Left Justified: April Fool’s!

Left Justified: April Fool’s!

By Stanley Campbell

I honestly thought this war was gonna be a cake walk. I thought the Iraqi people would all step aside and point to where Saddam was hiding. I thought the Shiites would join us in overthrowing Saddam. I thought all that oil would be used for the benefit of the Iraqi people and that the smart bombs would only kill the evil-doers. I really hoped and almost believed that George Bush could pull this off in a week and the rest of the world would return to being our friends and supporters in the war on terrorism. What an awful, scary, despicable joke this has been.


I complained that the rich were paying no taxes while we poor and middle-class were getting gouged. I was taken to task by a number of my more wealthy acquaintances who told me that “we pay taxes.” Well, the joke’s on them. I was talking about those rich who’re not able to count their money. J. Paul Getty once said, “If you can count your money, you’re not rich.” My point still stands: The super-rich, the multi-gazillionaire rich, the super-duper Haliburton and Cheney and the new Secretary of the Treasury Snow, are all rich, and I bet I pay more taxes than they. The joke’s on us! Ha, ha (I don’t hear you laffin’)!

Old Reds

Ronnie Gilbert, one of the famous folk singers from The Weavers, who sang such controversial ditties as “Goodnight, Irene” and “On Top of Old Smoky,” came to Rockford and spoke before 200 people. The joke’s on the daily newspaper because they ignored her except for a minuscule mention buried in the Go section. Usually, they are more generous to Charlotte’s Web’s offerings. The lack of notice is enough to bring out my paranoia because Rockford Urban Ministries was one of the co-sponsors. I had a good laugh, though, because 200 people magically appeared. It was a combination of e-mails, newsletters and great coverage from The Rock River Times that brought the people in. Ronnie talked about her experiences before the House Un-American Activities Committee (chilling precognition) and getting stoned (with rocks) at a Paul Robeson concert. Her voice, though shaky because of her 75 years of age, still rang clear and true on many of her songs. She has a good laugh at death.


Somewhere northeast of Jerusalem, great armies will advance on each other. True Christians and people of good faith will try to stand between them but will be raptured away to some unknown destination. The four horsemen of the Apocalypse—war, disease, famine and death—will be unleashed. Our President is looking forward to the End Times and the Second Coming. The joke’s on him: Jesus is a pacifist.

Foolish art

My “Used Art Sale” this April 4 and 5, Friday and Saturday, 9 until 3 at the Rockford Urban Ministries office, 623 Seventh St. (where I work) has some strange stuff. Lots of schlocky art, but some real oils, sculptures, acrylics, chalks, textiles and watercolors, as well as fancy prints and arts and crafts, and a few leftover things from the Peace Store (God rest its soul). The funny stuff includes items from Rockford artists Jim Julin and Katie McFarlane, as well as a very moving piece by Gary Verni-Lau: one of his “Homeless in Rockford” series, showing a homeless veteran having his last cup of coffee in a homeless shelter that will close Christmas Eve, by orders of the NIMBY Corporation. If you have any more art to donate, call the office at 964-7111. Or just come on down to Seventh Street. And that’s no joke!

Stanley Campbell is executive director of Rockford Urban Ministries and spokesman for Rockford Peace & Justice.

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