Defenders of My Sanity
by Jerry Gilio
December 20, 2006

2006 was an interesting year in the Chinese sense. I won't fully understand it until I gain some distance. It was a typhoon of extremes. But even the good parts make me edgy. They may only have been a ledge that briefly slowed an inescapable descent into a horrible abyss. Then again, they may have been the upswing for which my inner child always keeps a weather eye open. Only time will tell.

Much of my angst flows from the American political circus. The highest levels of power are now occupied by ideologues that are foul to their very cores. These vermin are completely drunk with power and detached from reality. It's a lethal combination, and not just in terms of the horror we see spattered like an arterial spray across the daily headlines. If terrorists had leveled every building in America over 40 stories, it wouldn't have been half as big a threat to our way of life as the one being insidiously crafted by our own leaders. Short of total conquest, only Americans can kill the Bill of Rights.

And don't get me started on the "booming economy".

Yet, in spite of all of this, 2006 has only left me with a vague anxiety. I'd expect to be paralyzed with fear, or at least stricken with night terrors. My inexplicable serenity worried me at first. Keeping a close watch on this freak show should lead any sane person to ingest ungodly quantities of alcohol and shoot with high-caliber weapons at anything venturing inside the fortified compound perimeter.

Then I realized the source of my calm. I'm surrounded by good people. Some are truly close; others' actions place them close to my heart. I wear them like armor, gaining a giddy sense of invincibility. America isn't perfect, but our Brave New World won't be lost with such people in it.

So I'd like to wrap up 2006 with a kind of Honor Roll. Even at the center of the brutal and unnatural storm that is Bush's America, these heroes keep me warm and make me smile.

"We are building a fighting force of extraordinary magnitude. We forge our tradition in the spirit of our ancestors. You have our gratitude."
- The Kentucky Fried Movie

Liz (first and always), Indy, CeeCee, Nicole, Saramerica (a True Warrior), Rich L., Sean, Rachel, The Locals (a.k.a. Yvonne, Christy and E.J.), Jill, Tony, Happytown, Ripley, Carrie (and her Bullshit King), Dropmore Scarlet (a.k.a. Kari, Ginny, Kristen, Laura and Deb), The Chicagoland Browncoats, Rachel Maddow, Ring of Fire, Stephanie Miller, Randi Rhodes, The Dixie Chicks, Dar Williams and Pink (for Dear Mr. President).

Copyright © 2006