Thursday, October 8, 2015

My Tom Hanks Moment and Other Odds and Ends

Did you see the article or hear about Tom Hanks finding in Central Park the lost student ID card of a Fordham University undergraduate and then tweeting his discovery, “Lauren! I found your Student ID in the park. If you still need it my office will get to you. Hanx.”? 

Though we live during a social network age largely populated by the young, believe it or not Lauren did not have a Twitter account. She was thus oblivious to her star-savior until one of her professors sent her a link to Twitter. Now she’s into her 15-minutes of fame and has appeared on television.

I bring this to your attention because of my own quest to return a picture of a comely looking college student I found as I walked across the quadrangle of Brooklyn College one day in the fall of 1969. She appeared attractive enough to ask out (this transpired just weeks before my Gilda Days began, so please don’t think I was two-timing my future wife). 

Back then not everyone could marshall the resources required to find the pictured coed, whose name was either Judy or Linda—both monikers were written on the back of the photo. I, however, was editor-in-chief of Calling Card, the newspaper of the House Plan Association. I had the means and the moxie to print the head shot on the front page of our next issue under the headline “Lost & Found.” 

Sure enough, my scheme produced the intended result. Judy-Linda showed up a few days later at the Calling Card office. Alas, I didn’t ask her out. Her picture did her more than justice. 

No word on what she thought of how I looked.

Time to catch up on some recent newsworthy events:

Our long (two years, a looooong time for Yankee fans!) national nightmare is over. We are back in the baseball playoffs. Well, by the time I got around to actually posting this brief, our time in the playoffs was mercilessly brief. We succumbed 3-zip to the Houston Astros. 

Our beloved Bronx Bombers were flawed in more ways than I care to recount. But we still won more games than 11 other teams in the American League and 10 in the National League and that is good enough for me. Twenty of those other teams failed to make the playoffs.

Did anyone else see a similarity between the head of Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards, when she testified before Congress recently and Claire Underwood, the wife of the fictitious Frank Underwood of House of Cards? Tall, with short blonde hair and a self assurance that refuses to fade when confronted by men of intolerance and ignorance.

As the saying goes, it is hard to put the cat back into the bag once it is out.

It doesn’t matter who arranged the meeting between Pope Francis and Kim Davis, the rogue Kentucky county clerk who has denied marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Plenty of ill-informed people will believe the pontiff endorsed Davis. Like corrections buried deep inside a newspaper, the story line too many people will remember is the pope greeting Davis and giving her a crucifix, not that he was duped into meeting her by his representative in Washington. 

The lesson we can all take away from this affair is that even the Vatican is not off limits to political machinations (of course we knew that already but this was a very public display of a subjective agenda meant to undermine and embarrass a popular pope while advancing rigid church dogma not sufficiently supported in public by the leader of the Catholic faith).  

Let ’em Go: Government officials have admitted it is hard to stop American zealots from traveling to ISIS-controlled regions to join the Islamic terrorists. I say, “Let ’em Go.”

But with a caveat—revoke their American citizenship so they can’t return easily to the United States, or, at the very least, incarcerate them if they show up on our shores. 

Let them go to get killed in the desert. If they find living in this country so terrible, let them discover what life in the caliphate will truly mean. Let them go inflict mayhem on other Muslims if they can, not as some sleeper terrorist on unsuspecting Americans inside the U.S. I am not anti-Muslim. It’s just that it is time for the vast majority of Muslims to stand up for their religion and exterminate the cancer from within. Outsiders cannot do it without fomenting anti-Western civilization hatred.