By R. D. Flavin



Good news is rare these days, and every glittering ounce of it should be cherished and hoarded and worshiped and fondled like a priceless diamond.

Hunter S. Thompson – From 'The Doomed Prefer Oakland' in Hey Rube: Blood Sport, the Bush Doctrine, and the Downward Spiral of Dumbness: Modern History from the Sports Desk. See: p. 196. New York: Simon and Schuster. 2004.

     While FOX NEWS broadcasts 24/7 of doom and gloom, there is still much good in this world and I, for one, would appreciate if we remind ourselves on a regular basis that hope is alive (perhaps struggling a bit) and will survive and prosper.  I know, some are living in hellish situations, but we've gotten past evil and disaster before (losing many along the way) and we'll continue to do our best.  At least, I hope so...

     Here in Boston many are more concerned with the Red Sox than if we should bomb ISIS in Syria and Iraq.  Who am I to judge others' concerns if me and mine ain't directly effected?  Everyone has an opinion and “run and hide” has long competed with “stand and fight.”  We got one reporter back, but lost another.  It's natural for apathy to flourish when the “Ice Bucket Challenge” get both White House and more than one archdiocese comments.

     We celebrate those wondrous miracles of existence, energy and matter (i.e., mass with volume and density), though it's through their union and the formation of life the universe developed a manner or way to perceive itself.   Sentience and self-awareness may very well be the crowning achievement of creation.  Yet, life ends and returns to energy and matter.  We can only hope the universe recycles in some way...

     Our senses often define us, though some dare to describe such gifts and abilities as 'good' or 'bad'.  Some lose one or more of their senses, however they choose to continue to appreciate life.  The debate about the “quality” of life is too intimate for words alone.  Sometimes we decide and sometimes the decision is made for us.  Oh, well!  We need rules and laws, but there should always be ONE LAW that must be maintained – protect life from the simple to the complex.  Oh, and never tell a woman her jeans don't fit.

     We see death everywhere, from the dinner table, the battlefield, and at funerals.  I would hope we see life everywhere as well, from the tiniest of organisms to the marvelous behemoths of land and sea, and all manner of creatures (including humans) in between.  Joy to the world, indeed, as life has arrived and is still with us.

     Sure, the Religious have their various origin stories, while the intellectuals regard time and space as quantum origami endlessly folding in on itself.  Most people, unfortunately, are too busy dodging bullets or trying to figure out how to put food on the table to worry about either The Book of Genesis or the Big Bang.

     I've usually assumed evil destroys itself because it's a hopeless concept with an inevitable ending of failure due to its foundation on corruption.  For once, we must abandon the mythopoeic and regard evil as a mathematical equation gone wrong.  Something is missing and a collapse is guaranteed.  Sure, to err is to be human, but Nature knows no evil (cue Le Rouet d'Omphale and begin the introduction to The Shadow radio program – 1930 to 1935).  Evil was/is introduced by humanity and we must rid ourselves of it...

     The easiest comparison for me is the following dialogue:

Will Graham: I thought you might enjoy the challenge. Find out if you're smarter than the person I'm looking for.

Hannibal Lecter: Then, by implication, you think you're smarter than I am, since it was you who caught me.

Will Graham: No, I know I'm not smarter than you.

Hannibal Lecter: Then how did you catch me?

Will Graham: You had... disadvantages.

Hannibal Lecter: What disadvantages?

Will Graham: You're insane.

From 2002's Red Dragon.

     Evil is a form of insanity...

     Survival of the fittest, the big fish eat the little ones, and the rich rule the poor.   'Twas a time, some would claim it still exists, when the strongest led and the weaker followed.  How does a democracy stand against a stubborn and out-of-date Supreme Court?  We have NO choice...  It's the final say in this land (expressing myself as an American).  We may choose to follow or ignore the gods and goddesses of others, but by declaring our independence we have sworn upon threats of incarceration and execution to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America.  We lapse, we relapse, yet we have willingly selected freedom and dedicated ourselves to defend ALL who wish to be free from tyranny and oppression.  Our record isn't the greatest, but at least we're still in the game.  Hope perpetually perseveres.

     It's said that one man's Heaven is another man's Hell.  I'm reminded of the late His Holiness Pope John Paul II who said that a physical Hell did not exist, but rather it was a state of mind.  Infallibility aside, many Catholics are either unaware of this pronouncement or chose to ignore it.  I don't 'hope' that His Holiness Pope John Paul II was correct about Hell – I know he was.

     I refer to myself as a writer, yet when I contemplate 'hope', I hear ol' Satchmo sing:

I see trees of green,
red roses too.
I see them bloom,
for me and you.
And I think to myself,
what a wonderful world.

I see skies of blue,
And clouds of white.
The bright blessed day,
The dark sacred night.
And I think to myself,
What a wonderful world.

The colors of the rainbow,
So pretty in the sky.
Are also on the faces,
Of people going by,
I see friends shaking hands.
Saying, "How do you do?"
They're really saying,
"I love you".

I hear babies cry,
I watch them grow,
They'll learn much more,
Than I'll ever know.
And I think to myself,
What a wonderful world.

Yes, I think to myself,
What a wonderful world.

Oh yeah.

"What a Wonderful World" by Bob Thiele (as "George Douglas") and George David Weiss. 1967; ABC Records.

     Hope will always be focused on the children – our future.  For ALL children; despite the difficult exactitude of the math that some kids won't make it.  But, we're doing better and I hope more children prosper today, tomorrow, and for all the days and nights to come.

This week I was told I have liver cancer – hoping I can handle it,

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