Jul 272016

bopurp2You don’t have to read BoWilliams.com long to know that I’m not shy about discussing politics. Sometimes I don’t for a while, but mostly if I’m talking about politics at length anywhere, it’s here. (I weaken on Facebook once in a while, but mostly keep it light there.)

We’re halfway through the second convention in a presidential election year. Running mates are named. Debates are on deck. In past presidential election years, I’d be humming here by now. I have a high school friend and longtime reader who once called the presidential election my “Super Bowl” in terms of writing. I took that as a great compliment.

I’m not bringing a lot of passion to the election this time. Have you noticed?

It’s because I don’t like either one of the candidates. I mean, I really don’t like either one of the candidates. I don’t believe either one of them will make a remotely serviceable president. My only comfort is that as big a mess as President Charlie X has made, the country still stands. And I doubt the next president, whether Trump or Clinton, will go in feeling as gleefully destructive and contemptuous.

Given that Trump will carry Alabama by 15 points no matter what I do, and also given that Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson is dopey on foreign policy in that typically libertarian way, odds are good that 2016 is the first presidential election since I became eligible to vote that I won’t. Then I can say I didn’t help make the mess (and suffer the bizarre wrath of tongue-cluckers who claim that people who don’t vote jettison their right to complain, which has already happened once).

(I only thought my support for Romney in 2012 was tepid. I think back now and it feels like massive cheerleading compared to 2016’s apathy.)

I have been amused, both last week and this, by the number of my Facebook friends who have lamented the poor state of discourse in this country. I posted recently on what I think the biggest problem there is. But what especially amuses me is that these are often the same people who have expressed displeasure similar to mine with our choice this time.

I ask, sincerely: what’s worth getting worked up about?

If you really can’t stand up and support either one of these candidates, then why are you burning any polemical oil on either one of them? If you think both Trump and Clinton supporters are wrong, then why engage either one of them? Why watch the conventions? I’m going to get out this time not having consumed a single minute of either one of them. I didn’t even go back and watch the end of Cruz’s speech.

(Now I may have to watch the debates, as significant political theater seems likely. But even that will be firmly in the realm of superficial entertainment for me.)

Keep it real, dudes and dolls. Recognize this election for what it is. Do you want syphilis, or gonorrhea? Do you want to jump out of the 60th floor, or the 80th? Would you like to be torn to pieces and devoured by tigers, or great white sharks?

In a typical election year, “troublemakers” (ha ha) find people waving the other candidate’s flag and pick on them. But this time anyone with either flag is off.

Make trouble with everyone? Or make trouble with no one?

 Posted by at 11:34 am
Jun 272016

divingplatformWe found ourselves at Fulin’s last night because of a dinnertime power outage at home. As we ate, they were showing competitive diving—possibly Olympics tryouts—on television. Nathan mentioned that the last time he’d been at a pool with a 10M diving platform, they weren’t letting anyone use it. Apparently this is common now; liability concerns.

But when I was 18 years old, they let any schmuck jump off. (Or dive off, I suppose. I never learned to dive.)

Point Mallard‘s not far, but I haven’t been much. Maybe three times ever? One of those trips, just about 27 years ago as I type, I climbed up there and walked off the end of the 10M platform. I didn’t give it a thought. I didn’t hesitate. I didn’t peer over the edge and consider it. I walked calmly from the ladder to the end of the platform and just kept walking.

I don’t remember very much about the trip down except for the sound. The sound was scary, and I hadn’t anticipated it. I learned when I got out that I had hit the water feet first, with my legs about a foot apart.

What I do remember quite vividly is sitting down 12 feet underwater, holding my testicles, and crying.

Kids are so stupid.

I’d been kicked in the nuts before. It hurt. I’d jumped my BMX bicycle over a whoopty-doo and racked myself on that horizontal bar when I landed. It hurt. But I’d never felt anything like this. This was next level.

Fortunately, it occurred to me in time that, severe pain or not, I was going to drown if I didn’t get to the surface. I did, and actually had the foresight to move toward one of the edges as I ascended so I wouldn’t have as far to swim.

Through the laughter last night, I think the boys got the point. Even if there aren’t any 10M platforms lurking, there’s a rock of similar height at Smith Lake that could eventually be tempting.

Boys, don’t do it. If you must, keep your legs together.

 Posted by at 7:15 am
Jun 202016

Apparently chewing gum in middle school is a much smaller deal now than it used to be. My sons report that, while they can’t chew gum everywhere on campus, there are some classrooms where it is just fine. When I was a kid, it was verboten everywhere at school. If you were caught, you just […]

 Posted by at 11:47 am

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