No idea how God handles that sort of thing

By David Grima | Mar 23, 2017

I nearly killed a guy in a crosswalk Monday afternoon, being mostly blind due to sunlight reflecting off the snow. Fortunately, despite the presence of white stuff, the temperature was so mild I had my car window open, which meant I was able to yell an apology to him as we sailed by each other.

He was quite gracious about his near-death experience.

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Met a fellow the other day who has moved from Rockland, Maine, to Boulder, Colo. On the whole, I’d say he is pretty fond of towns named after mineral formations.

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Talking of moving around, here is another dispatch from my roving correspondent who was on his way from here to there over St. Patrick’s Day, and stopped in Ireland on the way.

“…On arrival at Dublin airport this morning at about 8, there was very little evidence of excess greenery. Now there are always a few shamrocks about and touches of green here, but today no more than ever, except for a few tourists sporting hat styles seen on the bus to Boston. No one wishing me a Happy St Patty’s Day or offering drink specials. A bit disappointing, that. Well hold on, they did wish us a “Safe and enjoyable St. Patrick’s Day” as we left the ferry boat.

“Nonetheless, I came up with enough Euros to treat myself to a shot of Jameson’s with breakfast, and a fine breakfast it was. One does have to get in the mood just a little bit, in the spirit of international cooperation in this era.”

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Speaking of St. Patrick’s Day, my dear friend Boiled Beef O’Meara (late of the Bangor Dreadful News) summoned his few remaining friends to dinner at a certain South Rockland eatery last Friday. Halfway through dinner, I noticed that he had dressed for the occasion with clueless irony, for over his green T-shirt he wore an orange jacket.

Boston Irish with relatives allegedly from Tipperary, O’Meara’s few verifiable credentials suggest that he is of Catholic extraction. On the other hand, orange is the color of the militant Protestant Irish. I thought it quite touching that he should wear both colors, although he did admit that it wasn’t done deliberately.

This seems plausible. From what I know of him, he rarely does anything deliberately these days.

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Rockland Public Library got into the mood last Thursday evening, for when I walked in to consult the oracles I found musicians playing in the reading room. It was a great treat for this winter-weary soul, and I was able to whistle along with the band while doing whatever I was doing on the computer.

After an hour, as I was about to leave, a harpist struck up “Danny Boy,” and I was reduced almost to a puddle of salt water on the carpet. Sentimental fool that I am.

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Speaking of the Irish, I see that Jimmy Breslin is dead. Another Irish-American newspaper columnist bites the dust. Probably aren’t that many of them left, now.

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I am slowly picking up on the news that talk-radio and Fox TV host Glenn Beck appears to have had some kind of conversion. According to various news sources, the poor chap, who once accused the last president (what was his name?) of being a racist who hated whites, and who was also a kind of spiritual godfather to the witless Tea Party brigade, has at last seen the light.

He is now apologizing all over the place for engendering hatred and various extremist attitudes on radio and television alike, and now proclaims that what the world needs now is love, sweet love.

It is hard to know what to make of these things. Personally, I believe in a human being’s capacity for conversion and for repentance. In fact, without the possibility of these things, it must mean that evil has no chance to be redeemed, and there would be little point in opposing wickedness.

Of course, I am also professionally skeptical of conversions such as this one, which does not mean I absolutely doubt it is genuine, even if it is genuine in some way I cannot quite understand.

This conversion reminds me of George Wallace and (still talking of the Irish) Robert McNamara (1916-2009), who was notoriously the secretary of defense during much of the Vietnam War.

McNamara helped guide our military efforts over there, but in later years essentially did an about-face and regretted we had been involved in that war. His regrets, his confession and repentance, if you will, fell on many skeptical ears. Most of the more than 50,000 Americans who were killed over there had relatives, many of whom were not happy to be told by such an insider that we probably should not have gone over there in the first place. Not that most of us hadn’t already figured that out, but to be told so by such a key operator so late in his life that it was a big blunder was a hard piece of fruit for many people to swallow.

However, I suppose that in the end it was not our forgiveness that McNamara was ultimately seeking. It was God’s.

I have no idea how God handles that sort of thing.

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Speaking of weird talk-radio show hosts, I am still working on getting into the book by Rush Limbaugh that followed me home from the dump a few weeks ago. I have been able to view several pages, and what I have been able to decipher so far seems really silly. The few snippets I have been able to translate into grown-up language seem to be all about himself, as in “let me tell you what I think about myself and how smart I am,” etc.

I did manage to read a book by David Frum, a former speechwriter for President Shrub. His theory seems to be that everything went to hell in a handbasket in the 1970s, but he seems to be saying these days that things could actually get worse under the leadership of my buddy, Lord President Trumpleton.

Comments (1)
Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Mar 23, 2017 16:11

Good comments, as usual! Made me think and made me chuckle...



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