Curtis Dahlgren
"HERE WE GO, 2012": Be it resolved - - - [a classic]
By Curtis Dahlgren
January 11, 2012

"I shouldn't say I'm a vegetarian because I love sweets." — LaToya Jackson (the "365 Stupidest Things Ever Said" calendar (January 10, 2007)

RESOLVING TO MAKE a resolution is the most important thing, even if you're a couple weeks late. A new year is like waking up in the morning. The first thing you have to do is to open your eyes. Open your ears too. And the most important thing is to put your brain in gear.

To begin with the basics, my most important new year's resolution is:

1a) Beware peer pressure.

1b) Beware conventional wisdom.

1c) Beware of "settled science."

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the worst."
— C.S. Lewis

There are many kinds of tyranny of course. Inter-marital tyranny isn't a good thing. Emotional political correctness is a bad tyranny. Intellectual tyranny is one of the worst kinds because it's all aimed toward governmental tyranny. You see a lot of these things on the college campus these days, and if you don't think we're in trouble, you just haven't been paying attention!

Michael Guido, a pastor, says that a little toddler walked in on a family "conference" in the middle of it, and he said, "What's going on here?"

Good question. The GOP is having a family squabble at the moment. The extended American Family is having a squabble — to put it mildly. And as an old geezer, I can see that the young are at a disadvantage because their schools have given them so little grounding in history. The youth are like people who walk into a theatre near the end of a movie.


It's an election year, and America is becoming more like Europe, while Europe is becoming more like the Third World (poor, with Civil wars all over the place). Some people avoid the news like the plague, but I've always been a news junkie, so I'm not opposed to all "debate."

Those of us who were raised by two parents long long ago would have been unable to understand the term "verbal abuse" (a modern contrivance). In the olden days "raising your voice" was simply intense conversation. And life went on.

Well, the political "vetting" will continue too, but ultimately the 2012 election is in the hands of God. There, I said it. God is in control, so the 2012 election isn't a slam dunk nor a clank for either side YET!

Sorry for the caps, but the trouble with the printed word is that the reader can't hear the writer's tone of voice. Some people are literalists and can't tell if the writer is joking or serious. I'm serious when I say that the future of our country may hang on whether or not you personally "get" God.

I was eating out one time and having a three-way conversation about the year 2012. The person on my left asked me whether the person on my right believed in God. I said, "Not YET," so I'm going to talk really really slow now:

CHARLES DARWIN, ALBERT EINSTEIN, AND AL GORE, JR, WILL THE REAL GENIUS PLEASE STAND UP? Let's give him a hand if he can. By that I mean that there is very little "settled science" compared to what we don't know!

It was a beautiful day for a drive yesterday. It was a tad too warm for the enviro-mentals, but we U.P. yoopers counted it as a bonus day, a plus. If the greenies don't get their undies in a wad, it will be colder than hell in a couple of days.

No, as I drove through Norway yesterday I wasn't thinking about the temperature. I was talking to myself and said to myself, "Y'know, if the universe came into existence by happenstance, by itself so to speak, that sky up there wouldn't have to be so beautiful. Rainbows, sunsets, the full moon and the northern lights wouldn't have to be that gorgeous for our "survival."

Eagles and butterflies, flowers and fireflies wouldn't have to be beautiful for the human race to "survive" (on my way to Norway I saw an eagle sitting in the middle of a river on a rock). You going to convince me that he just "happened"? NOOOO!!

Shoot — even women wouldn't have to be as beautiful as they are. All a man wants is a smile.

Sometimes I wonder, given enough time, if I'll ever compose an original line that will survive me. For example, take the line:

"Drink to me only with thine eyes."

No I didn't write that; it was written by a guy who was born in the 1570s — one of those dead white English boys (Dweebs) of Western Civ — Ben Jonson ("Song to Celia") and actually his words were influenced by the letters of Philostratus who lived from 170 to 245 AD. Other familiar phrases such as "eat, drink, and be merry" go back to biblical times over 3,000 years ago.

SO? That's the kind of literature from our past which has been "deemphasized" or pitched out by modern colleges, universities, and public schools.

The "progressive" philosophy is that you don't need to study history unless you're going to be a history teacher; you don't need to study literature unless you're going to be an English teacher, etc. Shoot, you don't even have to SPEAK English! There was an ad in a newspaper somewhere that went something like this:

Are you a lively and stimulating teacher?

Would you like to work with dedicated and committed staff?

Are you challenged by articulate, perceptive and thoughtful children?

If the answers are YES, then this is the wrong school for you.

[a typo (but freudian one) reported by the "365 Stupidest Things" calendar]

You want to know why educators don't get as much sympathy as they used to? They try to shift the blame onto parenting, but they taught those parents, didn't they? They must not have pushed much civic "dedication" or "duty." Test scores down, teacher salaries up? What is wrong with this picture? I've personally paid almost $10,000 in school taxes in the last decade. To add insult to that, I paid that 10 grand to the lowest-testing public school in the Upper Peninsula, the only one on the state's "watch list."

As the little boy said, "What's going on here?"

I've already broken my resolution about writing shorter columns, but I can't let the week pass without commenting on that $4,000,000 vacation trip to Hawaii by the First Family. I know that Mrs. Oboma says that living in the White House is "hell," but isn't a $4M trip a little ridiculous?

'Course, using their "shared sacrifice" logic, what was only $1,000,000 per person (not counting Bo the dog), and Hawaii was very nice. I understand that Michelle wanted to stay in Chicago until school was out in 2009. Maybe the Obomas are bothered by the ghosts of Washington, Jefferson, Reagan, and Lincoln and that's why they spend so much time out of town.

Speaking of vegetables, we U.P. yoopers must be listening to Mrs. O. We've been buying apples and carrots by the bushel this fall, though the purpose is the better to shoot some venison steaks. Our taste in fish has gone from trout to salmon to ice. And some ice in the soda while watching the Packers.

PPS: Not to waste your time with things you already know, but did you hear that the Broncos beat Pittsburgh? Tim Tebow passed for 316 yards and ran for 50 yards. Not bad for a rookie. The average yards per catch on his passes was 31.6 (as in John 3:16). What's going on here?

Now am I implying that something Spiritual was going on in Denver? Would I insinuate that God would "come down" or send an angel to interfere in a measly football game? EXACTLY.

I played a lot of sports (all the way into my 60s). On the baseball diamond I played 8 of the 9 positions. Playing the outfield, I can think of half a dozen special catches I made. I still have "videos" of them stored in memory, in my brain. Half of those catches were physically impossible without "help" — sort of like some of Jimmie Piersall's catches. I made two double plays from the outfield (one as a kid playing second-string right field like Charlie Brown). The other one was over age 30 with a throw to home plate on the fly.

I didn't have the most gifted arm in the league either, so it doesn't stretch my imagination a bit to consider that Tebow may have gotten some help this year against the Steelers and the Bears. Wonder if the Texans are a bit nervous?

As for the next game, though, God may decide Tim's had enough incentive bonus checks for his first year in the league. Next weekend's game is still "up in the air" so to speak, like next fall's election! By the way:

"He who sits in the Heavens shall laugh. Seriously." — Psalm 2 (Dahlgren translation)

© Curtis Dahlgren


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Curtis Dahlgren

Curtis Dahlgren is semi-retired in southern Wisconsin, and is the author of "Massey-Harris 101." His career has had some rough similarities to one of his favorite writers, Ferrar Fenton... (more)


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