It’s Wednesday and a gorgeous Autumn day in Hot Springs, Ar. My wife Lee
surprised us on facebook with beautiful colorful leaves she snapped on our
main mountain a few days ago. We’re going on a short lower-mountain hike today.
We’ve had the news on nonstop and it reminds me so much of watching my maternal
grandmother, Ruth London, watch Tom Brocow religiously in the 1970’s, and never
failing to tell us at the end of his newscast, “The world’s gone crazy”. I used to laugh
so hard and finally recite it with her. I was about 21 or so and everything had always
been a bit crazy, so I thought that was “normal”. To me, nothing had “gone crazy”, it
had “remained crazy”. But she was right.
I reminded Lee of grandma’s quote last night as we watched the news. Some, but not
all of it was a horrifying pedophilia sting at Penn State. Sorry, there is no humor I can
find in that story. I was sickened to hear of what had happened there, and triple nauseated
hearing of the way it was handled (with a probable cover-up). It is good that the coach
and school president will be stepping down. I hope those guilty are prosecuted beyond
their wildest nightmares. Children and animals are the only beings
on our planet that do have rights but don’t know it. In a true civilization, it is the
duty of the rest of us to speak up for them.
So shame on you Penn State (all involved). How very horrible and total moral
We expect you to clean it up, and for the legal system to prosecute to the fullest extent
Within the same hour the major contender for U.S. President in the GOP camp had a
criminal lawyer introduce him to give a 5-Flag Press Conference to defend himself
against alleged sexual harassment from 4 different women, and his claiming “They’ll
probably be more”…(Yikes), and that he’d surely take a lie detector test (if ever there was
a need to take one) Yikes again.
I don’t get too wound up about politics and/or politicians anymore, but all I could think
was, “Scuse me, SCUSE me, SCUSE ME, Herman extra onions please and welcome
back to the 99%”. His backers did the predictible “Let’s bully and shame Rick” thing but
(Yawn); I’ve got a lot more important things to think about than who someone wants
for President (like who I want for President), and I don’t tend to splash that all over
social media because it reminds me too much of high school, and, the only place
that really has any power is in the voting booth, not my blog, not on facebook, and
not on Twitter. Those places are ideal for…as I mentioned amateurs and high school
students. If I’ve offended someone, consider yourself one or the other (in high school,
or…an amateur. I didn’t make the rules so don’t kill the messenger).
I can’t please everybody. I was surely willing to listen and give him a chance for my vote
(like I do every other candidate, as I don’t vote party lines. I vote candidate. But with all the horrors in our
country and world today, I don’t think a man who is his own distraction is in any position
to run our nation.
Not long before that a microphone had been left on revealing a conversation between
our President and the President of France of the difficulties of dealing with Israel’s
Prime Minister Netanyahu. I thought to myself, “They probably have a point; it wouldn’t
be much fun. He is a tough customer. But when I think of the alternative, his nemesis
Ahmadinejad, Bibi ain’t that bad. The IAEA had just reported that it is definite that
Iran has reached a point of no return; that is, there is not even a slight chance that all
Their nuclear work has been for “peaceful purposes”. They are building nuclear weapons
And not far away. It appears Israel is most likely first in their crosshairs and the USA
next and who knows after that. But to me, that’s enough. Though I would like to believe
sanctions would do the trick, my instincts tell me either Russia or China or both will
not cooperate. Maybe I’m wrong, and I do hope so.
At the end of the day, Lee and I looked out our office window at my favorite mountain
and the leaves are in all their glory. We woke up today and it was still there. We know
there is a peace up there that was described once by Sierra Club founder John Muir, “The
Mountains Are Calling And I Must Go”.
Is it a cop-out, an escape, a relinquishing of responsibilities? In a way… yes. But I
think it is important for everyone to have such a place they can go. It need not be the
mountains. It could be a favorite pond, a beach, a river, a field, just anyplace “far from
the maddening crowd” where one can remove the cobwebs and be at one with nature and
God (and whatever your belief system may be), and know that in spite of network news
and all it entails, it is going to be alright.
I decided to slow my pace of life down as I aged before I aged..in other words it was
already in the back of my mind when I was in my twenties; to live fast and furious, and if
I lived through it (and I did but just barely, I would retire to the most beautiful place on
the planet (that was within economic feasibility). The two places I had found along the
way were Kauai, HW (too expensive and far away), and Hot Springs, Ar (Just right). So
here we are. I believe that by the time we reach a certain age, where we are or what we do is a choice. To use the
excuse “But I inherited this” or “This is the only work and people I know” are true cop-outs if you think it through. A mature adult can
make positive changes (if one wishes) by merely taking steps and a risk.
Footnote: Lee and I hiked for about an hour and saw the most beautiful forest of
every color under the sun. We stood there mesmerized; or at least I did. She took as
many photos as Ansel Adams on a long hike, or at least I hope.
Now I just pinched my arm and I’m still here. Now its time for me to assess myself
and notice with all my flaws, I’m still okay…and I’m on day thirty of the vegan diet. Not bad
for an old man eh?
Rick London is a freelance writer, cartoonist and clothing and shoe designer. He is active in children, animal and environmental causes. London founded Google’s #1 ranked offbeat cartoons and funny gifts, Londons Times in 1997 and it has been #1 worldwide ranked across the web since 2005.