National Nightmares
By R. D. Flavin

3-20-2015

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword:
His truth is marching on.
(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.
I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps,
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps:
His day is marching on.
(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His day is marching on.
I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel:
"As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace shall deal";
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel,
Since God is marching on.
(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Since God is marching on.
He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat:
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.
(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Our God is marching on.
In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me.
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free*,[12]
While God is marching on.
(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
While God is marching on.
He is coming like the glory of the morning on the wave,
He is Wisdom to the mighty, He is Succour to the brave,
So the world shall be His footstool, and the soul of wrong His slave,
Our God is marching on.
(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah.
Our God is marching on.

*Some substitute "As He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free" as opposed to the lyric originally written by Julia Ward Howe.

     Okay, our first national nightmare is the most obvious, that is, another Republican administration in 2016 (actually, January 20, 2017 on Inauguration Day). Coming in a close second would be if Jay Leno got The Tonight Show back! Of course, such developments like a terrorist attack or war, the spread of a disease epidemic, natural disasters (storms, fires, floods, earthquakes, a massive comet hitting the Earth, etc.) would be equally doubleplusungood. While we generally awaken from a nocturnal nightmare during slumber (often with a lingering sense of fear or terror), and 'national' nightmares are collective ordeals of an extremely negative sociopolitical and/or of a moral nature. Kind of like if the FDA ruled that ketchup was suddenly carcinogenic... However, if possible, humans (here only, read: Americans) would find a way to get by.

     I couldn't give away a rodent's hind-quarters about Orenthal James "O. J." Simpson, but recent news that Bill Cosby is a sexual predator with a fetish for drugged-induced somnambulists ...enrages and is heartbreaking at the same time. It's a nightmare, as Joyce wrote in Ulysses, “from which I am trying to awake.” What next? Jimmy Stewart with his slow speech was secretly addicted to barbiturates? Okay, maybe we shouldn't go there...

     Former First Lady of Arkansas (1983-1992), First Lady of the United States (1993-2001), U.S. Senator (D-NY) from 2001 to 2009, and 67th United States Secretary of State under Pres. Obama (2009-2013), Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton, has consistently had both enthusiastic supporters and mean and nasty detractors. From gossip from Arkansas about her being on the board of Wal-Mart, to the later Whitewater scandals and rumors of some unspecified involvement with the suicide of Deputy White House counsel Vince Foster, and the Republican 'war' on her credibility after the 2012 Benghazi U.S. Embassy attack, now comes questions about her having a private e-mail account and whether or not a third-party should be called in to investigate the matter. She's already scheduled to testify before Congress before April... As an avowed Hillary supporter, I'd classify this as more than a tad nightmarish. Why can't the media focus on the upcoming charity boxing match between Romney and Evander Holyfield? I mean, there's NO WAY even Mitt's magic underwear is going to help him after a single punch from Holyfield. Period.

     Some claim our worst enemy is ourselves... Diversity is our strength, but can also be a debilitating weakness. Much like our charity around the world, yet so much needs to be done here at home... I believe giving up on helping other nations both financially and with military force would be a betrayal of our sworn commitment to freedom and democracy. Yes, it most definitely would be a nightmare if we became wicked selfish and stopped trying our best to make the world a better place.

     Continents drift apart, species go extinct, morals and ethics are subject to some Jungian Collective Unconscious which seems to border-line on being bi-polar, governments change, and nations rise and fall. Despite my appreciation for the United Nations, I believe THIS is America's time to lead by example. And, no, I'm not talking about our fast-food choices, here. I strongly suspect everyone is equiped with the ability to differentiate between right and wrong (unless there's a physical or mental condition which would prevent such) and we ALL know who is doing good work and who is doing ...wrong. Even if there is no G*d to bless America, may we act honorabley and in good faith.

     To quote Bill Murray from 1981's Stripes: “We're all mutts!” We're all immigrants from someplace else (yes, even the First Nations or our Native Americans). Me? I'm Irish-American... , among other things. Anything made from the regal potato most assuredly kicks regal buttocks! Thanks, Incas! Speaking of the Native Americans, there's an amazing connection between the Irish and the Choctaw people. No, this isn't one of those nutball “They are all 'really' European!” myths (actually, pseudoscientific malarkey). About 15 years after the Choctaw, among other tribes and peoples underwent the infamous Trail of Tears, they heard of a great famine in Ireland. They took up a collection to send to the starving people of Ireland, despite having just undergone a tremendous hardship themselves. It gets even better..., because based on that connection, today there is a charity which walks parts of the original Trail of Tears to raise money for famine in other parts of the world. Food ...for thought.


     A “National Nightmare” is nothing to be flippant about and I apologize if I've given the impression of not being concerned. ...Bottom-line, if I WAS a comedian, I wouldn't be doing these columns. I do these columns because I can and I care. We all have different things, persons, and ideas which either bring us happiness or cause feces to evacuate from our rectums. Of course, there are many things which scare and hurt us all. I, and I hope many others feel the same way, YET we do have a choice in the matter – we do our best and we move forward (privately hoping disaster passes us by). May we all have pleasant dreams.

Buying a better pillow,
Rick

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