The news story of the week, of the year, of the decade — the military taking out Osama bin Laden — will lead, I predict, to a classic example of what I like to call Moon Landing Syndrome.
Apparently there is a sizable group of people who, inexplicably, believe that the landing of an American spacecraft on the moon in July of 1969 didn't happen. They think that the whole thing was faked — that Stanley Kubrick or someone of his ilk filmed it for evil forces in the United States government at a super secret film set, probably at Area 51, and put it on TV.
It is the same mindset that brought us the birthers who demanded that President Obama produce his genuine birth certificate. And now that he has, you can be sure that there is a certain percentage of this particular cohort that still believes Barry was born in Africa or on an alien planet.
It didn't take long for my instantaneous prediction to come true. (See front page story in the BeloJo this past Tuesday, "Sea burial fuels doubts of death"). In this brave new world of no belief in any traditional institution, driven by an Internet loaded with gossip, speculation, and purposeful bias, you will soon see a growing body of those afflicted by Moon Landing Syndrome vis-a-vis the bin Laden operation. Mass birther-like distrust will grow like a fungus and you will be hearing theory after theory about how the whole thing was faked. The sample of bin Laden's DNA, swabbed by the team that killed him, will be cast as the creation of a secret lab attached to the secret film set at Area 51. Let's see if Trump starts pushing this line.
And finally, I know that we live in a world where war is a fact, where people suffer every day because of a lack of justice and opportunity, but I do feel sad that this is also a world where a national celebration breaks out because we killed a guy.
Do we dare look in the mirror, at our thirst for empire, at our often misguided nationalism, at our tin ears and tin heart and say, "America, we can do better than this?"
. . . SPEAKING OF TRUMP
Former talk show host, current freelance writer, and iconic Vo Dilun feminist hero and abortion rights pioneer, Mary Ann Sorrentino, sent me a column that she wrote this week for the website Hub Pages, a sardonically funny take on the prospect of this Bozo wannabe running to become the Celebrity Apprentice President. Sorry, Donald, I'm voting for Wink Martindale as I have become hypnotized by his teeth. As I wrote awhile back, despite their questionable, yet endearing, donning of powdered wigs, the Founding Fathers never envisioned a hairdo
like that occupying the country's executive office.
BOXERS OR BRIEFS?
A few briefs from the "Cool, Cool World" — items and thoughts from the past week:
• The circus is in town! (According to Bill Reynolds in his Saturday "For What It's Worth" column in the Other Paper, the circus is always in town in the Biggest Little.) This reminds me of an incident about 30 years ago when the circus was in town and my friend, the artist Bonita Flanders, and I were in the laundromat on Atwells Avenue, doing our laundry. One of the owners approached us and said, "Are you two with the circus?" Was it that obvious?