Thursday, August 11, 2016

Dog Days of Summer


Dog Days of Summer
By Fred Owens
Dog Day Afternoon, the 1975 crime drama starring Al Pacino, is one of my favorite movies.
These are the dog days of summer, hot and humid. The leaves are tattered and the children are getting bored. President Barack Obama is flying off to Martha's Vineyard for a vacation. Hillary and Bill Clinton will be there too. Maybe they should have a barbecue together and talk about old times. Or get lobster rolls for takeout and eat them on the deck with a chilled glass of white wine.
Out here in Santa Barbara, in Southern California, we don't get the humidity. We get the drought, five years now, and the Lake Cachuma Reservoir is down to 11 percent capacity, down to what they call the Black Pool, the lowest water in the lake and you don't want to ask why they call it the Black Pool.
Venezuela is on the brink of starvation. This story has received scarce attention. It's incredible. It cannot be happening but it is. The fate of Venezuela does not fit our election narrative, but it should, so I mention it here.
The smart people -- the ones with a ticket to Martha's Vineyard -- are aghast at the menacing words of Donald Trump and his veiled threat against Hillary Clinton. Thomas Friedman tries to explain how dangerous Trump is.
Friedman says he has seen this before -- the menacing words, the ambiguous phrases. And we all know the lines from our college text. If we're over fifty we know the lines..... I don't know what the kids read in school these days....
But here are the lines....."Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest?"
said by King Henry II  -- who was a much classier guy than Donald Trump -- said by him to anyone who happened to be listening. The troublesome priest was Thomas Becket and the lines are from TS Eliot's masterpiece, Murder in the Cathedral.
So four knights of exalted degree rode off to Canterbury and killed the priest. They were not following orders because orders were not given, but hoping to please the king and relieve him of his burden.
Years later Thomas Becket became a sainted martyr and King Henry did public penance for his crime -- appearing barefoot in rags on the steps of the cathedral, covered with ashes, beating his chest, begging forgiveness.
But you remember reading that in school if you're over fifty. So you can form a judgment about Trump and his menacing words.
How do the young people form their judgment?
Hillary Clinton read Murder in the Cathedral in her school days. We all did, those of us that age. She's 68. Donald Trump did not read it. He never read anything, But he plays the part of the king very well. King Henry, the protagonist, was not literate. In those days kings did not read or write -- they had people do that for them. Effete, elitist clerics kept documents for the king. But the kings of yore fought battles. Donald Trump is does not read or write, but presumes to be a king and he will become an historic figure in our American epic, Trump is one for the ages, the Man Who Would Be King.
But it is the dog days of summer and the lucky people are on vacation islands. The Obamas and the Clintons are enjoying their lobster rolls served with chilled white wine, and the cool breezes of Martha's Vineyard.
You may think the election is bad now, but the real battle begins in September. Trump is down but I would not count him out. This will be a fight to the finish. Trump is wild. Hillary is tough. I love a good fight. Who do you think will win?
The Future of Frog Hospital. We are trying a shorter format, under 750 words, and publishing twice a week. There is so much interesting news right now that I think it will be easy. The Trump versus Clinton battle is the most interesting and fateful contest of my lifetime and I don't want to miss a single day. But I remain resolutely detached, and I will give you my most assuring language, plus useful references to such important works as Dog Day Afternoon and Murder in the Cathedral.
Pruning the Mailing List. We need to delete the names of folks who are no longer interested, so please unsubscribe if you wish. After pruning the mailing list, we will launch an early fall subscription drive.
Meanwhile, I hope you have time to enjoy the beach. I'm headed there right now,
 

--
Fred Owens
cell: 360-739-0214

My gardening blog is  Fred Owens
My writing blog is Frog Hospital



1 comment:

Chiến Trần Văn said...

Dịch vụ sơn xe ô tô giá rẻ tại Hà Nội
Cung cấp cửa nhôm giá rẻ uy tín chất lượng đảm bảo tốt nhất hiện nay.