You know the chair I'm talking about. The La-Z-Boy Atomolounger with its built-in massaging pads that give you the same feeling that you get when the doctor has prescribed to large a dosage of thorazine. . . oh yeah.
Damn, peace is so easily shattered.
"What is it Aarron? I'm trying to watch yet another of the hundreds of 1995 year in review shows."
"Ahh. What is your New Years resolution?"
"I resolve to stop listening to the voices in my head that tell me to kill all of my co-workers."
"Aarron, I'm just joking. I don't have any resolution."
"Since you seem to be interested in reviewing pertinent events of the previous year, what do you feel was the most important event of 1995?"
"Aarron, I don't want to play. Right now all I want is for Rayden to finish making those Margaritas and slide into an alcohol induced coma."
"Come on Mister Benson." And then he gave me that smile of his. Now this is not a "please play with me" smile, but rather a "there will be pain, but I haven't decided what form it will take yet" kind of smile. When you get that smile, it's best to play along and pray not to die.
"Peace in Bosnia and the fact that NATO troops are there to secure that peace."
I was expecting Aarron to jump, but it was Vince who came in first. "Why? What the hell are we doing there? I'm getting really cheesed about the idea that the U.S. has to get involved in every little place on the planet. It's none of our business."
"Hey you leave Rush alone."
"Why should I," stated Aarron "The man is a jingoist pinhead who'd love to see us return to the heady days of isolationism. You do remember what happened when we last did that. One psychotic despot nearly conquered Europe and another was allowed to strengthen a totalitarian regime that we would spend pissing and moaning with for the next 40 years."
"We have a moral obligation to be there Vince, not only as the last super power, but as the example of peaceful democracy. We sat back and let them kill each other while our supposedly moralistic leaders sat on their asses debating on what to do. Though I've disagreed with some of his actions, Bill Clinton made the right call this time."
Aarron then creeped real close to Vince. "What do you think was the most important event in 1995?"
"The fruition of the Middle East peace talks."
Once again, Aarron nodded his head. "Not bad Vince. It is an important event. It is really great seeing those self-deprecating Israelis have to finally act like a civilized nation."
Oh, I had to jump at that one. "What the hell are you talking about Aarron? Are you some kind of anti-Semite?"
"No Benson, just a person who has seen through all of the smoke and mirrors that that nation loves to display. I mean you said it yourself, you immediately accuse me of hating Jewish people, which is completely off base. That's the game they want played. The Israeli persecution complex that nation has, coupled with their supposed justification for attacking anyone who pissed them off on the grounds of Jewish hate, is so contrary to democracy. Yet we, the founders of modern democracy, let it slide. Now, the Palestinians are playing by the rules that everyone in the world said they would have to play by if they wanted to achieve progress, and the Israelis don't like it one damn bit. Now they can't just bomb the crap out of someone for whatever reason they want, they have to act like a democratic nation. I mean if we dropped the hammer on every piss-ant little nation that angered us, there would be a lot of craters and we wouldn't be a democracy."
"Not everyone wants the old ways to stay in Israel, Rabin was assassinated for it."
"Correct Mister Benson, but it was by another Israeli. And you it just eats them up that they couldn't throw the blame at the Arabs." Aarron turned to Rayden. "No offense my friend."
"You're totally off base here Aarron."
"I think not you idiot."
"I think you'd better shut up Mister Benson."
And I did. You may think I was backing down out of fear and you are right. There is a fine line between debate and argument, and when Mercedes pulls out a gun, the line has been crossed.
"What about you Mercedes?"
"Cindy Crawford leaving House of Style."
We were all shocked.
"What? I can't believe I'm hearing that vacuous, blonde-bimbo response from you? Cindy Crawford is a no talent hack who struggled in a job that required no ability, for a network that has no skill at either broadcast or content oriented programming."
"Listen, I could have mentioned the Republicans coming into control of Capitol Hill and the resulting speed up in the demise of the middle class that will result into a horrible class struggle between the rich and the poor that will tear apart the very fibers that hold this nation together, but I'd rather not get involved in your little debate. And, unlike Mister Benson, I have the firearms to keep you from pushing the point with me."
"I'd probably have to agree with Vince, though I don't want to hear you rant about Israel again. I'm from Egypt and I know how painful it was initially after President Sadat signed the Camp David Accords. There are a lot of similarities between then and now."
I guess Aarron decided to let the topic lie. Unfortunately, I made a fatal mistake. I always tell myself to keep my trap shut, but no matter what, something overrides my common sense and I ask a stupid question that will only get me hurt.
"So what do you think was the most significant event in 1995?"
"The Million Man March."
"You heard me Benson, I know the alcohol hasn't made you deaf."
"Oh I heard you, I just can't believe it."
"Farakahn, the whole event loses its validity with the fact that Farakahn was there."
"You're missing the whole point Benson, Farakahn had nothing to do with it. He was there, but he is just a man. The reason that it was so important was the message, and the fact that people showed up in the numbers they did and defied every ill-willed expectation that everyone else had."
Hozler interjected, "I don't follow, ill-willed."
"Are you two so blind. For months leading up to the march, politicians, the press and just about every biased, jaded pinhead who could get on the air was warning of problems that would occur; violence, anti-Semitic hate mongering, etc. Then there were the fools who kept trying to downplay the importance of the event, babbling about exactly what you said Benson, that Farakahns being there put shame to the event."
"Then, after the March, people were still belittling it, trying to downplay its importance. And why? Because black people got together and did exactly what all of the good old white boys said they had to do to make productive change. They got together, spoke about empowerment, peaceful social and political change, taking responsibility for your actions and family. There were no riots, no shouting matches, only a productive demonstration . . . and these Republican pinheads like Newt Gingrich and Jesse Helms were pissing on themselves in fear."
"Oh come on Aarron, fear?"
"Yes fear Mister Benson, what do you think will happen when a large section of the population, who is enjoying greater prosperity, ceases their in-fighting and achieves true political and social unity. When you have power, you can make the rules. Don't think for a minute that a large portion of white people who claim not to be racist, only have that cushion of content due to the fact that they are not threatened in their stability. As long as black people are kept poor, or addicted to drugs, or killing each other, white boys like you and me can say, 'hey, I see all colors the same.' But what happens when your boy cant get a non-athletic scholarship because a black boy earned it. You'll be the first to scream reverse discrimination. It's happening already, and the Republicans, now that they have the majority, are making things worse. How the hell can they have the audacity to say that racism is no longer a great problem. It still is, it's just not as visible because it is shielded by soft words."
"I think you're exaggerating the whole thing Aarron."
"We'll see when the whip falls whitey. Damn I wish Colin Powell had run for President."
Don't we all.