Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dazed and Confused

We returned Monday evening after a solid 24 hours of airports and airplanes. Despite departing from what must be the most benign airport in Europe (Shannon) and laying over in the relatively friendly confines of Newark's C terminal, it occurred to me -- and not for the first time -- what a dehumanizing experience air travel has become. A morning flight out of Seattle for the east coast involves getting up a 4a, fighting through traffic, standing in the ticket line, and standing in the security line, all for the privilege of being jammed into a coach seat for 5-6 hours to be served by overworked flight attendants. It's a wonder there haven't been more incidents like the one involving the Jet Blue attendant...

Desperate to avoid airport hotel dining in Ireland -- not exactly a consummation to be devoutly wished -- we stopped in the town of Adare for what turned out to be a delightful experience at The Arches restaurant. Not only was the down-home cooking hearty and reasonably priced (by European standards), an Irish gentleman at the next table engaged us in one of those conversations that make the country so worth visiting. They also begin with,

"Are ye from the States?"

and take off from there with stories about his visit to the states and people he knows there. In this case, it involved some "lads" from Limerick who went to New York and never returned to Ireland. He eventually visited them, and loved New York. He asked where we had been, dismissed Dublin as not the real Ireland, and told us about a new route to the airport that shaved a half hour off the rest of the trip...

Then I return home to the senate's dismissal of the repeal of Don't Ask/Don't Tell, in which Susan Collins (R-ME) distinguished herself by setting aside her convictions in order to support the Republican agenda of larding the legislation with poison pill amendments. If it weren't for the human rights involved, I'd say that this has gotten downright silly -- a group of old men obstructing a clear societal trend...

Meanwhile, Washington state Republican senate nominee Dino Rossi states unequivocally that he
opposes allowing any of the estimated 11 million people already in the United States illegally to apply for legal residency. However, he hasn't called for deporting them. He has offered no options, saying he hasn't "heard a good solution for the people that are already here that makes sense."
Rossi, a real estate baron who is in the hip pocket of the Building Industry Association of Washington, of course reflects exactly the desire of his chief benefactor: Keep them here, keep them illegal, keep them scared...

Not to be outdone, Delaware witch, teabagger, and Republican senate nominee Christine O'Donnell tells national media personality Sean Hannity that she will no longer talk to the national media because "that's not going to help get me votes," whereas presumably running and hiding from them will...

It's all enough to make a guy go back to Ireland, or at least to the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia:

13 comments:

Glenn said...

You will never know how hard I once worked to incorporate this song into a production I was directing of Gertrude Stein and a Companion. It was (one of) Stein's favorite song(s).

Annette said...

Welcome home and I am sure it was a wonderful trip..but I can't imagine how you are coping with the craziness again......lol

I am glad someone else picked up on the irony and stupidity of someone going on a NATIONAL network to say they weren't talking to a NATIONAL network anymore...

K. said...

Glenn: Did it get in? It's a classic L&H bit.

Annette: I think it's good to be back! The R's are no strangers to stupidity.

TaraDharma said...

It is all such a mess. If I had the means to join Colbert and Stewart in D.C. I would. Because at this point, I just have to laugh hysterically at our politics.

Perhaps it is time for a cloistered nunnery for me....

John Hayes said...

Things have not improved since you've been gone--but on a brighter note: Laurel & Hardy on the trail of the lonesome pine--delightful!

Foxessa said...

Welcome back, though you both clearly loved it so much there ....

Love, C.

Roy said...

Welcome home! I have a feeling I'm gonna miss those little slide-show movies, although I suspect you took enough photos to give us Ireland-themed shows for a good while yet.

Since I've been back to work I've had less time to pay attention to the political scene, although even in my distracted state Christine O'Donnell is pretty hard to miss. According to her interview with Hannity, she's only avoiding the national media; she says she'll be concentrating on the local media so she can talk directly to her prospective constituents. We'll see; I think somebody on her campaign staff may have warned her that her mouth tends to run ahead of her brain (if she has one) and she oughta slow down on the public statements thing. Seems to be a common failing amongst the teabagger crowd!

Darlene said...

I would welcome you home, too, but I suspect you want to turn around and fly back where sanity prevails.

Yes, the U. S. political picture just gets nuttier and nuttier. I would take off for Ireland if I could.

Marguerite said...

Welcome back to reality! lol Glad ya'll had a great time!

Ima Wizer said...

Awwwwwwww c'mon, ain't it great to be back home???

hmmm, my word verification is "uncation".....is that a no vacation?

Shaw Kenawe said...

Welcome back, K! I hope to visit Ireland in the near future. Very close friends of mine are from Adare, and they will set me up with a rental cottage so I can start my visit from there. An easier trip for me, since I'm on the east coast.

Sorry that you had to come back to loony reality that has become a certain segment of our population.

Idiocy seems to be on the rise, "the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." (I would substitute, in this case, "stupidity" for "intensity.")

paula said...

Welcome back. We missed you but certainly enjoyed your postcards!

Real estate barons, of all people, certainly know the value of the 11 million illegal aliens this guy would like to get rid of. They are the people who likely have done much of the heavy lifting in the construction of homes and office buildings, maintained them, then kept them occupied with viable owners and renters, thanks to their clerical and IT skills. If he's in the housing field, he may also have built specifically for this market. Maybe even directed potential buyers to some of the banks that were making billions off sub-prime loans. Like many others, he's made his and now that the gravy train has passed him by, he's ready to ditch the people who helped get him where he is today. Of course, I'm just speculating and basing my diatribe on what I've seen some of his East Coast colleagues do. Fair is fair.

K. said...

Re the state of the Republican party, Chuck Heston said it best.

Paula: Rossi's bobbing and weaving on immigration shows the split between the rank-and-file and the business wing of the party. The business wing will, of course, win out in the end.

Shaw: Adare is a beautiful town near both Shannon airport and the Ring of Kerry. I hope you make it farther north as well!

It's nice to be back, even though I have to hit the ground running re school, which starts next week.