Good Riddance — A future retrospective by
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Prompted By Good Riddance

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Frat brat Kavanaugh has been confirmed. A Trumpian ‘victory.’ A Pyrrhic ‘victory.’ And now, time is up…

Now we can begin anew.

Good riddance to the fat con of a President who rambled like a drunken bigot at the end of the bar spewing hate, ignorance, and cruelty across the nation and the world.

Good riddance to a skewed Senate that regressed to its arcane origins as an insulated cabal of white, prejudiced males tasked by the Constitution with keeping slaves, women, and poor people from taking the democratic experiment too seriously.

Good riddance to a House of Representatives that lost sight of its original intent to entertain the will of the people.

Good riddance to a Supreme Court, chosen by plutocrats and confirmed by Senate elites instinctively dedicated the maintenance of power, a Court that was never allowed to practice its ostensible ideals in the pursuit of justice.

Good riddance to all the expediters in the United States Justice Department who, spewing classic, Eurocentric platitudes, bent and twisted the rule of law to serve the interests of their masters.

Time is up. Time to begin anew.

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Profile photo of Charles Degelman Charles Degelman
Writer, editor, and educator based in Los Angeles. He's also played a lot of music. Degelman teaches writing at California State University, Los Angeles. 

Degelman lives in the hills of Hollywood with his companion on the road of life, four cats, assorted dogs, and a coterie of communard brothers and sisters.

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Characterizations: right on!, well written


  1. Patricia says:

    Awesome, dude! Just what I needed to hear in this dark hour. Thank you for your eloquence.

  2. John Zussman says:

    Amen, Brother Chas. I want to borrow your time machine and go there now!

    • The machine is all yours, John. Drop us a line from ah… ‘time to time.’ Ouch. The Congressional sausage factory really outdid themselves as regards the stink of putrifying flesh. I know we’ll lose some of these buzzards to attrition, others to an election. In the meantime, I feel compelled to launch hope into the future. Keep the faith, baby.

  3. Suzy says:

    I was really hoping we would be able to say “good riddance” to Brett K. without the need of a time machine, but alas, those few Senators that gave us a glimmer of hope ended up caving in the end. I hope we will really be able to say “time’s up” very soon. Right now I am in despair. But thanks for the notion that there will be a future in which we can say good riddance to all of them.

    • The fight never ends. At times, that notion can be exhausting, but when there’s so much to be done, and so many people, we the people, ready and willing to do it, ‘the fight never ends’ can be a battle cry and a promise for the future.

  4. I quote the following question, gifted for this exact moment-in-time by a wise woman author who knows above most that there is no time to spare. She wrote:
    “What is the way to use anger to fuel something other than hurt, to direct it away from hatred, vengefulness, self-righteousness, and make it serve creation and compassion?” I believe that when we each ponder the question, and I mean to TRULY ponder that brave question! – then I think we will each begin to arrive into our own individual answers toward rectifying the wrong. I love the old saying: “Whatever’s broken, help fix it.” Because that’s all there is to hurry up and do, for that’s all that’s left on behalf of our children, ourselves, the future, and that’s absolutely EVERYTHING, wouldn’t you agree? I don’t think this is the time for anger, precisely because there is “so much to be done.”

  5. Ursula K. Le Guin. I just purchased her book, “No Time to Spare, (Thinking About What Matters),” and I love how she writes. It’s like being able to see her face and hear her voice as she paints pictures vivid, by her own unique way of perceiving and understanding the world, succinctly, sharply (as sharp sometimes as a double-edged sword!), and her address on anger just spoke directly into my heart. Your piece “sounded” angry (I could be wrong!), and it has become now challenging to understand “harsh words” against any effort in leadership… because at least they’re up there TRYING (which I admire now, since having let go of so much). I get it that there is a lot I do not know or understand about politics and it’s language, and that my thought processes may be simplified to a child’s level, and that to vent is human (as here being done). It’s just that there is so much more that the immediate eye cannot see, nor the ears to rightly hear, so… bottom line? Things are never what they seem. But I admire the Educator, so thank you for sharing. I claim to understand nothing, and am always learning, thus very much appreciate your words, making my mind struggle because of them, and when to struggle, answers eventually come. So, thank you.

    • Yes, Johanna, I am a big fan of Ursula Le Guin as well. And yes, you’ve assessed the tone of “Good Riddance.” I am angry. Enraged. Pissed off, challenging though that may be for you.

      But I’m most taken by your difficulty in understanding harsh words directed toward leadership. We have no leadership. We have an ignorant, lying rage puppet being manipulated toward dissembling democracy in the name of profit. We have men in powerful places who would destroy our environment, our system of knowledge, the rule of law, our right to health and the control of our bodies, and our love for other people, their cultures, the rainbow of their diversity.

      We have an administration that holds you, a woman, in the utmost contempt. I would challenge you to understand the danger posed by this leadership. I challenge you to arm yourself with knowledge and awareness of the current circumstances that surround us. Yes, leadership is TRYING. They are trying to destroy us.

      I’m pasting a link here to a recent editorial by a respected economist and columnist who speaks broadly but clearly of our current condition. The American Civil War, Part II

    • John Zussman says:

      Johanna, thanks for your comment. Like Charles, I want to respond to what you said about our “leadership … because at least they’re up there TRYING.” I just heard an illuminating interview on Fresh Air with Michael Lewis, who’s written a book called “The Fifth Risk” on Trump’s approach to governing. Among the revelations: “Trump didn’t run to win. He didn’t have an acceptance speech on the night of the election. He was running as an exercise in brand building. And so his whole attitude towards preparing to be president was, why bother?” This explains why he has appointed cabinet secretaries (EPA, Education, Interior, Commerce) who explicitly want to dismantle or undermine the departments they head. This gang is not interested in leading—or even governing. It’s worth listening to the whole interview: Let us know what you think.

  6. Ursula K. Le Guin, “No Time to Spare, Thinking about what matters.”

  7. I went to the chamber orchestra last night John and Charles, to listen in that place that has no words, seeking respite away from that place that can overwhelm the soul where words have so much to say, to portray, being misunderstood, misinterpreted, judged, criticized, condemned – all by what comes from the mouth, what people say, all the oftentimes high-faulting languages by the politics of pride, arrogance, languages so difficult to understand. Even as one who loves words so much, sometimes, I need to take pause, walk away, into another language, like the language of music, and then too, to find that sacred space in-between the twelve notes, that delicious place of silence, where heaven is. “It is well, and it is well, and all will be well.” (something like that). Just a reminder to be still, good soul, shhhhh. Be kind to ourselves, to each other, all we of so, so many words. Silence the harshness, the ego, the competings, the arrogant hungers, the haughty hearts, the greeds. Shhhh. All will be well.

    Oh, and there was no conductor (whom I most sorely miss most of all), and the musicians therefore depended on one another in that language of silence, speaking in that place without words, by their bodies, watching one another, listening in that utmost way, by the eyes, the nuances, the subtitles that speak above the words, louder than the words, their persons revealed, the stories beautifully told, by the guidance of the music they shared with their audience.

    • Beautiful, Johanna, thanks. A lovely description. I’ve taken to doing just that, myself, to sit in a great hall and let the music take me. Very grateful for that pleasure.

      And still, the words are real, and awareness is necessary. The world is in trouble and we are part of the world. In the words of Willy Loman’s wife in “Death of a Salesman,” “attention must be paid.”

    • John Zussman says:

      What a lovely, lyrical description of that concert! As a chamber musician myself, part of the magic is that there is no conductor, so the musicians are co-equally creating (or interpreting) the music collaboratively as they play. I hope you will include this description in a story one day!

  8. Thank you Charles. I’m trying hard to pay attention, with a heart broken.

  9. Thank you… John? Is that you? (My computer is formatting these “reply/responses” out of order, and I don’t know if I’m even supposed to keep the conversation long like this back and forth…), but anyway, what instrument do you play?! Blessed man! I go to the symphony to feed the soul, but also (selfishly) seeking inspiration for future poetry. The conductor WAS my inspiration! – his presence, face, the way that he moved his body, spoke without words, expressed the music, and I learned so much in that way, the way of the teacher – he WAS the music!, helping me to fall in love again, to stay in love, keep love alive. Without him, the scenario (for the outsider) feels like the sheep without their shepherd… but apples and oranges, right? For while WITH a conductor, I felt a part of the music, included in its making, by the inspiration being given… WITHOUT one, I feel more merely like an observer. No choosing, just an observation. I get that they are two entirely different formats. Just blabbering. Anyway, Good Musician, i am so glad that you are here.

  10. Charles, reading this story now two weeks before the election I am cautiously optimistic that we can soon say good riddance to our national travesty.
    Here’s hoping.

  11. Yeah, interesting. I had forgotten this piece, but it reflects the building tension of what became a tide-turning election halfway through this misery, complete with the prior flawed Supreme Court weirdo foisted on us by Mitch “the Federalist” McConnell. Here’s hopin’ it’s a harbinger of good things to come.

    I had lost perspective on how big a build we went through on the way to the 2018 election. This has been one helluva trip.

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