It sounds silly to say but I bet you were fooled too. …. Watch newsreel footage of Babe Ruth. He runs like a Keystone Kop or Charlie Chaplin. Could it be early film technology or has mankind just learned to walk right since Lee Iacocca marketed the Mustang? Which explains why the latest world “empire” may be ripe to join Rome, Persia, Nazi Germany and the Aztecs among the “used to be’s” of history. ….
Really. Watch a Rudolph Valentino movie or the afore-mentioned Babe Ruth newsreel footage and the people all look “goofy”. They move real (“reel”) herky-jerky. For the longest time I thought “folks back then” weren’t tracking too well, huh.
In a post-adolescent fit of insight, it dawned on me that perhaps mankind had evolved centuries earlier and it was simply film technology that was in its infancy. Coming to grips with that created its own set of concerns.
Allowing that you and I may have differing interpretations of the Garden of Eden, Charles Darwin & the primordial ooze time sequence scenario …. We can agree that humankind has been physically, mentally and emotionally pretty much the same for one heckuva long time. Good guys, bad guys and clueless guys have all both been around for many years. Predating the steroid era of baseball and Claxton fruitcakes.
Man’s innateness to be noble or nutz is not a recent phenomenon. One could wrap oneself in situational ethics whether one is wearing sandals, mocassins, jackboots or Guccis. Homer was Larry McMurtry’s literary equal, at least. Rembrant was a pretty darn good painter. Lewis & Clark were the Neal Armstrongs of their day.
Waaay before binary codes and internal combustion engines and Velcro, “man” built Towers in Pisa (oops)…. wrote Magna Cartas …. Sailed the seven seas in wooden ships smaller than a Jim Walter double-wide …. and time and time and time again saw his magnificent city-states and geo-political empires “all fall down” like Three Little Pigs houses when Big Bad Wuffs huffed and puffed.
The phrase “it will never happen to us” was uttered in the language of the day by Montezuma, Genghis Khan, Nero, Hitler, Cleopatra, Red Auerbach, Queen Victoria and The Backstreet Boys among countless others. Pride cometh before a fall (as does “a summer”) but after a while those who study history see trends. Those who “study history” should never be confused with “those who revise history”. The latter can be found in growing abundance at your local public schools and liberal arts colleges.
Going back to our premise …. “man” has not changed much since he mastered the opposable thumb and “how to wink”. Technology certainly kept evolving well after “man” maxed out. Now the same “man” that once struck flint to stone and exclaimed “Fire” (but hopefully not in a crowded theatre) can now carry a suitcase “nuke” thru customs at Heathrow on his way to obliterate the Del-Mar-Va Peninsula.
Mighty Rome spread itself too thin and got caught up in “bread & circus”. They left the Coliseum one day after lots of vino and thumbs up / thumbs downing and found that the Visigoths (aka the “illegal aliens” of 400 BC) had taken over the neighborhood as well as the mainstream media. (They were never required to speak Latin !!!) Concerns over “a playoff system” to determine a true National Champion gladiator suddenly seemed trivial. …… But it could never happen to us.
A crazy paperhanger in Munich grew a funny little mustache and developed a neat straight arm salute. First thing ya know he was one wrong weather report on June 6, 1944 from REALLY resolving The Middle East Crisis. Gulp. ……. But it could never happen to us.
The Mayans, Aztecs and Incas were bopping along just fine developing alphabets, studying astronomy and cutting out each others hearts until Seve Ballesteros’ great great great ….. great grandfather vacationed in Acapulco and brought smallpox to their party. ……. But it could never happen to us.
What about Atlantis ???? Imagine being program director for The History Channel without “The Mystery of Atlantis” to replay every month. Some say they had such highly developed technology that Bill Gates and Steve Jobs woulda been mere programming grunts. Atlantisians figured out how to put toothpaste back in the tube AND why people watch Oprah. They now are with Luca Brazi sleeping with the fishes. ……. But it could never happen to us.
Egypt …. Wow were they Big Time or what! They had really soft bedsheets, pyramids and mummies but then they went and pissed off Charlton Heston. Frogs, locusts, rivers of blood and the Red Sea thingie later and now even Ecuador is ahead of them in the dictionary. …… But it could never happen to us.
Every time a people arrogantly spout “it could never happen to us” that inevitability moves one day closer. ….. the #1 advantage to aging out – maybe I’ll be playing shortfielder on Heaven’s softball team before it happens.
It hit me recently as I browsed the local Barnes & Noble. B&Ns are like “the library” at colleges …. a great place to use the restroom and check out chicks PLUS at B&N you can buy a cinnamon peppermint mocha latte grande. I go for inspiration …. plus those yummy Godiva nuggets. …. So I was noodling around in the “Common Sense” Section. Yee Haa …..
There they all were side by side ….. Ann Coulter – Elizabeth Edwards – Al Franken – Michael Savage – Monteil Williams – Steven Colbert – Oprah (of course!) – Lewis Black – Algore – Jose Canseco – Bill O’Reilly – Thomas Jefferson – George Jefferson – Karl Marx – Groucho Marx – Britany Spears’ mamma – Plato – Bono – Nigella (hubba hubba) – Mark Twain – Shania Twain (more hubba hubba) – and every single one of their book covers promised it “Finally offers a COMMON SENSE explanation of why America is one handbasket shy of going to Hell ….. unless you buy and read THIS book.”
….. somewhere in the hinterlands there is a Dennis Kucinich supporter sharing an order of fries with a Ron Paul supporter to whom that probably actually makes sense.
Is the U.S. of America destined to become “the next Atlantis – Rome – Egypt – Nazi Germany – Assyria – et al”? Do you truly believe that the combination of “free $$$ in the mail” and “Kelly and Dana apologizing” will save our national bacon?
Speaking of that whizbang “bi-partisan free $$$ in the mail” scam …. 84% of your fellow mall patrons will, upon getting that “free $$$”, immediately spend it on lottery tickets, ding dongs and doughnuts …. then do an Oliver Twist impression of “more please”. Is Dubyah doing this as a “Tribute to The Carter Administration” at Lincoln Center? The Libs were wrong (duh!) about Dubyah. He is not “short on gravitas”. He is devoid of the quality. Dubyah is to Gravitas what “The Clintons” are to Honesty ….. nary a shred of either in either. New nickname for Obama = “Cocoa Puff”.
Are we in “the Final Days”? …. Is “the Big One” about to hit? …. How many light years out is that giant meteorite aimed at Carrboro? …. When will Global Warming create oceanfront property in Denver? …. Will there eventually be more Rambos or Rockys? …. When Gerald Henderson is introduced in the Dome next week, will an angry Tar Heel “Lynch mob” rush the court? …. Are the great unwashed so successfully “dumbed down” that a thrice-married, black, female, Mormon, born-again, exPOW is really the best we can do? ….. if Katie Couric went commando would even that cause anyone to watch her?
Heck if I know …… but the nutjob with the suitcase nuke did clear customs at Heathrow. He is due to land at JFK around 6:15 and The Del-Mar-Va Peninsula should go KABOOM after the 3rd commercial in the Super Bowl Pre-Game Show.
Suppose it turns out that Babe Ruth REALLY DID “run funny”? In which case …. Disregard the above.
“Leonidas” says I owe him a new blackberry. It seems his old one melted down upon posting of a certain web column ….. EB is now a believer in the power of the BobLee Nation. hehehehe.
The John Drescher N&O continues to lean “less Left” than that of his predecessor Melanie Rodham Sill. John’s N&O actually ran an on-line cartoon lampooning Hilly and John-Boy. Frank Daniels Jr promptly cancelled his subscription but it was a complimentary one anyway. BTW …. The N&O recently farmed out its Classified Ad department to a 3rd world call center …. SHAME !!!
John-Boy is touting his convincing victory over Joe Biden and Chris Dodds. Both Hilly & Cocoa Puff are offering John the Attorney General job if he will support their opponent.