A landmark in southern Connecticut, the old Stonington lighthouse was built in 1840 and “retired” from service in 1889. It has been dark, therefore, for 120 years. If you look closely at the image, you can see that the tower is empty. Today, it serves as a museum of maritime and lighthouse history (as well as a photographic target).
I have long been an admirer of lighthouses, not only for their architectural beauty and structural longevity, but also for their pure symbolism. In many respects, they represent all that is good and noble about humans. We are at our best when we are selfless, when our actions are driven only by our desire to preserve life and protect others from the ravages of catastrophic events, whether those events be manmade or natural. And that’s what lighthouses did. Today’s onboard navigational electronics have essentially made these marvelous structures obsolete, but boaters will tell you that they still prefer to have them around and lit – they like to know that they are there. They feel more at ease if they can see these pulsating lights, each with it’s own distinctive pattern, even though their electronic gear is telling them exactly where they are. The light provides comfort and assurance. They know exactly where they are.
Eventually, however, most of these lights will go out. Nothing lasts forever.
But they are not the only “lights” being extinguished in this world. I watch the news and I’m appalled by what I see. Without a doubt, the lights are going out. How can anyone not believe that after viewing what happened in Washington on Friday during the “Million Moron March”? That phrase, by the way, was coined by one of my favorite comedians (Bill Maher). I don’t know about you, but I get a little scared when I see tens of thousands of people standing in front of the U. S. capitol saying idiotic, nonsensical things. It was nothing short of a dangerous mob.
How do you respond to people carrying signs that say:
“Is this Russia?”
“Traitors and Terrorists Run Our Government”
“Don’t Blame Me – I voted for The American”
One woman, interviewed on the nightly news, said that Muslims were taking over the country. Then, of course, there was the outburst from South Carolina congressman Joe Wilson during President Obama’s address to congress last week (“You lie!”). This was an unprecedented verbal attack on a sitting president in that chamber. I can’t help but think that if Obama were white, it wouldn’t have happened. Too many people are simply refusing to believe that an African American is actually their president. Joe Wilson was simply revealing his roots. As were all the morons who descended on Washington Friday.
Make no mistake – much of this is racial. All of this other stuff is just code – most of these clowns wouldn’t know a socialist from a fascist if one came up and bit them in the butt. This is just good old fashioned race baiting without the old rhetoric. Same old crap, different language. But just as dangerous. Because, you see, we haven’t changed all that much over the last couple of hundred years. The bigots are still out there and they’re still very, very loud. And their lights have been out for a long, long time.