“We call it the Great Society, Anderson,” boasted Nelson.
“Anyone deemed to be self-righteous, intolerant, a hypocrite-a Christian who doesn’t know his place-is forever sealed into one of these chambers.”
“We con the blacks into thinking everyone’s a racist, the Jews into suspecting everyone of anti-Semitism. We nudge women into murdering their children and calling it freedom of choice.”
“You see, citizen,” he went on. “The old nationalists and nativists mistakenly killed the rodents. We let them kill themselves and each other for us. Keep them paranoid. Everything’s always someone else’s fault.”
“Welcome to the tolerant state.”
Thanks,Claire Fuller (copyright), for the picture. Rochelle Wissoff.Fields puts us up to this each week
Cynthia arrived home as I was listening to “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat”.
“Mingus?”, she wondered aloud.
“Jeff Beck,” I gently corrected her.
“What a perfect beginning to an amazing evening!”
“I somehow thought you’d say that.”
“It was first on Charles Mingus’ ‘Ah Um’, I reminded her. “Then Jeff Beck recorded it on ‘Blow By Blow’ sixteen years later.
We sat back, drank gallons of black coffee, and relaxed.
Quiet simple conversation and jazz filled the room.
Just then she looked at her computer’s screensaver.
“Let’s listen to Miles Davis’ “On Green Dolphin Street,” she recommended.
“They’re black whales,” I joked.
I walked into the Lindenhurst Mc Donald’s last
evening, when I noticed Mc Garrity, a neighbor and Viet Nam veteran. He came
over and said hello.
He reminisced a lot.
“Ed,” he said. “The world went to Hell when J.F.K. died.”
“This week in ’69 were the Manson killings, when Satan was defiant,
and Woodstock, when he was subtle. My friends and I were in Southeast Asia
and Fort Hood then.”
“People stood on this very spot back then and got an entire meal for a
dollar. Perfect music and fashion were everywhere. Was it really worth it
“I’ve been reading about Franciscan Saint Maximilian Kolbe, who was murdered in the Holocaust at Auschwitz in ’41,” murmured George, “And Carmelite Blessed Titus Brandsma, who was killed at Dachau in ’42.”
“Go on,” wondered Paul.
“There are several parallels between that era and ours” George explained. “The primacy of the state, racial unrest-now known as reverse discrimination.”
“Both worlds also share a fascination with physical fitness and dissemination of propaganda through the media.”
“Hitler, the specific individual, came and went, my friend. Satan, who put him here, now needs something new.”
Both shrugged helplessly.
“No matter how hard I try,” Ralph lamented to Sam, “I can never tell Timothy Leary and Andy Warhol apart,”
“Oh I have the same problem with Doris Day and Debbie Reynolds,” his friend replied.
“Imagine the confusion if they would have ever married,” the former pondered.
“Boys,” Hildegarde chided, “This is supposed to be a leisurely day in the park for you, Clementine and me.
The ladies never could get over their husbands’ offbeat collective sense of humor.
“I just hope they don’t start another fight with a waiter over the importance of the Oxford comma,” Clementine moaned.
Reginald and Rachel were making their annual Thanksgiving pilgrimage to Wyoming, Pennsylvania, to see Queen Esther’s Rock.
As always they went from Route 80 onto Route 115 and stopped at their favorite coffee shop in Bear Creek Township.
This year, though, things were different.
It was under new management.
“How dare they?!” he shrieked aloud.
“Mark my words, Governor Wolf will regret this!”
“Honey, he can’t control this.”
He made such a scene the employees asked them to leave.
“I just hope they don’t find out about this in Wyoming,” Rachel shrieked.
It’s July 17, 1794 in Compiegne. Sister Teresa and her fifteen Discalced Carmelite companions are on their way to the guillotine.
“Come, Sisters,” demands Teresa. “Out of fidelity to Catholic orthodoxy, to Jesus and Mary, and to constituted authority, we go to our deaths.”
Calmly they intone the Miserere, Salve Regina, and Te Deum.
Each is decapitated, after which her body is merely thrown into a common grave.
“Well, Citizen,” an onlooker is overheard to explain joyously, “We can’t have their God and Robespierre’s and David’s goddess of reason, you understand.”
“La Marseillaise” plays in the background.