“Autumn Closing In”

“Strange how the night moves —
With autumn closing in.”

When that deeply poetic lyric line appeared at the very end of Bob Seger’s “Night Moves” in 1976, coming out of nowhere from “the back seat of a ‘60 Chevy”, it somehow ignited a powerful, emotionally evocative response across the nation, giving Bob his first “Top 10 Billboard single” — making Seger an “overnight success” after more than fifteen years playing Michigan barn bashes, bars and Bar Mitzvahs.

We all seemed to get it — a sweetly poignant, nostalgic reflection on the inviolate passion of teenage years and the inevitable passage of time.

There’s again a certain wild rushing in the wind – a softly aching, sighing surrender to the insistence of change as night stretches over us in ever expanding return.

Things are blowing cold.

Congress is frozen as almost never before in the icy grip of a hardhearted Conservative core sworn to protect the interests of manipulative masters, convinced that their pledge to “starve the beast” through “no more taxes” will ultimately prove patriotic — blind to the blatantly nihilistic nature of their exercise.

While a sitting President ponders how such extraordinary efforts to compromise, even at the risk of shattering his own political base, could be so savagely rejected, would-be successors compete for the honor of most contentious class clown.


+ Michele Bachmann wishing Elvis “Happy Birthday” on the 34th Anniversary of his Death, even as she offered Christian testimony that “submission” means exactly the same thing as “respect”, a definition Biblically errant by any theological standard.

+ Rick Perry, an astounding, squat little clone of George W. Bush and Yosemite Sam, negatively questioning “Evolution”, “Global Warming”, The Federal Reserve” and “Abortion Rights” all in the same breath — while chomping away on a quarter pound of deep fried Iowa State Fair butter on a stick.

+ Mitt Romney — at that same Fair — insisting with a straight face that corporations ARE people and ALL the money corporations earn go right back down to everyone else, especially me and you. Mine must still be in the mail.

+ Herman Cain — maintaining his obsessive fear of Muslims in general and “creeping Shariah law” in particular, even with triple cheese and double pepperoni.

+ Rick Santorum — echoing the Pizza Man’s Islamophobia, but adding gays and Same Sex Marriage as particular targets of sanctimonious scorn.

+ Tim Pawlenty — offering plenty of platitudes, then getting out fast while the getting was good when he finally noticed no one was noticing him.

+ Ron Paul being — Ron Paul — a curious combination of brilliant insight (getting our military out of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and just about everywhere else) and baffling lunacy — shrinking our Federal Government to the size of gnat, then having his son, Rand, swallow it.

+ Newt Gingrich — a true loser — losing once again with such absurd observations as “Any ad which quotes what I said Sunday is a falsehood.”

+ John Huntsman — abandoning a perfectly fine job as U.S. Ambassador to China to be completely ignored by everyone who counts, since John’s thoughts seem far too, as Sarah Palin might say, “thinky.”

+ And Sarah, herself, whose biographical tour de farce, “The Undefeated”, was this summer’s biggest box office flop, raking in a total of $175,000 before being quickly pulled from theaters.

So does this writer have any answers?


Is Smokey the Bear Catholic? Does the Pope sleep in the park?

Barack Obama should come out of his conciliatory closet like a Honey Badger in heat and demand that Congress enact sweeping historic legislation in a “New Age New Deal” — with hundreds of billions invested in infrastructure, education, and jobs, jobs, jobs — all surely called for by provisions in our Federal Constitution guaranteeing the promotion of general welfare.

The cost of such extensive spending should be born by long overdue revisions in the Federal tax code, final abandonment of the “Bush Tax Cuts”, withdrawal of our troops from harm’s way in Africa, Afghanistan and the Middle East, and a return to Eisenhower Era levels of taxation for the wealthiest among us. Such actions would also offer heavy positive impact in addressing current deficits and ultimately providing a balanced budget, as we last enjoyed under Democratic President Bill Clinton.

As such proposals undoubtedly would become immediate fresh fodder for unrestrained, uncompromising Republican rejection, they would also instantly provide a framework for true critical change, compensating for our current motivational malaise and becoming the basis for Obama’s reelection next year.

There’s nothing to it — but to do it!

Go, Honey Badger, GO!

6 Responses to ““Autumn Closing In””

  1. Ellen Says:

    Amen Peter. Loved this – so right!

  2. Charlie Says:

    a. Great start. Reminds me of something I wrote years ago….


    I lean against my rake on this sunlit Sunday afternoon
    with football in the air,
    and gaze up at a sky
    full of purple bottomed clouds.
    I can feel the seasons changing.

    Looking down, I find the leaves tangled in the
    tines of the rake. They cling
    tenaciously as I unweave them.
    Then, while my back is turned,
    they scurry around on a breath of wind.

    The leaves covering the ground are curled and brown.
    The roaring reds and yellows
    of October are gone.
    Summer is a distant memory and
    Autumn has left only a rustling in the breeze.

    The lawn is still green, but this morning, for the first time
    it was tipped with frost.
    Soon its color will fade
    under Winter’s blanket of snow.
    The grass will no longer grow this year.

    Even with the sun on my neck, I cannot deny
    that Winter is in the air. And yet,
    like those last few leaves
    that still cling to their branches,
    I refuse to admit that Summer is gone.

    Have you ever noticed how children hate raking leaves?
    Truly, I think its because
    children celebrate life.
    They see the leaves lying dead and brown,
    and they are frightened by the dying of the year.

    Each year that I have raked these leaves it seems
    there are a few more.
    The message is clear:
    like the days of Autumn,
    life itself is growing shorter.

    There will come a sunlit Sunday afternoon with football in the air,
    when there will be no leaves to rake.
    I will no longer sense
    the changing of the seasons.
    All my Autumns will be done and Winter will be here.

    But again this year, there will be Spring.

  3. Charlie Says:

    b. Apparently you feel that no Rechristican is “worthy” to run against “The One”. Frankly, if Zeus came down from on high and ran as a Red Stater, you’d find something wrong with him. Crown President Obama NOW! [You’ll have to fly to MV to do it.]

  4. Charlie Says:

    c. Being from the Golden Bear State I would think that by now you’d’ve figgered out that no matter how much you tax “the richest 2%”, in a socialistic economy, sooner or later you run out of other people’s money

  5. Don Richards Says:

    Off topic — although you started this offering with Seger lyrics. Congrats on your inclusion in the exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

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