19 November 2014: It’s becoming an ennui time of year

It’s becoming an ennui time of year

Ennui: I have loved the word since my eleventh-grade English class with Mr. Laurence.  He was a stickler for vocabulary and was one of the teachers who stirred my imagination most when it comes to language.

I notice now, especially while doing crossword puzzles, my vocabulary recall slipping.  Old age?  Or perhaps lack of use?  Perhaps both, but for some reason, ennui remains fresh.

Regardless, this time of year seems to cause, at least in me, a rise in a sense of weariness, listlessness, and general dissatisfaction.  It’s likely due to two sources: the natural cycle of the seasons and the draining effect of the political campaign.

Our ancestor farmers had to knock themselves out during the fall harvest.  Crops ripened and needed to be harvested.  There was not “I’ll get to it tomorrow” attitude.  After the harvest however, it was hunker down time.

Many conjecture that like bears we add pounds naturally during the cold months in order to give us an added layer of fat to protect and keep us warm, but there’s no scientific evidence supporting that theory or myth.  What seems more likely, according to Best Health, are several influencing factors including poor diet, less exercise and shorter days.

It can be a vicious circle leading to the debate over whether poor diet and less exercise are the causes of ennui or the other way around.  They do seem, though, to be correlated.

I annually deal with SAD—seasonal affective disorder—as do many others.  Light therapy is the most effective elixir to counter it, that and staying active and eating fresh fruits and vegetables.

The election season with its incessant bombardment of negativity and the results of this particular campaign were certainly perfect antidotes to the highs of summer.

The big winners: Candidates high on “Koch,” that is, Koch money.  As we know, speech is no longer free; it comes for a price to the highest bidder thanks to the Roberts Supreme Court decision in “Citizens United.”

The buying and selling of the American republic will be this Court’s legacy unless we can undo the harm before it becomes irreparable.

Good news I: Governor Hickenlooper and his brand of 3PR: principled, pragmatic, problem-solving leadership.

Good news II: The mail-in ballot process was a resounding success, despite it being confusing for some.  It will take an election cycle or two for old practices to die.

Interesting outcome: Clear Creek continues to runs blue, two Republican commissioners notwithstanding.  Only Democrat not to win CCC: Don Quick for Attorney General.

Grim news: Senator Sunbeam, aka Cory Gardner, George Will’s angelic cherub.  He’ll officially be the junior senator from Colorado.  Time will tell if he becomes a pragmatic problem solver or dutifully serves as another compliant sycophant for big money interests.  Don’t hold your breath.

Sad news: Outstanding public servants Joe Neguse, Betsy Markey, and Don Quick defeated for state offices as was Andrew Romanoff in CD 6.

The great irony: Voters across the nation support progressive/liberal positions from minimum wage hikes to rejecting personhood for zygotes, yet vote into office reactionary candidates who oppose such measures.  That stands as an indicator of our inchoate, contradictory culture.  On the one hand we want…but on the other, we’ll elect those ardently opposed them, which leads to…

Go figure I: The minimum wage, a socialistic plot/ploy according to cuckoo Randians such as Rand Paul and Paul Ryan, was increased by plebiscite in four red states: Alaska, Nebraska, Arkansas, and South Dakota.

Go figure II: In Colorado, the “personhood” amendment goes down, but Sunbeam Gardner who actively supported it before running for senate and still does at the federal level gets in.

What can we learn from this experience?  Voting for far too many is not so much a rational process as it is an emotional and faith-based expression.  Ironies, contradictions, non-sequiturs abound.

Anger ruled the 2014 election and overruled reason, resulting in voters voting against their self-interests by re-empowering the same forces that squandered the surplus Bill Clinton left by giving away obscene tax cuts to the uber-wealthy and starting two unfunded wars.  2004 redux.

Nonetheless, as the trite line goes, it is what it is, and to deny that reality is to take the ostrich approach.

Thanks and appreciation to all who performed their primary patriotic duty by voting.  A wag of the finger to those who didn’t.

The Solstice and longer days will arrive in time, but across the nation, it will be a long two years.

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