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April 14, 2017

Inspiration comes from unlikely sources

“There is nobody like him,” he typed quickly, before pausing to think about it. He was referring solemnly to an obscure genius who constantly inspired and amazed all who knew him with his unexplainable feats of the seemingly impossible. An otherworldly figure he had befriended for unknown and perhaps ultimately unknowable reasons. Continuing with the theme of misunderstood genius, he sent a link to a story about a different kind of genius attempting to build his own satellite inside an old municipal bus and for a moment - albeit a very short moment - thinking this must be a story about the dangers of meth, his mind drifted and he had a flashback of the last episode of Breaking Bad instead. Apparently spending ones time in a makeshift lab inside an abandoned white municipal bus working away happily on your own military satellite was perfectly normal. Par for the course. I wrote back to him immediately. “Not a meth lab? Good work, man! Tip of the iceberg and a metaphor of motivation for all of us.” He wrote back, “LOL. Recall the Iran/Contra affair? It was July of 1987. The 24th day of the Oliver North hearings concluded 24 years ago to the day. I remember back in 1992, I got loaded, dressed like a hippy and went to a VFW convention where Ollie was speaking. I had a gun held to my head before I was unceremoniously cast out.” More recently, accompanied by his girlfriend after a night of drinking, they decided to stay awake to watch the demolition of the historic Mapes in Reno, Nevada, where Marilyn Monroe stayed during the filming of the Misfits. It’s also where Senator Joseph McCarthy admitted over a drink in the Lamplighter bar to a reporter that he did not, in fact, have a list of communists in America. They ended up sitting next to the mayor and his cohorts, in the Virginian Coffee shop while having breakfast. The bastards were still laughing about it, the shameless villains, which sent the last of many arrows through the heart of an already culturally wounded warrior. They should have been confined to the top floor of the Mapes by the karma police for it and forced to have their last breakfast in the Sky Room before collapsing into the dustbin of history with the condemned building itself. They wouldn’t have been laughing then. And future generations would not have missed them either as they ice skated over this forgotten tragedy in the new ice skating rink they built in its place to fill the void in their own souls. Perhaps they would even do it as happily as these murderous bastards were doing right now. There is no justice in a place like this. Not St. Sebastian and certainly not for the likes of them. Somehow their kind always escapes justice. He had a friend who worked at the newspaper who joined them for breakfast and she was his mole. She would always tell him what they had so he could scoop them. She told him the top brass was coming to inspect the newspaper and the publisher had a position on the board of directors of a very large gambling enterprise, which of course was completely unethical. It even inspired my journalism professor who was a columnist for another newspaper to exclaim “My feeling is that it’s a clear conflict of interest. Here she’s serving on the board of a member of the state’s largest industry, and the newspaper is supposed to be covering it. In that position, you have to be above suspicion. It violates the role of a newspaper. We talk about her in ethics classes in a bad way. My opening remark to the class is that we don’t need ethics classes for students. We need it for people like her.“ People were already angry with the newspaper and hated City Hall enough to demand a recall, so the timing was right. He organized a protest of the newspaper on the day that they came to town. He set everything up and put it in the hands of other dissidents. The protest went off as planned and there was a media feeding frenzy. Everyone who had an axe to grind materialized like the third host at Armageddon, pacing like starved lions and licking their chops in anticipation of the raising of the gates, with just enough seething resentment and animosity to suggest this truly would be apocalyptic. And it was. I’ll spare you the ugly details. He gleefully wrote down as much of the mayhem as he could and turned it into a story and the Press Association awarded him "Best Spot News Coverage.” Inspiration comes from unexpected sources…