"Beware the Ides of March." Have you ever heard that phrase? I had and I knew that it referred to the 15th of March but beyond that I didn't know anything else about the "Ides." So, I thought I might do a little research to find out why you should beware.
Now my very smart wife, who knows more about "nothing" than anyone else I know, could have told me everything about it. But, rather than listen to her tell me how I would have benefited from studying ancient history, I decided to check with the internet instead. And, what I found was quite interesting and yes Melody, you're right — I would have benefited from studying the ancient world.
The Ides of March became a historical landmark when Julius Caesar was killed on that date at a meeting of the Roman Senate. Four years later, on the anniversary of that date, Octavian had 300 Senators and knights executed to avenge Caesar's death. Shakespeare dramatized the assassination in his play "Julius Caesar" and penned the phrase "beware the Ides of March."
I guess this puts the political fighting in our country into a whole new perspective. While sometimes our arguments get pretty heated and we may want to shake our opponents till they come to their senses, at least we don't resort to stabbings and executions. We might have some trouble getting people to run for office if we did things like they did back in ancient times.
But, speaking of shaking someone till they come to their senses, I just can't let the latest incident of stupidity go by without commenting. Did you hear about the 7-year-old in Maryland who was suspended from second grade because he bit his Pop Tart into the shape of a gun and then said "bang, bang"? I can't make this stuff up people.
I had heard something about this the other day and then George Will wrote about it in his latest column. According to his column, the school sent a letter to all the parents letting them know about the event so they could help their children "share their feelings" about all this.
I know that times have changed from when I was in school and the student parking lot had a whole bunch of trucks with deer rifles hanging on racks in the back window. But, have we really gone so far as to suspend a 7-year-old because he bit his Pop Tart into the shape of a gun? Guess the answer to that one is yes.
But, the real question is how far are we going to go before someone says enough is enough? Heaven forbid that a kid points his finger at another kid on the playground and says the four-letter word "bang." That might mean counseling and sensitivity training for the entire elementary school. Maybe I shouldn't jest because that is probably exactly what would happen in some places.
Page 2 of 2 - Things are not going to change until we demand the return of common sense in our daily lives. Unfortunately I am afraid that common sense has suffered the same fate as Julius Caesar.
But, even though common sense has died in many places, at least someone in New York still has some. A state judge has just struck down NYC Mayor Bloomberg's ban on super-sized sodas. Apparently the Bloomberg-appointed board of health intruded on the city council's authority, when it imposed the rule.
I haven't read the ruling but from the news reports I've read, I don't think the judge said they couldn't outlaw the drinks but that the ban didn't come from the city council and contained too many loopholes to be enforced. So, maybe I spoke too soon about common sense. Because common sense would tell you that the government shouldn't dictate the size of your drink anymore than it should tell you what shape you can chew your food into.
I shudder to think what is next in this country. I'm telling you folks – it's like putting a live frog in a pot of water. Put him in when it's boiling and he'll jump out but put him in when it's cold and slowly turn up the heat and the poor thing will boil to death. That's what we are doing in this country. We are ignoring the stupid little things and pretty soon we are going to die of stupidity.
Kevin Wilson writes a weekly column for the Daily News.