[Peace and Justice Files columnist Skip Mendler left the United States on January 19, and is headed toward the Eastern Mediterranean to help with refugee assistance. He’s making a few stops along the way.]
Peace & Justice Files
[“Peace and Justice Files” columnist Skip Mendler left the United States on January 19, and is headed toward the Eastern Mediterranean to help with refugee assistance. He’s taking a few stops along the way, including Toronto.]
It’s not often that a rock song nails a deep philosophical truth in a single pithy lyric, but that’s just what the band Semisonic did back in 1998, with its anthemic hit “Closing Time,” which includes this great line:
“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”
When we lived in Pittsburgh some 25 years ago, I stood in for St. Nicholas at a couple of corporate Christmas parties. Fake-bearded and properly pillowed (I was thinner then, and clean-shaven), I’d wander from table to table, inviting folks to share their holiday wishes.
First off, let me ask: are you all right?
Are you sure?
We’ve all been heavily traumatized, y’know. Even those of us who think they won.
Well, that was certainly fun while it lasted, wasn’t it?
I mean that whole “democracy” thing—you know, that illusion that we nurtured for so long, that notion that “We the People” actually had the power to select our own leaders, that they would listen to our voices, and that they cared about our needs.