A world tour of troubling events

Posted 2/13/18

We’re going to approach this column as a perusal of the latest ‘Annals of Insanity.’ Normally, this is the sort of survey that covers a period of weeks, or even months; sadly, this particular …

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A world tour of troubling events


We’re going to approach this column as a perusal of the latest ‘Annals of Insanity.’ Normally, this is the sort of survey that covers a period of weeks, or even months; sadly, this particular one covers a period of about three days. I was debating the organizational structure of these ideas, but then, the “high point” happened right in our back yard, so … Working our way inward, geographically.

We start in Rome, where, a day after the Pope accepts the state-appointed bishopric of an excommunicated priest in China, a different Vatican official says that “Those who best realize the social doctrine of the Church at this time are the Chinese….” Yes, the same Chinese that currently imprison hundreds of Christians for simply being Christian, and, according to CNN, have a growing industry in organ transplantation ... from executed prisoners. Look, I have the highest respect for the Faith of my mother and father, and the Church that I grew up in, but this … this … is just inexplicable.

Our survey comes then to North America, where the Prime Minister of Canada interrupted a woman’s question in a town hall — a woman whose question was right in his ideological wheelhouse — to correct her use of the word “mankind”, advising her to use “peoplekind” instead.

More stateside, there is Washington, D.C. There is always Washington, D.C.! This particular incident features the case of the dueling memos: We now have one memo alleging that court-approved spying on a U.S. citizen was based, in part, on a fake political dossier, which was not spelled out in the court application. Sometime in the near future, we will then have a second memo — a counter-memo — probably alleging “nuh-uhh.” Which will, no doubt be followed by a counter-counter memo alleging “yeah, huh!” And, in the meantime, the former Speaker of the House, now Minority Leader, took to the floor for 8-plus hours this week to defend a certain class of illegal immigrants, hoping, I suppose, that nobody would notice that when she was the Speaker, she never brought an immigration reform proposal to the floor.

We shoot a little bit up the East Coast to New York, where a high school in Ithaca has been forced by protesters to cancel their production of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” after the role of Esmerelda is awarded to a white girl. Yeah, I know — in the original story by Victor Hugo, Esmerelda was a gypsy of part Italian and part French descent, but, you know ... whatever.

Since we’re in New York already, let’s consider the tale of a middle school which, if I understand the chronology, first cancelled, then postponed, and then renamed their Father-Daughter dance until it could be guaranteed to conform better to the Board of Education’s gender inclusiveness guidelines.

And, by the way, in the era of “#MeToo,” who thought it would be a good idea to release the third in the “Fifty Shades of Grey” series of movies at this moment in time?

Closer to home, we have joyful occasion of somebody calling in a bomb hoax on Monday, and then extending the fun on Tuesday by generalizing the bomb threat against “a” school in the Arvada/Golden area. Of course, it was a hoax, but I was missing somewhere around 15 percent of my classes on Tuesday. Anybody else think it was probably just a kid wanting to avoid a test?

Speaking of our schools, that brings me to the coup de grace: this week has featured a 23-year old assistant instructor in Cherry Creek schools being arrested for having a relationship with a 16-year old, another school suspending more than a dozen kids for LSD-related drug issues, and another school having two boys arrested — one for sexual assault, one for videotaping it on his phone.

You want insanity? Try having a conversation with your 16-year old about the politics of sex in today’s world.

Seriously, folks, I think if I were growing up in this day and age, I might be tempted to snack on Tide Pods, too.

Michael Alcorn is a teacher and writer who lives in Arvada with his wife and three children. His novels are available at MichaelJAlcorn.com


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