Thursday, January 20, 2011

Crazy Nazis Goons Invade Falls Church!

A short exchange of letters published and unpublished in the Falls Church News Press.

August 19th 2010


To the person or persons who made off with the recently installed mid-street trail markers on the W&OD trail through Falls Church:

We don't know whether you have some vague, Tea-Partyish political motive (you don't like trail users?) or are simply drunken fools, like Paul Newman's Luke in the movie "Cool Hand Luke," who cut off the heads of parking meters.  It hardly matters; it was a silly and immature crime.  If you wish to join or rejoin the ranks of adults, you should do the following: own up to it in public; apologize; make redress to the city as adjudicated; and then join the debate of the body politic if you have something to say.  Exercise your citizenship out in the open.

If your courage is not equal to this course of action, you might at least return the purloined items, creeping like the mouse you presently are, under cover of dark, to City Hall, perhaps.  Please don't bother replying with some lame justification, for there is none.

Grow up.

Dave Rockwell
Falls Church
August 26th 2010
Tea Party Not Responsible for Bike Trail Thefts

Calling all cars, calling all cars... be on the lookout for one Mr. Dave Rockwell who appears to have escaped from the Cuckoos Nest and is writing letters to the editor.
Are you kidding me or what? Let me get this straight. There was something stolen from the bike path cross walks and the Tea Party Activists are responsible for this because of their "vague political motive"...and only liberals use the bike path. In Hitler's rise to power he was quite successful in convincing the masses that the Jews were the evil that were to be blamed for all that was wrong. In this country's era of severe racial discrimination, it was quite a successful campaign by those that spread hate and fear that blacks were only 2/3 a human being and should be despised simply because of the color of their skin and in today's hope and change atmosphere it would appear that at least one liberal feels that all Tea Party Activists are thieves. I can tell you that as a retired police officer I arrested more people who supported the democratic ideology than I did of the opposite side. But what does that mean...all Dems are thieves. Think again. Mr. Rockwell, Jewish people are not evil, all African Americans do not look alike and all thieves are not Tea Party Activists. Now back away from the keyboard, put the straight jacket back on and go quietly to your room, the attendants have a Nancy Pelosi doll, a Harry Reid doll and a President Obama doll for you to play with today.

William Butler Yeats  [name altered to protect the innocent]
Falls Church

Sept 7th 2010 (not published)

To the Editor:

I am glad to see the emergence of a brilliant new political satirist on our local scene, to challenge our inestimable Mike Gardner, namely, [William Butler Yeats].  In his recent letter he hilariously pretends to be an offended Tea Party sympathizer who, at the slightest of provocation, reflexively labels his opponent a mentally challenged Hitler aficionado.  This literary conceit then serves the additional purpose of lampooning the regrettable tendency, so common now in these days of much-devolved political discourse, to resort to slapping the big Nazi tar-brush on any issue, no matter how painfully trivial, thus instantly ending all intelligent give-and-take.  Call me a crazy Nazi goon, but I’m on the floor laughing.

Regardless of this uproarious sarcasm, I do take a certain point here, with regard to my previous letter: I may very well have inadvertently offended the Tea Party by implying, however tangentially, that all of them would steal traffic signs in order to further a political agenda.  I would therefore wish to substitute, for the phrase “Tea Party”, the completely different phrase, “survivalist/anarchist/Unibomber sympathizer”.   I realize that this may leave me wide open to criticism from the Unibomber Party, but one must draw the line somewhere.

Dave Rockwell 
Falls Church

Friday, January 07, 2011

Message in a Bottle

January 7th, 2011

Today at work I received a remarkable letter in one of our Business Reply Mail envelopes, having nothing to do with our work:

The original is writtten in blue ink on a torn and ragged piece of paper, on both sides.  I transcribe it as follows:

Alexander Gardner
General Delivery
San Francisco, CA 94142

I got problems and I
got 13 1/2 years in
California state prison
having hard time
ajusting feet to        [adjusting?  feel?]
kill myself        Can'nt
deal to much

I got problems
to much Problem
all problems

Alexander Gardner
General Delivery
S.F. CA 94142

                   I was instantly struck with a certain melancholy, for the fragility of our lives and minds, of our fortune and our ability to cope and thrive.  This Alexander Gardner is marooned on the drifting, sinking hulk of the derelict freighter of his life; he has lost all his lifeboats, and his ability to attack his problems has been reduced to this desperate, inarticulate appeal to anyone in America - to some random office worker in an obscure charity - for no specific help; no pitch or spiel, just a shout into the darkness as the waves wash over the rusting carcass of the boat. He's looking at thirteen and a half years as a guest of the State of California, and when he gets out, will he be any better off? Is the State investing anything in training this poor guy for anything useful?  If they did, is he capable of improving himself in any case?
                   I know of no way I personally can help this man.  The world is full of people with even less in the way of personal ability, who cannot cope, land in jail, lose their health and their teeth and the little money they had.  Something went wrong very early on in their lives, and their downfall, gradual or sudden, makes us insecure, and calls our basic dignity as conscious beings into question.  Every week I see beggars standing at the off-ramp holding signs, usually much better written than this letter.  Most typical is something simple, like:


                    I'm sure this sign causes us to cough up a certain amount of cash in a day; we have no sure way of knowing what that man's life is really like.  But I feel fairly certain that Alexander Gardner is sincere, desperate, and essentially incompetent, and that there is no one on this earth willing to really give a rat's ass about this one man.  The human condition is boiled down to its essentials in this single instance, and reveals a flash of terrifying blankness underlying all.

GĂ©ricault's Raft of the Medusa, 1819

                  Kind of makes me lose interest in Lindsay Lohan's problems, ya know?