Some things are so yesterday. Unfortunately, the more bizarre gather more attention in the general quagmire that fuels gossip and entertainment but achieves little. Like carports full of junk to the exclusion of the car, this stuff needs tossing.
Consider former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's ongoing corruption trial. "Blago," loving pomp and spectacle, pulled righteous indignation out from under his well-placed coiffure and never took the stand. His reason? The case against him is so weak that it is beneath his dignity to speak.
He signed autographs on his way out of court and put his hand over his heart when a woman said she is praying for him. Finally, this soap opera, complete with the flamboyant defense attorney asking us to believe his client is naïve but not criminal, is over and in the hands of the jury.
Then there's Warren Jeffs, head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, now serving time for two counts of first-degree felony rape as an accomplice. The Utah Supreme Court just ordered a new trial. Look for another parade of subservient, 18th century clad women, part of the cult estimated at 10,000 members living on the Utah-Arizona line practicing polygamy. The government knows of this illegal mistreatment of women and children in the name of religion and hasn't shut them down? Well, yes. And don't be surprised if Jeffs returns to his kingdom.
The conscienceless but testosterone-enriched still run with the bulls in Spain. If they escape a well-deserved goring, as several did not in July, the bloodthirsty go on to watch the idolized matadors thrust one spear at a time into doomed animals in the bull-fighting rings. Hemingway's fondness for the "sport" only highlights the darkness of his prose and suicidal end of his life.
The days of pretty-boy politics, guys with harems, and medieval torture should be over. If conscience does not prevail, then maybe a sour economy will. Trials and re-trials cost money. Law-spurning groups that succeed in getting their women and children on the public dole as "single" mothers cost money. Spain's local governments that have subsidized small-town bullfights are cutting them from their tight budgets. On July 28, Catalonia became the first major region to ban bullfighting. Good! Get rid of it!
And how seriously should we take the ups-and-downs, suggestions and clamor of the stock market? The Today show said the New York Stock Exchange's July 27 opening was "one of the more anticipated opening bell ceremonies in some time." And what guest, what financial whiz, created this frenzy? Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi and her friends from the reality show, "Jersey Shore." To prove it didn't go to her head, Snooki was arrested on July 31 for being falling-down drunk on the street at 3:30 in the afternoon.
King Solomon fell into political power mongering and wealth building on the backs of humans and beasts. Hundreds of women filled his harem. In the end he wanted to get rid of it. "The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person" (Ecclesiastes 12:13 NAS).
Finding truth requires the right starting point. That is the quest of this column. If you are a seeker of simple truth, we can find it together-side-by-side.