Where does a phrase like this week’s title come from? Globes have no corners. The one we live on has bumps and holes and pools of water that go way deeper than your galoshes and go on for thousands of miles...but it’s essentially round and has no corners. Unless, of course, the flat-earthers are right after all. Spoiler alert: they’re not!
I saw that phrase in a highly-respected journal this morning in an article related to the spread of COVID-19, and as it always does, the silliness of a globe with corners smote my eyes. I love the word smote, by the way, and I’ll grab any opportunity to trot it out and show it off.
One of the best lines in the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy comes when Gandalf describes his battle with the Balrog for Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas, “...where I at last smote him to his ruin.” I nearly stood and cheered in the theater!
Harvard Lampoon printed a version called Bored of the Rings fifty-one years ago, wherein those two antagonists were called Goodgulf and the Ball Hog. The entire book was a riot of parody that I regret having lost to the ages. Frodo and Bilbo, for example, were replaced by Frito and, well...use your imagination.
Where was I? Oh...right...flat-earthers, etc. Here’s a direct quote from one of their ilk: “The realization that the earth is flat is spreading throughout the globe.” Yep. Every corner.
In celebration of this New World, I’ve been listening, thanks to Google, to my favorite symphonic work as I bang away at this keyboard--Dvorak’s Symphony from the New World. Great bombastic music causes me to rend my clothing in fits of ecstasy and clutch (as my sainted father used to say) “great gobs of hair” from my chest. Sadly, the dear old man and I inherited scrawny, sunken little, hairless chests from our ancestors, so clutching great gobs really entails tweezers and a magnifying glass. It’s actually kind of pitiful.
You can’t have known this, but I took a bit of a break from the keyboard to search out a tiny bandaid to cover the chest wound where until moments before, the last grey hair had clung desperately for months, since I last listened to Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Musically, we’ve moved on from the New World to Scheherazade. Soothing...I’m in a much calmer state now.
Back there in the first paragraph I made reference to COVID-19, the coronavirus at the root of the pandemic that inspired (if that’s appropriate) the title of the column in the first place. I had intended to compose a straightforward message this week, but as with most things that pass through this skull, there were other pathways along the journey. Allow me to refocus…
Bearing in mind that there are certainly households with far more people in them than the two of us here at El Rancho Davis, I will try to be generous in my comments. Large families obviously require larger supplies of the essentials, be they toilet paper, water, milk, laundry and bath soaps, and other such items. On the other hand, those of you who raced like maddened berserkers to sweep every store shelf clean of those things in particular, along with countless others: it’s time for you to sit back and take stock of what you’ve done. Yours is not the only family in need, not the only family who may be impacted by potential loss of income to purchase necessary items over the next weeks or months. Yes, provide for your own, but in the name of decency, bag up some of those things and do some good for others. Take them to community food banks or The Salvation Army, or even better, to your neighbors who are elderly and unable to even get to a store for a quart of milk, let alone the ten gallons you bought.
Look beyond your front door and realize we are all--in every part of the world — in this together. How serious is this thing? For crying out loud Republicans and Democrats are actually cooperating in Washington, together! Please...for the sake of all, do good for more than yourself.
I am reminded of the Valley Rally that took place on the streets of Sayre following the flood of 2011. If you’re unfamiliar with it, the local Kiwanis and the radio station I worked at, at the time, put together a broadcast that drew people with trucks full of furniture and food, clothing and appliances from as far away as Virginia. Student volunteers from every school district in The Valley and their teachers and administrators, helped to organize and transport every item that was brought in, to distribution centers, where more volunteers arranged everything in categories for selection by those who had been devastated. In addition to uncounted numbers of people who reached into their pockets to purchase goods of all kinds, as many others contributed close to four hundred thousand dollars in cash. All of this took place in a three hour broadcast that made everyone involved in any way as proud to be a part of something so good, as we have ever felt about anything in our lives.
It’s time to do good, to do right, again. This pandemic is not a joke. It’s not a political ploy. I ask you to take it upon yourself to think today about your neighbors and the strangers you’ll never meet. Make yourself proud of yourself.
Contact Lloyd Davis at email@example.com