Dan Cook: Bringing home the peeves (Opinion)

Several people have asked me if I’ve quit writing, adding that they miss my lip service in the Gazette-Mail. My reply was, “The TV and print news for the past four years has been Trump-Trump-Trump 24-7, ad naseum, dominated by those who love him and those who hate him. My observation of his despicable words and deeds convinces me to be patient — his day will come — as it does to us all. Plenty of others have belabored his every tiny detail, pro and con. When I have something to say that I feel is worth saying, I’ll be back.”

Well, the recent comments about religious choice by Gazette-Mail Editor Emeritus Jim Haught on a recent Sunday Faith page and the responses by a number of clergy and lay persons piqued my interest. Jim doesn’t need me to defend him on the subject of religious skepticism, and clearly, his detractors will never be convinced to find a place where the night sky is filled with stars, look upward and think it through as to humankind’s significance in the grand scheme of things. A ball-peen hammer, much less logical argument, will never clear their minds of superstitious dogma, rote mumbo-jumbo or faith in a habitual liar, cheat, whoremonger, vulgarian, shameless braggart, God of greed and debtor to the damnable.

Here are a few kitchen-table observations from my father, a man dead these past 60 years, who had a fifth-grade formal education because that’s as far as the one-room school at Pageton, W.Va. went in 1906.

1. If everyone were a millionaire, who would clean the toilets? (Mom would do her mouse imitation and squeak, “Me.”)

2. Half of all people are of less than average intelligence and that includes preachers and politicians, rabble-rousers and rainmakers.

3. Only a fool says his religion is the “true” one — (adding “I remember people killing themselves when Halley’s Comet approached [in 1910 during his life, 1986 most recently] because preachers convinced them it was the end of time.”)

As to America’s and the world’s conditions in 2020, the cause of most of our problems was long ago quite lucidly explained by Bertrand Russell (1873-1970): “One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision.”

Or as sung in a Harvard University parody,

“Some people’s own incompetence / somehow gives them a stupid sense / that anything they do is first rate. / They think it’s great.”

Let’s hear an a-menn-uhh for those whose favorite hymn is, “How Great I Art.”

Pray in your own way for our salvation from those whose glorious plan is, “Let’s do something, even if it’s wrong.”

May your deity bring love, harmony and peace upon the United States of America. If she can’t do that, then how about flinging bolts of lightning upon robo-junk-callers?

Dan Cook is an author, artist and inventor who lives in Hurricane. Comments are welcome to primo.cocinero@gmail.com.

Funerals for Monday, January 27, 2020

Davis, Valerie - 11 a.m., Cunningham Memorial Park, St. Albans.

Hamrick, Leonard - 1 p.m., Waters Funeral Chapel, Summersville.

Hughes Jr., Denver - 1 p.m., Curry Funeral Home, Alum Creek.

Keen, Cora - 2 p.m., Tyler Mountain Memory Gardens, Cross Lanes.

Lazear, Elizabeth - 7 p.m., Keller Funeral Home, Dunbar.

Masters, Delores - 1 p.m., Glen Ferris Apostolic Church, Glen Ferris.

Milroy, Miller - 11 a.m., Simons-Coleman Funeral Home, Richwood.

Petro, Edith - 11 a.m., Cunningham-Parker-Johnson Funeral Home, Charleston.

Phelps, Herbert - 2 p.m., Chapman Funeral Home, Hurricane.

Stanley, Gary - 1 p.m., Pryor Funeral Home, East Bank.

Stewart, Donna - 1 p.m., First United Methodist Church, South Charleston.

Walker, Iva - 1 p.m., Roush Funeral Home, Ravenswood.

Wilkinson, Catharine - Noon, Raynes Funeral Home, Eleanor Chapel.

Williams, Joseph - 3 p.m., Tyler Mountain Memory Gardens, Cross Lanes.