More Jackson County Opinions...

DECEMBER 1, 2004


Column

By: Virgil Adams
The Jackson Herald
December 1, 2004

Getting it off my chest
From best friends to worst enemies. . . in nine easy steps.
You meet an old friend on the street. That’s Step One.
Step Two: You engage in friendly chitchat, small talk, gossip. “Beautiful day.” “Haven’t seen you in a hundred years” “You look great.” “Whatever happened to that old girlfriend; what’s her name?” “Oh, her! She’s been married and divorced — three times.”
One of you mentions politics and the recent election, and the journey from best to worst moves from small talk to discussion. Step Three.
Step Four: One of you mentions that you voted for Bush, or Kerry — doesn’t make any difference which one — and the other one asks, “Why did you do a stupid thing like that?”
Step Five: All of the sudden, the discussion becomes a not-so-friendly argument.
One of you questions the heredity and intelligence of the other, and the argument escalates to a war (of words). Step Six.
Step Seven: Both of you start using words your mama taught you not to use, and you find yourselves in a cuss fight.
As often happens, cuss fights end up in fistfights. Step Eight.
Both of you are too old to inflict bodily injury, but with hurt feelings, ashamed and embarrassed, you sulk on down the street in opposite directions, vowing never to speak to your best friend again.
There you have it: from best friends to worst enemies. . .in nine easy steps.

* * *

Ridiculous? Of course it is. But it could be worse. There could be Step Ten: murder.
But for the rest of us, it couldn’t be better. The best friends turned worst enemies not only quit talking to each other, they are so fed up with politics and what it can do to friendships that they sulk off into the sunset and just shut up — completely.
Enjoy the peace and quiet, my friends.

* * *

Now, if we could just shut up some of the more rabid radio talk show nuts. Excuse me, hosts.
Take Sean Hannity. I could tell you what station and time he’s on, but I wouldn’t be that cruel to you or your worst enemy.
Oh, you wonder why I listen to him, if I dislike him so much? Beats me. I wonder, too.
When Hannity’s man (and I admit, mine, too) beat John Kerry, I figured he’d quit blaming everything on Bill Clinton. But noooo, everything bad — from bad love to bad sex to bad wars — is still Clinton’s fault.
But Hannity and his ilk have taught me one thing: When the liberal media is biased, the far right conservatives accuse the liberal media of being biased. But when the conservative media is biased, the far right conservatives talk about how fair and balanced and truthful the conservative media is.
Listen to both of ‘em and you’ll come to realize that Fox is as fair, balanced, conservative and biased as CNN is fair, balanced, liberal and biased. As far as I’m concerned, you can delete fair and balanced. Take both networks with a grain of salt. Read a good, moderate, weekly newspaper like this one and make up your own mind.

* * *

While I’m at it, there are a few other things I’d like to get off my chest.
The election is over, folks. Get over it. Bush won. Kerry lost.
The Bushies should quit rubbing it in. The Kerryites should admit defeat, go home, practice, get in shape for the next race, and quit complaining that somebody’s vote in far off Nome, Alaska, didn’t get counted.
Hallelujah, the sun keeps coming up in the morning! And it always rains after a dry spell. Amen!
There is more good news, America. So far, the gays and lesbians haven’t messed up Shirley’s and my marriage.
Speaking of the sanctity of wedded bliss, here’s the constitutional amendment I’d like to see. (Forgive my language; I’m not up on legalese.)
The Constitution shall be amended so that any married couple, that being the union of one man and one woman, if and when they are divorced, shall, by law, be required to live together, in the same house, sharing the same bed, for as long as they both shall live, or, putting it another way, until death do them part.
(I’m betting they will be making love within a week. Either that, or they will have killed each other. I don’t know what all this will do for the sanctity of marriage, but it’s worth a try.)
Here’s another one: The Constitution shall be amended so that any person spending time or money to keep The Ten Commandments stuck in any yard or posted on any wall, anywhere, shall, by law, be required to spend an equal amount of time and money feeding the hungry, satisfying thirsty folks’ thirst, taking in strangers, clothing the naked, visiting prisoners, calling on the sick, loving everybody, and not judging anybody.
One more: The Constitution shall be amended so that any person, should he or she threaten to leave the country, in the event that a presidential candidate, which said person, be it a he or a she, hates with a passion, happens to win the election, shall, by law, leave the country, if not voluntarily, then by force. (Goodbye, Michael Moore and Susan Sarandon.)
So be it!
God bless America.
Virgil Adams is a former owner and editor of The Jackson Herald.

Jackson County Opinion Index

Column

By: Susan Harper
The Commerce News
December 1, 2004

What? It’s Christmas Already?
I don’t understand. We just had Thanksgiving dinner. Families everywhere are still putting the turkey away, both literally and figuratively. As I write this, there’s a big beautiful harvest moon hanging low in the sky – and lo and behold, it’s competing with a sudden, widespread rash of Christmas lights.
When I mentioned this to my sister, she said, “Oh, no. Am I going to be in your column again?”
“Why?” I said. “What have you done?”
“Well,” she said, “do you remember my Christmas china?”
How could I not? She collected it for years. It was what our parents gave her every Christmas. (And no, they didn’t give me any; they chose something else for me. We all knew that I wouldn’t be able to deal with Christmas china. This is why my sister thinks one of us was adopted. Probably me.)
“Well,” she said, “I know you’re not supposed to get the Christmas things out before Thanksgiving, and I never do, I never have. But this year I couldn’t stand to wait, so when we got all the regular china out of the china cabinet to set the table for Thanksgiving, I put the Christmas china in the cabinet, and you should see it. It looks gorgeous.”
Now it is precisely this enthusiasm and energy that I love in my sister. It’s not as if she had nothing else going on. She and her family had company all weekend, served a big Thanksgiving dinner, and then threw a dinner party the following evening. Yet somewhere in all of the demands of entertaining, she still felt absolutely compelled to sneak into the attic and get down the Christmas china.
And I think the truth is that for a long time she’s been on the leading edge of a massive trend in American life: a movement toward a five-week annual event which will be known simply as The Holidays. And why not? The French – ALL of the French – take a five-week holiday in the summer; we can have ours in November and December.
True, there will probably always be a few of us who remember a time when the Christmas tree went up on Christmas Eve. Maybe there will be support groups for us, where we can acknowledge that Thanksgiving holds its own set of challenges for the innocent, the eager, and the doomed turkey chefs, without our trying to get the Christmas decorations up on the same weekend. Somewhere where we can go to whine, “I’m still making turkey soup, for goodness sake!” (for all the good it’ll do us).
If we want to stay in the game, though, we’d better start shifting those decorations down from the attic or up from the cellar right after Halloween. ‘Cause the handwriting is on the wall, folks – already! – and it says Happy Holidays.

Susan Harper is director of the Commerce Public Library.


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