At the end of the story, everything is not OK; no flowery declarations or speeches, no parades, weddings or celebrations. There are no toasts, dancing, or gift exchanges. There is no food, wine or drunken stupor “I love yous”. There is nothing. All is the same as it was before the end of the story, nothing has changed at all. The same characters are there, the same problems, joys, triumphs, disappointments and setbacks. What’s with the same old story?
Which begs the question, why go through the process at all? Why tell the story if it doesn’t have a happy ending. If change is not brought about and problems aren’t solved, why go to all the trouble? Why waste the time and the money of putting the story together, piecing together the transcript, submitting it to editorial scrutiny, marketing, advertising, critique and then release? It has served no real purpose. It’s slick and attractive on the cover. It’s polished, charming and seductive. It tells tales of courage, hope and cunning. It promises surprises, lots of surprises. It even serves up a scandal or two. It’s dicey, racy and sometimes foolish. Sometimes, the story stumbles over itself, and many times the story is just repetitive and boorish. When the story is lagging, we just skip and skim it…seeking out the page where the story starts up and tells us what we want to hear, just how we like to hear it. The pace of the story is like a marriage that at first seems like a ball that was hit out of the park, only to land in the foul zone, time and again in the same old mundane Saturday afternoon routine of blah.
The story is played out on television, on radio talk shows, books of the week and internet blogs. It’s the rants and raves, the scores and the misses, the “who bought what where” and the “who said what when.” The story loves to paint pictures where illustrations are needed. The story makes a lot of promises it will never be able to keep. The story associates with utopian principles without understanding the meaning of what is true and beautiful. Most importantly the story gives rise to bitterness and ill will, when good humor and patience would suffice. The story slings about accusations and ridicule and insinuates itself between friends and family. The story points a finger and wages indifference. The story loves to hear itself every day, debated and discussed. It will participate in activities that reduce the story to a mockery and a joke. In the past the story has performed for the amusement of others only to score points but the story is not as funny as it desires to be. By this time the story is getting tired and old hat. The story has been repeated so many times, the story hardly knows itself because in the end it changes nothing because it only seeks power. "This is the most important story!" Even that is getting a little redundant. Because no matter how the story ends, there will be four judges somewhere that will burn the story or toss it away. There will be a lawyer somewhere that will disagree with the story and how it ends and want to change or rewrite it.
I thought this story was important when I first picked it up, but as Gordon Sumner once wrote, "You could say I lost my belief in politicians, they all seem like game show hosts to me"
Next Tuesday the story will be told once again. Wake me up when it’s over.
Tammy Maher is a biweekly columnist for the Mountain Democrat. You can reach her on the web at http://www.familyfare.blogspot.com/