Thursday, October 16, 2014

Commentary: We have met the enemy and he is us

By Jerry Wolgemuth, Director of Communications, SUSUMC

You probably need to be over 60 to understand this commentary, but in the 50s and 60s there was practically a cult around the satirical little possum called Pogo who lived in the Okeefenokee Swamp. Pogo was drawn by Walt Kelly.

I remember to be “in” we had to talk in “aw shucks.” We even had to learn to swear in Pogo-ese. Excuse me while I let four rip: goshamickledicklepickle, geewillywobbers, dogsmycats, and rowerbassel!

Sorry!

A favorite strip of mine championed the individual: Pogo, in a little stiped shirt, is leaning against a log, eyebrows raised, hand gesturing, he asks, “But how ‘bout if the One guy is right an’ the 10,000 is wrong...”

Probably the most remembered Pogo strip made a statement about pollution. Pogo walks with Porky Pine through the swampy forest. Porky Pine says, “Ah, Pogo, the beauty of the forest primeval gets me in the heart.” Walking rather gingerly, Pogo retorts, “It gets me in the feet, Porky Pine.”

The next frame shows Porky Pine and Pogo siting on a log pondering woefully the trash deposited on the floor of the swamp. Porky Pine says, “It IS hard walkin’ on this stuff.” Chin propped on hand, Pogo laments, “Yep, son, we have met the enemy and he is us.”

For me, the Pogo lament has an application much broader than just the issue of pollution in the Okeefenokee Swamp. It’s mid-term election time and the screens of our TVs are steamed over with the combat of politicians and pundits neck-deep in personal attack, misrepresentation, special interest, and other assorted divisiveness. Pogo might prop his chin on his hand, view the march to Washington, and say, “Yep, son, we have met the enemy and he is us.”

America needs our redemptive message.

Glad we could get together.

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