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Grasshopper Soup: vampires, saints and mad yogis

Bob Sweigert
Special to the Sun

TRUCKEE/TAHOE, Calif. and#8212; Your occupation doesnand#8217;t matter, or even if you have one. You have a right to seek and hold public office. A bunch of thieves, ex-cons, professional gamblers and liars couldnand#8217;t do any worse than anybody else, especially at the federal level.

Why go into politics, especially in America? Everybodyand#8217;s costumes are too clever. I canand#8217;t tell the vampires from the saints. Most of them change costumes after taking office anyway. And who would want to climb those damn capitol steps up and down several times a day? The social and#8220;in-crowdand#8221; and power elite ladder is hard enough to ascend.

Presidents, kings, mullahs, priests, corporate executives, union bosses, saints and yogis, the list goes on. They are not our superiors, they are our servants. If only they knew.

Experience is important in public service. But history, especially recent economic history, proves that political, legal and professional experience alone does not make you a moral, honest, service-oriented, wise person. It proves that we, as well as our leaders, should be more interested in our spiritual needs than in our physical needs.

If every citizen in our country could unite in common sense, serious about the future of the common good, politics and government might not continue the way they have for most of recorded history. Everyone united. Now that would be real change.

But real change can only come from within. If it comes from anywhere else I pray to God it will be non-violent and satisfactory for all. History usually tells a different story.

The quest for money, fame and power creates monsters. The sincere, selfless quest to serve is what spawns good leaders. The real meaning of service, and the knowledge that good service benefits everybody, has been disappearing from society for decades. Good service is hard to find, but success follows it everywhere.

Values, laws and traditions are ignored in many businesses, and by many leaders claiming to lead. What motivates most powerful people is their business connections, career and ideology, not fairness, or the rules of governing that were designed to ensure fairness. Weand#8217;ve been fooled by politics again. Railroaded big time.

Have you ever received an e-mail from a yogi with fifty exclamation points or more at the end of it? I have. Besides meaning nothing at all in English, more than one exclamation point can have only two possible meanings. Either the yogi is mad as hell and lost his bliss, or screaming at the top of his lungs demanding you see things his way, or both. The use of the exclamation point (to emphasize the preceding word, not the authorand#8217;s emotional trauma and megalomania) is apparently different in Sanskrit.

E-mail should include a and#8216;Return to Senderand#8217; option. Returning e-mails unread, rather than simply deleting them, is revenge you can count on. Ending unwanted and over-punctuated e-mails could be a cyber saving of trees, so to speak, or, like free, cyber-carbon credits.

Itand#8217;s great that everyone in the world can talk to each other via computers. But I donand#8217;t want to talk to everybody on the planet. OK, maybe just once. Iand#8217;ll write a speech and deliver it from the top of Mount Whitney if somebody can get the whole world to shut up long enough and listen to me. Up close and personal beats texting any day.

Deciphering words can be more fun than trying to figure out whoand#8217;s who at a costume party. Whatever words are used, the exact opposite of the intended meaning can result. For instance, in a recent local election, a political pamphlet mentioned the opposing candidateand#8217;s humble occupation in such a way as to infer that a lower middle class job is an automatic disqualification, casting aspersions on millions of us. The despicable mudslinging was obvious to me. It cinched my vote for the candidate being demeaned.

Sleazy politicians make it so easy sometimes.

Bob Sweigert is a Sierra Sun columnist, published poet, former college instructor and ski instructor. He has a B.A. and an M.A.T. from Gonzaga University. He has lived at Lake Tahoe for 28 years.


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