Monday, March 28, 2022

Majority of One

One of the reasons and possibly the only reason I liked Bob Hope as a kid was the way he crossed the line from standard comedy to bring in current events. His humor was topical, but barely.

Even then there was something in me that didn’t love a wall. I smell trouble with anything divisive or exclusionary which separate people. Nationalism keeps cartographers busy with different inks but also breed wars.

If I had my way I would abolish states; start with three or four districts and call it at that until we learn to grow up. We are a nation, not a confederation. After that we can just settle for a hunk of landmass known as North America. 

Of course I don’t expect this to happen this afternoon or even the day after tomorrow. It is my idealized wish.

I suppose we must endure each ethnic group and sub-group reclaiming their identity. I see this as a stage out of colonialism but I envision a day when mankind finds its common humanity in spite of its differences. I am not calling for a broad leavening into one enormous mush. Paradoxically, the preservation of certain identities can lead to universality.

In the same way, specificity in a poem often strikes a chord felt by everyone. I dismiss categories which divide poetry from prose. In literature I often find more truth in fiction than non-fiction. Novels fabricate themselves into wisdom while essays  inflate, distort and indulge in redundancies battering the reader into submission. (Sort o like this.)

Did I spot a Reuben sandwich on the menu of a trattoria and Chinese chicken salad at a Jewish deli? Bring me the fusion menu.

Let us also erase the artificial border between entertainment, sports, business and the minefield of politics. Actors, whether on the stage, screen, halls of Congress or playing field, running around in colored underwear are all in the cast of this great human drama. For a brief time, they have a platform. If their image can sell cereal their voice can move minds, at least until the day when they return to chopped liver like the rest of us. Of course, we can always turn a deaf ear to their pleas.

It was a good nigt for deaf ears as Coda was the Academy’s choice for best film. This may serve to build a bridge between the deaf and hearing worlds.

I know, I know, the Ukrainian border with (or from) Russia asserts their sovereignty. True enough only because the bully country has devolved into unconscionable ways. Let us not regress into global tribalism. Can not individuation coexist with the universal and us and them thinking become just us.

One day, before our orbiting piece of dust withers away, we must put away our squabbles and regard ourselves as brothers and sisters looking after one another, citizens of the Planet Earth as custodians. A majority of one people.

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