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Are we all Buttercup now?


A couple of days ago, I finally got around to watching “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2.” It was good psychotherapy for trying to psychologically survive this week’s terrifying Republican train wreck in Washington.

I have been doing my best to avoid political posts. Partly this is because the mainstream media and the reality-based commentariat are now fully aware of what Donald Trump is and just how much danger the Republic is in. There is nothing I can add. But I do want to link to a piece by Dahlia Lithwick in which she writes about a question that I also have been gnawing on — that is, are we so far gone that the rule of law can no longer save us? The piece is at Slate with the headline Is It Too Late for Robert Mueller to Save Us? I also should mention a column by Andrew Sullivan at New York Magazine: America Is Trapped in Donald Trump’s Delusional World. Sullivan has a gift for describing the kind of criminal depravity with which we are surrounded.

I’ve also been painfully aware of the fact that sane and decent Americans no longer have a leader. Trump voters have their Hitler, but we have no one. We’re on our own.

All we’ve got to keep us sane and functioning is story and metaphor. “The Hunger Games” is a beautiful story for our times. But the characters of that story, unlike us, had their heroine to pull them through — Katniss.

The scene with Katniss and Buttercup near the end of “Mockingjay Part 2” is one of the most effective film scenes I’ve ever seen. It is the emotional fulcrum around which the entire story finally shifts from horror to relief. In the real world, we’re still waiting on tenterhooks, cringing like Buttercup, clinging to hope that the law will see us through.

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