Grasshopper Soup: Give peace a chance … and Manson, too |

Grasshopper Soup: Give peace a chance … and Manson, too

By Bob Sweigert

When are we going to wise up? Can it be that so many people still seem to think the sun revolves around the Earth and the Earth is the center of the universe?

Believing the world is flat is getting to sound just as silly as believing everyone in the world has the right to permanent shelter, electricity, running water, heat, food, clothing, an endless supply of cash, access to life-prolonging medical care whenever needed, a perfect self-image, a self-cleaning oven, a garbage disposal, a fool proof home security system, and world peace. Believing in world peace could get you killed.

The naïve expectation that we can have it all is so misguided it has resulted in the invention of a car capable of sensing an impending collision. It then automatically stops itself just inches from potentially deadly impact. Finally, a car I can drive while playing my guitar.

Next thing you know, our obsession with convenience will drive us to learn how to think ourselves in to appearing instantaneously anywhere on Earth, essentially discovering how to be in more than one place at a time. Like you, I am asking myself, where am I going with this? Where else? I am going to solve all the problems of the world, in Hawaii and Greece, and Tahoe, at the same time.

Like the universe is going to pay attention to you or me.

I celebrate my apparent insignificance with the art of mental evacuation. I remove everything from my mind and put it all down on paper, where I can rearrange it so it doesn’t sound as if I am completely out of my empty mind, which is a great place to be in or out of. But you know that. Your mind is no different. Some of you are way ahead of me with minds more empty than mine. That makes me really jealous.

It’s refreshing to know the mind is such a disaster. There’s always a good reason to get out, fast. You have no idea how much more empty an empty mind can be.

Some people’s minds are so full of it they are scared to death of an exemplary mother like Sarah Palin. The fear of loving mothers is called mama mia. They think traditionalists like Sarah Palin are the scourge of the Earth. They are afraid that if she were president, she would hear a voice and claim it was God telling her to launch all our nuclear weapons and destroy the pagans. I suppose it could happen. Anything can happen. A Barbie doll could pollute your child’s mind with false values while you’re not paying attention.

Traditional people don’t scare me. What worries me is the fact that some people still believe in world peace. You know the kind. They have bumper stickers that say, “Coexist” spelled out with religious symbols, or “Think Peace”. Like that will change the world.

I prefer the bumper sticker I saw in Reno. It said, quite cryptically, “Follow me to certain death”. It was hilarious. I followed that car through the “spaghetti bowl” turnpike until I realized that no matter which way I went, no matter how long it took, I would in fact, end up there. I did feel better when I passed her. The driver was a young woman with a cluster of nose rings and multiple ear and lip piercings. I almost crashed to death staring at her.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe in world peace. I just have no idea how humans can make it happen. It will probably require Jesus returning in the clouds with an army of angels to get rid of all the scoundrels.

Whatever works. But rumor has it that a serpent with seven heads will also appear. What are the odds? That doesn’t sound like a recipe for peace to me.

Maybe all the beauty queens, from the smallest town to Miss Universe, will bring about world peace. They could enlighten Charles Manson, and turn him in to a stable, pleasant, reliable, trustworthy and innocent little pied piper. Then we can follow him off the edge of the flat world together, all nice and peaceful like.

Bob Sweigert is a Sierra Sun columnist, published poet, ski instructor and commercial driver. He’s lived at Lake Tahoe for 25 years.

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