You know how truly, horribly off the rails things have gone when an earthquake constitutes a slow day. I had a lovely news-free morning. Birds singing cheerfully, a damn fine cup of coffee, and a frittata for breakfast. When I got on the internet it was a relief to see the only thing people were talking about was a 5.5 about 120 miles outside Los Angeles. Which, don’t get me wrong, has the potential to be tragic, although no one seems to have been hurt. People were laughing about it, because what else are you going to do? Make jokes about it being one more thing, while simultaneously being relieved that it’s not another story about pandemic deaths, police brutality, or incompetent knuckleheads vomiting lies and fabricating photo ops to sooth their fragile egos.
Of course, once we’ve had our nervous laugh we immediately go back to worrying about what the next thing is going to be. We got to vent a little bit of emotional steam because something that could have been more injury to the running cavalcade of insult wasn’t really a big deal. Now we wonder what the next force of nature or human-created atrocity is going to be. This year is the world’s worst theme park ride. It’s a relentlessly loud and violet disaster movie that will never allow us quite enough time to catch our breath.