Have you a favorite lamentation? Personally, I enjoy Lamentations 2:10, where the elders gird themselves with sackcloth, which is still in great supply today. At this time of year, my friend Mark is always exhorting me to gird myself – specifically my loins – for the battle ahead, so that I may prevail against the enemy. Currently, the enemy is the Pittsburgh Steelers (or, as the Brits would say, are the Pittsburgh Steelers), and they themselves are busy girding loins left and right, possibly also with sackcloth.
Of course, I’m not involved in the battle, except that I’m watching with great interest.
This happens to be an excellent time in the history of our great nation for lamenting. Who doesn’t wake up these days and immediately think, For the love of Pete, look at everything there is to lament!?: our bee colonies are collapsing; you go to the mall to buy something you probably don’t need and someone decides to spray the place with bullets; the latest of the crazy North Korean dictators has the bomb and one of these days is bound to make an ICBM that won’t drop into the ocean. And worst of all, you have to look at that stupid haircut for the next four years.
I’m sure some of you would prefer not to lament, so you’re hoping the NFL games this weekend will provide sufficient escapism to take your mind off all the negative, but the fact is every few minutes you’re bound to wonder if you just witnessed someone’s brain being jostled inside his skull. Talk about a lamentation!
I actually spent some time recently not lamenting when I saw Slim Jim and the Mad Cows do their country-fried rock thang (you gotta see them do The Immigrant Song). It was the perfect antidote to daily lamentations of girding with sackcloth. Maybe if I see more bands, the next four years will be less painful. It’s definitely something I’m willing to try.