On Twitter @froghospital
By Fred Owens
I have been on Twitter these past few days. I hope the brain damage is reversible. Trump is on Twitter, like hot breath from the gates of Mordor. I unfollowed Trump but I can sense his lingering presence in the Twitter background, this faint odor, ominous. I watched hours of the appeasement trail, i mean the impeachment trial. It was fascinating. Adam Schiff spoke so clearly. One of the Republican speakers, Patrick Philbin, presented himself very well too. Philbin was a very calm and assured public speaker. I could not agree with Philbin's argument but he presented it persuasively. The witness debate ended on Friday with an actual roll call vote. Despite knowing what the result would be, the drama of the moment was palpable.
Current events in Washington and in Iowa are happening too fast for me to maintain. Maybe I should step back and tell you about this book I'm reading, about the war in the Middle East. The Crusades, the Fifth Crusade in the year 1220, eight hundred years ago. But it's the same war. We've been fighting the Saracens for all these 800 years. We, meaning the cultural descendants of French King Philip Augustus and the English King Richard the Lion-Heart. Innocent III was the Pope at that time, the Holy Father was preaching jihad. The crusaders claim to Jerusalem was valid in my eyes. Jerusalem belongs to whoever can take it.
The book I'm reading is titled The Templars, the Rise and Spectacular Fall of God's Holy Warriors by Dana Jones. The Templar Knights were a curious combination of piety and military violence in service to Christianity. The war with Islam continues to this day, 800 years later. I bought this book used, for $9, at the Mesa Book Store, here in Santa Barbara. Not a heavy tome, only 354 pages. You gain a little perspective when you step back, when you seem to observe one hundred American Senators driving this country to the brink of madness. No, they are not going mad, they are just confused. SPQR, Senatus Populusque Romanus means the Senate and the Roman People, who constituted the ruling body of the Roman Republic, until the Emperor took over. The Emperor took over because the Senators were confused. Actually it isn't clear how this happened, but ultimately the Roman Emperor ruled and all the Senators did was talk. It could happen here and some say it already has. I don't know. I don't worry about history repeating it self. It certainly can if it wants too.
Too much is going on. This isn't a bad thing, it just means I can't frame it. But neither can you frame it, nor the smartest people working for the New York Times. Reality has escaped us all. The framers are chasing reality and will catch it, and put it in a frame for us to ponder and control, but not this week. This week we have more freedom than we can handle. Picture a runaway horse. The witness debate in the Senate on Friday. Super Bowl LIV on Sunday (notice the Roman numerals), the Iowa caucus on Monday and the State of the Union Address on Tuesday night. Too much. I think I will skip Trump's speech on Tuesday night, maybe catch something on Netflix. Will all 47 Democratic Senators be in attendance when Trump speaks? He will likely speak for more than one hour, and wander off script. No, I've already been punished for my sins, I won't watch. And I expect to see some empty seats in the Chamber.
@froghospital -- My esteemed son Eugene and my beloved niece Primavera both encouraged me to try something new in the way of apps and downloads and up to the minute techie stuff. I chose Twitter on a trial basis. It is more austere and intellectual than Facebook. No puppies or kittens. Facebook is about how you feel and who you like. Twitter is about what you think. At least that is how I will approach it. I invite you to follow me as I explore this new medium.