as a society. Unfortunately the Bush administration is a reality and a cycle we had to go through, it doesn’t justify the decisions but it does explain where we stand and how we will come out of this mess. We will come together as a cohesive group in this country and your generation will play a big part. Be well!

  15. I missed this yesterday. I have that same panic from time to time – although I don’t live or work that close to a nuclear facility. My alarm goes off at 10 to the hour, so I ususally get that intersting artsy bit on Morning Edition to rouse me from slumber vs. heading straight into the news. Did you hear Nina Totenberg’s piece this morning about Living History? http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=16067534 It gave me chills. The good kind.

  16. I am probably not going to read the link to what happened at that nuclear power plant near you. Too scary. I have to say, (living in Easter Europe) that the panic is worldwide.

  17. I go through waves of distress (Ace and I watched An Inconvenient Truth this weekend, and I thought it would be nothing I didn’t already know, but I came away close to panic), and I confess that I’m more likely to ease my mind by distracting it than by working towards solutions. I feel like anything I might do would be such a tiny drop in the bucket of all the things wrong in this world – how do you choose your cause? Why should anybody listen to you? Why turn your life upside down when staying home and congratulating yourself for recycling is so much less risky?

    But in my heart I think it’s passion that makes a life one worth living, and if that’s true, doing nothing is the riskier option and a criminal waste of opportunity. Thanks for reminding me of this, and for being a person who follows her beliefs and her heart and shows the rest of us how rewarding a life like that can be.