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Has the Old Man Left the Building? Was He or She Ever There?

Updated: Dec 20, 2022

David Sherman

If the guy with the extra-long beard and craggy benevolent face, disembodied, often thought to be up there in a simply appointed office, has not, as many think, left the building, he is making his presence known. Forcefully, lest we have doubts. The plagues are upon us. No frogs, but Covid and Trump. Raging wildfires. Typhoons in Japan. Scorching temperatures in Denver followed by driving snow. Hurricanes swirling around the Gulf. Ice, hell fire and monsoon rains. Land, water and air despoiled. People shooting people. Police using Black people for target practice.

The Holy Land, the Middle East, for sale, bring missiles and IEDs. Buildings are self-immolating. Zombies for Trump walking eagerly into the slaughter chute, waving banners in support of the man holding the bolt gun. Armed militia shooting for Trump, celebrated by Trump.

Great giant mammals disappearing, along with civility.

Working people denigrating unions, paying obeisance to their exploiters.

Captains of big pharma pledge not to be swayed by political influence or lured by profit. Why would we mistrust the women-friendly industry that brought us thalidomide, toxic baby powder or deadly IUDs?

Is the man upstairs paying attention? Insulting the U.S. military command has become blasphemy. They perpetrated Vietnam, Korea, Iraq — tell me where to stop – station men and women in uniform in more than 200 countries, but are now paragons and protectors of the U.S. constitution. The FBI, exterminators of the Black Panthers and indigenous peoples, now cashing pension cheques and advances from publishers in a mad rush to spill the beans.

North American indigenous women disappearing by the thousands.

And, for comic relief, we have the servant of God, Jerry Falwell Jr., and his threesomes with the pool boy.

A devout friend suggests the man upstairs is perhaps testing believers and non-believers alike, measuring our mettle and the faith of those who have faith.

Has he pushed young white men of all seasons, weaned on racism, paid the GDP of small nations to throw, run, skate, catch, shoot, to find redemption by sloganeering? Black Lives Mattter. That’s a revelation, seventy years after Jackie Robinson came to play in Montreal? Their owners doing the same, trying to maintain their multi-billion-dollar fan base.

Did the big guy have a hand in Black men and women saying they’re not taking anymore?

If the old man has left the building, or perhaps, excuse the heresy, never entered, we are left to see what a curious, amoral, homicidal bunch we are. And if he, or is he a she, is still up there minding the store, manipulating man and circumstance like pieces on the board, well, we’ve failed.

Or perhaps he has, thinking his creations were of sterner stuff than we are.

No one is perfect, after all. The faithful can witness, by the grace of the miracles of miniature microchips, wide screens and elephant glass, the pathetic bipeds we’ve become.

There will be no floating away in an ark after 40 days of rain. We will drown in floods constructed from decades of our own tears. Or, salvation will come. By his hand or our own. The ship will be righted by right-thinking women who have shown more than their share of the right stuff for eons.

But we can all grab an oar and paddle. Pray if that’s your thing. It’s not dark yet, and it might be well getting there. So, perhaps the most precious commodity is not gold, silver or greenbacks, but the equal opportunity employer – hope.

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