Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Monday Morning Rant 39

I have long questioned the use of the word “celebrate” as it pertains to the Holiday formerly known as “Decoration Day." Celebration conjures up a vision of raucous partying, gaiety, and a general letdown of one’s hair. Hardly the response one would anticipate for the commemoration of the war dead who gave their all to preserve our liberties. On the more serious side of the definition it requires serious introspection concerning the origin of the day and offering a measure of gratitude.

In fact, the use of “celebration” is probably made more relevant by the fact most of the working folks don’t have to report to the grind. If they do have to go in (firefighters, nurses, cops, waitresses, etc.) there is at least time and half compensation in the paycheck to sweeten the loss. Many federally recognized holidays have now become more an occasion for a day off with their original purpose lost or at least clouded in the picnics, get togethers, games, races, and other non-pertinent activity. I strongly encourage the use of the time as an excuse for a gathering of the family. If the family has the additional bonus of having a crazy old uncle there sitting quietly reviewing in his mind the terrors of storming the beach at Normandy and losing some of his best friends, more’s the better. I pray that he elects to share some of his inner memories if he can.

We are reminded by the Associated Press that for the celebrants the day will be dampened by an increase in the price of hot dogs. They report $4.99 for an eight pack and steadily on the rise. Summer will come; Memorial Day will announce its arrival and the AP will constantly assert that the economy is in a shambles. Where in the world do these people shop for hotdogs, Tiffany’s? Our local rip-off super market – not Wal-Mart—had a deal on dogs in six-packs at 2 for $1.

Every sane person knows that hot dogs are made from those parts of various animals which are otherwise unidentifiable and absolutely unmarketable in separate packaging. We used to joke when the kids were young that they were made from teeth, hair and eyes. People who have any concern for the origin of their food stuffs do not include hot dogs in their daily diet. The rest of us just burn them to a crisp; slather them with condiments, relish, onions, sauerkraut and try not to think about the process.

I am employed part time by a local golf course and my responsibilities include both the pro shop and the snack bar. A constant topic of conversation concerns the issue of why a hot dog at the turn is one of nature’s perfect foods. It’s not just our club but it is generally acknowledged that it is a fact on any course, any where. They are always properly heated and the buns are steamed. There are nine separate items on the condiment tray and many golfers treat them as they would a salad bar. Our golfing butcher, who supplies the dogs, also has been observed eating them, which verifies their safety in my mind.

H.L. Mencken once observed that a hotdog is: “a cartridge filled with the sweepings of the abattoir.” Don’t think too much about it: just enjoy them.

A Reckless Comparison

She has managed again to get her foot in her mouth. It’s a remarkable accomplishment for a woman her age. This past week she opined that she has to stay in the race until the conclusion because one never knows what “might” happen. She then makes a comparison to the campaign which found Bobby Kennedy as the heir apparent to the nomination for president who was assassinated. Nearly every one implied from those observations that she feared for the life of her opponent, Mr. Barack Hussein Obama. After her experience dodging sniper fire in Bosnia, she is probably especially aware of the dangers.

Unfortunately, as passions of various causes run high, this is a possibility with any candidate. It is exacerbated by the additional factors presented by the two sub-groups which have their own adherents. Feminists and blacks both have a poor track record when it comes to violence. When you mix in extremely strong emotions it does call for some caution. Pitting sexism versus racism actually makes her remarks appropriate.

After the highly predictable fallout from her remarks, she offered an “apology.” I put that in quotes because a careful reading will reveal the use of the word “if.” Given uncertainty about the damage one creates really does undermine the sincerity of any apology. If you don’t mean it, then don’t say it. If she did mean it, wouldn’t it be better to offer to loan her opponent a couple of extra security guards or perhaps a food taster?

When all is said and done I guess this means there will be no Obama/Clinton ticket in the fall. If it were to happen, --- oh never mind!

Personal Thoughts

Despite ice storms, floods, high winds, excessive rains and everything else the weather dishes out, the forest has recovered. Isn’t God’s world a wonderful place? Once again, no light is visible from here on the ridge in the Ozarks at night. Those big fat oak leaves are doing their job insuring our privacy.

My only conflict now is whether to see the place as an animal shelter or a full blown nursery for dozens of day lilies, rock gardens, planted tractor tires, and rows of new border plantings along the four acres of grass.

Our buzzard flock has increased to about thirteen (counting soaring birds is unreliable at best) and they keep things well tidied up. Consistent with varying migration patterns the variety of other birds is ever changing and mostly colorful. It is amazing what one can have in this temporary setting if you turn it over to the Almighty and let Him lead and take your proper role as a follower.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

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