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And So It Goes

by Geraldo Rivera | Apr 20, 2007

Sorry I've been so long away. Life gets so busy with so many public and private events competing for center stage in the heart and mind that it is easy to avoid doing the optional in favor of doing just the mandatory. And the less I write the more things pile up that I want to write about.

Let's start with the death of the incomparable Kurt Vonnegut. Along with Rand, Forester, Tolstoy, and Tolkien, Vonnegut's writings helped shape my world. Ostensibly a comedy and filled with scenes of aliens, abductions and time travel, 'Slaughter House-Five' was at its heart as vivid and eloquently anti-war as 'Paths of Glory'. 'The Sirens of Titan', 'Cat's Cradle', and 'Breakfast of Champions' were also deceptively gentle excoriations of militarism and pretension.

Kurt was the first famous person I really knew. As a young reporter for 'Eyewitness News' in New York in 1971, I met and married his beautiful daughter Edith Vonnegut, a brilliant artist in her own right.

Hanging around Kurt at the family's home in Barnstable Massachusetts was a treat for someone as socially and esthetically ignorant as I was. He was the world's most playful grownup. He would gather up the herd of young adult children, (he had six at the time, three with his saintly wife Jane and three nephews the couple adopted after Kurt's sister and her husband died tragically within a week of each other), and lead us in-group activities.

The favorite was called the 'marsh tromp' in which a distant object was selected in the great salt march on Cape Cod's bay side and we then marched in a straight-line directly to it, regardless of obstacles. All mucky and muddy, laughing and feeling like kids without a worry in the world, our day ended with hot drinks at their rambling, welcoming home.

You would have loved this guy, but if you've read his stuff, you already know that.   

Bill O'Reilly and I had a real slugfest a couple of weeks ago. Without rehashing the argument over whether the chaos,  pain and loss inflicted by an illegal alien's drunk driving is any worse than a legal resident's drunk driving, I just want to say that the explosion of passionately held beliefs was unplanned, unscripted, unedited, and proof that Fox News is not the ideologically limited or slanted organization some of our critics narrow-mindedly allege.

Now to Virginia Tech, where the malignant loner Cho Seung-Hui emerges as a prototypical mass murderer, unnaturally quiet, socially awkward, picked-on, and harboring a festering fury that he unleashed on the innocent. That's why I have no sympathy for this savage, selfish killer. This wasn't the ultimate 'Revenge of the Nerds'. The reason that series of films and similar stories became so popular is that the underdog gets his day by turning the tables on the bully.

But Cho didn't victimize those who had abused or teased him over the years. He lashed out at everybody and anybody within range, from the heroic Holocaust survivor who barred the door, to the innocent, defenseless co-ed he shot in the head at point blank range to begin his orgy of arrogant violence.

And how about those Virginia gun laws that allow any crazy person not so legally adjudicated to buy a handgun, despite misdemeanor convictions, anti-depressant drug use, preliminary findings of mental instability, and even non-citizenship. I loathe the proliferation of guns in this country, but I reluctantly agree that the Second Amendment gives citizens the right to keep and bear arms with some restrictions.

But the Commonwealth of Virginia is apparently so eager to encourage gun sales it allows even resident aliens not granted the right by the Constitution, the ability to buy all the handguns they want without even having to swear allegiance to the founding document.

And I'm still reeling from the outrageous telephone message that Alec Baldwin meant only for his 11-year old daughter, Ireland, to hear...but today, the angry, threatening words are being heard around the world after the voicemail was leaked to the press.

More than two-minutes in length, the dreadful diatribe is laced with insults and even, what seems the threat of violence.

As the father of a girl the same age as Ireland, I am stunned by Baldwin's words and believe they verge on child abuse.  Admittedly, the message comes in the midst of the prolonged, public, ugly, custody fight over the 11-year old between Baldwin and ex-wife, Kim Bassinger.

But how this supposedly loving father thinks his hateful words will endear him to the daughter whose custody he seeks is beyond me.

His lawyers say the real culprit is Bassinger who allegedly leaked the message.

Her spokeswoman says the message speaks for itself.

She's right.

And so it goes.

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