To begin on the lighter side of things, the Pig People at the local Fox Propaganda Affiliate here in Phoenix continue to obfuscate, mislead, distort and lie. For the last three mornings down here in the bowels of Arizona, these lovers of all things porcine have astonished their drooling audience with horror stories about five wildfires burning madly throughout the state. What they have not mentioned--possibly because they remember the State's Liar in Chief, Senator John McCain, having to do a mea culpa about one of his own out-and-out lies earlier this year on a similar subject--is even so much as ask the obvious and (even to those Pig People, one would think) logical question: What is the cause?
But that would run against the Murdoch scheme of things. Asking why at this point would be counter-productive to the aim of their overall scheme of spreading terror to the tiny oinkers who tune into their balderdash the way razorbacks crowd one another out at the feeding trough. First they spread the panic. Then and only then do they look for some immigrants to blame, unless the President is willing to speak out on the subject, in which case they will claim that he personally started each and every one of the brush fires himself.
What the Fox Propaganda Affiliates never do is (a) admit that they don't have a clue as to the origin of anything, (b) so much as acknowledge that these fires did not spontaneously combust and so did in fact have a cause, however undetermined that cause might be, and (c) admit that to the extent that the past is any indication, the most likely reason for the predictable and devastating fires is that the state's environmental policies are likely as not to blame for the horrible situation that endangers much of the greater southwest.
You see, one of the reasons for these fires has always been that the state and corporate Swabian-Hall swine save their personal resources by not properly re-seeding the area after one of these genuinely terrifying adventures in fire-starting. When the pre-existing forestry situation is such that the trees are densely thick, you almost never have this kind of widespread occurrence of blaze. But do a half-assed job--the Arizona Way, you might say--and what you get is five fires burning up what little greenery this silly-ass state has left.
The other reason these fires happen is because of drought, another often-human-based factor brought on as a consequence of global warming and/or climate change. But the popbellied parasites at the Fox Propaganda Network like air pollution. They like people having to leave their homes. They like global warming. They like industrialization. And (just as their bastard parent group likes spying on the parents of dead children) they really like blaming immigrants for every problem known to man. So just wait until the heat really starts shaking things up down here-abouts and you'll see the clowns with their Hampshire snouts pressed up against the cameras grunting away at how the fires were started by people crossing at the southern border of the state, despite the fact that all five fires are in the northern and forested areas of Arizona. And none of the loyal mulefooted morons who watch the pink manure ooze out of their TV sets will even scratch their heads in wonder.
On a darker note, here comes a bit of personal revelation. As we sometimes stagger through our future histories, we may pause to notice how certain people never quite make it into the belly of our friendships even though we expect nothing less than that very thing. For a few years there I accepted it as part of the structure of the universe that Angela W and I would be friends forever. That I have neither seen nor spoken to her since 2007 suggests that such may not be the case. Yet of all the people I loved for that ridiculous period of my life when I was a proudly womanizing, hard-drinking, soda-sniffing playboy reprobate, it remains the steady sails of Angela's ships that I most fondly recall, at least among those I met in Phoenix.
First I heard she'd gone into real estate. Later the news changed her occupation to something called "merchant services." The last time I saw her, sharing a table with me in a medium-income nightclub, she laughed off both reports. On the other hand, she never did get around to saying what she was doing to keep butter in the churn, other than to say that she had passed her entrance exam as a firefighter for Rural Metro, if that makes sense.
Of course, Angela was extraordinary when it came to misdirection, so maybe she works for Fox. One night I stared at the ceiling and asked her if she loved me. The words tumbled out her mouth like coins from a slot machine, except the coins turned out to be tokens. Later, on that last night in '07, she admitted she did love me. I was happy to hear it.
Angela struck me as the kind of woman you loved without necessarily being in love with her. One minute she feigned the role of the ditsy beauty and the next the part of the supreme and measured intellectual, the latter for all the world the sexiest kind of woman there ever could be. Imagine sharing a bathtub with a dark brown-haired woman radiating flawless skin, tender legs stretching behind your head while both of you babble amid the bubbles about how the concept of the atom is a shared madness among the scientific community, glancing at her breasts only when she looks away so as to let her know those two buoyant bulbs are not the main reason you are there, melting into the suds as from nowhere she whispers that you are in such amazingly great shape.
She drove a big black Denali in those days, an urban auto designed to protect precious and precocious young women from the hazards of the roadway. She smoked clove cigarettes. She worked at a cocktail lounge.
Yet there was so much more to her than mere appearances. One evening she and I were out bowling at some crowded place called Jillians. I returned from the bar with our drinks to find her--back to me, unaware of my return, no mirrors in sight--telling some big guy that he could not have her phone number and to get lost before her jealous boyfriend came back. In reality I was neither jealous nor her boyfriend. After all, she did have a husband at home. Still, it felt nice being lied about in such a way.
It may sound from the tone and tense I am using that Angela has passed away. As far as I know, she is alive and well. Then again it has been five years. If she shares social media, she does it under a different name, suggesting she may no longer be married to Chad or for some other reason is using an alias.
Probably the most important thing to know about Angela W is this: The last time we met I was recovering from an emotional and economic fall from grace. For most of the ten years she and I had known one another, I had been at the top of my game, financially if not maturity-wise or otherwise. In the interim, I had lost the nice house, the nice sports car, the nice clothes. And Angela did not care one bit. All she asked was if I needed anything. I no longer did need anything, but she was one of the very few people who had the decency to at least ask. Sitting with her, looking into those furtive and laughing eyes that switched to sorrow in a blink, I remembered her telling me a story years before about giving twenty dollars every day on her way to work to a homeless guy beneath the overpass. "Then one day he just wasn't there anymore."
I miss Angela. If you see her, or run into your own personal version, treat her well. And say hello for me.