Sunday, September 11, 2016

Not Standing up to Honor a Bucket of Pokemons - column, 11 September 2016

Lawrence Hall

Not Standing up to Honor a Bucket of Pokemons

Not standing up for the flag has become the latest look-at-me fashion. Like selfies, hashtaggeries, unicycling across Texas to get money uh, “raise awareness,” the incessant “starting a conversation” thing, LiveStrong bracelets, and throwing a bucket of ice water over one’s head, it will go away, only to be replaced by next year’s newer-than-new look-at-me, me, me virtue-signaling.

Some have suggested that not standing for the flag constitutes treason, but probably not. At worst it is ill manners. After all, committing an act of treason requires some degree of critical thinking.

What might be more important is whether a young man stands up to greet his mother.

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An event known as The World Dog Show is scheduled to be held in China in 2019. The irony is that in China the dog is more than a domesticated little pal; in China the dog is lunch. Order a hot dog in China and that’s exactly what you get. Think of supper as a roasted beagle, maybe with an apple in its mouth.

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John Hinckley, who made his name and his fame sneaking up on unsuspecting people and shooting them, is now free to be (you and me?), driving around town, living with his mom next to the golf course in a gated community, working on his art and his singer-songwriter gig, and visiting psychiatrists and therapists who hold his hand and tell him how special he is.

While you are at work, perhaps Mr. Hinckley will inspire you to greater efforts by deigning to wave to you as he tootles by in Mumsy’s car on his way to his music lessons and his therapy.

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Last week your ‘umble scrivener visited an old but elegant little bakery / coffee shop on Calder in Beaumont. With the morning sun streaming across the four or so tables, newspapers lying about, fresh coffee and croissants, and a cast of diverse characters (one of them was reading a book!), the scene was so very 1950s beatnik, only without the berets, bongos, cigarettes, and manifestos.

A woman approached the waitress / barista apologetically to say “I am so sorry but my little girl spilled her goldfish [the crackers, not the critters] on the floor. Could I borrow a broom and dustpan?”

The barista replied cheerfully “Oh, no, honey, I’ll get that.”

The woman apologized again, and the barista cheerfully assured her that this was not a problem at all.

The happy little girl, perhaps two or so, learned from her mom and the barista about tidiness and about how real adults resolve life’s many little daily happenings without displaying any me-me-me-ness.

And all that was exactly as encounters should be, and so seldom are. Here and there, almost hidden at present, civilization still happens.


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