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A self-confessed line umpire

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By Tuesday, Aug 14, 2018 Viewpoints 7

He has been thirsty 30,000 years.

We are momentarily appalled. With concerted effort we dismiss this frameless plight. We shunt it into a mental dumpster hoping that today is pick-up day. It’s not pick-up day. Reluctantly we have to measure his 30,000 years of thirst against our 60 plus or minus years of whatever we have experienced thirst to be: a hike on a hot summer’s day, after playing a game or watching a game, on a beach, after sex … Embarrassed, we realize that we can’t dredge up a comparison and whatever empathy we express toward the man who has thirsted for 30,000 years is just a self-serving feint to sooth our ego.

Then someone comes forward and offers the man who has thirsted 30,000 years something to drink. He offers him Kool-Aid, anti-freeze, aquarium water, gasoline, mountain runoff. The man who has thirsted for 30,000 years reaches for it all. He opens his smiling mouth and pours in all that is offered to him. We stand by watching and appalled. How stupid is this man who has been thirsty 30,000 years? Look, he’s drinking poison! Look, look how happy he is. What a fool. He must be mad! What’s wrong with him! Doesn’t he see that the provider of these drinks is a charlatan, that he is a deceiver, con-artist, manipulator, fiend?

The degree of our being appalled evidences itself within the limitation of our inability to frame the thirst, the thirsty, all of those who have thirsted for 30,000 years. Suddenly, we have regained our footing. Suddenly, we now know best. We think we can at least guess how it might be being thirsty for 30,000 years because we are smart. With righteous indignation we can damn the thirsty man, damn the purveyor of liquids, damn the whole thing. Suddenly we are the self-appointed chair umpires sipping spring water, adjusting our sunglasses, watching the line.

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7 Comments   Add Comment

  1. Linda B Horn says:


    1. Carl Stewart says:


      “Incomprehensible” because the editors of The Edge are not only overseeing a Mickey Mouse excuse for journalism but they are also mean-spirited. There is absolutely no reason to publish verbatim a semi-literate comment by a reader. The Edge should have either properly edited Roberta’s comment or not published It. But The Edge will continue to display its utter disregard for its readers unless and until we stop reading it. If we want serious journalism in the Berkshires, we know what to read and it isn’t The Edge. But if we want a surfeit of anonymous ad hominem attacks, we have a place where this is not only welcomed, but encouraged

      1. Joseph Method says:

        That comment is spam by a bot that needs to be deleted. I do wish the Edge would update their commenting system to provide all the expected features: ability to edit or delete your own posts, automatic spam filtering, consistent user identity, etc. The rest of your comment seems really off-base. Comment sections aren’t the same as publishing a letter to the editor. Identity and anonymity are two different concepts.

        Also Linda is probably responding to the actual article not the comment. BTW I understood that it’s about a kind of archetypal Trump voter and the ineffectual but self-satisfied liberal response to him.

      2. Joseph Method says:

        Also I should have said that I think the Edge generally does a good job. “Mickey Mouse excuse for journalism” is really uncalled for and uhh mean-spirited.

      3. Terry Cowgill says:

        Carl, Mr Method is right. “Roberta’s” comment was spam and somehow got by our filters.

      4. Charles Flynn says:

        Carl, as usual you can never address an issue unless it involves an attack that is often unjustified and quite mean spirited. Whenever I see you post a comment you appear to try to project an air of being an expert on everything when in reality you show intolerance and a knowledge of very little about anything. The Edge is a good community electronic news and opinion source. I do not agree with everything that is written but , then again, I am not supposed to. Thank you Mr. Method for offering an honest analysis and Terry Cowgill for agreeing with Mr. Method’s assessment.

  2. dennis irvine says:

    Joyce used an unusual, difficult language style too- “And whowasit youwasit propped the pot in the yard and whatinthe nameofsen lukeareyou rubbinthe sideofthe flureofthe lobbywith Shite! will you have a plateful? Tak.”
    ― James Joyce, Finnegans Wake

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