A spam e-mail found its way into my in-box this morning dated 2017. As I was deleting it, I thought, don’t I just wish; the sooner 2016 is behind us the happier I’ll be; 2017 has got to be better.
Then I remembered. Not that I’d really forgotten,much as I wish I could.
I saw a movie once, a long time ago, one of those disaster movies that were popular at the time, in which Steve McQueen or some other a handsome hero saves the tower block/city/world and all its inhabitants from approaching annihilation. In this one I think a giant meteorite was on a collision course with the Earth. I don’t recall much more about it, except a shot of newspapers rolling off the presses bearing two alternative headlines: EARTH DOOMED and EARTH SAVED.
That’s pretty much how the TV news coverage of That Election has struck me for the past few weeks. As a rule I take the view that what politicians of any hue get up to doesn’t impact much on my life, give or take the odd price rise, and that happens anyway. The same goes double for politicians (or would-be politicians) thousands of miles away. (That doesn’t mean I don’t vote; I also take the view that if I don’t play my part in the so-called democratic process, I don’t have a right to rail when it all goes horribly wrong. And besides, women died so I could vote. I owe them.) I wasn’t exactly pleased when George W Bush somehow got one over on Al Gore back in 2000, but it all happened a long way away.
This time it was different. The prospect of someone a perfectly sensible woman (whatever else you may think of her) described as a loose cannon taking on the top job of the world’s most powerful nation was scary. Seriously so. And when I woke on Wednesday morning to the news that it was going to happen, I was pretty sure I hadn’t woken at all but was having a nightmare. Then I woke up again, with a line from an old Don MacLean song in my head: Until you did, I never thought you would. I guess a lot of people never thought a lot of other people would.
A few years ago a dear friend was all packed up and ready to leave the UK if the Conservatives won an upcoming election. Another friend needed to lie down in a darkened room when they did. I’m guessing a lot of Americans are lying down in darkened rooms, giving serious thought to packing a suitcase and booking a plane ticket.
What I really don’t understand is women voted for him. My own gender, which I have always regarded, in general, as the more level-headed and thoughtful of the two. OK, there are always a few mavericks in any social group, but surely, surely, they were outnumbered by a soaring factor.
What was I saying about 2017 being better? I sometimes watch a TV property show in which people are helped to move to a quieter way of life; a reason they often give for wanting to move is that the place they’ve lived for decades has changed. I think I’ll apply to the show, and ask if I can move to a different planet.
No crime fiction connection this week. The real world is scary enough.