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Entering the Twilight Zone

By DOUG THOMPSON
June 28, 2010

This highway leads to the shadowy tip of reality: you’re on a through route to the land of the different, the bizarre, the unexplainable…Go as far as you like on this road. Its limits are only those of mind itself. Ladies and Gentlemen, you’re entering the wondrous dimension of imagination. Next stop….The Twilight Zone.

Rod Serling wrote this opening for what he thought would be the next season of his legendary TV series, The Twilight Zone but the network canceled the show and this opening was never used.

In a way, I feel like Serling, writing about the political show while wondering if it will be canceled next year.

Politics, and the government it controls, is The Twilight Zone — a shadowy place where illusion substitutes for reality, political lunacy replaces sanity and lies become commonplace.

This nation is at a crossroads. So am I, both in writing about politics and with this web site.

I’ve been involved with politics, either as a journalist covering the political scene, or as a political operative, for more than 40 years.

Capitol Hill Blue is headed for its 16th birthday on the web on October 1. We remain the oldest political news site on the Internet. Over the last 15-and-a-half years we’ve been praised, vilified, cursed, cheered and more.

When you write about or work in politics for so long, you get tired…very tired.

I’ve also spent the last seven weeks dealing with my mother’s deteriorating health and it has taken a toll on our family as well as my physical and mental health.

I’m worn out. Politics doesn’t interest me. The disasters in Washington don’t stir the juices. Political intrigue is boring.

I need a break so I’m taking one.

Yeah, I know, I don’t this before only to storm back in a few days.

It could happen that way again. I don’t know.

But, for now, I’m putting this column on hiatus for an indefinite time. It may be a weak, a month, a year or foreover.

I don’t know at this point.

But, for the time being, I’m outta here.

See you on the flip side.

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18 Responses to Entering the Twilight Zone

  1. griff

    June 28, 2010 at 10:27 am

    Good luck, Doug.

    Don’t let any doctors near your mom.

  2. woody188

    June 28, 2010 at 10:47 am

    I completely understand. Stay frosty.

  3. AustinRanter - AKA Gregg

    June 28, 2010 at 10:55 am

    The political and government systems no longer need the input or participation by we, the little people. Basically, debate by interested citizens is losing serious ground and impact.

    Realizing my sense of powerlessness over my addiction to politics and social issues, its time for me to apply some basic principles that I’m familiar to deal with my problem.

    For the last few weeks I’ve been working on weaning myself from engaging in making any post. I do good for a short, then I have a slip. This last week has been one of those serious slip weeks.

    This column has drawn me back to examine what I know I need to address with a higher level of effort.

    Doug, to thine ownselve be true.

  4. Almandine

    June 28, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    Happy trails.

  5. Carl Nemo

    June 28, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    “Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is a nobler art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of nonessentials.” … Lin Yutang

    Good luck and try to get some well deserved rest.

    Carl Nemo **==

  6. Klaus Hergeschimmer

    June 28, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    Next Stop -The Well Deserved Rest Zone

  7. Nimitz

    June 28, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    Can’t say I blame you, sir. My political breaker has been tripping a lot lately as well. I think it’s a manifestation of the quiet realization that we live in the world we want, and that the world we apparently want is a thoroughly messed up place. One can only tilt at windmills for so long–and then the pointlessness of it all hits us upside the head.

  8. Stratocaster

    June 28, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    Politics can be a terminal illness and the first rule of every lifeguard is save yourself before you save anyone else. Find your own reality and deal with it in your own best interist. My own beat up old body has seen better days but my concerns lie with the next generation and the realities they must face. So go take a nap and I expect you’ll be pounding out anouter column the first time something pisses you off.

  9. b mcclellan

    June 28, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    Alas, there is no twilight zone, merely the reality of too little time left when the years grow long and mortality whittles away at those loved ones surrounding.

    Raise a glass for the fallen but hurry not hither, nor yon to follow,
    fore need is everywhere and worth of true souls importance in short supply.

  10. Senegoid

    June 28, 2010 at 7:02 pm

    Doug, just remember next time you travel by plane that pesky gremlin tinkering with the engine is only a figment of your imagination? – boy did that episode freak me out. Politics is even more freaky.

    Good luck Doug and thanks for all the toil – to people like me your efforts have been most appreciated – thanks.

  11. frank verismo

    July 1, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    Politics is a game played by idiots and scoundrels. As I’m certain you’re neither, Mr Thompson, the regularity of your haituses are hardly surprising. The indignant and the unspeakable have difficulty breathing the same air for long periods.

    I come here because of the high number of posters who actually get it. Not to mention the deliciousness of the idea that the oldest political site on the web is contributing to what has to come: the long overdue death of the old system.

    All the best with your recharging and God speed. There are still a lot of idiots and scoundrels out there – all of whom thoroughly deserve the bright light of exposure your site has excelled at over the years.

  12. sherry

    July 4, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    All the best to you and your Mom. I am caring for my own as well. Someone recently said, “don’t forget to take care of yourself”
    I don’t have time to take care of myself. I work, juggle doctor’s appointments, chemo, the whole mess.
    And somewhere along the way I stopped giving so much thought about politics.
    Doug, find a way to take care of yourself.

  13. Kent Shaw

    July 7, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Politics. It will just wear you down. It just keeps coming at us. Hang in there, man, hang in there. Take a well needed respite from this madness. I think you’ll be back eventually, certainly hope so, but if not, please take care of yourself.

    Kent

    • Kent Shaw

      July 7, 2010 at 12:28 pm

      PS — maybe catch you in the wind some day

  14. Teresa

    July 7, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    Take care, Doug. Get some rest and recharge. You’re appreciated.

  15. Jeffery Haas

    July 8, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    Doug, I think that most people have now seen the curtain fall off the rod and they’re now quietly staring at “the brick wall in the back of the theater” (ZAPPA) and trying to figure out where magnetic North is.

    So I don’t blame you for stepping back.
    But even if we didn’t call this game “politics”, there is still a need for an unvarnished and original forum where people meet and exchange ideas, and plan for ways to deal with the decisions made which directly affect their lives.

    The fact that the bulk of those decisions come no longer from Congress or the White House is a revelation which most still don’t have a clue about, but whoever makes those decisions must not be allowed to make them in an atmosphere free of peer review, critique, dissent, redress of grievances and collective counteraction.

    If and when the time comes where the powers that be decide that the above is a threat, and they decide that dialogue must not be permitted, then at the very least we will know that CHB played an important part in keeping the discussion alive, and there might be that fleeting moment which can be seized upon to hammer out still yet another alternative.
    What form that alternative takes is a matter of both historical perspective and technological possibility.

    But as we all probably know, if they view you as a threat, it must mean that you possess some effectiveness as a thinker and a leader.
    And I truly believe that you and the rest of the esteemed participants here have lost NONE of those qualities.

    Be well, be serene, but most of all, be prepared.

    • Bill

      July 8, 2010 at 10:52 pm

      Very well put. Thanks for saying what so many of us think, regardless of our politics.
      A free and open dialogue may not solve all the problems, but it does relieve the pressure and often prevents unnecessary explosions.

  16. AustinRanter - AKA Gregg

    July 10, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    Let’s talk about ducks!