In my OCD/numbers nerd world, I divide events into thirds. The first third is the beginning, the second third is the middle and the last third is, not surprisingly, the end.
Since today is the last day of April, to me today is the end of the beginning of 2021. Of course, Winston Churchill used “the end of the beginning” in what is now a famous remark in which he noted the Allied victory in the Battle of Egypt in November, 1942. Churchill’s celebrated comment was, “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”
Time passes ever more quickly, its rush disorienting.
My condolences to the families of those killed in a stampede celebrating the Jewish holiday of Lag B’Omer at Mount Meron, Israel. At least 45 were killed and more than 150 were injured. Apparently, the incident was centered on a slippery walkway, with a metal floor, that was overcrowded. Large numbers of participants in a concert had been moving through the walkway, which was on an incline, many of them “slipped,” falling on those below them, causing a crushing domino effect.
I think, unfortunately, that’s life. Israel is the first country in the world to basically defeat the damn virus and get back to normal, but the exuberance of the moment probably contributed to the disaster. Nevertheless, I grow ever more disgusted by those who think everyone gets what they deserve, that life is part of some divine plan.
Former Vice President, US Senator and member of the House of Representatives Alben Barkley made quite an exit on this day in 1956. After two years out of politics (he had been Truman’s Vice President from 1949 to 1953), Barkley returned at the age of 77 as the “junior” US Senator from Kentucky.
On April 30, 1956, he was addressing more than 1,000 students at Virginia’s Washington and Lee University’s Mock Convention. About 20 minutes into his talk he said, “I’m glad to be a junior [senator]. I’m glad to sit on the back row; for I would rather be a servant in the House of the Lord than to sit in the seats of the mighty.”
At that point, though, Barkley had a heart attack and tumbled into a microphone stand, collapsing in front of his shocked audience. To add to the drama, Mrs. Barkley was in the audience and watched helplessly as her husband died.
I wonder what Barkley would have thought about today’s very sad state of politics in the US. Republican member of the House of Representatives Liz Cheney is getting grief from her party about giving a fist bump to the President. Her reply is worth sharing:
“I disagree strongly w/@JoeBiden policies, but when the President reaches out to greet me in the chamber of the US House of Representatives, I will always respond in a civil, respectful & dignified way. We’re different political parties. We’re not sworn enemies. We’re Americans.”
The arrogance of ideologues makes me angrier by the day. NO ONE has a monopoly on truth, wisdom or good judgment and neither does ANY ideology. The blind adherence to ideology and the lack of acceptance of the truth that none of us knows everything about anything will be the ruination of this republic. In that case, maybe the US will get what it deserves.
It was about five years ago, during the period when I was writing a blog hosted by the Evil Empire, that I posted the picture below after a couple of days of personal angst and realized that I wanted to write about cars.
I have looked at this photo dozens of times since then and it still fills me with joy. Without trying to be too dramatic, this photo changed my life. It calmed me down during a rough patch and gave me a purpose: to write about cars.
Once again, I am not trying to be dramatic or to garner sympathy when I write that this blog will not last forever. All things must come to an end.
At some point when my situation changes and/or when WordPress leaves its bloggers with no choice but to use the awful Block Editor, I will stop creating Disaffected Musings. It will not be a decision made lightly as this blog has become very important to me. However, when it becomes a chore and not an inspiration, I will have no choice but to stop.
I am grateful to those of you who read this blog. I don’t think I write that enough.
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