It’s the Third Quarter in America
On Sunday night, I obtained a leaked diplomatic cable during the Super Bowl blackout from none other than Clint Eastwood. Below, as a public service, I present it in its entirety.
America, last year I told you it was halftime. Well the clock is ticking.
Now it’s the third quarter. Both teams are out there, dicking around on the field in the dark, mugging for the cameras, wondering if the lights are going to come back on, or if the NFL’s embarrassment—yes, at letting the lights go out on its marquee event, but also at not having a backup plan better than letting Bill Cowher freestyle —will ever end.
It’s the third quarter in America, too. And we’re running low on energy. Metaphorically, but literally, too. The economy is in the shitter. Unemployment is stagnant. China’s rearing up like some kind of oil-mad dragon, driving up prices and creating Frankenstorms what with the smog and the global warming. People are getting shot by disturbed people with Rambo rifles. Half of America thinks the best way to prevent more of this is to give everybody a Rambo rifle. And the other half is scared, because while I sure as shit know my way around a firearm, putting one in every school is just fucking insanity.
The people of New Orleans, home of the Superdome, know a little something about surviving insanity. They literally lost everything; then, once everybody forgot about them, they pulled themselves up by their bootstraps. Then they got kicked in the teeth when BP blew up an oil rig on their front porch. They ate some oily shrimp, swam with some tarballs, but do you know what? They got back up. And, okay, so right after Beyonce gave the world a giant boner and everybody was all lightheaded and wondering what was next, they couldn’t keep the lights on. But they’ll get up off the mat. They’ll wear some feathers and masks, get ripped, wake up hung over and try again.
We’ve all seen tough times and downturns. We survived the Bush years. And we’ve endured times when we couldn’t stand the thought of understanding each other, because ugh. It seems like we lost our brains at times, and our guts at others … when the fog of gunsmoke, pollution and oil fires made it hard to see what lies ahead. And after those trials, we all rallied around what was right, and acted as one. Because that’s what we do.
Or that’s what we used to do.
Not now. This time we’ve got a stonewalling, tantrum-throwing Congress hell-bent on undermining the democratic process by stymying every act of a president the American people have now elected twice. And a president who can’t seem to parlay his mandate into action.
Making the people who think the moon landing was a hoax seem rational, we’ve got a group of fringe lunatics who believe the government staged the massacre of schoolchildren to grease the wheels of gun reform, and a right-wing that fans the hell-fires of crazytown.
We’ve found our way through tough times, but this time we can’t find a way out of a wet paper bag.
All that matters now is what’s ahead, but we can’t get our bearings. How do we come from behind when we don’t know which way is forward? How do we come together when we’re entrenched with bayonets at the ready? And, how do we win when we’ve blocked the path with fiscal cliffs and budget standoffs every three months?
New Orleans Power and Electric—or “Entergy”— is showing us the way. And, what’s true for them is true for us. When the going gets too tough, shut out the lights. Stumble around in the dark a little bit. And when the lights come back on, we’ll pay off our debts with a fucking shiny trillion dollar coin. This country can’t be knocked out with one punch. But it can hold its collective breath so long that it passes out.
Yeah, it’s the third quarter, America. And the lights are out. And Bill Cowher just said something stupid.