For those of us in California, PCH means Pacific Coast Highway. It’s that vertical ribbon of highway which runs through Malibu and later winds into and out of Big Sur, with waves crashing below. However, to folks in Dreamsville, USA, PCH is short for Publisher’s Clearing House. The wait for that phone to ring or that knock on the door is their retirement plan.
Wait, says our inspirational leader, one bright morning the coronavirus will just disappear. Yesterday he also proclaimed that the weather will soon get colder. Since autumn begins in a week that’s a fairly safe bet but it won’t necessarily mean the end of the fire season.
Trump, in his infinite wisdom, relies on his audience’s short term memory loss as his unfulfilled promises stack up. As a devout naysayer to science and one who sits next to Jesus he believes there’s a time for fire and a time for floods; a time for pestilence and a time for hydroxychloroquine. Gaia sighs awaiting his next delusion.
And when a tree falls on your car or your house explodes it must be part of God’s plan. After all, everything happens for a purpose, doesn’t it? Actually no, it doesn’t.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you. That’s nice. I suppose. This has become the stock phrase for politicians. Translate as, Don’t expect this fire, this hurricane, this mass shooting to bring with it any new legislation.
Those words get the bearer off the hook. Too bad the sentiment is wasted. When we extend our fervent wish for a friend’s recovery it is all we have to express our love. And that matters to the extent that self-healing can happen.
But do thoughts and prayers travel through the contaminated air into the bloodstream of the infirm patient? Or vibes? Or pulsating energy transfers? Or pins in an effigy?
Count me among those who do not subscribe to wishes or curses. Nor can I, as an avid fan, determine the course of a ballgame by standing on my head or opening an umbrella while sitting on the couch.
I’ll probably lose a few friends saying all this. Prayers are wishes sent to God but she doesn’t answer mail no matter how many candles we light or gospel we mumble or how loud the exhortations from the pulpit.
What causes God’s wrath? We do. From denying, from abusing our habitat, from electing morons, from abdicating our duties as custodians. God’s wrath is nothing more than a cocktail of neglect and randomness.
Don’t bother me, say those in their moral torpor, I’m waiting for the phone call with my PCH sweepstakes retirement check.