Thursday, December 12, 2013

Mandela Funeral and Selfies

     Too often a man's death assumes impacts far beyond his deeds in life, attracting  new followers to link themselves with a great man who has just passed.  Mandela was a great man and his suffering of 27 years in prison is beyond comprehension for most people especially when he was released and ultimately was elected President of South Africa and exhibited forgiveness to his Apartheid tormentors as a means of unity to build a greater South Africa. Contrast that with the brother of the man whose hand to the howl of some conservative leaders and pundit Obama shook, Fidel Castro who had public trials of Batista supporters and then executed those supporters and confiscated both foreign and domestic investments in Cuba.
       If at Christmas 1914 in the early stages of the carnage of World War I to the consternation of their commanders soldiers on both sides of the trenches put down their rifles and came out to exchange tokens and gifts and even play soccer then why the outcry over a handshake by President Obama at the funeral of the man who will go down in history as the symbol of forgiveness? Makes no sense. The "selfies" from the cell phone are another matter and epitomize poor taste and the fact that our President has really not yet grown into his job. Too much time dodging and trying not very well to explain "periods" when it would appeared that he had paltered to the American people. A Tale of Two Images follow:

A Tale of Two Images

The world leaders gathered to pay homage to an icon of compassion, forgiveness and peace
With hopes and prayers that Mandela's message would be passed on and never cease
In a digital world where every action can be seen by a camera's eyes
At the funeral two photos of our President were subject to hue and cry
From the Reds upon the photo of Obama shaking Castro's hand,  a cascade of blame
Their quick and knee jerk condemnations should cause disgust and cries of “Shame!”
At a funeral for a man who to build a nation forgave his jailers’ white
It’s only a handshake, not a condoning of tyranny, not presidential to Castro slight
The second was the “selfie” of Obama and two P.M.s looking like immature teens
Hardly a proper display of decorum  at a world attended memorial scene
Sure the female P.M. was gorgeous as teens would say “too hot.”
But in that case time for a cold shower not a “selfie” photo shot
Red or Blue should be appalled and Obama’s actions condemn and reject
From a man who has lied and deceived PERIOD, sadly it is what we have come to expect
His actions have demeaned the Office of the Presidency shows him to be a fool
“Selfies” on a date may be okay, but at Memorial Service, Mr. President, just not cool

 © December 11, 2013 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet


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