I've been watching a ballgame for the last hour or so.
You know how that goes. You watch a group of grown men going on adolescence knock and chase a little white ball around a chosen and defined area until they are tired and give it up and declare someone the winner.
In that respect, baseball is very much like golf except the baseball is a little larger and not quite so hard. They are both similar to soccer except the soccer ball is a lot larger than the others and there are 11 players on the team rather than 9 as in baseball. Only one on a team in golf and you are generally playing for yourself. Sometimes golfers play with themselves but that's usually when they can't get anyone else to play with them. Avid golfers often refer to this practice as playing against themselves, but not always.
May I make a suggestion to those of you readers for whom I have the greatest respect (which is all you)? In order that you do not get the wrong idea about me, please do not read the last two lines of the last paragraph. I just did and I think I'm going to ask either OH or the editor to remove them. On the other hand, perhaps you should decide for yourself what you read. That's the opposite of that ugly term "censorship," and is by far the only option for an enlightened leadership such as yourselves. You're welcome.
I was watching the ballgame between Texas and Toronto, not an inspiring activity for Blue Jays fans but they do have Toronto in front of their names so one has to stick with them "with the hope that springs eternal within the human breast". So I was watching hopefully.
But even then, my heart wasn't in it as it usually is. I kept switching back to CNN and the horrific pictures of that Malaysian airliner shot out of the sky by misguided and misled souls who either didn't care or didn't know what they were doing. "Father forgive them for they know not..."
Now there are those among you thinking of me as a misguided and misled soul." How in God's name can you think of those evil people in such neutral terms?"
Certainly not by having my heart and my guts twisted in knots at the thought of 80 young children and 20 little infants having their lives torn from them before they ever got to fulfill the destiny of their creation. Or at the thought of 298 people on their way to a promise of some kind, either for themselves or someone else, suddenly having whatever promise their lives held having that potential destroyed in a mere flicker of time.
Aside from the political and military issues involved in this incredible tragedy, I am deeply aware of the human suffering inflicted on so many.
But do you not think that had you or I been born into the same family in that same culture in that same political context, you or possibly I may have been the one pressing the button which would destroy our mortal enemy?
There are different roles in this line imaginable tragedy is simply an accident of birth?
Makes no difference, you say, falling back on popular expression, what is, is. At this moment in time, he has his role and I mine and we have to play them accordingly. He and his people are the oppressors. I and mine are the victims. That's the bald fact and the naked truth. "What might have been" except for an accident of birth won't help me or my people when he is trying to kill us. Understanding him won't help me duck his bullets or avoid his bombs.
Fair enough. But if you'll let me have one last shot, understanding might have helped us avoid conflict in the first place. Just saying.
As I've said on a number of occasions, I was watching a ballgame.
But not with the interest I normally have, regardless of score. I kept comparing what I was seeing at the Rogers Center with that crash scene in the Ukraine. Those little white balls bouncing all over the baseball diamond as though they had a life of their own, didn't compare at all with what the CNN reporters were telling us they could see lying quietly all around them.
Someone was pointing out that while having approximately 300 people killed in that manner was more than terrible, approximately four times that many were murdered in the twin towers at 911. That almost that many civilians have been killed in the last few days in the rocket exchanges between Israel and Hamas.
That brought to mind the atrocities being committed against tens of thousands of women and children in Sudan by roving bands of rapists and cutthroats. People belonging to Islamic Extremist factions in Iraq and Syria have been beheading their Muslim brothers as entertainment fare while demanding that those women who are spared their "mercy" live according to customs centuries old.
I'm not sure how long these statistics and "wars and rumors of wars" have to do with the shooting down in Ukraine, or even with each other.
Perhaps it's the fact that the most dangerous mixture in all creation isn't fire and gasoline or even sex and power.
It's, as I've always maintained, narrow nationalism and religious fundamentalism. One of these on its own can cause enough trouble for the world.
When they are combined together, and stirred with poverty and ignorance, the result is the fanatic fringe.