Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Come on in; the Water's Slime - column, 3 July 2016

Mack Hall, HSG

Come on in; the Water’s Slime!

Rio de Janeiro, that palmy and balmy romantic playground of old movies, is not ready for the summer Olympics. The beaches and water are polluted, venues are incomplete and in some cases construction seems to be halted, athletes arriving early for practice and acclimation have been robbed, gang warfare makes Rio one of the world’s most dangerous cities, some athletes are refusing to travel to Rio for fear of mosquito-borne illnesses, and now body parts are washing ashore.

Lean and tan and tall and tender, parts of the girl from Ipanema go bobbing…

Well done, the International Olympic Committee.

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Locally, the Houston Chronicle reports at least four cases of flesh-eating bacteria attributed to Gulf waters. The public relations mouthpieces for various communities and businesses whose economies depend on beach tourism assure us that of the millions of people who splash about in the waters off Texas only a tiny percentage have been infected.

And that’s true. Still…

We can expect PETA to file a court injunction against the beach towns and other local authorities who are working to mitigate the bacterial threat, claiming loudly that “The germs were here first!”

Perhaps Brigitte Bardot will appear for a photo-op cuddling a tranquilized baby amoeba.

And then there’s the alligator.

And the airplane making an emergency landing on the beach.

What would Annette and Frankie do?

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Exhibiting all the sophistication and secrecy of a Get Smart plot a presidential candidate’s husband and the attorney general investigating the presidential candidate just sort of “bumped into each other” in the attorney general’s (ours) private plane while cold-faced men in dark classes kept the free people of this Republic in their place. Keep moving, comrades. This, the free people are told, was all so that the presidential candidate’s husband and the attorney general investigating the presidential candidate could talk about their travels, their grandchildren, and, oh, general topics.

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On the other side of the metaphorical tarmac another presidential candidate generated a twooter (or something like that) employing the outline of a Star of David with a background of money in order to accuse the first presidential candidate of financial corruption.

When I was old enough to begin to understand, my father, who was one of the first Americans into Ohrduf, part of the Dachau complex, show me some cast-off Army photographs he had kept from that day, and while I don’t remember his exact words, they were to the effect that we must never forget.

Looks like someone forgot.

Of our charity we might speculate that the candidate, a product of expensive private schools, never knew.

But, hey, he’s mastered S.T.E.M., so it’s all okay.


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