Someone famous once said, "Humans were not meant to drift. We must choose some of our thoughts and try to follow them." I agree, although I don 't really know what the guy had in mind. Here are a few thoughts that have drifted through my mind in recent days.
Trump is sure to be reelected. Americans love drama, passion, surprises and excitement. During the past four years Mr. Trump has given us those things. Can we now live without them? Even if we deplore some of his policies, Trump has become a glorious wind- and punching-bag for news media, supporters and opponents alike.
As I begin this column on the night of Sunday, Oct. 4, Trump is telling us he may be discharged from Walter Reed hospital as early as tomorrow morning. I hope he's telling the truth, although that is normally not his practice. What he's good at is generating excitement and confusion. This was apparent when a battery of his doctors faced the press today. They gave so many conflicting reports about his condition and medical treatment the reporters must have wondered if his diagnosis was COVID-19 or hemorrhoids. Could Joe Biden give us such excitement for the next four years? I doubt it. So let's give Donald another term.
Oct. 5, Monday night. Trump came home a few hours ago. First thing he did when he reached the White House was to take off his anti-Covid mask, as if to say to all of us, "I overcame the virus. So can you. To hell with the masks and the scientists." What a guy.
Have you noticed? Female TV reporters and anchors now outnumber their male colleagues by about 4 to 1. At least by my count. I'm all for it.
I grew up watching Huntley, Brinkley, Rather, Jennings and Cronkite give the news. They were good at it. But they weren't nearly as good-looking as today's female TV journalists. Furthermore, the women are just as competent as their male colleagues.
Fruit flies recently invaded my home. I’ve lived in my present condo unit for about 18 years. I have tried to keep it reasonably clean — free of clutter, unwashed dishes, uncovered food, and so forth. In all that time I haven't seen more than a dozen fruit flies.
But a week ago they arrived in earnest. My son and daughter — who are adults and live not far away — were appalled at the sudden swarms. After a few days of our combined counter-attack, the fruit flies seem to have been vanquished.
Now I'm thinking of devoting the remaining years of my life to waging war against the return of the pesky insects. I want to solve this mystery: After all these fly-free years, why did these bugs suddenly arrive? Please let me know your theories, and the weapons you have used.
Should we blame China for the pandemic? It's tempting to do so, because the COVID-19 virus apparently first arose in an animal market in Wuhan, a city in central China. Could anyone have known the destruction it would cause.? I doubt it.
My own theory is this: The blame rests on the shoulders of the ancient Chinese sorcerer, Yong-Foo. He had a strange and frightening power: he could bestow a curse on someone, but in the form of a parting wish.
One day in 3328 B.C. he said goodbye to a rival he secretly despised. As they shook hands, Yong-Foo said to him, "May you live in interesting times." Within a few months the rival was destroyed by the events and persons who surrounded him.
Today, don't we live in the most interesting times you can think of? And don't you wish we didn't?
However, a final hope. Throughout history humankind has longed for worldwide conditions that would somehow make us stop fighting each other and work together to defeat common enemies.
And now we have them. They are (1) global warming, and (2) COVID-19 and its probable successors. Unchecked, these two forces will almost certainly destroy humankind. Is there still time for us to wake up and join hands?