On The Trail Of The Lone Pine

If you are a weblog columnist, rather than just a weblog reader, you may have experienced this before; you go to your ” Draft ” column and find a title that seems unfamiliar. You open it and find that it is just that – a title with no essay underneath it. As you are the only one with access to your dashboard, you know that you wrote that line…but have no idea what the heck you intended to say with it.

It is like a signpost to a wilderness. That title at the top of this is just such a one.

Well, wildernesses are supposedly valuable and everyone tells us they are being swallowed up by encroaching suburbia – perhaps if I wait long enough someone will build a strip mall or a tyre dump on that page and it will stop being a blank. I would welcome this, as it would at least give some meaning, albeit vile, to my mind.

We were often told in the 60’s and 70’s to let our minds run free and to imagine that we had a right to do everything. That was a fine idea for white, middle-class westerners who had dinner waiting on the table that night and a prospect of the same every for day for the rest of their lives. The Africans, Asians, and South Americans had the prospect of being downtrodden by powerful overlords. The Eastern Europeans and Chinese had the prospect of the same thing by the faceless Party. Their minds were only allowed the freedom of wondering where the next meal would come from.

Well, times is changed. The Chinese are getting regular meals and feeling more confident in their ability to do things. The Eastern Europeans have changed the old Party for the new Czars. The Africans and the South Americans still get the old recipe. And the West gets the prospect of joining them. I hope Australia can dodge it.

Of course it may only be a matter of time before we see the next regional war – the trick will be to avoid being drawn into it. I am hoping that the Indians, Pakistanis, Arabs, and Persians will finally settle their differences over religion and territory by diplomacy instead of the good old-fashioned way…But they are who they are…As long as we can avoid being the shore upon which their burned-out warships wash up, It may serve to clear the air wonderfully. I shouldn’t wonder if Africa and South America could not do with a bit of this same old-fashioned practical diplomacy themselves. If nothing else, it would take their minds off football.

The North Koreans? They are a problem for the South Koreans and the Chinese and the Japanese and the Russians and themselves. A half-salvo from an OHIO and they are no-one’s problem anymore, ever. And they know it.