This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 20, 2002 10:44 PM. The previous post in this blog was Go get 'em. The next post in this blog is How William Safire got started. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Sunday, October 20, 2002

This is not my beautiful house

This may be the ugliest time in this country during my lifetime of nearly 49 years. It's been a heck of a week, with North Korea, the Sniper, the Iraq mess, more Osama Tapes.

One of the saddest aspects of it all is the exposure of the rule of international law as the naive pipedream that it truly is. As if weapons inspections were the real issue in Iraq. Carter cops the Nobel Peace Prize while the Mideast explodes and the North Koreans spit in our face (although some will surely say we deserve it). I guess the Nobel Committee has become just like the rest of the capitalist world -- hooked on short-term returns without regard to whether any of it means anything over the long run.

Now military aircraft join in domestic police work. Police cameras at every major intersection record comings and goings, and we wish that they were even more precise and all-knowing. Toxic waste outfits go by names like "Envirocare." We're down to just a few big corporations in nearly every American industry. Our better products are made out of plastic.

It's everything we boomers had nightmares about, and more. It's starting to make Orwell look like a bit of a lightweight.

We and our World War II-era parents made a pretty good combination. We and our MTV-nurtured offspring don't.

I heard an interesting sermon tonight from a young priest (you talk about your dark moments in history). He was commenting on the Bible passage in which Jesus deflected a trick question about tax justice. He told the people to give the government back what it gave to them, but to do the same with God. Said the priest: Caesar's kingdom has passed away, Herod's kingdom has passed away, and the kingdom of the United States will pass away. He added something to the effect that the last of these may not be as far off as we think.

True perhaps, but not an uplifting thought as the October shadows lengthen.

On the way out the church door, I picked up a church bulletin that includes a letter from the pastor trying to respond to the angry neighbors of a soup kitchen at a nearby parish. Neighbors of the other church are so angry at the crime that accompanies the daily feeds that they have convinced the city to declare the church property a public nuisance. The pastor's letter noted that the real problem was the lack of public social services for this population, but other than that, he offered no solution for the obvious crime problem up the street.

Ugly, folks. From the U to the G to the ly-ly-ly.

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