Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Trying to Make Sense Out of Belgium

If you are from Alabama, you tend to admit (at least in private conversations with a handful of people), that from the "circle" of folks around you (kin-folk, neighbors, and associates).....these forty-odd people that you really "know" (I emphasize the word "know" to mean that it's more than just you know their address or telephone number).....that at least three of the forty are mildly or completely crazy.

Now, in Alabama....being crazy means a wide variety of things.  You might be crazy and building a forty-foot tower above your house which does some kind of reverse heating business, and cools off the house remarkably well.  It's rocket-science crazy.

Or, you might have some relative who think they are George Wallace or some French king.   That's identity crazy.

Or, you might have a neighbor who drinks a case of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer each day....starting at 7AM and finishing off at 9PM.  And they've done the case per day for twenty-five years.  That's drinking crazy.

Or, you might have a neighbor who likes to hunt for frogs in the dark, and has been bit by copperhead snakes on several occasions.  That's hunter crazy.

Or, you might have some cousin who knows every football score of the University of Alabama since 1968, and wants to visit you on Sundays after each game to discuss at length what they did right or wrong in the Saturday game.  That's NCAA crazy.

Or, you might have some whacked-out neighbor who is always sixty seconds away from killing you because you were of the wrong religious group.  That's serious and deadly crazy.

Well, here is the thing about life in Belgium.  Six percent of the population (11 million) are Muslim.  Even with the best guesses.....at least 1,500 folks are crazy enough with their religion....that they might be willing to kill over some words spoken from 1,300 years ago.  Toss on another 10,000 who are borderline and could make some judgement call tomorrow that you and your fellow riders on some subway car ought to be sent onto some judgement day.

You can do the statistics all day long.....but they come back to the same point.  You got a bunch of people who aren't on the same page of life as you, and are the type who need to be locked up in some facility for the rest of their lives.  No one is willing to sign such paperwork, and you just drift around....hoping that they don't go crazy today....while you are at the grocery, the post-office, riding the subway, or going on some exotic trip to Copenhagen to visit your mistress.

At some point, you will just admit that it doesn't make much sense, and then find that ninety-five percent of society feels the same way as you.  And now what?

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