People that believe deeply in something continue to befuddle me. Our obscure little planet in the far reaches of the Universe hides more than it shows. Can we be sure of anything? I don’t think so.
My great befuddlement continued recently when I reached the summit of small Cholla Peak in urban Thunderbird Park. The park is located in one of our westside suburbs called Glendale, a very conservative place. It was up there on this little peak I saw remnants of our mania to believe in smoke and mirrors. In this case to believe in patriotism and Christmas.
Some patriots have planted the American flag in a small pile of rocks. The flag is a sorry-ass specimen. It is faded and the lead edge is frayed. A few stout winds from now and it will likely flutter in shreds. This flag has gone up in the last several months. An older one flies above a sister hill to the southeast, Arrowhead Peak. Soon I suppose an American flag will hang above every one of the park’s half-dozen peaks. Eyesores and a slap to the already well-slapped face of Mother Nature.
No, these flags in Thunderbird Park are political statements by right-wind, or is it right-wing? dreamers who impose their values on the rest of us. Not every American is proud of the U.S. these days. Certainly not when it comes to foreign policy, the proliferation of guns, our record of domestic terrorism and the racism which has reared up again after years of suppression.
Christmas. Near the flag, two young palo verde trees, bushes really, sported ornaments. Again someone has decorated a piece of public ground with a personal statement. Christmas, if no longer about Christianity, is certainly good for business and the U.S. economy. Maybe China’s too.
In any case, not everyone thinks Christmas is a good thing. Crowds of shoppers, nothing but sentimental Christmas music playing in stores and restaurants and the stresses of buying gifts. All that is a downer to me.
I would like to see these superficial symbols come down off the peaks. But, in Glendale, you can bet only a shout from God would goad the city’s government to act.
And maybe not then. Not even the gods dare touch our misty dreams of how the world works.