The Mummy’s Curse

Mummy_1932Have you seen the new Mummy movie?  If not, don’t bother.  You’ve escaped the Mummy’s Curse.  Are you familiar with the Mummy’s Curse?  Don’t open that tomb, or Great Evil will befall you.  That’s what seemed to happen to the archaeological party that dug up Tutankhamun’s tomb.  Then there’s the cinematic version.  Movies about mummies carry a two-fold curse: A. Shame on the studios that make them and B. Brain cell damage on the people who watch them.

Only two Mummy movies have escaped this curse: The Mummy (1932) starring Frankenstein actor Boris Karloff who underwent eight-hour makeup sessions that included baking and The Mummy (1959) starring British actor Christopher Lee.  These movies had credible plots.  They were well-cast, well-acted, and well-produced.  All other mummy movies have fallen to the curse.

Titles are enough to make the point.  Here are some samples: The Mummy’s Hand, The Mummy’s Ghost, The Mummy’s Tomb, Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb, Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb, Dawn of the Mummy, Bubba Ho-Tep (No, that isn’t a joke), Wrestling Women Meet the Aztec Mummy, The Robot vs. the Aztec Mummy, and The Mummy’s Kiss .  How about two more curse-bearers: We Want Our Mummy with the Three Stooges and Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy.  See what I mean?

The Mummy movies ground out by Universal Studios during the 1940’s are as low in creativity as they are in budget.  Typically, the Mummy is a zombie-like killing machine that drags one foot and strangles with his left hand.  Victims of this Mummy usually have to stand in place for several minutes, waiting for him to make his laborious way across the room to put the choke on them. In the same time span, they could calmly walk to their cars and drive away.  These movies are stupefying, and anyone who dares watch invites part B of the Curse.

Lon Chaney Mummy

(The Speed-Challenged Mummy of the 1940’s: Hiow lng did she have to stand there, waiting  for him to reach her?)

Now Universal has tried to break the cycle with a gender change.  Were the makers of this movie thinking of what Kipling wrote about the female of the species being more deadly than the male?  Probably not.  This Mummy is a former Egyptian princess named Ahmanet.  The princess seems to have had two major faults.  One was a Macbeth-type, power grab by slashing everyone in her way with a special knife – until she was reigned in and buried alive.  Live burial is standard Mummy origin fare; the new movie submerges the sarcophagus in a pool of mercury.  The other flaw is an apparent weakness for intricate facial tattoos (perhaps a worse flaw than the first).

A and C Meet Mummy

(When a movie monster meets Abbott and Costello, he knows it’s the end of the line. Ironically, this intended comedy couldn’t match the unintentional humor of the supposedly serious Mummy films.)

Naturally, modern discoverers of Ahmanet’s tomb haul her up and out, unleashing a horrific torrent of special effects on an unsuspecting world.  (This is one of the movie’s many insanities.  Why would people who wanted this particular princess to stay buried forever put her in a sarcophagus-shaped tomb the size of the Empire State Building? Aren’t people going to be interested in that?  Why not make it a small box labeled “Egyptian Poop Samples” ?)

Tom Cruise is given a chance to die early and perhaps go make a good movie.  But instead he comes back to life and rejoins the misguided action.  Later he adds to the absurdity by merging himself with the Egyptian god who originally empowered Ahmanet.  And just when you think it can’t get any zanier, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde show up.  Maybe as a supporting monster in case the title monster doesn’t cut it? (too bad Abbott and Costello weren’t available). The Rotten Tomatoes rating on this release is 15%.  Need more be said?

So the Mummy’s Curse continues.  Perhaps this latest cinematic debacle will serve as a warning to future movie makers.  The next time that tomb appears, rebury it!

Mummy 2917

(Equality:  The Glass Ceiling is finally broken in Mummy movies, proving that a female mummy can be just as brain-deadening to watch as the traditional male version)


In the Wake of the Latest Fourth

Declaration of Independence“I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”

John Adams, July 3, 1776

This post is not late.  It’s timed to hit when the latest Fourth of July is already fading from memory.  There were brats and beers and fireworks as usual.  The family and friends get-togethers happened as they always do.  Everything was as it always is.  And that may be the problem.  The form has replaced the substance behind it.  We celebrate because we’re supposed to celebrate.  Children aren’t being taught what this is all about anymore.  Adults aren’t generally reflecting on “the blessings of liberty.”  The main focus is on food and festivity for its own sake.  We’re going through the motions like automatons, without questioning why.  So it is that a holiday designed to be rich in meaning has turned out to be relatively meaningless.

The Fourth of July is supposed to be a celebration of freedom and independence on two levels.  Our nation is free and independent, and our citizens possess personal freedom and independence as well.   I have witnessed what happens in many modern classrooms when students are given the option not to stand and say the Pledge of Allegiance every morning.  Sitting it out becomes culturally cool.  America doesn’t deserve that much of their attention.  Many athletes and celebrities also choose to sit it out.

But isn’t the freedom not to say the Pledge what should get everybody on his or her feet to say it?  In totalitarian countries, that choice isn’t available.  You salute or you suffer.  Nazis made people “Heil Hitler” whether they wanted to or not.  Nobody was allowed to sit that out.  Communist Russia was another regime that did not allow criticism or non-participation.  Neither did Communist China under Chairman Mao.  In fact, modern China does not permit dissent either. Show up in public with a protest poster, and you disappear.  Maybe the sit-outs would benefit from a vacation to North Korea where a single comment against the Leader could win them a twenty year stretch of regular beatings and hard labor.

America does have problems, and it always has had problems.  There has been discrimination.  There has been inequality. People have suffered needlessly.  But the difference between America and Iran is that this country was founded with a built-in mechanism for change.  Most nations in world history haven’t had that mechanism.  Their constitutions haven’t been amendable the way ours is.  Their people haven’t had the power to elect their leaders the way Americans can.  Their social systems have not allowed individuals to rise from nothing to high positions.  America has been unique in the power it gives average people to change the way things are.  And the course of American history has been the story of people making those changes, often through heroic self-sacrifice.

So in the wake of the latest grill-and-go Fourth, perhaps we should start preparing ourselves for next year.  Maybe we can connect again with the best of what America was founded to be.   John Adams was one of the founders.  He sacrificed years and years away from his home and family to do the work of building a nation.  During the Revolution, the British government wanted him dead.  In his later years, Adams wrote a message to us, to the future.  He said, “You will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom.  I hope you will make good use of it.”  Let’s do that.  Let’s put some substance back into the celebration.

Summer of Love II: Trying for Utopia

Haight AshburyAs the Summer of Love hits the half century mark, we should note that it wasn’t just a cultural phenomenon; it was the last sincere attempt to make a Utopia.  I once visited a golf community where the lush backyards all looked out on the heart of the place, a manicured golf course.  Men actually wore cardigan sweaters, and putted about in golf carts.  It was like The Stepford Wives without the interesting characters. It seems like everybody is after Utopia in one form or another.  For some people it’s a gated community; for others its a commune. The Greek philosopher Plato thought it was rule by an elite group of philosopher-kings whose leadership was universally welcomed.  Rome thought it was  Pax Romana (Peace of Rome).  The Catholic Church of the Middle Ages thought it was command by them with anybody who disagreed burning at the stake.  In the 1800’s, Utopian thinkers in America started special communities like New Harmony and Oneida where like-minded people could flourish in seclusion from the outside world.  We probably shouldn’t leave out the dark utopias, systems that were only Utopian for the rulers: the Third Reich and the Soviet Union.Summer of Love One(Feeling the Love: Before the tourist buses came)

Now and then, Utopia attempts have been inspired by novels.  In the late 1940’s, psychologist B.F. Skinner wrote Walden Two, a piece of fiction in which he applied his behaviorist philosophy to community development.  Years later, a group of optimists opened Twin Oaks, modeled on the Skinner novel.  Maybe it wasn’t a coincidence that the founding date was 1967.  Then there is the story of the story that came from a story and then led to a real-life story (Yes, it was as confusing as it sounds).  In the 1500’s, Thomas More wrote a tale he called “Utopia” from two Greek words meaning “no place.” More’s perfect place was an Atlantic island.  The island idea must have been in Aldous Huxley’s mind when he wrote his novel, Island in 1962.  The path to paradise for Huxley was drugs.  Drugs would open the mind to bold new perceptions and understandings.  Huxley’s vision burst into full-color, psychedelic life five years later when legions of hippies (hipsters) invaded a quiet San Francisco neighborhood known by the convergence of two of its streets, Haight and Ashbury.  They had been settling in for months when summer approached.  To head off concerns about things getting crazy when thousands more poured into the area in June, a “council” formed among the invaders, calling itself The Council for the Summer of Love.  The spectacle was put to music when the Mamas and Papas released “San Francisco” in July. “If you’re goin’ to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair.”  Echoing Huxley (who had died the same day as JFK was killed), the hippies used drugs to reach what they hoped would be new dimensions of enlightenment.  Their ideal was made up of not working, scrounging free food and clothes, sitting around, and heeding the words of LSD prophets like Timothy Leary: “Tune in, turn on, drop out.”

Flower Power 67(Pentagon Protest ’67: Flowers for the troops?  You’re kidding, right? )

Ironically, the tens of thousands who invaded San Fran, were soon the victims of a counter invasion.  Tour buses, windows filled with curious, middle-aged faces, started nosing through the streets.  Haight Ashbury had become a zoo.  The Utopian values disintegrated in the sickness that comes from undernourishment and bad drug trips.  Mainstream comedian Bob Hope joked that manufacturers were putting ink on LSD pills – pause – so when the kids go on a trip they can write back (audience laughter).  But it wasn’t funny.  Another Utopia had come apart on the rocks of reality.  Troopers didn’t want flowers put in their gun barrels.  As summer waned, the hippies carried a coffin through the streets marking the death of the Summer of Love.  To understand what happened in that summer, why the envisioned Utopia never took root, we need only remember the words of Mark Antony from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar: Ambition should be made of sterner stuff.  Oh well, at least we have the music.


Summer of Love

Sgt. PepperThe Fab Four kicking off the Summer of Love fifty years ago (almost today)

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.  So claimed William Shakespeare, and who dares to contradict the Great Bard?  The Skeptical Malt Ball, that’s who.  Names are everything.  Italian restaurants usually have Italian names.  There’s something off-putting about Schultz’s Italian Eatery.  Names give us hooks on which to hang our perceptions.  So it is with the Summer of Love, celebrating its 50th birthday this year.

For those who don’t know about that particular summer, it took place in the year 1967.  Someone must have thought that a special name was needed to distinguish that summer from the summer of 1966. The main difference between the two was pop culture.  ’66 was black and white TV, button-down collared shirts, button-down everything.  The Summer of Love was sudden, full color.  It wasn’t just color either; it was bold, psychedelic color.  There were explosions of color.  Patterns were in-your-face. Stripes and modest checks gave way to bursts of paisley.  Girls’ clothing went through a revolution with the paper dress, but boys were safe for a few more years; their ‘65-‘66 stuff was still okay in ’67.

Paper Dresses

Music changed that summer.  A mere twelve months earlier, every pop group looked like the Beatles.  Matching haircuts (bangs) and matching suits.  A world that had been rocked first by Elvis, then in an even bigger way by the Fab Four, had found a way to preserve its sanity.  If all the groups looked basically the same, they could all be put in the same box.  Things couldn’t get too crazy.  But then came Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, with the Beatles breaking all the rules again.  How could sanity be preserved in a world where the Beatles no longer looked like the Beatles?   Where did those mustaches come from?  And the 19th Century marching band suits in psychedelic colors?  One teen magazine printed a picture of the transformed Beatles over a caption reading “Is this the beginning of the end?  Probably.”  Sure enough, they broke up just two years later.  But in ’67 they seemed to pave the way for wild groups like the Doors and Jefferson Airplane.  Pop lyrics jumped from “The mornin’ sun is shinin’ like a red rubber ball” to “One pill makes you larger, and one pill makes you small.  And the ones that mother gives you, don’t do anything at all.  Go ask Alice, when she’s ten feet tall.”

Most people did not go psychedelic. They went on working, paying their bills, enjoying their backyard barbeques.  They maintained the status quo while the world changed around them.  The alterations were presented to them in manageable, bite-size doses on TV.  The “boob tube” didn’t tell them that thinking was changing.  Yes, there are always thoughts behind events.  Everything seemed quaint, amusing, safe.  Look what the kids are doing now.

In the summer of 1967 a gallon of gas cost you 33 cents.  A movie ticket came to $1.25.  The average income was $7,300.00.  Israel won a six day war against Egypt and its allies.  Thurgood Marshall was confirmed to be the first black Supreme Court Justice, and the Court stopped states from making interracial marriage illegal.  A new magazine came out by the name of Rolling Stone.  The Constitution was amended again, and Mohammad Ali was stripped of his heavyweight title for refusing induction into the military.  The Corporation for Public Broadcasting was created.

Every year has its news, and with the news comes change.  In that sense, 1967 was no different than any other year.  So why is it remembered as something special?  Simple.  Shakespeare was wrong.  A rose by any other name would NOT smell as sweet.  Calling it a sausage would dent the allure somehow.  1967 might have been just another year that had a summer.  Like every other year.  The unhappy effects of drugs on the takers and their families plus an escalating war in Vietnam hardly made for thoughts of love.  But that particular summer, by getting the name Summer of Love, became (to borrow some other words from Shakespeare) the stuff that dreams are made on.  In this case, the name gave the flower its scent.

Surrealistic Pillow

You can tell that it’s not 1966 anymore.

Not Quite Moving On


I once knew of a junior high school that staged a yearly graduation ceremony they called “Moving On.”  The word for what the ceremony actually was never appeared in the proceedings.  It was as though the people staging it were unaware that calling something by a different name doesn’t make it something different.   Were they afraid of stealing the high school’s thunder by using the G-word?   Were they captivated by an imagined sense of unique ingenuity?  Whatever the reason for the name change, the concept was wrong.  Their graduates were only partly moving on.

In this season of graduations (or if you prefer, of movings on), let’s reflect on what graduation is and what it isn’t.  At its heart, graduation is one of life’s pivotal moments.  It basically means concluding the work you’ve been doing and leaving the place where you’ve been doing it.  On the night of my high school graduation, a friend and I walked around our small town into the wee hours, finally ending up back on campus.  But as we sat in the football bleachers, the sprawling building – once our home turf – brooded darkly in the distance.  We knew it didn’t want us anymore.  We no longer belonged.

But what we’d learned there, the ways in which we’d changed, the experiences we’d had, the people – teachers and peers – we’d come to like and respect (and some others who’d occasionally made life as pleasurable as a three-day flu ) were all still with us.  We weren’t moving on from that.  The substance of what we’d come through – and the ways that it had affected us – wouldn’t be left behind.  In short, we do graduate from times and places, but we do not graduate from our formative moments.

And that leads to another point about graduation.  We didn’t realize all that formative stuff was formative when it was happening.  It’s like realizing that life is made up of seconds, but not understanding that every second is taking us somewhere.  To another point in life.  The little things:  that comment by a teacher or a parent or a friend, that seemingly insignificant decision or that encounter we thought would never matter in the long run somehow turn out to shape us.

So if you’re a participant in this graduating season, think not about what you’re leaving, but rather of what you’re taking with you.  Yes, we must never stand still.  We must continue to grow, to progress, hopefully to improve.  To move on.  But as we do, let us continue to be informed by those little places within us where we are still each of the ages we were when the hammer and chisel of experience performed their finest work.  We are not, after all, the sum of what will be, but rather, of what has been.

Spare Him the Sight!

charlie chaplin

What is a skeptical malt ball for if not to express skepticism?  With this truth in mind, let us proceed to an evaluation of the modern movie theater.  In days of old, people went to the movies to. . .well, to see movies.  There were giants then.  Citizen Kane, The Ten Commandments, Spartacus.  These and other films were populated by actors and actresses who were as larger than life as the titles in which they appeared.  On the twenty-fifth anniversary of MGM, studio boss Louis B. Mayer gathered his galaxy of stars around him for a photo op.  He had just one thing to say: “More stars than there are in heaven.”

The theaters where the movies appeared were big too.  They were palaces filled with glistening and elaborate ornamentation.  One such palace featured a rotunda ceiling in which Reela, the goddess of cinema, soared heavenward with an unraveling movie.  These weren’t multiplexes.  One theater featured one movie.  Sometimes they ran double features.  And no matter how elaborate the theater, the seats were of basic design.  Often adorned in red velvet, but basic.  The refreshments consisted of popcorn and candy.

That’s the scene Charlie Chaplin looked out on from those bygone movie screens.  When he started in pictures, people sat on benches, and the only sound was a piano player in the back corner.  So the basic theater seat was considered a plush advancement. The basic theater seat lasted for generations.  Dictators and hair styles came and went, but the theater seat stayed put.

Movie Palace

Then something happened.  Someone got the bright idea that people might go to the movies for something other than movies.  It seemed as counter-intuitive as asking a girl for a date while belching, but a new era was apparently dawning. Today’s movie theaters have as much glamour as the average hospital.  They consist of hallways where hapless people wander in search of the door under a sign matching the name on their ticket.  These tickets must be bought “online” in advance.  If you show up trying to buy a ticket the old fashioned way, you sit with your face pressed against the screen. If you get in at all.

The seats are now three times the size of classic seating, which explains why every show sells out so quickly.  They are bulbous recliners that seem more appropriate to napping than to viewing.  Sitting in them feels like occupying the chair in the Lincoln Memorial.  And who bothers with popcorn when there are servers to take and deliver your dinner order?  If the movie proves disappointing, no problem.  Just keep downing the alcoholic beverages the theater sells.  Let everything melt into a psychedelic nirvana.

What would Mr. Chaplin think were he to peer out from the screen of a modern theater?  Let’s not think about it.  Happily, he’ll never have to see the contemporary hordes snoozing in their overstuffed recliners, slabs of pizza awaiting their attention on pullout trays, half-consumed beers stuck in the drink holders.  Perhaps the best way to state the situation is to paraphrase the words of Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard.   Movie going used to be big.  It still is.  It’s the theaters that got smaller.



I dread running into people I know at this time of year.  The reason for my reluctance is the inevitable question: “Are you doing anything for New Year’s?”  The question is stuffed with expectation.  After all, New Year’s (formerly New Year’s Eve before people got lazy and clipped off the last word) is supposed to be the Atomic Bomb Mushroom Cloud of parties, the difference between a five star restaurant decked out with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the city, and the local McDonald’s.  New Year’s is the Big Occasion; if you’re not there, you’re square.

But where did we get this idea?  When did people start seeing New Year’s as a mythical Eldorado, a glistening ideal that must be chased but can never quite be caught?  Personally, I blame the whole thing on movies that were made during the 1930’s.  In a Depression-ravaged country filled with people who didn’t know where their next meal was coming from, movies were the Great Escape.  For a dime, people with holes in their shoes could attend elegant parties and hobnob with the stars (if only through the fantasy of the silver screen).  So Hollywood laid it on thick.  In glorious black and white everyone looked as luminous as a Greek god.  And the Crescendo of musicals, romances, and adventures was New Year’s Eve.  All the movie men wore white tie and tails while their women adorned themselves in blindingly glittering gowns.  They danced gaily in impossibly glamorous and upscale halls where 25-piece orchestras played lush tunes endlessly.  On the stroke of midnight the band belted out Auld Lang Syne, while oceans of shiny balloons and silvery streamers descended on hundreds of impossibly beautiful people passionately engaged in impossibly dazzling kisses.

Whether anyone remembers these movies or not, we’re all still breathing their cultural exhaust.  That’s why people ask each other the Big Question.  That’s also why the answers are always bound to be disappointing.  No white tie and tails.  No legions of popping champagne bottles.  Maybe a living room populated with ten or fifteen drab people drinking because they feel like that’s what they’re supposed to do.  Like the party I once attended dressed in a suit because I was reaching for Fred Astaire in a world of tee shirts and ragged jeans.  A drunk guy approached me, and asked me my name and what my job was.  Two minutes after I told him he asked me again, and I gave him a different answer.  He kept asking, and I kept making stuff up.  By the time I walked away, I was Jonas Salk, inventor of the polio vaccine, a distinction which earned only a casual nod from my inebriated acquaintance.

So the next time you feel let down by “New Year’s” remember whom to blame.  Old Hollywood, that moneyed crowd of thin mustaches and penciled eyebrows, is responsible.  As I sit there on the evening of 12/31 thinking of ways to evade telling people about my New Year’s, I’ll be wishing that those mythical movie stars had drowned in their glassy balloons.  New Year’s?  Bah, Humbug!


Good News!


Why are we so hung up on the Olympics while the world seems to be falling down around us?  Precisely because the world is falling down around us.  As Ira Gershwin once wrote, “With politics and taxes, and people grinding axes, there’s no happiness.”  We crave good news.  Election coverage adds to whatever anxieties we already have.  The Middle East?  Russia?  Natural disasters at home and abroad?  Wars and rumors of wars?  Then  Simone Biles wins multiple gold medals, and for just a moment the walls don’t seem to be closing in as relentlessly.

Perhaps that’s why we sometimes pay so much attention to sports in general. Even if the euphoria of victory on the field or the court or the mat fades quickly, at least we had euphoria.  At least there was a flicker of relief from the latest crisis.  And even when our team or our athlete loses, at least the winner doesn’t have the power to raise our taxes or regulate our lives.  In the case of the Olympics, we have the privilege of seeing a host of young people who are models of self-discipline and drive.  We can admire abilities that took years of tireless, determined effort to build.  Like the best of the best that they are, the Olympians make it look easy.  The way Fred Astaire made dancing look easy.  The way the Beatles made music look easy.

Recently, the editor of the newspaper in my small town wrote an editorial in which she requested that readers inform the paper of any positive, uplifting news in the community.  She expressed her belief that too often, the bad news is the star of the show.  And how right she was.  Years ago, a co-worker told me that he never ate while watching the news.  He explained that the news and good digestion were incompatible.  Think of the famous headlines of history such as “Titanic Sinks” or “Stock Market Crashes!”  It seems as though the only good news is bad news, or at least that seems to be the perspective of the media that transmit news.

Why were movie musicals so popular during the Great Depression?  For a few coins, we could imagine ourselves in beautiful evening clothes, dancing our way up silvery staircases to a life of limitless possibilities and endless positivity.  We escaped – at least mentally – the question of where our next meal was coming from.  The musicals spread the good news that even in troubled times, it was possible to find at least a little happiness here and there.

So enjoy the good news of the Olympics and the stories of people who reach the century mark and still have their wits about them and the couples celebrating their sixtieth wedding anniversary and the young people making valuable community contributions.  They remind us that despite it’s “sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,” life can be beautiful.

Shut Up!

When I was in high school they used to show a film that started with a guy in a Nazi uniform putting on a swastika armband.  As the camera drew back, you could see he was on a contemporary American street among many passersby. He started handing out leaflets, getting frowns for his trouble.

The idea of the film was that Constitutional free speech meant the freedom to say things that other people might find offensive.  In those days, Nazi rhetoric was considered the ultimate in offensive speech.  Today, the standard has changed to anything Donald Trump happens to be saying.

Maybe we should review the source for the whole free speech idea.  It’s the First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

It was a little hard to swallow back in the old days that somebody could actually stand on a street corner and say a bunch of Nazi stuff and get away with it under the First Amendment.  The free speech idea is still difficult for some people.  For example, some college campuses like Yale have “safe zones” where students are “safe” from any speech that offends them.

The First Amendment has been used to justify a lot of things that the people who wrote it never imagined it applying to. The real focus was speech about politics and society.  That was the kind of speech that was important to a country that had recently managed to fight its way out from under what they saw as an oppressive  Big Government, the rulership of Britain.

So I was surprised the other day when I listened to a Donald Trump speech, and heard disruptive outbursts from protesters about every four minutes.  It might be argued that they had a right to protest.  However, the security guards escorting them out were evidence that they didn’t have a right to protest inside the hall where the speech was taking place. This is happening a lot.

But there is a bigger concern, a concern far greater than whether or not a Donald Trump speech is disrupted.   If we’ve come to the point of shouting down every idea with which we disagree, we’re in trouble.  It seems self-contradictory to use speech for the purpose of shutting off speech.  We’ve already seen in history what happens when the right to speak is dictated by the group with the loudest volume.  I don’t hear such disruptions at Hillary speeches.  Is this because nobody disagrees with her?  Hmm.

The purpose of this piece is not to defend or promote any political candidate.  Perhaps it is simply to remind ourselves of something Rod Serling once said: “For civilization to survive, the human race has to remain civilized.”  Telling people whose ideas don’t jibe with our own to shut up is the first step toward a place where none of us really want to be.

Cary Grant

Did he accidentally violate a “safe zone?”