L.A. seems like a loony bin; then news arrives from the Middle East
Went for a Monday drive and ended up at the Pacific Ocean. The trip was uneventful but for an encounter with millions of locusts just outside of Richfield, Utah.
Ambling across the interstate, the grasshoppers were squished by the thousands, and yet they continued their suicidal walk across the pavement. It was a weird, eerie experience as mile after mile, I crushed those critters into the concrete, and still they persisted in their own rendition of a death march.
I felt as if there was something unreal, a little crazy, about the whole scene. By the time I reached Los Angeles, I realized it was all a metaphor for the state of the world as we now know it.
Quietly minding my own business, which is just about impossible to do on the streets of southern California, I barely avoided a head-on with an old Plymouth and an even older gentleman in it who decided to turn left across three lanes of oncoming traffic and two sets of double yellow lines.
What was amazing was how irritated he seemed to be with the rest of us as we screeched our brakes and yelled our communal outrage. Not three minutes later, still recovering from my near miss with the geriatric goofball, a young and stunningly stupid young woman veered across four lanes of rush-hour traffic in less than 30 linear feet in a desperate attempt to make a left-hand turn that could just as easily and far more safely be made a few hundred yards down the road.
Is everyone going crazy or is this just L.A.?
The morning newspaper reveals, of course, that L.A. has nothing to do with it.
Another suicide bomber, a teen-ager, has decided to take 15 innocent others with him to eternity.
This, apparently, in retaliation for the previous day’s rocket attack on a Hamas leader which was then followed by another deadly assault by Israeli forces that left four Palestinian extremists dead along with six innocent bystanders.
Let’s see. As of this writing Thursday, 46 people, both innocent and guilty, have been killed in Israel and Palestine since last week’s Middle East Peace Summit.
LA’s craziness pales in comparison.
Ofer Siso, a 32-year-old Jerusalem resident who was one of the first on the scene of the horrific bus bombing, was quoted in the L.A. Times as saying, “My heart is too small for this much suffering S”
His words capture the sense of sadness that seems to be such a part of the Middle East nowadays, to be sure, but also the lingering concern that the lunatics have taken control of the asylum.
Another Jerusalem resident, Eleanor Tubul, is all of 19 and yet has survived two separate terrorists attacks in her young life.
She lived through this most recent horror and one back in 1997 when, on a field trip with her eighth-grade classmates, a Jordanian guard opened fire on the class and killed seven of her peers right before her eyes.
Her comment on her most recent experience: “My opinion is that we should kill all the Arabs.”
Such a sentiment is outrageous, to be sure, but also indicative of how crazy life in that part of the world has become.
We have reached the point where teen-agers from both sides of the border see the only option as the complete elimination of the other.
Such absurdity is not only heartbreaking in its hopelessness but also a frightening revelation of the future. Will our descendants continue to be consumed by the insanity that has gripped that part of the world for so long? Apparently so.
Part of the fun of vacationing in la-la land has always been the opportunity to live among the crazies for awhile. Now, it seems, the crazies control our future and the fun is all gone.
Columnist Rich Mayfield is a regular Saturday columnist for the Summit Daily News. On occasion, he journeys to California to see how the other half lives.
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