January 14, 2008


Picture the government office scene from the movie, The Full Monty and you will get some idea of my recent trip to the local grocery store. The background music playing over the loudspeakers was disco and without realizing it, I found myself tapping my grocery list on the cart handle and kind of bouncing through the vegetables. I swear that if they had turned the volume up a bit more, the sixty year old lady with the tight jeans and high heels and I would have been forced to boogie beside the bananas. Alliteration aside, it was almost the same thing yesterday when they were playing old rock anthems, but no disco in sight - there is no room in rock and roll classics for disco!
Travel is on my mind a lot lately and I keep remembering the huge contingent of uniformed Homeland Security personnel we encountered in Hawaii last spring. I wonder what the budget is for that department (must be billions) as the U.S. attempts to protect itself from the other members of the human race. When I take a bigger, or more long term view of our time on this planet, it seems a little bit like the internal squabbling that occurs in most families. Members can be vicious and hurtful to each other but when an outside threat shows up, they turn their focus and become a cohesive and powerful unit totally dedicated to each other's survival. I wonder if that is what it will take to bring the various factions on our little planet together. I also wonder if that threat is already here and we are too politically motivated, intransigent and fragmented to recognize the threat. Unlike the movies about space aliens and big rocks threatening our survival, both of which might well be possible, we have a few issues closer to home that we might want to look at, in a cooperative sense, rather than a competitive one. Some of the big charitable and environmental groups seem to spend more time and money finding someone to blame than finding some solution to the problem. How is all this connected you ask? How about if we took all of the political, religious and special interest group leaders into a big room, locked the door, threw away their clothes and turned on disco music at about 6 on the volume scale. How long do you suppose it would take to find real solutions to real problems if we didn't feed them or allow them out until the job was done?

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