Friday, July 15, 2011

Once Upon A Spaghetti Western

This has been a week made for Clint Eastwood and Sergio Leone

Looking beyond the obvious, the past seven days has brought us examples of "good" in a number of different ways.  We have witnessed the selfless gesture of a young man whose generosity has in fact been rewarded. In a small, quiet therapy room far away from the public eye, an exceptionally brave young man shared with us the latest steps he has taken in a struggle that is his but feels to a degree at least as if it belongs to all of us, as does he.  If one listens closely, one can hear the words of Ambrose Redmoon, "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear."  A sentiment on full, glorious display at mid-week in the White House.  President Obama presented the Congressional Medal of Honor to Army Sgt 1st Class Leroy A. Petry.   If you need reminding as to what a hero looks like, take a gander at Sgt. Petry....or for that matter any of his brothers and sisters in arms.

If the real world had better writers or if the moon was in fact made out of cheese, then there would be no bad news to bark up the good.  If only.   The brave men and women who wear the uniform of this nation in places that those of us who look exactly like me would never want to go, continue to fight and continue to die on a daily basis - including the past seven days.  In their sacrifice, if one listens closely one hears the words of Bernard Malamud, "Without heroes we are all plain people and don't know how far we can go."

Worse than the bad of course is the ugly and this past week - much like those that came before it and those that shall follow it - had its requisite share of ugliness.  From my admittedly vantage point, none of the ugliness descended to the depth occupied by Levi Aron.  Aron is the two-legged piece of refuse who suffocated and dismembered an eight-year-old boy after he abducted him off of a street in the Brooklyn neighborhood were Leiby Kletsky lived with his parents.  On Wednesday, which was Aron's thirty-fifth birthday he confessed his crimes to the NYPD.  Included in his confession was a particularly grotesque, offensive observation,  "I understand this may be wrong."  A family and a community mourn the murder of an innocent at the hands of a miscreant.  A life snuffed out by the actions of a worthless piece of dreck. 

The week that was.  Same as it ever was.  No need to ask yourself, "How did I get here?".  Perfectly permissible to hope and to wish that some of what occurred this week was indeed only once in a lifetime....

...even if our better nature and our life experience has, unfortunately, taught us otherwise.  And even if we have the sinking feeling that we have in fact seen this film before.


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