Wednesday, July 16, 2003
The last few hours of my 48th year have ebbed away in the ominous torrents of rain and thunderous lightening that have plagued this unusual summer and mimicked the growing national mood.
I hope my birthday escapes being saddled with the historic event I feel looming but a check of the AP’s trusty Today in History indicates my hope is likely misplaced.
Things tend to happen on the 16th day of Julius Caesar’s month.
For our country as well as for many individual citizens this has been another difficult year in what is becoming a succession of difficult years. A concise and thankfully gateless editorial in the July 15 New York Times echoed my black comedic mood with the phrase would be laughable if the matter were not so serious regarding our gun shy uniform-wearing President’s inability to, if ‘ya catch my drift, lock and load with the American people on the uranium matter.
The look upon our naked emperor’s face these last few days can be described as one shared with many other ordinary Americans during these last few months and years. It’s a word that might as well endlessly repeat on photographically positioned screens and echo through our compliant media. According to a former and greater President, the word is the only thing we Americans have to fear.
Who among us, in endless war and endless chatter, has not had to comfort a friend, relative or a child terrified by dirty bombers, almost invisible toxins and the deaths of young American soldiers?
Ironically, considering the lead player, health care providers have noticed and family members have suffered the War on Terra’s cruel effects on fragile people in various forms of recovery. One assumes a mortality rate from this battlefield as governmentally untallied as native Iraq II civilian casualties and the sins of the 2nd Bush Presidency.
Many Americans, oddly considering that they are indeed Americans, gave up on words, no matter their number or connotation, long ago. It is pictures that matter in the rebus of modern daily media life. The fear-inducing picture we all witnessed of George W. Bush in Uganda last Friday was not a first. Many of us viscerally recognized a man we saw once before in scattered images from Barksdale Air Force Base late on a sunny September afternoon. I can honestly say that all of us never wanted to see that face again. Unfortunately, we have seen it in shockingly different circumstances.
As I grow one year older and incrementally wiser I know that America will be stronger and wiser for this present crisis but she will first have to weather it. With God’s help, let the people and the few responsible leaders among them set their hands to this task.
Note: Difficulties with word processing software prevented my posting on July 15. Until a mind-draining, unproductive and, naturally, lengthy technical support call with representatives of the computer company that rhymes with Hell destroyed formative thoughts, I had something to post.
Photo: Dave Crowley stormguy.com