When no one shows up for the fight By Paul Montesino

When no one shows up for the fight

For many years we are unable or unwilling to count, humans were quadruped, meaning that they walked on both hands and legs. The impact on their lives was enormous. Not having free hands meant that they could not write or reach above for fruits on trees to eat instead of grass below; hold hands with a loved one without risking a fall; use iPhones; were unable to express freely what they thought with their middle fingers and couldn’t hit the other fellow on the nose.

In other words, wars were out of the question. We couldn’t handle weapons. Peace was in. But then somebody got tired of behaving like a four-legged table and decided to stand up and become biped. The world took notice. In a single change of posture, humanity opened many possibilities we still enjoy… or suffer, depending on your point of view.

Around 1970, someone wrote a drama-comedy film directed by Hy Averback starting giants of the genre like Brian Keith, Don Ameche, Tony Curtis, Ernest Borgnine, Suzanne Pleshette, Ivan Dixon, and Pamela Britton. The title of the film was “Suppose They Gave a War and Nobody Came.” The plot was a mixture of comic and dramatic elements and concerns the reactions of several World War II veterans to the contemporary US Army.

The title was a challenge to our bellicose practices. Most wars are started by egomaniacs or lunatics who want to leave an imprint on the world before they leave it but have no problem dragging many innocents with them. When someone screams “Bloody Murder!” and no one listens or cares, it is very difficult to attack anyone you’ve never met or had anything against you.

All kinds of weapons have been invented to justify our aggressiveness, not the other way around, the bloodier the better. And it should come as no surprise when someone invents a new weapon that doesn’t seem to meet our criteria. Enter the balloons.

A few weeks ago, a metallic balloon appeared over the continental United States that not only surprised but also scared the bejesus out of our population. Calls to shoot it down came from all sides of the political war sides, the opponents, and the believers. It became more controversial when we heard that such a balloon had come from China of all places, the first country that had to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. And it got worse when we were told that three more occurrences had taken place during the three previous years and no one had told us. That added insult to injury. What were our military experts doing that no one had seen or reported them or even figure out where they came from?

A US Intelligence official and others believe the objects, which were shot down a week after the Chinese spy balloon was downed off the coast of South Carolina, could be “tied to some commercial or benign purpose,” he said. That brought my active imagination to a possibility I had not considered.

Is it possible, I thought, that these balloons are not really a weapon of war, but a call for peace? Has anybody considered the possibility that those balloons are coming from South of the Border so we can have a friendly Pinata with cake, candy, and soda, one where we can have our cake and eat it too? Suddenly the hunt for the balloons started to sound like fun to me. Perhaps some biped had concluded that it was better to stick a needle on each other’s balloons than on each other’s rear end. Are we going to become quadruped next?

Who knows. The world is full of surprises. I may be able to invite you to my next party. “BYOB: Bring Your Own Balloon.”

And That is My Point of View Today. So Long.

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