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Hyperion December 10, 2000

#16 She's still ugly: keep drinking

I had my 14th Column written and ready to go when disaster struck. The subject came up with someone close to me, in the way I had spoken out. I felt stuck. If I pulled the trigger and posted the column, that person would undoubtedly feel it was a personal attack on them. If I did not post it, I was selling out my convictions to save bruised feelings. I checked the length of my mailing list…and I sold out. Column 15 was an even bigger debacle. Sometimes I could write this thing anonymously, and just fire away. But, if wishes were wings…

What I have elected to do is to take the wussy way out. #’s 14 and 15 are on ice, until I grow some bigger cajones. In the meantime, this week I have decided to try to emulate my father’s writing. He writes an online devotional every week, which I really admire. Except, his work is uplifting. I am rarely uplifting. So, I cannot emulate that. And, he usually relates his ideas to Jesus (he’s a pastor, so this is not cultish). I usually do not write about religion. Ok, so this column is not all that much like his. So, sue me. It is short though, for me at least, which should make all my readers with short attention spans happy. So, without further ado:

"The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them."

-Albert Einstein

“When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading.”

-Henny Youngman

I am in the car with a friend of mine; I will call him “Tito”. Tito and I are arguing about something, which now seems stupid, but at the time had sort of a “tyranny of the urgent” importance to it. Tito was upset that I had not seen a particular movie, one that he placed on a par with “Casablanca” and “Gone With The Wind”. Tito declared that I could not judge a movie unless I had seen it. I generally agree with this theory, but I countered that A) You cannot see everything, and B) Sometimes you have to have to take the word of people you trust. I mentioned that my brother, whose movie opinion I respect, had seen the movie, and had told me to avoid it like a dirty Frenchman (sorry for the redundancy). Tito, jesting, responded: “I swear to God, I’ll kill him!” (my brother) “Tito”, I retorted, “You can’t go around swearing to do things that you obviously are not going to do. It hurts your credibility, and makes it harder to believe you when you are serious, and it is important.”

Tito was silent for a few minutes, either in contemplation or taking a nap (to the untrained eye, there is very little difference). Finally he spoke. “I’ve been thinking about what you said, Hyperion, and you are right. If I promise stuff left and right, no one will take me seriously. In fact the Bible says, “Let your yes be yes, and your no be no.”” [Ok, he did not really mention the part about the Bible. I just wanted to get something religious other than the ‘swear to God’ in here] Still, these were positive words coming from Tito. I encouraged him to go on.

“I have decided, in order to be taken seriously as a man, that I must be consistent. Therefore, I must do what I must do. I must kill your brother.”


As we both shared a good laugh, and I mentally reminded myself to skip Tito’s house on my brother’s next visit, I wondered about what Tito had said. How often do we look at a bad situation, knowing we have to do something, but then go and solve the wrong problem? Something is wrong; we swoop in like a Cruise Missile, and completely miss the target. This is the basis of most government programs, and how we got such monstrosities as Corporate Welfare (money for billion-dollar companies), Farm Subsidies (money NOT to grow food!), and lawsuits against gun manufacturers (whom we blame for gun deaths. Next, we will be suing Ford for DUI’s and Bette Midler for hearing loss).

As we go through life, we are bound to run into situations that require action. Let us take a minute to think, examine the predicament from all sides, and take a course that will do some good. Do not solve the wrong problem, and leave my brother alone.

December 10, 2000


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