Well, it’s only a week and a day into January, the new year, and a new decade, and it’s already been a very interesting week. Interesting, that is, if you define “interesting” in the same context as the old Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times.”

On the short — but by no means comprehensive — list of events and situations, the state of Virginia seems to be hell-bent on starting a real live shooting war with its own citizens. The House of Representatives is doing its level best to trick, bully, cajole and/or finagle their way into pre-determining the outcome of the Senate Impeachment trial — all about a pair of articles of impeachment that they seem to have difficulty in locating barely two weeks since they hornswoggled them through a party line vote.

Since then, an Iranian general responsible for much of the terrorist activities of the last several years made the incredibly arrogant — and silly — mistake of being located and caught with a compatriot in a target country planning and executing assorted mischief and mayhem. To quote the previous president, “Can you say, ‘predator drone?’” It didn’t end well this time either.

As a result, much of mainstream media and Hollywood took it upon themselves to personally apologize for the country, and beg for mercy from the Iranian government. The same Iranian government that has been planning and paying the freight on all sorts of nefarious shenanigans in Iraq and elsewhere. Whereas such comments are obviously problematic on a number of different levels, the one that sort of stood up the short hairs on the back of my neck, was the badly mistaken arrogance that assumed they had and or have any right, reason or responsibility to presume to speak for me and mine. They obviously missed one of the most important lessons smarter people learned growing up. Never — ever — apologize for anyone else’s behavior. Period. Doing so is not only erroneous, manipulative and arrogant, but doomed to severely annoy both the recipient and the presumed source. It’s an obvious manipulation tactic, and everybody involved knows it. You ain’t fooling anybody. All you succeed in doing is proving beyond a doubt that you cannot be trusted by anyone, friend and foe alike.

In short, put a sock in it, Hollywood. You damn well don’t need to be apologizing for me, the president or anyone else. If you feel the need to make your opinion known, speak only for your own selves. Leave the rest of us out of it.

Among other gems flung out by one of the frequent flingers of fantasy and foolishness was the statement from Michael Moore that folks like me should be feared as dangerous and untrainable. I’ll only take exception to part of that because a lot of “Oscar Foxtrots” like myself kinda like to be thought of as dangerous. That thought is enough to make me suck in my gut, poke out my chest and growl softly ... until the effort brings on the inevitable choking sensation and the entire effort dissolves into a coughing fit.

It also doesn’t exactly square with the fact that a lot of us sit down to put on our pants these days because if we try to do it standing up, there’s a good chance a couple of toes will get hung up in a leg hole and we end up hopping around a while, and then end up sitting on our bums anyway. I’m also too realistic to argue much with that whole untrainable thing. Whereas my grandmother referred to herself as “strong willed,” she flatly labeled me as plain old stubborn, and quite likely to stay that way.

And all that sort of brings me back around to the kabuki theater inside the beltway. It’s all about the timing of things, I suppose. And in that respect, the Democrats in the House are running a substantial risk. Regardless of the undying hope of lightning strikes and serendipity, the whole mess seems to be all about trying to suck some kind of hope out of the coming election. But that’s a daunting task. They must achieve and consolidate their hold on certain voting blocks and groups while the contents thereof are still wandering somewhere between being “woke” and being truly awakened.

Once the shiny luster of self-admiration and self-signaled virtue begins to grind thin in daily contact with the inevitable rude truths of reality — discomfort, disappointment and anger soon follow. At that point, not all, but certainly a substantial number of them start catching whiff of polecat and brimstone. Soon after, they become severely dis-infatuated with those who led them down into the rabbit hole for fun and profit.

In the real world, the author of true awakening is none other than the smack and sting of real, honest-to-goodness adversity.

And as I fold the flaps over and put the packing tape on this thing, another headline caught my eye. It appears that the Iranians have rocketed another U.S. compound in Iraq, and then stuck out their tongue and said if we try to retaliate, they’ll attack Israel or Saudi Arabia. Yeeaaah. About that. I just can’t see that ending well, either.

From the cyber-bunker here at The Paper Radio, If history and foresight have much to say about it, a whole lot of this stuff is looking interesting, mighty silly — and sadly unavoidable.

Dan Beard is an 12-year Paris import who dabbles in Linux and photography. He has a 30-year history of writing content and columns for newspapers and magazines. His columns are published every Wednesday.

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(1) comment

Bill Strathern

Well said Dan

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