- ▼ 2009 (35)
- ► 2008 (45)
Friday, October 30, 2009
Seldom Seen Smith
I have a frazzled and strangely bent friend from times long ago, who one day succumbed to a curious mix of anarchism and auto-didacticism and took an IT job at Woolworths. Now, all copious and OCD emails are sprinkled with stars and stripes. e.g. "What the ***--- can we do about this --**--** manage**nt!"
He has learnt the art of corporate survival. Stay under the radar 'cause if you don't, the radar will get ya!
So, it was with some trepidation and lead-lined underware that I delved into a mail marked Seldom Seen. At the end of it all I understood the reason for its lengthy tome. For somewhere deeply concealed in the bowels of its copious text were the words "Seld*m S**n -*i*-"
After the briefest of exposures I hit the OFF BUTTON and found shelter in a coffee shop called Incognito.
Whilst there I wandered back to a old and crusty book that was once given to me by an aged mentor from days long gone. The book is called, "Delightful Journey' and is the account of the rafting trip down the Colorado and Green rivers by one Barry Goldwater and buddies. This was done in the days before the river was damned up and as a last experience of the fading wilderness....1940.
Barry Goldwater later turned his considerable life views to politics and is mostly responsible for the resurrection of the American Conservative Movement which eventually saw Ronnie Reagan as President.
However, there are some things about him that have caught my attention:
'Some of Goldwater's statements in the 1990s aggravated many social conservatives. He endorsed Democrat Karan English in an Arizona congressional race, urged Republicans to lay off Bill Clinton over the Whitewater scandal, and criticized the military's ban on homosexuals: "Everyone knows that gays have served honorably in the military since at least the time of Julius Caesar." He also said, "You don't have to be straight to be in the military; you just have to be able to shoot straight." A few years before his death he went so far as to address the right wing, "Do not associate my name with anything you do. You are extremists, and you've hurt the Republican party much more than the Democrats have."'
When Sandra Day O'Connor was nominated to the Supreme Court in 1981, some Religious Right leaders suspected she might be too moderate on abortion and other social concerns. Moral Majority founder Jerry Falwell told the news media that "every good Christian should be concerned." Replied Goldwater, "Every good Christian should line up and kick Jerry Falwell's ass."
That same year Senator Goldwater complained at length that :
""There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being. But like any powerful weapon, the use of God's name on one's behalf should be used sparingly. The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both. I'm frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in 'A,' 'B,' 'C,' and 'D.' Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me? And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of 'conservatism.' " (1909-1998) US Senator (R-Arizona) Source: Congressional Record, September 16, 1981.
So, what is the connections between Goldwater and SS Smith?
A spurious one at best, but both have left a legacy. Barry was only the 70th person to have hauled his rubber raft into the Colorado River, but today that legend lives on.
Each year only 1600 people are allowed to raft the river. Everything that goes in must come out, down to the ashes from the fires which can only be made on a metal base plate.
Now, I wonder what Barry and SSS would have chatted about if they met one day on a winding highway and desert scattered with rockin' beer cans?
(personally....I like desert highways and hate litterbugs)