The Clinton Wonder Years

It seems like every single person in Kentucky is pissed off these days. Not about anything in particular, but pretty much everything in general, and we’re all just looking for some poor sap to take it out on. Working in customer service, one tries not to take it personally, and one tries to assist rather than react, but one also hears oneself saying deep inside ones head “if you call me ‘stupid’ one more time, lady, I’m going to reach right through this telephone and rip your freaking hair out by the roots”.

I wonder, sometimes, if it’s the pollution, maybe, the air pollution and the water pollution caused by our buddy Mitch and his coal buddies throwing so much toxic crap into our air and water that maybe it’s making us all a little bit crazy. Or maybe it’s just the economy, and the fact that we never had much of one to begin with in Kentucky and it’s even worse now, and even though we’ve somehow turned into a screaming red state over the past 15 years, we still utilize more public services than the vast majority of other states and now, with the economy all tanked out and our state congress just a deadlocked as our federal congress, there aren’t a lot of public services to be had, even for the people who really do need it.

I wonder, sometimes, if it’s all just a result of reality television, and the fact that we now have several generations who have grown up with reality television who somehow feel that this level of drama and angst is normal and since normal people don’t really have this level of drama and angst, we have to create it as best we can.

I wonder, sometimes, how we got to be this way. Thirty years ago, when I was working in public service, people would say to me all the time “I just LOVE traveling through Kentucky! The people are all so friendly!”, but now, you don’t hear that much, except from very old people who have been saying it for 30 years and keep saying it to be polite but they really don’t mean it anymore because we’re really not very friendly anymore.

I wonder, sometimes, if it’s ever going to get better. I try to remind myself that the economy seems to run on 20 year cycles, and 20 years ago, public service and Kentucky State Government pretty much sucked almost as bad as it does now, but the cycle bottomed out and then turned upwards and we hit the glorious Clinton Years, when the whole country got our taxes raised but we were out of debt in four freaking years and had a surplus four freaking years after that and if a guy who manages to turn around an entire country gets a little stupid and full of himself and has a power game with a pushy intern, well really, who can blame him?

Maybe Hilary is really going to run. Maybe, just maybe, we’ll get that chance to return to the Clinton Wonder Years again. One can only hope.

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