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7:28 am - Sun 9.21.2008
Fear Factors

Fear Factors

I've been looking at a blank page for almost ten minutes now, trying to figure out how to start this...

Is it me, or is this one seriously stressful time?

Elections, disasters (Natural and man-made) on what seems to be a daily basis, the economy crumbling around our ankles (I guess I could have filed that under "man-made disaster"), a war that goes on and on (And which will get a sequel in Iran, if certain folks get their way) - If you're naturally a worrier, you've really got a lot to work with these days.

And I'm worrying, believe me.

To a worrisome degree.

I've had two elections to worry about recently - the national elections, and the elections for the board of SAG, my union.

In each, two main factions have been fighting for control of the organization.

And in each, the two groups (The Democrats&Republicans on the one hand, "Membership First"&"Unite for Strength" on the other) have very different views on how the organizations they want to run should operate.

Well, the SAG election has come and gone, and (I fear) the wrong guys won (Though I'm trying to use my stringy, under-developed positive-thinking muscles to "hope for the best").

Now it's time to vote for President (And Vice-President). And once again, I'm afraid "the wrong guys" are going to win.

And in this election, I'm much more certain of who "the wrong guys" are than I was with SAG.

And for maybe the first time in my life, I'm going to be genuinely afraid for my country if "the wrong guys" win.

I don't think we can afford four more years of this.

My worry about disasters (Natural and man-made) comes in two basic flavors.

I worry about the effect of things like Hurricane Ike on an already struggling economy (And after Katrina, I worry about our not being up to the task of dealing with it; speaking of which, where's all the post-Ike reportage? After Katrina, don't they think we want to know how FEMA has or hasn't handled things? Has their been a "news blackout", or did I just miss it?).

And I worry about a disaster closer to home (The earthquake awhile back, and the recent train derailment here in LA both spooked me). I worry about a disaster that derails my hopes and dreams, leaves me homeless, or maybe just "cuts to the chase" and kills me outright.

(And after Katrina, I worry about a disaster here in LA that I may end up wishing had "killed me outright" - a disaster where we're basically left to our own devices a la Katrina, a scenario that used to seem impossible to me in the dear old U.S. of A.)

Now that I think about it, I have a third worry about natural disasters - When there's a wave of tornadoes/hurricanes/wildfires/etc, now I always wonder "Is this just coincidence, or am I watching the entire planet falling apart...?" (Again, a worry I never used to have).

(One thing I don't worry much about in a disaster - and I always feel guilty about this - are people; basically, if I'm not at "Ground Zero", and no one I know or care about is at "Ground Zero", my concern about the people involved is pretty vague and inconsequential; if I'm feeling "flush" - which I'm not these days - I'll send a small check to the Red Cross, and call it good. I wish I were different, but like most folks, I'm much more "me and mine" than "Family Of Man")

I could file "the economy" and "the war" together, because the main worry with both is financial - I'm not a businessman or an economist, but it seems like things are so bad with the country - with billions of dollars in bailouts here, and billions of dollars of war-waging there - that the financial effects could actually trickle all the way down to Yours Truly and his very modest little lifestyle, in a way they never have before.

I worry about the economy in a way I haven't before - it struck me as I was writing this - because for the first time in my life, I'm trying to succeed - before, as long as I could eke out a living, I was golden.

Now I'm worrying my ass off, both about the likelihood of success, and of just being able to "eke out a living" (More on this in my next entry).

In short, I'm afraid.

Very afraid.


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