When there are no major upheavals on the scene, and things are percolating along on a restful plateau, I doubt we're all paying a high degree of attention. Perhaps we've all just gotten used to being torn to shreds, politically and psychologically, then heaving ourselves up on the bank for a bit, gasping and panting, trying to suck down more air and stay alive, for the next round.
It feels like that most days, since this presidential election contest began, back in May of 1862. Which is to say, it just feels like that. Or, maybe, I heard someone say that -- I'm not saying it, myself, you understand me -- I'm only saying I think I heard someone say that, and I think recently, but I am not sure I can be sure...
(This campaign-speak stuff is terrible -- once you get some on you, it wants to bond with you, mate with you, and stay stuck on you forever, like the face-creature in the movie Alien.)
Then, after we've recharged some, things start to become energized and antsy, and change starts to happen and shift once again, taking on new tones, perspectives, goals. It is here, at the Outer Markers defining the current norms, that you and I might start to joke or kid about things "starting to get a little crazy" when occasional sneaker waves surprise us with low-impact, but unexpected, developments here or there.
Example? The announcement that Trump would run for President of the United States. Who could ever have taken that seriously, back then? It would have been only slightly more believable if a cab-sized jellyfish made the announcement, too. Remember those good old days?
Then: More change happens, in this paradigm, which generates additional, and more elevated, events and comments. When change is in full-on, earth-quaking mode, both the ground and horizon lines in full sway, it becomes harder to tell where the norms are, when the shaking stops in a while, or how to tell how bad the damage will be.
Example? That would be about now, in the aftermath of Trump-as-nominee -- itself once as believable as Godzilla showing up at the GOP convention in a clown suit. With tutu, and size 4200, triple-E-to-the-9th-power, floppy shoes.
This is when we start losing our abilities to find words hefty enough, strong enough, to pack the true weight we want them to lug for us. When we say, "things are absolutely nuts here right now," it's difficult to get a bead on what that means anymore, having moved through the increasing ranges of changing norms, from the ones and twos on the low end of the scale, and having made adjustments along the way, to the early sevens and eights.
The words have changed right along with us, too, or so it feels -- if not definitions and denotations, then certainly the connotations and the curb-weights.