October 26th, 2021


Early Autumn Thoughts

Greg Crosby

By Greg Crosby

Published Oct. 16, 2015

Early Autumn Thoughts

As I watched Donald Trump going off on a tirade once again on TV recently, it dawned on me who the guy reminds me of. Think about it. He makes crazy faces at the crowd while gesturing wildly with his hands and arms to make points. He calls anyone who he decides to zero in on "idiots," dummies," and "stupid." When he refers to minorities he uses politically incorrect labels and stereotypes. His style is made up of extemporaneous ranting and insulting. Trump is Don Rickles! If Don Rickles ran for president he would sound exactly like that, only with more laughs. "We need the Mexicans, I just can't think of a good reason right now. Oh, yeah, grapes." "Asians are nice people, but they burn a lot of shirts." "Italians are fantastic people, really. They can work you over in an alley while singing an opera."

Someone should tell Trump that Don Rickles called and he wants his act back!

Technology gave us a way of preserving human voice and visual images. Movie stars from 70 years ago go on living through the films they made. People alive today can watch and listen to Bing Crosby and Judy Garland and enjoy them just as much as the people who first saw and heard them decades and decades ago when they were living, breathing performers. Fred Astaire dances just as beautifully today as he did back in 1935.

The voices are still with us. We can actually hear FDR speak. We know what he sounded like, his speech patterns, his intonations, the phrasing, the pitch. We can see how President Reagan moved, his walk, the little head turns and the gestures. Interesting to think that so much of a person's being can survive long after he or she is dead. We humans cannot live forever, our flesh and blood dry up, disintegrate, turn to dust. But our voices, our moving images can go on. They outlive us.

Even our clothing outlives us. Museums are full of uniforms and boots actually worn by famous kings, presidents, and generals who have been dead for centuries. Humbling to consider that long after I'm gone my shoes could still be around, looking about the same, waiting to go for a walk. Most of our "stuff" will survive our life, unless they are burned up or destroyed. Our bodies are much more fragile than our T-shirts and jeans. It shouldn't be that way. All the junk we accumulate shouldn't be more durable than ourselves. But they are.

Thanks to leftist educators, our modern secular society doesn't cotton much to absolutes anymore. There is no such thing as absolute truth, we are told. Truth is relative. One man's truth is another man's falsehood; much like one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. We are not allowed to be judgmental of anyone or anything. No rules, no doctrines, no moral absolutes.

So in keeping with the abolition of absolutes, I suppose we need to change the Ten Commandments to the Ten Suggestions. "It is suggested that you don't commit adultery, at least try not to get caught." "It might not be too smart to murder because you could be incarcerated and not be able to see your friends, except on Facebook." "If you steal something, make sure it's worth the effort." "You might consider honoring your father and mother, but only if you think they really, really deserve it."

And what about the Declaration of Independence? That is so 18th Century! Independence as a personal trait just doesn't cut it anymore. What we need is a document that is more representative of many of the American people today. Like a Declaration of DE-pendence. Dependence on parents. Dependence on food stamps. Dependence on the public school system. Dependence on Obamacare. Dependence on Workers Comp. Dependence on local, state, and federal government welfare programs. And the Dependence on the few hard working taxpayers who support all these dependencies. Suckers!

I'm sure I'm not the first one to make note of this, but isn't it an interesting coincidence that the words "lawyer" and "liar" sound so similar? Don't get me wrong, I don't mean anything personal about this. The last thing I would want to do is to offend any liars out there.

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JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. He's also a Southern California-based freelance writer.