Wednesday, July 02, 2008

I imagine we've all read enough about these recent tragic events, and could do with getting back to some sporting news, if only to divert our thoughts for a little while. The problem is, there is no news, sporting or otherwise, that seems significant enough to warrant any kind of attention at the moment.

Baseball is back, Football is back, Hockey pre-season is here, but there is a giant, smoldering hole in the heart of this great land, that is immune to any painkiller, even our beloved sports. Even after the buildup to the Ryder Cup, the postponement of the event seems like an afterthought. Just a shrug of the shoulders, and back to staring at the hole.

I grew up in Northern Ireland in the 1960s and '70s, against a backdrop of explosions and violence, hatred and intolerance, but it was never on this scale. That's America for you though, everything has to be bigger. Forgive the descent into black humor, but as anyone who has lived through the kind of horror and depravity we have just witnessed will tell you, it is the last self-defense mechanism of the human soul, and it's why we sometimes cry with laughter, or laugh at funerals. Laughing and crying make us feel better, because they are the same release.

The images of people celebrating in the Holy Land did not upset me, because it occurred to me that some of these are people who are capable of strapping dynamite to the bodies of their own children, and sending them to their deaths. Excuse me, but I find it difficult to believe that I am a member of the same species.

Then again, I am lucky enough to live in the United States of America, where there is a separation between our many churches, and the state, which unlike the governing body in many Middle Eastern countries, spends a vast amount of money in order to educate its people. For the most part, we teach our children to tolerate, and respect the differences of others, whereas the autocratic rulers of some nations spend just enough of their oil billions, to ensure that their populations are kept impoverished, and ignorant.

Informed, wealthy people are much harder to control, and it would be almost impossible I imagine, to find any one of them who would be dumb enough to blow themselves up. It's just too much fun to be in this country.

I know you've heard enough opinion, and you probably don't need mine, but bear with me here, this is therapeutic for me. I am not an American, but after last Tuesday, I will be one at your government's earliest convenience. I live in Texas, I'm a hunter, and I don't believe in killing anything unless it serves a useful purpose to do so, so with that in mind, here's a thought: Sure, we teach our children not to retaliate, and, to an honest man, revenge does not taste sweet. But we also teach our children to defend themselves, and to strive for justice.

I don't care if Osama bin Laden had nothing to do with recent events himself, he sure as hell is in some way responsible. I think it would serve a very useful purpose to hunt him down. Anyone who thinks its a good idea to martyr yourself for his particular cause, go stand next to him, I think we can help. Either that, or dance up and down in the middle of the street, and fire your weapons in the air, so we know where your stupid ass is. We can help you get where you want to be. As for us, we want to be here, and we will be, long after you and the rest of your species is extinct.

One more thing. In medieval times, they used to place the severed heads of criminals on spikes, high up on the walls of the city. As I recall, there are a couple of wee pointy bits on that flame that burns in the torch held by the Statue of Liberty. Somebody needs to be sat down hard on one of them, where they'd have a nice view as the twin towers are rebuilt.

It would be nice for them to watch, as the hard steel rocketed skyward, like the spirit of the Americans who will build it, every last Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and atheist American, who will never be held down, because it's good to be here, and it's good to be alive. This Sunday, we'll be watching football, on a big, wide screen, color television, drinking beer in an air-conditioned sports bar, filled with pretty women with great teeth, instead of hiding in a dung-stained cave with a goat and an old black-and-white with rabbit ears. And Coke is American, pal, and you should try it cold.

Oh yeah, and screw you!

I feel better now.

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