Tuesday, September 20, 2005


Okay, you got me. I don't think bucolicism is actually a word endorsed by Websters Dictionary. But stay with me and grant me a little literary license. Afterall, if a person who is an alcoholic suffers from alcoholism, it stands to reason (at least to me) that folks who are bucolic suffer from bucolicism.

Years have past since the former executive of Nabisco and RJ Reynolds, Ross Johnson, offended the people of Winston-Salem by suggesting they were bucolic. Johnson felt our city was not up to the sophistication needed to play host to their corporate headquarters. In truth, he probably offended a small percentage. The others didn't have a clue they had been insulted until they were told. Bucolic is akin to calling us country folk, a little slow, hicks, rednecks... you get the idea.

I joined many others in voicing my objection to Johnson's statement. I thought then, as I do now, that our city boasts some of the brightest minds you'll find anywhere. Every now and then however... well actually more often than not... I am reminded why we get labeled like we do.

Just in the past few weeks the Gulf Coast has endured hurricane Katrina, perhaps the most devastating and costly hurricane in our country's history. The loss of life coupled with massive destruction has been heart wrenching. Not since 9/11 have my wife and I been so captivated by an event and so powerless to help. We could only watch, shed tears for the victims, mourn for the dead, and contribute what we could to the recovery.

I do realize I live in the Bible Belt, though I still haven't come to terms with it. A recent contributor to the editiorial of our local paper suggested that God brought hurricane Katrina to New Orleans to take vengeance upon what they described as a city of sin. A modern day Sodom & Gomorrah event. Worse, there are those who support the writer.

The mere suggestion just kills me. To think that as far as we've come as a society there are people who can remain blatantly ignorant. I am reminded of similar narrow minded thinking when another local writer years ago concluded that AIDS was God's wrath upon homosexuals. My first question to these astute authors is how do they explain all the victims of Katrina and AIDS who were neither sinful or gay? Were they simply collateral damage? Surely God is more accurate dropping bombs, whatever form they may take, upon his targets than we are.

And that ladies and gentlemen is how I decided it was simply a case of bucolicism. I can't find a better explanation. To suggest this recent catastrophe was the work of God to smite "bad people" is not only obscene, it's just damn stupid.


At 5:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Mike - I heard about this problem as well, and wondered if the idiot ever read his Bible. If so, he'd know that most - if not all of us - should tremble before throwing stones.

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