I don’t think it’s a huge surprise to most people who live in Kentucky to at some point wake up and realize we’re not living in the real world with everybody else but in fact are caught in an alternative universe created by a Rand Paul Aqua Buddha hallucination. We go on our merry way, thinking most of the time that we’re living in the real world with everyone else, but sometimes while standing in line at Wal-Mart or screaming at some state government office on the telephone, the walls between the worlds will get a bit thin and you can catch a glimpse of the other side, the real side, where real, civilized people live and think with their brains instead of their remote controls, where people care about other people and the entire planet instead of only focusing on where their next prescription medication fix is going to come from.
Once you’ve caught that glimpse, however, you can’t turn it off and NOT see it anymore. You notice the hair on women is brighter and bigger and unkept, and you notice the guts on the men are larger and rounder and giggle more in ridiculous ways like an animated cartoon character. You notice the newspapers don’t print any real news about the state at all, only gossipy bullshit worthy of the Weekly World News. You notice the local news doesn’t ever cover anything except another car wreck caused by drunk driving or another shooting over prescription drugs. You notice the customer service almost anywhere you go is indifferent, and the clients are so snarky and mean that who the hell would take the time to offer them service in the first place because all they would do is bitch about it.
You notice that there are churches with political sayings posted where there used to be posted the weekly bible passages that would be the subject of next weeks sermon, and that said churches far outnumber the actual population of the state, yet they still seem to thrive and build bigger and uglier churches in every vacant tobacco field.
You overhear people say truly stupid things. Not just ignorant, but blissfully stupid, gross refusals to consider a bigger truth beyond Rush Limbaugh. A state with an extremely high number of uninsured people who resort to emergency room care for the sniffles, and then let the state pick up the tab, who then screech about their right NOT to have insurance and how they shouldn’t have to pay for other people, including their own mothers and fathers of whom a majority are on disability for coal severance or farming accidents or some just lazy and don’t want to work so they accidentally slipped in a puddle at work and hired some cheesy television advertising lawyer to keep their former employer so tied up in court that they finally give up fighting for fear of losing their entire business.
It’s not like this in Vermont. It’s not like this in New York. It’s not like this in New Mexico. It’s not like this anywhere else because we live trapped in this hallucination while the rest of the world grows and progresses and stumbles toward enlightenment.