The words of that great classic American antiques shop hero Henry David Thoreau are underlined deeply in my university English text under many words of Thoreau.
Thoreau first appeared to me, and many, just as the war in Vietnam was heating up, and to be on a university campus was to experience many new events during that era. From 1960 and the hope of President Kennedy, through his 1963 death, and all our despair as new President Johnson from Texas with almost no foreign policy experience began the buildup into a full scale war that went on for a decade.
Those who began college, as did I, with short hair generally all had longer hair by the end of the decade. This was in part from the Beatles but it was also those new characters calling themselves hippies in San Francisco.
And soon many of those long haired young men and often a lady friend would arrive at the door step of one of us in Canada,as happened with me, asking for a mattress in the basement for the night, as they had been given my address at a cafe in San Francisco. If I did, the next morning they would thank me. I would hear that this had been their first peaceful sleep in years, and they had contacts they would now go be with.
Many of us would wonder, how did a cafe in San Francisco have my address? And over the years, I realized it could have been gently written in any letter from any of our next friends from America. This has not happened yet to my knowledge with the present war in Iraq, and let us pray it shuts down soon.
Richard Nixon was elected with his secret plan. And we soon learned that that was to bomb Vietnam back into the stone age, and then leave. So far George Bush has pretty much completed the first part of this masterful plan. He may have picked up from another great success of moral suasion. So, we again have a stone age people without clean water, who also now all have bombs blasting the parts of each town that we have missed. So. Now, for the next part. When do we see helicopters on roofs, and people at the embassy loyal to us having their fingers stepped on or the copter can’t take off?
Henry David Thoreau went to jail rather than pay extra tax to support the army, when American soldiers of his idealized new Athens on a hill reached Mexico City in their war with Mexico. In this, of course, from Texas to California was assured, which he accepted in his heart. But not that march of fire all the way to Mexico City. The Alamo was built by the Spanish Mexicans, as were the missions in California. That was fine. But I bet that Thoreau and Emerson still smile of the thought of any Patton who gets himself into a situation of stomach cramps that we call Montezuma’s revenge.
Let us get our lads and lasses out of there before they pick up some yet hidden Arab version of a Legionaire’s disease that might make the march into Mexico just a matter to potty about, not die. We need to come home.
Pocahantas is buried in Cornwall. She died from plague that she caught in London. Though they put her on a boat for America at her request to die with family, she did not make it past Land’s End. Some times we are best not to travel if we are going to catch our death, as our moms used to warn us about touching that strange thing.
Time to listen to Thoreau, and bring Patton home. Anyway, George Bush and Dick Cheney, neither of you are a Lincoln, nor a Patton, as the vice president wittily referred to himself the other day. Wow. What a distorted sense of adequacy. He did not have his hand inside his shirt, though, nor his hat on sideways, grant him that.