Ostriches are cool.
According to nationalgeographic.com:
“The flightless ostrich is the world’s largest bird. They roam African savanna and desert lands and get most of their water from the plants they eat.
“Though they cannot fly, ostriches are fleet, strong runners. They can sprint up to 43 miles (70 kilometers) an hour and run over distance at 31 miles (50 kilometers) an hour. They may use their wings as “rudders” to help them change direction while running. An ostrich’s powerful, long legs can cover 10 to 16 feet (3 to 5 meters) in a single stride. These legs can also be formidable weapons. Ostrich kicks can kill a human or a potential predator like a lion. Each two-toed foot has a long, sharp claw…
“Ostriches typically eat plants, roots, and seeds but will also eat insects, lizards, or other creatures available in their sometimes harsh habitat.”
Oh, also this:
“Contrary to popular belief, ostriches do not bury their heads in the sand. The old saw probably originates with one of the bird’s defensive behaviors. At the approach of trouble, ostriches will lie low and press their long necks to the ground in an attempt to become less visible. Their plumage blends well with sandy soil and, from a distance, gives the appearance that they have buried their heads in the sand.”
Now, how many of you were like me and thought they really did bury their heads in the sand? That’s what I’d always heard. I don’t know who starts these nasty rumors, but really, folks, it’s just gotta stop!
Actually, I can think of a situation where actual head burial would be advantageous:
During any Presidential Candidates’ Debate.
I have to confess, I can’t think of a time I was ever embarrassed to admit I was an American.
Until this election year.
I mean, is this really the best this country has to offer for assuming the role of its President? In either major party? These people??
I swear, it has me looking for a nice, sandy spot somewhere.
Also, I want to sic some ostriches, two-toed clawed feet and all, on these losers.
To be fair, though, I’ve always had a pretty dim view of politics and politicians. After all, when I was a teenager, I watched President Richard Nixon resign. No, seriously; a United States President resigned from office, the only one ever to do so. (Not quite a year after the Vice President resigned!)
All because of a little thing known as Watergate.
If you weren’t around for the utter calamity that was Watergate, do a little research on it and see just what a disgraceful chapter in American history that is. Whatever trust Americans may have had in their elected officials was all but obliterated during the Nixon administration. Hardly anyone remembers the great strides he made in relations with China and what was then the Soviet Union. Watergate is his ultimate legacy.
I don’t believe we’ve ever recovered, to be truthful.
I distinctly remember one official who, during the Watergate hearings, was asked what advice he had for young people who wanted to get into politics, and his answer, essentially, was, “Stay away”.
Funny how I still remember that.
I wish this year’s Presidential candidates had listened to him.
I am convinced that politicians these days care about only two things:
- Getting elected.
- Getting re-elected.
And everything they say and do is geared toward one of those two things. People don’t matter; only their votes.
Besides that, there is no longer even an illusion of compromise in Washington. Everyone just wants to tell you how utterly wrong the other guys are. And civil discourse is a steadily vanishing memory in politics, just as in society in general. (another discussion for another time, I promise)
I mean, did you ever think you would ever hear a Presidential candidate reassure us about the adequacy of his penis? (At least Clinton didn’t brag about it; cheap shot, I know.)
Do I sound bitter and cynical? Well, I am. I’d really rather not be. I want to believe that the people we vote into office sincerely want to work together to solve the problems we face and lead us to a brighter future.
I’m just not seeing much evidence of that lately.
But, then, on the other hand, I think…
How much of this is my fault?
How seriously have I taken (or not taken) my responsibilities as an informed, educated American voter? How accountable have I held any of my elected officials for doing what was right and not just politically expedient? Do I just leave it all up to them and then whine about the results?
And do I deserve the candidates I have from which to choose?
I hate those questions. But I have to ask them.
I sincerely hope you don’t.
But maybe a lot of us need to get our heads out of the sand.