Book In Common: The Road leads to paranoia and fear

22 Sep

No, I’m not going to talk about the sales tax increase that came before Chico City Council last night. I’ve been trying to tell people for years now, Orme has been pushing this tax. To the chirping of crickets. So, when you little crickets get an idea what we should do about the sales tax measure, you just let me know.

In the meantime, I’m going to continue the discussion regarding my Halloween Book in Common, The Road, by Cormac McCarthy.

Like I said in my last post, this is a very dark book. The subject matter is familiar – the world had been destroyed by war, and a man and his child wander through the wasteland, trying to survive. For what?

In those first years the roads were peopled with refugees shrouded up in their clothing. Wearing masks and goggles, sitting in their rags by the side of the road like ruined aviators. Their barrows heaped with shoddy. Towing wagons or carts. Their eyes bright in their skulls. Creedless shells of men, tottering down the causeways like migrants in a feverland.

Wow, sounds like Chico, California. From Woody Guthrie: “I never see a friend I know, as I go ramblin’ round…” It’s like an insane asylum.

Years later, alone on the road most of the time, the man and boy move constantly. Driven by bitter cold and constant darkness, masked with filthy rags against the smoke and ash, they head south. They are looking for a way out of “Instant Winter” brought about by years of war and the subsequent natural disasters. I can actually relate to that, and so can most of you – on the day of the Camp Fire, a giant cloud of smoke and ash moved over Chico, choking out the sun. The temperatures dropped from nighttime lows in the 50’s to daytime temperatures in the low 30’s.

Moving down the road at a speed of a mile or so a day, they scavenge what they can. Passing through abandoned towns long looted, the man manages to scavenge something, anything – discarded motor oil, dried up apples, seeds of grain from an old thresher. They don’t dare slow down, or spend too much time in the open, because the of trolling cannibal gangs. Afraid to talk to anyone, unable to trust out of fear, the man teaches the boy to hide like an animal for hours.

Frankly, I can also relate to that. Between what’s happened to Chico, along with summer after summer of unabated wildfires, and then COVID, I feel pretty anti-social myself. I’ve developed an uncomfortable distrust of strangers, I don’t make new friends, and I avoid social gatherings. I have a pair of “throwaway” shoes that I wear out and about. I don’t trust government agencies anymore. I feel the need to become more resourceful and self-reliant. Frankly, we do our eating at home or take out, we don’t even go to coffee shops anymore.

That bugs me, and it becomes increasingly uncomfortable for the boy, as he watches his father descend further into the darkness.

Next time I’d like to talk more about Cormac McCarthy and other books he’s written.

7 Responses to “Book In Common: The Road leads to paranoia and fear”

  1. mimsbird September 22, 2021 at 2:01 pm #

    Juanita- did you get me emails that I sent you in response to your false accusation of me?

    Sent from my iPhone


    • Juanita Sumner September 22, 2021 at 2:26 pm #

      Sorry “mimsbird”, you’ve been banned for off-topic comments.

  2. Dave September 22, 2021 at 5:55 pm #

    The Council unanimously voted for moving forward with a sales tax increase. But it sounds like it will be a general tax so they don’t have to allocate it to what they say the will.

    With the last council when the liberals were in charge Morgan and Reynolds were insistent on a sales tax increase not being a general tax increase. Now they and Coolidge have changed their tune.

    When inevitably the liberals get back the majority how do they think the liberals will spend that money?

  3. Dave September 22, 2021 at 6:01 pm #

    ” I don’t trust government agencies anymore.”

    Even more reason to fight the sales tax increase. The conservatives were saying the last city council couldn’t be trusted. That hasn’t changed with this one.

    So they will go for a general tax because they only need 50% plus one and they know there certainly is not enough trust to get two-thirds plus one for a specified tax.

    The general tax will make it even easier for them to lie so they can funnel the money off into the pensions and to use the money to take on more debt. Anyone who doesn’t think that’s what they will do is clueless.

  4. Dave September 22, 2021 at 6:20 pm #

    Hopefully this will continue to be the response of the public. I would have thrown in my 2 cents but didn’t know they would discuss the tax increase last night.

  5. The Dude September 24, 2021 at 9:23 am #

    I definitely can relate. I always knew we were in for a Dystopic Future, and here we are. Seemed like Chico got a jump on it during the Camp Fire. Driving my wife to work it was dark and smokey. Drugged out Zombies lumbering out of every bush and down crumbling roads. Meeting new people is also pretty much off the table. They have had great success in brainwashing and dividing people, to the point it’s almost impossible to get along with someone new, and not worth it. They have been inoculated to the truth. They just can’t catch it! Lol!!

    • Juanita Sumner September 24, 2021 at 9:30 am #

      Thanks Dude, you get it. Thanks for the trailer, I’ll post that later.

      You really nailed it – “inoculated to the truth…they just can’t catch it!”

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