Friday, March 14, 2008

More random thoughts...

The last blog post prompted emails from pet rabbits, housecats, gerbils, and dogs. The respondees shared the same concerns about their masters as Missy and Mary Hoppins and wondered if the girls had any advice for politically crazed humans. Unfortunately, at the moment, no advice will be forthcoming because the girls are sleeping off their breakfast.

Tom Parker over at his Dispatches from Kansas blog and Eric Burton at his personal website blog at inspired me to think beyond the end of my nose this political season. Since I'm of an age where reminiscence is key to my concerns, here are my thoughts today:

One of the most famous TV commercials of all time debuted back in the early 1970s when Chief Iron Eyes Cody shed a tear for the environment. He paddled his canoe through heavily polluted streams, stood on dry land and looked at the litter scattered around him, and gazed at factory smokestacks in the distance belching smoke. That silent tear he shed at the awful mess this country had become spoke for a generation.

Today, 30-plus years later, not a lot has changed. Yes, civic groups have worked at cleaning litter off the roadsides and environmentalists have tried to impact lawmakers. New laws supposedly crack down on factories dumping toxic wastes into our atmosphere and water supplies, but all that did was encourage lawbreakers to figure out sneakier ways of dumping.

If that commercial could be remade today, instead of shedding that lone tear Cody would have to be weeping and wailing hysterically, throwing dirt and ashes on himself, chanting a death song. He could stand on a bluff in Minneapolis while the camera slowly pans to the collapsed bridge and crushed cars. Or he could visit that meat packing plant in California while sick cattle are tortured, killed, and processed into our food supply. He could walk potholed streets or highways, visit run down schools and ghettoes, visit homeless people by the thousands in their makeshift villages in urban alleys and under bridges. The opportunities for shedding tears are endless.

Whenever I see our politicians and presidential candidates talking about "change" I see Chief Iron Eyes Cody in my mind. That tear coursing slowly down his cheek represents questions no one asks our candidates. Such as, is it possible that the billions and trillions spent on war might have been better spent on renovating our country's infrastructure and ensuring a safe food and water supply? If it costs to much to repair bridges, roads, schools, to protect our food and water, why doesn't it cost too much to fund wars? If it's possible for presidential candidates to collect 50 million and 35 million in a week to fund campaigns, why isn't it possible to apply that fund raising ability to a higher purpose?

Iron Eyes Cody knew the answers to hard questions and so do I. Weep. Quietly weep.

1 comment:

tom said...

And while we're weeping we should be getting good and mad. At some point reasoning Americans need to hold our public servants accountable. (Public servant--what a joke!) But I don't se it happening any time soon. Most Americans believe anything Washington tells them.
Please, don't get me started.
I think I'll just quietly weep a little more.


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I enjoy good writing by writers and poets who are not famous. My mother said I was born a hundred years too late. The older I get, the more I realize how right she was.

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