Not meeting the press today, thank you

by Ogi Overman

Sometimes you’ve just got to save yourself.

Today, Sunday, I did just that. It’s something I almost never do, but it came down to a matter of self-preservation, so I did it. I trashed a column. Got about 200 words into it and dumped that sucker in the slush file. Oh, it’s not like there won’t be a dozen other opportunities in the next three months to lay waste to Senator Magoo, but it won’t be today. The news is just too depressing, and today I choose not to be depressed. No, let me rephrase that: I choose not to let this sorry excuse for the political process, this bizarre method by which this country elects its president depress me. I’ll gather my mental forces to fight and write another day, but not today. John McCain and all his flunkies and Joe Leiberman lapdogs and Sunday morning talk show toadies can blather to someone else today; I’ve tuned it out. Believe it or not, I have a life outside of Bush bashing and McCain mauling. There are some among the Sizzling Seventeen who would prefer that I use this forum for nothing else except to expose this administration for the corrupt, duplicitous, quasi dictatorship that it’s become, and now to illustrate how the presumptive GOP nominee would simply continue to carry the warmongering torch. But I do so at my own peril. If I were to crank out nothing but political venom — justified though it may be — the blood would eventually begin gushing out of my ears and the top of my head would blow off. Not only is it unhealthy but it’s too easy. Catching Bush in a lie or McCain in a mental gaffe is like shooting fish in a barrel. At some point it gets redundant. After watching the Leiberman-Kerry portion of “Meet The Press” this morning I began cranking out another screed lamenting the depths to which the Republicans have sunk attempting to smear Obama with the race-card nonsense. I then walked out on the deck of our new home and at once the course of my day — and with it my column — changed. There by the edge of the lake that abuts our backyard stood a bird that I hadn’t seen before in the month we’ve lived here. Clearly not your typical Canada goose or duck, judging by its long, narrow beak and long spindly legs, I guessed perhaps it was an egret or tern or some kind of heron. I ran in and beckoned Janet and she determined that it was probably a whooping crane. At any rate, we all seem to be coexisting rather swimmingly here by the edge of the lake, along with beavers, rabbits, squirrels, geese andducks in our new little corner of the universe. Noticing that my bloodpressure and frustration level seemed to be diminishing, I decided thatthe column I’d started would have to wait for another day. I poured acup of coffee, grabbed a folding chair and walked down to the edge ofthe lake and sat there for good long while, watching the mirror imagereflection of the trees in the water, the ripples as a fish would breakthe surface, the clouds drifting across the Carolina sky, letting thegentle breeze temper the already warm sun. Then I decided to pack Janetin the car, pop the top down and go exploring our new neighborhoodaround Forest Oaks, something I’ve been too busy to do. After ourlittle excursion we stopped by a drive-thru restaurant, got somesandwiches and took them home and ate, for the first time, by thelake’s edge. It was the right thing to do. And the necessary one. Itprobably sounds selfish, but my well-being depends upon not allowingmyself to constantly wallow in the political muck. I must necessarilyembrace all of life’s offerings, glimpse its beauty, employ all itsmechanisms to have any hope of happiness. Sometimes I just have to putaside the papers and TV commentary and internet blogs and go, well, sitby the lake and do nothing. Or listen to some beach music or go to aballgame. There are times when it’s the seeminglyinconsequential things that are important; the world can wait. Luckily,I’ve been given a sense of humor, and some days, like today, you justhave to laugh it off. You have to blot out the stress inducingnegatives that surround us and look for the positives which are equallyomnipresent. Turn on the release valve that humor provides us and useit to escape from the bewildering realities of war, injustice, poverty,oppression and a hundred other things. Rather than bemoan the soaringcost of living you’ve got to soar through life at all cost. There, Ifeel all better.

Ogi may be reached at and seen on “Triad Today” hosted by Jim Longworth on ABC 45 at 6:30 a.m. Fridays and on WMYV 48 at 10 p.m. Sundays.