A continuing tale of life in the boonies
Fly me to the moon
Farmington High School civics teacher Judy Gillies recently sent out invitations to all the major presidential contenders to debate the issues of the day in front of her students, and then to field their questions. However, the presidential debate turned out to be presidential monologue, as the only invited guest to show up a school last Wednesday was Rochester-born Lyndon Larouche.
The civics class was jam-packed with pupils, teachers and bodyguards as a genial bespectacled Lyndon started off in a non-controversial vein by revealing that he was born in 1922, the same year as Rodney Dangerfield. Even when he launched into his political pitch, predicting the breakdown of water systems as we know them, not a soul raised an eyebrow, because he was only saying what Biff the Mailman has been preaching for years
But eyes became as wide as saucers when Mr. Larouche insisted that the way out of scientific and technological malaise, the way to cure the threat of recession, in general the way to bring a smile back on people's faces, is to colonize Mars.
What a great idea! Why had no other politician said this? I looked around the room and saw that many in the audience were already grinning enthusiastically, as they listened to Lyndon warming to his topic. Acceleration of one G per second and hey presto, Mars in two days, traveling by Scram jets with engines producing the power of 1,000 Seabrook nuclear power plants. Less than 40 years away, folks, if the government can begin to view obstacles as challenges.
Inventor Varney, the student who blew scientific and technological malaise out of the water in 1985 by producing a Christmas tree decoration that screwed itself into a living-room carpet, showed tremendous interest at this point and asked a question.
"How much is it gonna cost, to go to Mars?" he wanted to know.
"Two trillion dollars," came the reply, which made Varney lose his enthusiasm. Going to Mars, it seemed, was even more expensive than going mudding.
Now that two trillion bucks is to be spread over 40 years, but the next of Lyndon Larouche's two trillion dollars is to be dished out by 1990 in low interest loans to wealth-creating government department and entrepreneurs. This will present no difficulty or hardship, however, as the money will be specially minted for the purpose, without (Lyndon assured the students) sparking off inflation or causing a run on the dollar. Hmm. Now that the Actor is ready to quit the world stage after an eight-year run, perhaps a Magician in the White House is a necessity.
But presumably working under the theory that a moving target is harder to hit, Mr. Larouche journeyed on to visit Greek Athenian culture, military Buddhism in Japan and AIDS sufferers in Africa, only returning to answer a barrage of questions, after a second trip to Mars.
"How about your accusation that the Queen of England is involved in drug running?" asked someone near the front of the room. Claiming that he had been deliberately misquoted, Larouche said that he had been referring to the British Royal family’s opium trade with the Far East in the 17th to 19th centuries. The traces of this set-up still remain in the shape of offshore banks that are used to launder the money, according to Lyndon. (On this particular point, buddy, you may be fairly close to the truth. British aristocracy reeks of past corruption and ill-gotten gains.)
"How about you being accused of involvement in a credit card scam in Boston?" asked another earthling. This time, Larouche's claim of trumped up charges, sounded less convincing, although, to be fair, one should reserve judgment until after the verdict. Perhaps it is a plot to discredit him in 1988. And perhaps it does make sense to colonize Mars, instead of northern Maine, where the black flies can be unbearable in summer.
"How about gay marriages?" queried a student after the politician made an ardent plea for cultural tolerance in the treatment of others. Gay marriages are excluded though, as it turns out, on account of being part of a phenomenon known as a cultural paradigm shift.
At this point, the period bell sounded in the school, signaling the end of what had become an enjoyable exchange of views. So much better than last week, when Gephardt lulled one to sleep with a 10-minute briefing that could have been entitled The Same Old Surprise As Usual. But Lyndon Larouche - why, he stretched one's credulity. With Lyndon, it was possible, for half an hour at least, to dream of touching the stars.
In deference to the upcoming Henry Wilson Winter Carnival, an enlightened and horrid appraisal of the vice-president's association with Farmington has been temporarily postponed.
Next week: Welcome to Farmington, John Scruton - the anagram competition results. And much more, besides.
Lost and found
Just surfacing from a mound of debris in time to make this column - a plea to all Henry Wilson Grange members to write a poem of the heart for their meeting on Feb. 10. First, second and third prizes will be awarded. Hmm. More money there, than in anagrams.
Feb. 9, 1988
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