Letter from Slim Wolfe
Politics – May 2007 – Colorado Central Magazine
An army of advisers
The last bastion of true grit in these parts seems about to fail. You’ll be lucky to catch a glimpse of a worn-out pickup or a weathered rancher any more at Villa Grove Trade. Early mornings might be a good time, but even the old-timers look a bit on the comfy side compared to the hardscrabble coffee-klatsches I remember not so long ago. The vehicle of choice in the parking lot now is a scratch-free SUV and the bragging of the newcomers won’t be about their latest coup in the land, water, hay, or cattle biz but about how they retired from a career of riding the corporate jet. They may wear jeans but the new look is soft and pallid: a smart new breed which hires expendable labor rather than build up calluses.
Well, maybe that part’s been done before, but I suspect these new arrivals got here too late to know the real benefit of grit: waking up in the morning rarin’ to slap up a new shed or dig a ditch, or check on the stock or transplant the lettuce. This army of advisers sent here by the twenty-first century will train us to give up our pagan gritty ways and get in step with the latest. Like so many sheep.
Diabolus, the Latin word from which we get devil, had the original meaning of throwing out the ball of slander. Much as a President throws out the first baseball, maybe. If you’ve called the President “the devil” lately, you are etymologically correct, at least. I can imagine teams of White House flunkies poring over history books looking for slanders to borrow to boost the morale of sagging troops. Iraq was a convenient punching-bag between Persia and various more western empires since before the time of Jesus so there must be lots of battle cries to choose from. It’s hard to see how humans lived long enough to procreate, given our bloody history.
Thanks to readers for enduring my cartoons. I don’t have the talent or training of Jules Feiffer of Monika G. (both of whom I greatly admire) but my intention is similar: to perpetuate that rare beast called irony.