Sunday, December 9, 2012

126. Consequences

C.W. is finishing his first college course. Says he wants major in history as he doesn’t have to depend upon a degree to get a job. His first class was one in American foreign policy since World War Two. It has him bumfuzzled. I found him working on his final term paper early this morning in a raccoon coat and one of those silly hats straight out of an Andy Hardy movie.
“Hey Big Dope,” he said. “Just the person I needed to see.”


“Yes, I have to decide upon the most unfortunate foreign policy decision of the U.S. government since 1945.”


“There are so many to choose from.”

“Well pick one then,” I said.

“I leaned heavily at first,” said he, “On Dwight Eisenhower’s decision to overthrow, as a favor to the British Petroleum Company, the democratically elected government of Iran, and its head of government Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh in August of 1953.”

“Why that one?”

“Simple,” he said. “Chain reactions.”

“Chain reactions?”

“Yes. It created a permanent, and hitherto non-existent, hatred of the U.S. by the Iranian people and led to the hostage taking in 1979 which led to the election of Ronald Reagan and, well, you know the rest.”


“Of course the involvement of your country in Vietnam has to be high on the radio detection and ranging screen.”


“That one involved you personally, eh?”

“Yes, so I must recuse on it,” I said, grateful for the opportunity.

“Old Dwight D. started that one too, didn’t he?

“No comment.”

“He was sort of a ‘poster-child’ for the Law of Unintended Consequences, wasn’t he?”

“No comment. But … you might google Watergate, or Bay of Pigs.”

“Of course your beloved sage Walter Cronkite said that the invasion of Iraq in 2003 was the worst policy decision in modern history, and illegal from the start.”

“Yay, Walter!”

“But all those pale in comparison with my final selection.”

“Your selection for the worst policy decision in modern history?”

“Yes sir.” He tends to get formal at times like this.

“And that would be?”

“Reality TV.”


“You heard me.”

“Reality TV? What does that have to do with foreign policy?”

“You are portraying to the world that your country is composed of a bunch of snaggle-toothed, overweight, swamp-dwelling, violence-worshiping, child-exploiting, snuff-drooling, tattoo-seeking, death-wishing, foul-mouthed, junk-hoarding, obsessive-compulsive, stuff-loving, gun-toting, sex-starved morons.”

Won't you please,

Won't you please,

Please won't you be my neighbor?
It's a wonderful day in the
cosmic universe. - C.W.
“But that represents only a small percentage of Americans,” I said.

“Only a small percentage of Americans lived an idyllic life like that of the Cleaver family during the 1950s,” he said. “But see how that image has prevailed, even among some African-Americans like Thomas Sowell.”

That stumped me. “But,” I said, “We love the arts, books, knowledge, music, and all things inspiring.”

“Try telling that to the people on Planet Rylinskria,” he said.

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