Wednesday, May 19, 2010

O fer

There were a lot of people born today, and maybe you know one or two of them. Maybe you personally, or maybe you have just heard of them somewhere (maybe some long forgotten history class). There were at least three candidates for our hero podium today, but as it will soon become clear, none of them could get over the hump. Our first candidate was a fellow by the name of Ho Chi Minh, a great hero in the country of Vietnam, and before the country of my birth got their noses bloodied in Vietnam, Ho Chi could have probably been a hero, but as an American who has seen the scars left by that conflict on society I could not, in good conscious, give the hero title to M. Minh. So, I moved on to candidate number two, a fellow by the name of Ataturk, the man most responsible for making Turkey the modern, secular state that it is today. However, I have never been overly sympathetic towards the "terrible Turk," and I think that might be because I clerked under a judge with Hungarian ancestors. That judge, an extremely brilliant fellow, might have influenced my apathy towards the Ottoman Empire and its successor. Thus, Ataturk, while possessing some truly marvelous qualities, just could not overcome that apathy to make it onto our hero podium. Finally, we come to candidate number three, a fellow who came to be known as Malcolm X. Now surely he is a hero right? He probably is to a lot of people, and of the the three he came the closest to taking the grand prize, but I am a lighter shade of grey that Malcolm, and considering my job, I might just be a part of the "white America" he railed against so eloquently. Not that I consider myself a racist, and I have rabble rousting sympathies myself, and thing that uptight America (white or black) needs a good kicking, but being called a member of a race of devils is a little too much for me to bear. Though I can respect him for raising the self-esteem of many African-Americans, and preaching self-reliance (both admirable qualities no matter what race, gender, or creed you are), I just could not put him on the podium either. Thus, after sailing those rough waters of patriotism, religion, and racism (and hopefully not coming across as some honky, christian, bigot), I must inform you that, for today May 19th, there is no hero of the day.

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