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The Last Resort: Woke and Sleep

Al Vorspan
November 15, 2017

by Albert Vorspan

SOMEHOW, I am always out of step with the spirit of the times. For example, in the 1960s our kids were hip and dressed in ragamuffin clothes, with hair down to their knees. My wife Shirley and I marched with them for civil rights and against the war in Vietnam, but we never became hip. In fact, I wrote a humor book in that period entitled SO THE KIDS ARE REVOLTING which nobody read except my kids and they hated it. Shirley and I smoked pot only once and then almost fell off a mountain cliff.

Then hippies became techies and walked around glued to sardine cans called pads and pods and they were cool. Me, I was still hot and opinionated and that was a ticket to nowhere. I never mastered the computer and always thought LOL was Lots of Love. But now cool is gone and apparently the word “woke” is in. I learned this from David Brooks’ column in the New York Times, which I read because Brooks is a conservative and look how tolerant I am and also it was the fifth column in the paper and the only one not about Trump. So I do not have the foggiest idea what “woke” is, but, at my age (which I’m not telling but the editor of Jewish Currents who DOES know how to use a computer came up with the photo of me at the top which is seventy-seven years old), I have been grateful for mere wake and maybe walk and you can file woke where the sun don’t shine.

Actually, all of the above is jive because the truth is that my every waking hour is now filled to the brim with darkening anxiety about where President Trump is shlepping us. And the dismal truth is that sleep is no longer a viable escape. My once pastoral dreams about long-ago Met triumphs are now thunderous claps of fear and dread.

So last night I dreamt that our President, unnerved by the North Korea crisis and especially by the conflicting advice from five terrified advisers screaming at the top of their lungs over each other, pressed the wrong button and nuked Senator Mitch McConnell, leader of the Republican Senate, instead of Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea. And here is the unnerving part; I did not know how I felt about it, so I just woke up and had some coffee.