Beyond that road lies a
Beyond that road lies despair.
Beyond that road lies a world that’s gleaming.
People who are scheming.
Never a pain or care.
He’s liable to find a couple of surprises there.
— The Boy and the Stage Manager, from “The Fantastics”
song is a duet with the naďve Boy singing one line, as he leaves
his sheltered home to see the world, while the Stage Manager
responds with warnings.
month, we relate to the more familiar opening song, “Try to
remember, the kind of September…” as the musical takes us to the
time when we were young and innocent. Nowadays, if you wanted
innocence, you’d probably have to experience it by age 7 in a
11-year-old grandtwins just saw “The Hunger Games,” a movie
about an ugly future after Big Government gets total control.
Their father took them without having checked the plot, and
regretted it; very scary film, though a big hit. My
granddaughter has recommended the three serial books, which I’m
now reading. Haven’t been able to get her to read “Anne of Green
Gables,” my favorite book when I was her age.
Anne, I’ve focused on enjoying the shining gleaming world,
thinking about despair and hunger just long enough to send
checks to charity and years ago, sponsor two little boys of
Sierra Leone through the Christian Children’s Fund. Lost track
of them when CCF had to flee from the country’s brutal civil
war; they are probably dead or missing limbs, since the
Revolutionary United Front hacked off hands and arms of boys who
wouldn’t join the army. Maybe my two sponsored children were
forced to do the hacking themselves. This of course was only one
of Africa’s recent civil wars/genocides; glad my own hominid
ancestors left that continent and settled in what became
Yugoslavia, Germany and Ireland. Glad my more recent ancestors
left Yugoslavia and Germany before the World Wars, left Ireland
before they starved to death. Glad they all came to America.
part of initiation at Penn State, my freshman class was required
to see a documentary about the Holocaust. I’ve read “Exodus,”
seen “Schindler’s List,” and enough similar books and films to
be on the side of Israel even if it means watching it pre-emptively
bomb Iran into the Stone Age. I’ve been rooting against the
Persians ever since I stood on the high burial mound at Marathon
imagining the battle between the statist Asian hordes and
Athenian democracy. Now it looks as if the latter is about to be
brought down by classic human stupidity; glad I returned to
America, which has more time.
to understand what makes the world tick, many people are tempted
to divide themselves in broad, simple ways: by race, creed or
color; East vs. West; Republican vs. Democrat. Much more simply,
I divide people in all those groups by smart or generally
confused like me vs. inexcusably stupid, and I’m doing it more
as I get old and cranky. We’re seeing grand examples of stupid
on the news this week: radical Islamist mobs storming the
embassies of the country that tried to help them escape brutal
dictators/civil wars and land on the side of freedom.
taxpayer activist, not an expert on foreign policy but since
it’s become painfully obvious that there are no experts on
foreign policy, my opinion is a good as those who are paid to be
said experts, and so perhaps is yours, so don’t let’s be timid.
Obama Administration blames the uprisings on a video — which
I’ve seen, it’s laughably silly — lest anyone blame the
president for not paying attention to intelligence briefings.
Stupid people may indeed be using a stupid video as an excuse to
riot; but the fact that these attacks started on Sept. 11 tells
us the uprisings weren’t just spontaneous. President Obama
should have to explain why Marines weren’t guarding our
diplomatic property in northern Africa. As ABC’s Martha Raddatz
said on “This Week” Sunday morning, “I’m pretty sure there are
Marines in Paris; why weren’t they in Tripoli?”
Tripoli! Where the Marine Corps was born. Of all places not to
have Marines, while four heroic Americans were killed there,
overrun by terrorists.
some want to blame all Muslims, I was struck by the signs held
by anti-mob Muslims in Libya, one saying “Sorry people of
America this not the Pehavior of our ESLAM and profit.” Profit?
Then I realized they were doing their best to spell “Prophet.”
How hard it must be, trying to form a good country, while ugly
mobs swarm like mindless, poisonous jellyfish.
are good people, all around the globe, balancing the stupid, the
evil; appreciating what America tries to do to hold back the
darkness. Unfortunately with our growing national debt, we may
not be able to help them much longer.
ancestors came here because here is better than there. The
United States of America is the closest thing humanity has found
to a shining world; let’s not exchange it for what Paul Ryan
calls “debt, doubt and despair.”