Saturday, December 30, 2017


If you're new here, this is a weekly column consisting of letters written to my grandchildren (who exist) and my great-grandchildren (who aren't here yet) -- the Stickies -- to haunt them after they become grups and/or I'm dead.

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Irregularly Appearing Imaginary Guest Stars
Marie-Louise -- My beautiful muse (right shoulder) and back scratcher 
Iggy -- My designated Sticky
Dana -- My designated gentlereader (left shoulder)

"If you steal from one author it's plagiarism, if you steal from many it's research." -Wilson Mizner 

Dear (eventual) Stickies & Great-Grandstickies, 

This letter was supposed to be God and Politics (Before I Wake Up Dead, Pt. 6.5). That is to say, since part six did cover God, but didn't cover politics, this letter was supposed to be about politics, which would make it part 6.5.

However, the letter that I wrote about politics is somewhat dark and depressing as the state of politics in the republic is somewhat dark and depressing. I'll publish it next week, which will give me a chance to try and lighten things up a bit. After all, while our political situation is polarization personified, the economic situation has improved. 

Well, perhaps not as much as we in Flyoverland would like, but there are glimmers of hope. The contention of Mr. Obama and his minions, that a pathetic 2% increase in annual GDP is the new normal, may not necessarily be true. Let us pray...or at least hope so.  

I don't want the last letter of the year (a year which has proven not to be one of my better ones) to be dark, so inspired by an article I read the other day, I've opted for plagiarism.  

[Dana: Did you drink some bad eggnog? Marie-Louise: Mon Dieu! Iggy: Anybody know why the first i in plagiarism is silent?] 

Calm down everbody. Long story short(ish), deep breath -- I read an article about Chief Justice John Roberts commencement address at his son's 9th-grade graduation last June (I know, I know, but let's not go there...) that I already knew about, but had forgotten about, that contained the  passages (re)printed below and which prompted me to look up the entire speech, which I found in a different article, whereupon I discovered that the speech also contained the lyrics of a Bob Dylan song, one of the few I actually like, if fact really like, which are also (re)printed below. 

So, in some form or fashion, I'm plagiarizing two articles, a speech, and Bob Dylan lyrics. However, you're worth the legal repercussions.   

The Speech

"...commencement speakers will typically...wish you good luck and extend good wishes to you. I will not do that, and I’ll tell you why. From time to time in the years to come, I hope you will be treated unfairly, so that you will come to know the value of justice. 

I hope that you will suffer betrayal because that will teach you the importance of loyalty. 

Sorry to say, but I hope you will be lonely from time to time so that you don’t take friends for granted. 

I wish you bad luck, again, from time to time so that you will be conscious of the role of chance in life and understand that your success is not completely deserved and that the failure of others is not completely deserved either. 

And when you lose, as you will from time to time, I hope every now and then, your opponent will gloat over your failure. It is a way for you to understand the importance of sportsmanship. 

I hope you’ll be ignored so you know the importance of listening to others, and I hope you will have just enough pain to learn compassion. 

Whether I wish these things or not, they’re going to happen. And whether you benefit from them or not will depend upon your ability to see the message in your misfortunes."

The Lyrics (from "Forever Young")

May God bless you and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
And may you stay forever young
May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
And may you stay forever young
May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
May your song always be sung
And may you stay forever young

Poppa loves you.
Have an OK day.

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©2017 Mark Mehlmauer   (The Flyoverland Crank)

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