It has been, by almost every metric, a miserable summer. Apart from continued economic malaise, a political class that seems unable deal with the problem and a concerted opposition which does everything in its power to prevent success through obstruction and distortion, environmental disasters, man-made disasters, war, famine, flood, Katy Perry and an increasing anger and ignorance best exemplified by the flap over a cultural center containing a small area in which people of a certain faith can worship downtown, it has been really really hot. What has made this summer, in my opinion, so particularly depressing, is the sense that we’re not going to get away with it this time: the bill for the American century has come due and, on reflection, our only option is to leave the keys in the mailbox and walk away. Those of us who are older know that every recession brings pain and doubt, but this one feels like it’s not just going to scar, it’s going to fundamentally change everything in ways which we can’t even imagine but which are going to be deeply unpleasant at best. But as the Summer of Suck expires this weekend, let’s allow ourselves a little false optimism. Even though we know that things are actually going to get worse, let’s pretend that it’s all going to be alright. Let’s be that couple who knows that it’s all going to end in tears, and soon, but who still gets up for one last dance and holds each other close and looks into each other’s eyes and still feels what brought them together in the first place. Let’s try to believe we can still make it through. After all, Smoking Baby, who ushered in this miserable season, managed to kick the habit. Miracles can happen, however briefly, and however minor the miracle. Let’s fool ourselves into thinking that we’ve got miracles in our own future. At the very least, we have autumn. It’s got to cool down eventually, right?