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Envisioning a wonderful new world

Thursday, May 24, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 3:32 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

Another day. Another wonderful, magical day. I spring out of bed, have my four cups of coffee, joke and pun a little with my wife who is still not ready for it. Then I look around. Sun shining. Warm spring breezes wafting about. No siren screech reaches my ears. The smell of eggs and bacon. What a day!

No news, and that’s good news. If there are black spots on earth, I don’t know about them. Famines, tornadoes, aliens, drugs, rapes, murders, fires, wars, terrorists — nowhere to be seen. So, as for me, they don’t exist today.

A friendly cat lazes on the patio, stretching out in perfect satisfaction. A dog barks cautiously but happily in the distance. A rabbit hops gracefully across the yard. Even the occasional weed sways placidly in the gentle breeze.

My wife smiles at my puns. And she likes my upbeat, positive note about politics and the well-meaning people who inhabit it. I think of the prisons and wish their occupants well. I empathize with the sick and hospital-bound and splash in blue-green oceans with a million tourists who are deserving their lush vacations. I feel the pain of the homeless and wish them better days.

It’s another day, a wonderful, magical day. At last some news beams in from the charming TV screen. Peace is coming, all but assured. Liberals and conservatives are in agreement, even talking with one another. Foreigners are supporting the U.S. and one another. World harmony at last. The U.S. is eliminating its military. The industrial complex is next to go.

I watch the Discovery Channel and note that the lion and lamb are lying down together, and it’s all in good taste. Swords are being beaten into plowshares, and the latter are going into magnificent ultra-modern museums. Criminals and unredeemable mental patients are being rocketed to Mars along with psychiatrists and other helpful attendants.

On one channel, the Supreme Court justices are revealing to the public just what they believe and are heading off for California to hug some trees and support women’s rights to do as they wish. The country’s rail system is being upgraded and enlarged, and soon the highways and air space will be safe for deer and birds.

I hear Congress and the legislatures are soon to be eliminated. People will vote via computer to the Great Computer in D.C. At last, a kind of direct democracy and money saved as fractious lawmakers will have to work. What a day! At last news that makes me proud to be an American.

Leaving my TV and the fine programming that’s on it, I return to the kitchen for another cup of coffee. I have just heard that it is good for you, as is a glass of red wine, every day. Great news. I’ll have one for the road.

I step outside, admire the flowers, pat a tree or two, and step into my car that will soon be electric, and swing into nonexistent traffic. What a great day to be alive, even if the five cups of coffee have made me sick.

Merrill, a professor emeritus at the Missouri School of Journalism, has written and taught around the world and here in Columbia for more than 25 years.


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