Update on Noteflix’s production of “Troubles in the Garden”: Our loving couple, The Multicolored Bluebird of Happiness and Mamzelle Pinkie are taking in the View From Abroad.
NOTES FROM ABROAD: Usually, when a writer writes a piece ‘From Abroad’, one expects to read about what is happening in the foreign land. I read the news, daily, and I ask: “What on earth is going on back ‘Home’?” I have conversations in the local cafes with Germans, Italians, Brits and French. Below, are a few questions many of us kick around:
- SHOOTINGS: There are so many, we do not even count them anymore. The question here is not that the government is going to ‘take away the guns” …but why do so many people have guns in the first place?
- THE U.S. ECONOMY: The news reports from the American media are telling us there is inflation in the country, but it is not so bad and will go away. The cost of everything is going up; but there is nothing to worry about – as soon as this Covid thing dies down. This current inflation is ‘transitory’. What does ‘Transitory” really mean? And is inflation in the world’s biggest economy a problem for the rest of the world? Nobody I talk to knows; and don’t blame us; the Wall Street Journal does not even know. One article says this. Another says that. Oh, and are American tourists ever coming back? Nobody knows and everybody over here wants to know.
- VACCINES: We read there are 8 States who are not reporting their Covid figures anymore. Is that possible? Or, are we reading Russian propaganda? It is written there are many States whose governments are discouraging their citizens to take vaccines. Is this true? Or, is it more Bolshevik agitprop? We read taking vaccines has become a Republican/Democratic divide problem. Can that be? Do the same people who won’t take ‘government over-reaching’ vaccines…are they the same people who live in those 8 states mentioned above…are they the same people who have all the guns? One Congressman even said that if the Government asked for volunteers to knock on doors and encourage taking vaccines…that the next thing that could happen is the Government could take away your guns and then your bibles. (This congressman has not been laughed out of office.) My Italian, German and British friends know about all of this and they ask is: “What happened to the Americans we used to know?”
- EUROPEANS: I have met many EUROPEANS in the past year and a half, and every one of them believes in Climate Change. Almost everyone over here knows and believes terrible things are going on with the weather and man has had something to do with it. My understanding is EUROPEANS feel America has come back to its senses with voting in the present Administration and the U.S. might get on board with addressing the Climate situation; but, at the same time, they are afraid we could ‘lose it’, once again, and go back to our “Drill, Baby Drill!” policies. In other words, I am getting the feel the EUROPEANS are not sure sure they can trust us to keep our word.
- VOTING: From over here it looks like many people in the U.S. do not want all American citizens to vote. That is what it looks like. “I like my guy, I do not like your guy. I want to make it difficult, at best, for your guy to be voted in.” Remember the movie “In the Heat of the Night” (1967 )? Rod Steiger says to Sydney Poitier, “Boy, don’t let the sun set down on you in this county!” (In Georgia). Well, it seems like that was not a ‘One-off’ and was not a story to be told only in the past tense. 17 States, (including the 8 who do not report their Covid numbers) have officially legislated 22 laws (with over a hundred more to come) to make it difficult for some people to vote. Their legislated voting restrictions are protected by the U.S. Supreme Court…because the ‘Originalists’ on the Court have decided (in a ‘Swami Says’ sort of way…) that is the how the Founding Fathers would have wanted things to be. Some of my European friends are hopeful the U.S. is not leading the world towards this limited form of Democracy.
All said and done, despite the image that we Americans: Might be Racists, might deny we ever were Racists, might have a lousy Vaccination record, might have a good or bad Economy, might tend to Shoot one another, might continue to Pollute the earth…whatever we might be and do – they would like us to come back here for a while. We are still good in their memory bank. At least, that is how I see it from the Tuscan hills.
And now a word from our fellow traveller, and guest Columnist: MATHUZALA
- “While some of your scientists were experimenting on us Rats in their labs, other scientists were looking at our planet from outer space – as early as the late 1960’s – and took pictures of every inch of the earth. ‘They’ know where everything is: Where the Oil is. Where the Shrimp beds are. Where all the minerals are. Who has these photos today? Do you share in their resultant prosperity? I think not. You could be a Chumper – and you do not even know it, yet.
- “I have read the blog/post, above, and I say it was never supposed to be like this; was it? But then it was never written how it was supposed to be. We will tell you how it is supposed to be from now on.” (-ed. note: “We” being MATHUZALA and his followers. You can read all about MATHUZALA’s ‘Chumper’ Movement by going to Amazon or Barnes & Noble and buying and reading, “THE RAT PAPERS”
- “We have met the enemy – and he is us!” -“POGO”, Walt Kelly (set in the Okefenokee Swamp, located in one of the States with low vaccine rates and high voter restrictions)
Take care out there…and ‘Hello’ to Gordon, wherever you are.