It’s easy to romanticize Haiti; I saw a boy no older than 12 years old get a nasty pig bite stitched up without anesthetic and he made no sound. Children swarmed around us, smiling and caressing our light skin and foreign hair and they seemed so happy and curious.
I found myself Sunday afternoon, heading out of my New Orleans apartment to join the crowds headed downtown for the NFC Championship game between the Saints and the Vikings. Even waiting for a streetcar, the rabid excitement that had a hold on the city was infectious. Two streetcars passed me by, too full of people to fit the five or six of us waiting at our stop.
To my ears, King’s soaring speech, ending with “…thank God almighty we are free at last!…” sounded as I’d imagined Old Testament prophets, warning ancient Israel, would have thundered.
For what it’s worth, the American experiment was nice while it lasted. I’m not sure what the collapse will look like when it comes, but it may at last give America’s critics the opportunity it’s been waiting for, a world without an America.
Whether you take in any of the six remaining rodeos, starting Thursday night, or simply walk around the grounds to peruse the livestock, auctions, cornucopia of merchandise for sale; food and country music, this Denver tradition is worth catching. It’s called Stock Show.
It has been fun seeing you grow up for the past four and a half years. I have seen you set in motion the future look of the campus and a place for students to gather. I have seen you get the OK for that graduate program you always wanted.
If childhood, as someone once wrote in Esquire magazine, “happens so fast that it seems to enter memory without ever passing through experience,” then Christmas in America has grown more elusive even as it gets more intrusive.
It seems we are bombarded daily with some new insurmountable global issue that would require the efforts of millions to truly overcome. Everything from combating AIDS to exchanging traditional light bulbs for the LED variety appears in sound bites on the nightly news or are shoved into a politician’s re-election speech — all in an effort to spark some small change toward a better and safer world.