American Civilization I

by Richard Kovac

What is this country's (USA) greatest gift to human civilization? I suggest it is not the force of arms which we so impress upon the minds of many of our young with bribes, but rather baseball and the entertainment industry.

Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mouse are the true archetypes or heroes. I note that more people viewed Martin Sheen as President in "West Wing" than actually listened to the "sitting" veridical president of the time. This I have called the "Hollywood Revolution" and I name Martin Sheen as its mentor.

Mickey Mouse's home, Disney World, is one of the two most cherished pilgrimage sites in the country - the other being Las Vegas. I can see Disney World digesting the world as a follow-up to some of its colossal movies. It is psychedelic and all. Did you know that Walt Disney had a dishonorable discharge from the Army and became an evangelical Christian? Fairy tales can come true, and I have at times been surrounded by them.

Baseball, for all its rigors, is a discipline and mathematical, and a perpetual argument for those who utilize it. The wisdom of Yogi Berra is unquestionable - but Billy Martin's Yankees succumbed to a fatal clean-up-the-act agenda.

My icons are from yesterday, but they have reaped power in their old age when lust burns less wildly and power is more graspable in the world around.

Jim Bouton, former Yankee pitcher, and CBS sportscaster, exposed some of the foibles of his teammates in his classic Ball Four. I wish Greta Olsson would review it one of these days, with a reference to the highly-paid more antiseptic (and sometimes steroid) baseball of today.

We should send bubble gum, not bullets. Our gifts like these will help us to win friends and influence people throughout the world, and do us some credit and give us some credibility. No one - except those who dare - want to reduce our planet to a nuclear devastated wasteland.

Play ball!

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