Where angels fear to tread…

…fools rush in. 


Garrison Keillor, A Prairie Home Companion

In places like Like Wobegon and Minnesota Public Radio’s firing of A Prairie Home Companion creator and host Garrison Keillor for “inappropriate conduct” and MPR’s erasure of all things Prairie Home Companion. MPR will no longer air A Prairie Home Companion re-runs or Keillor’s thoughtful “Writer’s Almanac” and will give a new name to the show hosted by Keillor’s successor. If you opened the last link and it said “Page Not Found – NPR” you get the picture.


President Trump and Roy Moore

Meanwhile the President of the United States gets elected after 20 women have accused him of sexual misconduct or harassment — and continues to deny all allegations as fake new, though he himself has been recorded as bragging about groping — while he and conservative evangelicals in Alabama support the candidacy of Roy Moore whose behavior is alleged to be more than “inappropriate”.

220px-Alexander_Pope_by_Michael_DahlIt was English poet Alexander Pope (1688-1744) who wrote the line “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread” in An Essay on Criticism that invites the reader to ponder which is worse: criticism of writing that “judges ill” or writing that is in “Want of Skill”?

‘Tis hard to say, if greater Want of Skill

Appear in Writing or in Judging ill,

But, of the two, less dang’rous is th’ Offence,

To tire our Patience, than mis-lead our Sense

Some few in that, but Numbers err in this,

Ten Censure wrong for one who Writes amiss;

A Fool might once himself alone expose,

Now One in Verse makes many more in Prose.

-Alexander Pope, An Essay on Criticism (1–8).

Fools — both writers and their critics — are rushing in where angels fear to tread. Views from the Edge just became one of the them. Sometimes fools can’t help themselves.

Wishing everyone a nice day from what little remains of the little fictional Minnesota town that just went the way of all flesh. Farewell to thee, Lake Wobegon. We can only wish the same or worse in the nonfictional places of Pennsylvania Avenue and the State of Alabama.

  • Gordon C. Stewart, Chaska, MN, November 30, 2017

5 thoughts on “Where angels fear to tread…

  1. From what I heard of Keillor a hand was inadvertently placed on a bare back, for which he apologized several times. Why was the back bare? Wasn’t to be expected. A hand. A back. Is EVERY INCH of a woman’s body now sacred space…expect for that spot between the legs, which is open range for every Republican politician? Yes a bear hug is bad, but seducing a teen on your living room floor is okeydokey? Meanwhile women proudly display cleavage as fashion, full legs on the television anchor couches, and scream for the right to breast feed in public,(with no cover). Then they yell: “WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT!!!” This society has gone mad.

    But really all this sex “scandal” is a side circus. I thought so with the Access Hollywood tape. Every weapon one brings out can be picked up by the other side too. Anybody now can say anything about anybody…for political purposes. Are Liberals devouring their own to “set an example” as to what to do with anyone accused of something? Are they expecting Republicans to follow suit? “Shall we cut this baby in two?”, asks the judge. “Yes, cry the Liberals! It will be an example.” “No,” murmur the evangelicals. “this baby has much to do for us if we let it live.” Maybe the right isn’t so dumb after all. Sure they’re evil, but they aren’t stupid.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mr Omdahl was my poly sci prof at UND. Still funny at 94.

    Lloyd Omdahl: Reckoning has arrived for olden men
    By Lloyd Omdahl on Nov 27, 2017 at 7:19 a.m.

    Aging was bad enough when we let ourselves be misled by this myth about the “golden years,” which turned out to be nothing more than a scam for the travel folks. Now two new major pitfalls have appeared on the way to the crematorium.

    As dangerous as it may be to bring up the subject, the lifetime of every male under 100 is being scrutinized for inappropriate sexual behavior, the definition of which has been evolving daily.

    Just about all men are being caught in the sweep. Take a look at poor old George Bush, who is now being accused of inappropriate patting when Barbara was looking the other way. Or maybe she did notice but knew that patting was the limit of his imagination. She knew that he didn’t have a follow up plan in his domestic policy.

    I will defend George because at 94 it wasn’t lust — it was curiosity. At worst, research. We have to decide whether or not lust is a critical element of sexual assault.

    We have such a variety of offenses that justice will not be served by “one minimum mandatory sentence fits all” for wrongdoers. My son wants to send all of them to jail, including poor George, whose only known crime was to raise taxes when his lips said otherwise.

    Unable to restrain himself, President Donald Trump criticized Al Franken who admitted his misbehavior. When asked about himself, Donald declared “King’s X” because he hadn’t confessed yet.

    Now Judge Roy Moore, running for a U.S. Senate seat in Alabama, considers himself exempt from blame because he is the state’s leading Christian. He stands by the Ten Commandments even though he has broken one or two.

    It is cardinal rule of criminal justice that the punishment be commensurate to the crime. If lust is a factor, then sexual assault by anyone under 70 should be regarded as a capital offense; assault by those between 70 and 80 should be a felony; those between 80 and 90, a misdemeanor; and anyone over 90 a joke.

    Not only are older men going through tortuous self-examination, Congress is planning to make it impossible to plan their last days in a nursing home. Unless, of course, they throw themselves to the mercy of the welfare program called Medicaid.

    So far, the big tax plan includes a provision that will make your $90,000 in yearly nursing home costs no longer deductible. Apparently, the tax planners think that nursing homes are so much fun that they ought to treated as subsidized recreation.

    All of those in the tax fight have interest groups fighting for them. However, nursing home patients do not have a lobby so they must count on the mercy of the polarized Congress. So far, mercy has not been apparent in the original drafts.

    It is not all bad news. Cutting the medical deductions will enable Congress to give bigger tax breaks to other folks who are supposed to produce millions of jobs for which nursing home patients will be eligible so they can pay the higher taxes.

    At our house, we are lucky because we are now paying only $72,000 a year for long-term care. For seniors who are pretty sure they will need long term care, it would be advisable to get rid of their savings, go on Medicaid and show Congress that deductibility is a lot cheaper than welfare.

    As for me, I will have enough money to make it to the end – unless I buy something.

    Lloyd Omdahl is a former lieutenant governor and professor at UND. His column is published each Monday in the Herald.

    Liked by 1 person

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