The Unauthorized Biography of Rosco P. Coltrane

When it's my moment in the sun, I won't forget that I am blessed, but every hero walks alone, thinking of more things to confess

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Location: Owensboro, Kentucky, United States


Friday, March 10, 2006

Feeling Bummer, Feeling Better

I have been pretty bummed for the past week or so, and I am not really sure why. I thionk I just feel overwhelmed right now. I feel like Lucy when she was working in the choclate factory. I just feel like I can't catch up.

But this afternoon, I opened up an email that my dad sent me last week.

Seeing this picture of little Reed just made me feel better about things. Thanks Reed, maybe you won't understand how you helped me. Maybe you will for in 28 years or so, but you made my day...

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Farting On Entrees

It was a strange conversation between my father and me. He told me that he was planning on protesting a group of protesters at a fallen soldier's funeral. He asked me if I had heard of the church that was doing this and I told him that I had. (I will not name the church or link any of their articles because I don't want them to get any publicity from this site.) He asked me if I understood why they were doing it and I told him I didn't.

"You know," he said, "they told us that if someone spit on us not to fight back, but to get a police officer and tell them. You know what I would do if some dumb son of a bitch spit on me?"

I replied yes, but he wanted to make sure I knew.

"I don't know how it would end up. I would be lying on the ground or someone else would, but I can damn sure guarantee you one of us would."

"Dad," I said in my best fatherly advice voice, our roles suddenly reversed, "Just be careful."

Luckily, it rained the day of the planned protest and my father wasn't feeling to well so he didn't attend. So a potential sticky situation was avoided.

I have read a few things in the papers about this church that goes around protesting and publicizing it's hate. They hold up signs that say "God Hates Fag Enablers" and "Thank God For IED's." They have a website that promotes their agenda, however misguided it may be. They believe that God is punishing America because we are tolerant of homosexuals. So they have decided to protest people that are killed in the war to get their message through.

Their message makes no sense to me. If God is punishing America because of our tolerance of sin, then He should be punishing America for a lot more than just one issue. A sin is a sin is a sin. If God is punishing America for one sin, then why is God not punishing America for another. Why not punish us for our greed? Why not punish us for our hatred? Why not punish us for our negligence of how we treat our sick, elderly, homeless, and people that are different than us?

The fact of the matter is that these people are just plain wrong. They have simply let their hatred of others cloud their love of God.

I read today in the paper that many states are now creating new laws that bar people from protesting funerals. I applaud states for passing such laws, but the fact that we need laws like this saddens me. It tells me that people now, maybe they always have, care more about their rights than what is actually right.

Sure, I will defend the 1st amendment of the Constitution for anyone. I will. I own a copy of the Constitution of the United States of America. I read it every so often. I read the words like notes on sheet music, when I read it I can hear brass bands playing. And when I read the 1st amendment, then I can see how a church can have the right to protest a soldier's funeral.

But I don't think they should.

That's the rub with free speech. It' not so easy.

Many people like to say that free speech isn't really free, but I disagree with that statement. Free speech is free. It is the most essential freedom that we have as Americans. Anyone can say anything that they want. But as everyone should know, our actions and speech has consequences. And sometimes consequences are good and sometime they are rather grave.

The fact of the matter is many people forget about the consequences. Instead they just want to boast about their rights. Just because we have rights and laws on our side does not mean that we are justified. In the battle for rights, people forget about what is the right thing to do.

Do I have the right to speed past a funeral procession going down 71B flipping everyone off? Yes, I do. But do I? No, because it is tasteless, tacky, and just plain wrong. My conscious just won't let me.

I have many rights. There are many laws that protect me. But the thing that protects me the most is my common sense, conscious, and plain old decency. All the laws and rights in the world can't protect me anymore than I can protect myself.

There is a line in a movie (Big Trouble) from a few years ago that I am reminded of when it comes to laws, rights, courtesy and decency. A man is eating a steak at a steakhouse and there is a table full of men smoking big cigars at the next table. The man goes over to the table and asks the gentlemen to please put out their cigars so he can enjoy his steak. The gentlemen refuse and tell them that their isn't any law against smoking. The man who wants to enjoy his steak agrees. But he adds, "There is also no law that says I can't come over here and fart on your entrees, but I don't because it is rude."

Today's newspaper interviewed one of the church's lawyers (Why does a church need to have a lawyer on retainer?) and they said that they will abide by the law because they follow the law. I only wish they would follow their conscious and the old golden rule.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The Cloud People

I have been dreaming of Mexico lately. The sun beats down on me so hot and humid that I awake in the cool night sweating and my cover halfway across my room.

Even though I know no Mixteca (very very few people actually know the language), I am talking to my friend Lorenzo in perfect Mixteca dialect. He just laughs and laughs. He calls me by my Mexican name, Josu. We share a drink of water and stare out at the mountains and vallies. Lorenzo pats me on the back and begins to speak to me in English.

"God is good, no? He built these mountains just for me to live in" he asks. And I laugh and say, "Yes, Lorenzo, he is good and your mountains are quite magnificent."I ask him about his people. I ask him if he knows that the Aztecs called his tribe "the cloud people" and he replies no. He says that they are in the clouds because it is as close to heaven as God will allow them on Earth.

Other times I am running along the beach during a sunrise. But as soon as the sunrise, it sets. And it is just as beautiful. Mile after mile, sunrise and sunset. When I finally stop, trying to catch my breath in the ocean spray. I have just enough energy to run into the ocean. The tide is so strong that it tosses me around like a dishrag. I laugh so hard that I am crying. I am laughing at the feeling of freedom. The feeling that one gets when they realize that they can let go of everything that has ever held them back from life. I laugh at the fact that my soul is free.

Mexico is buried somewhere in my soul. When I think about returning there soon, I find my heart begins to race with anticipation. It is like love because it is love. It is grabbed me and there is little to nothing that I can do to get out of it's grasp. And truth is I don't want to.