“December 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy--the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.” (President Franklin Delano Roosevelt War Message to Congress)
Today, Dec. 7, 2017, marks the 76th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor and America’s entry into World War Two, a conflict that resulted in the deaths of tens of millions and a narrow escape from global despotic rule. We’re still speaking English in Oakhurst. This need not have been so.
Tomorrow is the 37th Anniversary of the shooting of John Lennon in front of the Dakota, his residence in New York City, an assassination which brought to an end the remarkable career of a musical master and working class hero. Have we ever actually given peace a chance?
In less than two weeks, on Tuesday, Dec.19, we confront the 1st Anniversary of the Electoral College officially verifying the Nov. 8, 2016 election of Donald J. Trump as 45th president of the United States, sealing our fate to be led by a lunatic until such time as the madness mercifully stops or we all end. Let’s add these to our list of infamous dates.
I find myself struggling to write the same thing in different ways. Our beloved country is turning “tribal”, normally referencing a group of distinct people existing before the development of nation states. Now it defines modern day separatism and largely accounts for the tawdry triumphs of Trump – raising taxes on the poor and middle class, taking health insurance away from 13 million, raising average premiums 10%, increasing the federal deficit by several trillion dollars and desecrating every traditional institution that comes within reach of his puny putrescent paws.
Prominent British anthropologist Steven Corry defines “tribal people” as having followed certain ways of life for many generations, regard themselves as largely self sufficient and reflect attitudes clearly different from the mainstream, dominant society. The immediate clan is elevated to a position of highest allegiance. Group thought is supreme, regarded as a measure of character, connection and safe guidance. It’s going along to get along. It’s surrender of the soul. It’s acceptance of witless external direction that can change a pedophile to a parson in the wink of an eye. Praise the Lord and Saint Roy Moore of Etowah County, Alabama.
Sports tribes are fine, unless we forget there are quite a few meanings of the word “game” all the way from “an activity providing entertainment or amusement” to “an object of attack, ridicule or pursuit.” Eileen and I were treated to examples of both when we attended Game 4 of the 1968 World Series at Tiger Stadium in Detroit.
A group of St. Louis fans made the mistake of displaying Cardinal sportswear as they walked in front of ice-cold Stroh’s guzzling Tiger fans. The visitors were thoroughly doused in beer from head to toe – and it wasn’t even Bud. One fact does remain. They became game at the game. Thank you. Thank you. Next show’s at Midnight. Tickets in the lobby.
Last Friday, Dec. 1, had to be a day of infamy for Donald the First with his former favorite General, Michael Thomas Flynn, copping to a Federal felony and singing like a canary. Adding insult to injury, “Two Scoops” found out about it watching “Fox & Friends.” He thought being President meant you knew stuff first. “The first shall be last.”Matthew 20:16. Look it up in the Bible, Mr. President. It’s that big black book next to your crayons.