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Delusions of Possibility; Peace Comes to the World

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Meditations in a Time of Delusions and Lies 19: Peace Comes to the World

Israelis and Palestinians are eager to share. No one gets killed in Jerusalem, no knives, no bombs, no soldiers, and everyone forgets that the holy shrines exist. Holy what?

All the looted artifacts and ancient Sumerian stone books wiggle their way back into the Baghdad Museum.

Dick Cheney really does have a change of heart, not just a heart attack.

Politics becomes a way to meet new people and make sense of the world, a kind of dating service and Department of Public Works in one.

The suicide bomber walks into the marketplace, yanks the string. Candies shoot out in all directions. He's become a suicide pinata, except he forgets to die in the explosion of sweets.

Generals decide that the military's job will be to watch the skies for dangerous asteroids that may hit us. In the meantime, they'll clean up the planet, reverse global warming, and zap computer spam.

Millions watch TV and walk away smarter.

Oil is no longer needed. Machines run on dreams.

Iraqis never do learn how to play baseball, and they are glad.

Sri Lanka is no longer divided, Ireland is no longer divided, Kashmir is no longer divided, Cyprus is one. Koreans skip across the DMV. Palestinian refugees return to their homes, and their Israeli neighbors no longer know why they wanted them to leave.

The LAPD snaps on soft handcuffs, the officers smiling and winking at suspects and TV cameras.

No one is forced to give a blow job in a high school broom closet.

Crack and heroin and speed no longer have any effect, and cocaine might as well be talcum powder. Addictions become old movies to laugh at.

Indians shave off the faces of the presidents from Mt. Rushmore.

Sex is re-invented nightly.

Giant corporations hand over their profits to schools.

Rivers flow with pure water.

The president apologizes for slavery, and he actually weeps.

Millions of Americans can speak fluent Chinese, Spanish, French, Arabic, at least one more language besides English.

Millions finally do read Moby-Dick, and they even like it.

No one sells their body for sex. Women drive convertibles in Saudi Arabia.

No one is hungry.

Jerry Falwell admits that he really does not understand life, he can't imagine what he had in mind when he spoke about Hell, and he decides that sex is a healthy, ordinary and natural part of life.

A woman president takes maternity leave.

Racists really do get color blind.

High schools are named after Lenny Bruce and Charlie Chaplin. The Thelonius Monk School of Spiritual Mathematics opens its doors, and Condeleeza Rice is the first to enroll.

All these and more can I see in a flash - and then the vision passes, dies off.

I do not make a habit of deluding myself. But on occasion it helps to remember that nothing has to be the way that it is.

Sooner or later, history will kiss us on the lips.
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Hilton Obenzinger is the author of "American Palestine: Melville, Twain and the Holy Land Mania" (Princeton), among many other books of criticism, poetry and fiction, and the recipient of the American Book Award. His most recent book is the (more...)
 

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