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Jack Zaleski: A lunar eclipse can double your fun

When the moon is full, I get phone calls from people who, to put it kindly, are a tad out of plumb. Last week, when the full moon was especially bright and large, and was scheduled to be eclipsed in prime time, I expected the phone to ring. I was...

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When the moon is full, I get phone calls from people who, to put it kindly, are a tad out of plumb. Last week, when the full moon was especially bright and large, and was scheduled to be eclipsed in prime time, I expected the phone to ring. I was not disappointed.
A Fargo reader called the Friday before Sunday night’s lunar eclipse. “End of the world, you know,” he said.
Really? I said.
“Yessir, it’s biblical, you know. That blood moon stuff and that eclipse thing all at once. End of the world, you know.”
Biblical? I said. Can you give me chapter and verse?
“Nope, don’t have it right here,” he said, “but I heard it from my pastor – all about the moon and that reddish eclipse they’re talkin’ about, and he said it’s a sign from God. Biblical, my pastor said.”
You sure it’s biblical? I said. I mean, the blood moon and lunar eclipse this year. It has happened before. Many times. But this one coming up? That’s in the Bible?
“Yessir, it’s Bible stuff,” he said. “End is coming, startin’ Sunday night.”
That soon? I said, apparently with a hint of sarcasm.
“Don’t make fun, sonny,” he said. (Nice to be called “sonny” at my age.) “It’s over, startin’ Sunday night with that lunar thing. My pastor knows his Bible.”
I’m not so sure, I said. Tell you what, if we’re all still here on Monday, I’ll call you and we’ll talk some more.
“Not gonna happen,” he said. “It’s coming to an end. You’ll see. We won’t be talkin’ next week. Guess there’s no sense talkin’ to you now. I’ll pray for you.” He hung up.
As you all know, the world did not end during or after the spectacular lunar show. I called him Monday. No answer. Maybe he has caller ID. Maybe I should call his pastor.
A rural caller was upset with editorial cartoons about Hillary Clinton. “You are very mean,” she said. “Mrs. Clinton is a great lady – mother and grandmother and senator and first lady.”
Yes she is, I said, but she’s a candidate for president and the cartoonists focus on all the major candidates. It’s what they do.
“Not fair,” she said. “And very mean. I don’t see them doing nasty cartoons about that Donald Trump person.”
I was incredulous. What? I said. The political cartoonists have been especially hard on Mr. Trump. We’ve published many cartoons about him, many more than on Clinton, and …
“You have not!” she said. “I haven’t seen one nasty cartoon about that very impolite man. Not a one. He’s such a rude man.”
Again, incredulous. Lady, I said, have you been reading The Forum? There have been cartoons about Trump nearly every other day, and none that I recall were flattering. The cartoonists are having a good time with Trump – the hair and outrageous comments and his style and his ego and ...
“That’s just not so,” she said. “You and your cartoonists have been mean to Hillary, and I just don’t like it. She’s a mother and grandmother – just like me – and you are being disrespectful. It’s disgusting, the way you people do things.”
Do you have recent Forums? I asked. She said she keeps them for a few weeks.
Do this, I suggested. Read through the last couple of weeks papers and count up the cartoons about Trump and the cartoons about Clinton. Then call me back and we’ll talk.
That was several days ago. No call.

Contact Editorial Page Editor Jack Zaleski at jzaleski@forumcomm.com or (701) 241-5521.

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