When I was a kid, my favorite thing to read was Sports Illustrated. Yes, I was very cultured. My biggest debate was whether I should start reading the magazine from the front or from the back. I was probably like that also, at that point in my life. I couldn’t wait till my dad got home from work on Wednesdays, and brought home a slew of magazines. My dad worked for Time Life and this magazine was one of “my” perks for “his” labor. My other debate was, when to read it; instantly, as I prefer everything, or wait until the Sabbath in order to relax and enjoy it.
The back was my favorite. It would have essays written by SI’s top writers, from Frank Deford to Rick Reilly. God, I loved Rick Reilly, and I guess so did SI, since that the last page became his. It was called “Life of Reilly.” After reading one of his pieces, and loving it, and sharing with my dad my love of the piece, he suggested I write him a letter. A great idea, one I agreed to, but then I started to think about the actual writing part of it, then the corrections, and then the envelope. I’ve never been a good envelope sealer or stamp placer, and my handwriting is terrible, first for the letter, and then for the address. This ten second pause in my head, and I would no longer write my appreciation letter.
Times have changed, and with a few keystrokes, a few @’s, maybe a sign up, you can send love, but mostly “hate” instantly. There is no more pause. It’s almost too instant for someone as instant as me. I don’t think this is a bad thing. Getting your hate out with a stroke of a key is far better than with a fist, or worse. I, at least, need to tell myself this, because God, there is so much hate being spewed. I also realize that this hate seems to be more out there, with the inauguration and the threat of mass protest ahead of us.
They aren’t going to show up. Sure a few will. They will probably be from the same crowd, the anti-Israel groups, the Black Lives Matter people, who of course happen to also be anti-Israel, and whoever George Soros has paid to be there. Go figure, another anti-Israel group. But none of these “keystrokers” will. All these people from social media, who plan on being there the day of, or the day after, there’s no chance they will show up. It sounds novel, like me writing a letter to Rick Reilly, but that’s all it is, novel.
First, this would include leaving one’s actual house. It will include planning an actual trip. Whether it will require paying for a ticket, flying on a plane, or a really long bus or car ride, this will include an actual form of real life socializing and interaction. Unless Pokémon Go and Uber work out some sort of travel arrangement, this will not be happening. This is our saving grace in America; people’s lack of discipline, when it comes to hate. The one thing the terrorists have on us is, they aren’t lazy. If all social networks were shut off tomorrow, guaranteed, so would most of our nation’s hate be. Plus, it looks like rain in Washington on Friday, and who wants to protest in the rain?
Oh, I always ended up reading my SI backwards, and pretty much I had it read within a few hours of my dad’s bringing it home. Obviously I never thanked Mr. Reilly, nor did I tell him how much I loved his work. But then again, I’ve also never been much of a protester either. Sure, I’ve been to a few rallies and the like, but, God it was work getting to them. What do you wear? Who do you go with? Will there be water and, if I drink too much of it, will there be portapotties? What time does it start? Where will I meet my friends? Do I pick up a sign there, because my handwriting and arts and crafts skills are terrible? Is there chanting (and I don’t know any chants)? You know I’m not going to go, and neither are any of you. So, yes, I will enjoy this Inauguration without you. And, I’m sure I will read your “absentee” posts about it.