Sunday, October 11, 2009

Mudslinging Vaqueros

Time, once more, to write. I have been absent the World Wide Web for much too long. I have found myself immersed in domain of academia with a new challenge in the noble fracas of attempting to “stomp out ignorance” as one of my colleagues states. I am now a quasi administrator as well as a teacher. “Lead Teacher” is my title, with additional remuneration and many more headaches. I also teach English and as a part of my lessons, I have the students build a “word wall.” Simply this is a list on the dry erase board in the classroom where they may place words whose definitions elude them. I discovered the title for this piece from that wall. The inspiration for the following critique is below in the content. The name came from a student’s inability to maintain proper columns and order on this “wall.” They seem to flow as a title and it has proven a literary preparation of some effort to yield the boon of wisdom you shall henceforth experience

Additionally, I have the honor and privilege of teaching Social Studies, which is, the answer to my educational and professional yearnings and prayers. One component of being a teacher of times gone by is the obligation to speak of events of a more contemporary nature. I get to spend time each day cruising cyberspace for topics of interest and lecture on momentous occasions and literally as they occur. I get to speak of the horror of the 911 tragedy, the passing of an iconic politician, the war(s) we are engaged in, of course, Barack Obama.

There is much silage connected to this man, as well as a disproportionate amount of venom. Given my left-sided predisposition, I am the recipient of many comments of a Republican nature from those I hold dear as friends who are diametrically opposed the reality of a black man being president. The expression “Many” is conceivably not the best describer. Perhaps the word inundated would best portray that full frontal assault on my deportment and political creed. Who knows?

A few weeks ago I received one of those “pass it on to support our troops” emails with a particularly noxious comment on our current serving President, and a charge that if I did not pass it on, said inaction would prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was, indeed, a traitor. I took umbrage to this affront and first, passed the message on sans the ugly terminology, and secondly issued a stern warning and reminder that one did not have to be ignorant or Republican in order to be patriotic. Reference my Honorable Discharge fro the United States Army for the source of my righteous anger.

I have not received any disparaging remarks since, with the exception of a brother in recovery of mine who I love in spite of his politics as does he with mine. I love you Scrappy.

Thinking that the onslaught of ignorance had abated for a while, I quietly went back to passing on prayers and good feelings as I am wont to do most of the time. The euphoria lasted but a short instance in the larger scheme of things. The Norwegian Nobel Committee decided to give our President this year’s Peace Prize.

26,600,000 references to this seemingly honor/debacle on my research-engine-of-choice later, I find myself with finger to keyboard. I originally started this piece when the “pas-it-on-or-be-a-commie-terrorist-coward-and-traitor” e-mail arrived in my inbox. My intention proved unachievable in that I allowed myself to dive headfirst into research and opinions which would prove me to be the valiant righter-of-all-Republican-wrongs. I ceased this endeavor once I realized that not only was I performing the same outrage as my opponents, I was preparing to engage in a battle of wits with a legion of unarmed opponents.

I have made it fundamentally clear that I am a true believer in the Purveyor of Change who is the Commander in Chief of my nation’s armed forces. I make no apologies for this belief and would further reference the righteous words of the creator of our Declaration of Independence, and the congregation of the baffled who spent over a decade to cause the manufacture of the Constitution of the United States.

I do, however or unfortunately, must report some of my findings. The State University system of my home state instructed me well in the art of the hunt where it applies to the written word, and I probably need to honor that. Since it inception 108 years ago, 17% of those years yielded no winners. 18% went to organizations, 68% went to men and 8% to women. Math does not add up? Well, and this mathematically challenged social studies teacher would remind readers of the joke about lies: there are three kinds of lies…lies, good lies, and statistics.

Notable nominees include Joseph Stalin. Adolph Hitler, Tsar Nikolai II of Russia, , Benito Mussolini, Juan Peron, and Yassar Arafat. The most outstanding loser…Mahatma Gandhi.

I tried to separate out those who had, in fact, negotiated some form of peace from those whose awards were more ceremonial due in fact to the goals they wished to accomplish (like Obama). Well, to be honest, I gave up because I found the complexity of all this mathematical folderol to be in conflict with my desire to refrain from laying waste to the swarm of politically naïve, alarmingly copious numbers of unarmed opponents, and the fact that the research had become a monumental pain in the ass.

So they gave a prize to someone that many think is undeserving. Whoop-de-freaking-do. Ten individual recipients and probably just as many organizational recipients have been involved with the Middle East Peace Process over the years and look where that’s got us. Nearly 200,000 troops deployed in the region with no end in sight. Contrary to his wishes Obama has had to send more troops there, hoping to prevent the BRAVE AND HONORABLE soldiers there from getting their asses shot off. I wonder how many of my unarmed brethren could or would get off their large mouthed-remote wielding-comfortable couch/chair diplomatic duffs and actually be able to get anything done in the middle east…or even be able to find it without the help of a GPS and a tour guide consisting of Navy SEALS or US Army Rangers or Green Beret’s.

But I digress. Yet still an affliction I seem incapable of treating or curing. I have no wish to denigrate those who disagree with my ideology, even if it is entertaining and provocative. I just wish these Patriots would leave it all alone. Jimmy Carter made claim that opposition to Obama was racially based. I agree with him. A Nobel recipient himself who, in past years, was revered for his commitment to peace and humanity has become the butt of much criticism for his beliefs about the Middle East. So, let me guess, you’re alright until you disagree with the Republican Party? Let me be disagreeable in the face of unfounded criticism, institutional ignorance, and unarmed aggression in the battle of wits the world/media seems to take pleasure in waging.

So who should have won? Here’s a blurb from one of the 26,600,000 references on the web about the Nobel Peace Prize…

“During the 31 years leading up to the first atomic bomb, the world without nuclear weapons engaged in two global wars resulting in the deaths of an estimated 78 million to 95 million people, uniformed and civilian…As bad as they are, nukes have been instrumental in reversing the long, seemingly inexorable trend in modernity toward deadlier and deadlier conflicts. If the Nobel committee wants someday to honor the force that has done the most over the past 60 years to end industrial-scale war, they will award a peace prize to the bomb.”

Food for thought.

Peace. Yea I really mean it.