I was reading the L.A. Times today . ‘Reading’ may be a bit of an exaggeration . Let’s say I skim it , reading most of the headlines ; get a sense of what’s called news .
Today’s ‘news’ was all negative . All of it . Usually there is some human -interest filler , or some reporting on something positive in the world . Not today though .
Oh , first I should say ‘Merry Christmas’ ! Good luck for a happy new year , too , because it’s four days or so until Christmas .
I’m reading a book about John Dillinger . He was shot down on a Chicago street by G-men in 1934 . Thirty-one years old . He was known , at the time , as Public Enemy Number One . Had spent most of his life in prison .
A few days after his death , a nineteen year old in Los Angels shot a cop and yelled : ” I am the new Dillinger ! “No one , I suspect , had informed the young murderer about Dillinger’s having spent the majority of his life in prison .
Seven years earlier , three eighteen-year olds in Arcadia , CA , were sentenced to life behind bars for having murdered an Arcadia police officer one night . They had been planning to rob a barbeque joint on a dusty corner at the edge of town one night when the cop approached the car they were sitting in and asked for license and registration .
There were other , more grisly murders happening around Los Angeles in those days , too . No need to go into any of those here . It’s Christmas time ! Now it occurs to me that King Herod was killing the new-borns way back at the first Christmas . There must be a lesson here , somewhere , about humans killing humans , but that’s not the point of this post , so I will move on .
And the world during the 1920s and 30s ? Are you kidding me ? Peace and tranquility ? Had I been reading a newspaper then , I probably would have been having the same feelings as when I read the L.A. Times nowadays . Al Capone , anyone ? The second world war was beginning to simmer , too .
But now I can also hook in to the world wide web and get a more immediate sense of how things are going . It may well be a skewed sense of things , but , nevertheless , immediate .
I hope that Santa will take care out there as his sleigh flies along . Lots of satellites will be tracking him , of course . I hope he has checked those helpers and screened that sack of toys . Hell of a thing if one of his reindeer has been radicalized . More likely possibility is that one might be Putin-ized , a Commie spy , slipping in over the frozen northern border at some point while Santy was busy supervising the elves in the workshop . And who knows what the Chinese or the North Koreans might be up to !
And , Jesus ! We won’t even discuss that matter at Christmas. Let’s not talk religion . Too complicated . We might get into arguments , when we discuss the Christmas story , about world-wanderers and refugees . Help them out ? Don’t help them out ? Did we ever track , by the way , who owned that manger , anyhow ? There must be a network we were previously unaware of . Must be someone’s fault ; someone was lying down on the job . We are all at risk . I suspect , on top of all that , that those so-called ‘wise men’ were Muslim .
So , this Christmas , peace on earth and joy to the world may be out . Before I declare that as a for-sure thing , though , I have to check Facebook and check in with cable news .