Years of the Prince of Hope


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In the Years of the Prince of Hope, change comes like a glacier, and people soon return to video games, which are understandable because video games don't speak in Ivy League words.

Also, change comes with a flick of the finger.

BOOM, and another one bites the dust, a terrorist or an immigrant or, for some reason, a unicorn. BOOM. There's some change you can believe in.

In the Years of the Prince of Hope, even the Moon doesn't change, stubbornly remaining half-full. No, the Moon is half-empty, goes the cry. The Moon is all the way empty, Higgs grumbles like the bosun he once was, except for rocks. Like some people's heads.

In the Years of the Prince of Hope, grumbling replaces baseball as the national pastime, and fans and announcers thrill to the whack whack whack of disenchantment being hit over the fence. That one's not coming back, folks, the announcers shout with glee, or something approaching it. Though most have forgotten how, exactly, one approaches glee or, for that matter, what one would say to her, if, say, you happen to meet her in a bar.

What's a bar? says the youngster. Everyone ignores him, because he's still wet behind the ears and everyone knows, like they know the Moon is half-empty, that you have to be extremely dry behind the ears to hit disenchantment over the fence properly.

In the Years of the Prince of Hope, hope withers on the vine — which surprises most people because who knew it grew there? Vines are for Ivy League language and wine grapes, goes the prevailing wisdom.

No, no, intones an expert sagely, baritonely, this is a cheerful little hope, with a slight taste of buttercup and an overtone of Dorian mode, caramel, and red — no, purple — pepper with a smooth BlackBerry finish.

In the Years of the Prince of Hope, a smooth BlackBerry finish is all you need for that must-do cosmopolitan cool.

No, no, rage the people, cool is last year's man. (Not realizing they're quoting Leonard Cohen, who is Canadian and therefore an immigrant who should be dispatched in a video game.) We demand that porchy, screechy-voice thing.

No, says the Agriculture Department. Eat more cheese. It's good for you.

No, no, eat less cheese, says the Agriculture Department. It's full of saturated fats.

In the Years of the Prince of Hope, no is the new yes.

So France and Switzerland go to war over who makes the real Gruyère. And Italians go all Rococo over ricotta.

Who cares? Higgs grumbles. Appenzeller is better, anyway.

In the Years of the Prince of Hope, the people dance to the beat of a different plumber. Conga lines form all across the land, then abruptly disappear when experts intone sagely, sopranoly, that congas are immigrants and probably don't speak well English.

It's all same old song and dance, Higgs grumbles. If he were a real Prince, he would have saved Cinderella by now.

Besides, the Prince promised us real change, and what happened?

We still have the same old tired weather. Blizzards and ice storms and tornadoes and 101 in the shade and 98 percent humidity. Spring is too short, and autumn is just a time to wonder if you should buy a new winter coat. You call that change? I got real change in my wallet.

Don't know why, exactly. It won't buy anything.

When Higgs gets on a good grumble, he can really rumble.

In the Years of the Prince of Hope, the Prince gets shellacked and goes into his varnishing act.
Look at all this shiny wood, the Prince grins.

Would would would, Higgs grumbles. Everything is always would.

See what my conditional my conditional is in. For some reason, a unicorn.

In the Years of the Prince of Hope.

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