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I was just skimming the Sunday news.  Most of the top headlines are about the dreaded Mexican Pig Virus (sounds like a Southpark episode title to me), but I noticed this one:

A Hundred Anxious Days: In a South Carolina Town Where the Downturn Has Deepened Since the Inauguration, Two Obama Supporters Have Struggled, Going from ‘Fired Up’ to Tired Out

The striking thing in this story was not how Obama hasn’t helped these people who were so “fired up” about him.  No, it was this:

Her cordless phone stores 17 voice messages, and tonight the inbox is full. Edith Childs, 60, grabs a bottle of water, tosses her hat on the living room floor and scowls at the blinking red light. A county councilwoman, she spent the past 12 hours driving rural roads in her 2001 Toyota Camry, trying to solve Greenwood’s problems, but only now begins the part of each day that exhausts her. Childs slumps into an armless chair and steels herself for a 13-minute confessional.

“Hi, Ms. Edith, this is Rose, and I’m calling about my light bill. It’s $420. . . . There’s no way I can pay that.”

“Edith, it’s Francine. . . . They stopped by my house again today, talking about foreclosure. I don’t know what to do. Can you call me?”

Childs leans her head back against the wall and closes her eyes. Her hair is matted down with sweat, and thin-rimmed glasses sink low on her nose. Every few minutes, she stirs to jot notes on a to-do list that fills most of a notebook. She has to remind herself that she ran for county council in 1998 because she coveted this role: unofficial protector, activist and psychologist for her home town. Back then, the hardships of Greenwood — 22,000 people separated from the nearest interstate by 40 miles — struck Childs as contained. Now she sometimes wonders aloud to her husband, Charles: “When does it stop?”

“Yes, councilwoman, this is Joe Thompson calling. Uh, I’m having a bit of an emergency.”

Who calls their city councilman or councilwoman about their utility bills or mortgages?  I live in a town very much like this one (slightly bigger, and on an interstate, but in other respects very similar), and I can’t imagine that happening much here (and the city is its own utility company!).  Where are the churches in this town?  Doesn’t this seem odd to anyone else?  There’s something very off about this story, generally.  I’m not sure what it is, but…..it just ain’t right.