Tuesday, May 31, 2016

May 31: Pinochle Game, President Obama, Hibakusha

In lieu of a pinochle game, I'll walk a step before bed.  No hesitation about gloves now; I swath myself in wool and down from head to foot, and step into the night.

It is evening, and Dillard is trying to relax, ready herself for a long winter's nap.  She spends her days in active writer mode, exploring Tinker Creek and its surroundings.  She catalogues and contemplates, meditates and composes.  And at night, she must slow down, put her busy brain to bed, so to speak.  So, she plays pinochle or goes for a walk in the brisk gloaming.

Night time is blog time for me.  After a day of medical clerking and professoring and fathering, I allow myself a few hours to pull inward, pretend that I have something profound to say.  These moments that I spend with my laptop are a form of therapy for me, like Dillard's evening walk.  I'm able to unburden myself of anything that is cluttering up my cranial space.

For example, yesterday I had a discussion about President Obama's recent visit to Hiroshima, Japan.  On one side of the discussion, I had people insisting that President Obama had apologized for the United States' bombing of the city.  On the other side of the discussion, I (who had watched the full video of Mr. Obama's remarks at the Hiroshima memorial) stood there, insisting that no apology had been offered.  For a few seconds, the exchange became a little heated.  It ended amicably, though, my final remark something like, "Watch the video."

I can only assume that the conversation was fueled by Sarah Palin's recent comments at a Donald Trump rally in which she, in her folksy, antichrist way, accused the President of the United States of "dissing" the veterans of World War II.  Once again, Palin opened her mouth and spewed untruths like Linda Blair after a dinner of pea soup.  And people pay attention for some reason.  I can only assume it's the same reason thousands show up for Donald Trump campaign rallies.  It's easier to get swept up in falsehoods rather than facts.

President Obama did not apologize for the bombing of Hiroshima.  He spoke about the terrible cost of war.  About humankind's need to embrace peace and diplomacy, or else face nuclear annihilation.  He used the survivors of the Hiroshima bombing as examples of the grace that can emerge from tragedy.  Rather than embrace hatred and anger, the hibakusha turned to love and understanding and moral responsibility.  That was President Obama's message. 

Love and understanding and moral responsibility.  That sounds like a message that a guy from Nazareth delivered over 2,000 years ago.  And that's what Sarah Palin is pissed off about.  Big conflicts begin when ignorance becomes the guiding principle.  I prefer to remain hopeful that the people of the United States will choose love and understanding over ignorance.  Or we may just end up with a President Trump.

There.  Saint Marty feels unburdened. 

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