Big Mike’s Global Shock/Grief Chart
On this most patriotic of holidays, I offer you the following indispensable guide to which you can refer in the event of a major terrorist attack occurring anywhere in the world.
The next time a single terrorist, a couple, or even a larger group of them burst into a fancy restaurant, packed nightclub, or school in session and either open fire with automatic weapons or blow up the place with bombs strapped to their vests, consult the following list so you can know whether or not to care.
If, for instance, the terrorist attack occurs in Warsaw, simply scroll down to Poland to see where that country ranks on my handy Shock/Grief Chart. Using this example, Poland lands squarely in the Outrage level. You must place an appropriate transparent national flag overlay on your Facebook profile picture. You may then talk about the attack for several days at the office and fully expect that everyone will agree with you. Also, TV news, newspapers, and online opinion sites will cover the incident for at least a week.
Study this chart in advance so you may be prepared for the worst:
Level 1: The Day Our Lives Changed Forever
General psychological shock. The introduction of reactionary legislation at the federal, state, and local levels of government. One step closer to a Trump presidency.
- The United States
Level 2: Outrage
Place the appropriate transparent national flag overlay on your Facebook profile picture. CNN will create theme music and a special logo for its coverage. Corporate media will cover the attack and its fallout for at least a week.
- The Czech Republic
- The Holy See (Vatican City)
- Hong Kong
- The Netherlands
- New Zealand
- South Korea
- The United Kingdom
Level 3: Disgust
Hey, this stuff is happening everywhere! It could happen closer to home one of these days, you just watch.
- Costa Rica
- El Salvador
- The Philippines
- Saudi Arabia
- South Africa
Level 4: Head-shaking
It’s their own fault. They’re hot-heads. These people have been blowing themselves up for centuries. What’s wrong with people? Or, Yeah, I’ve heard of that place. It’s a shame.
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Dominican Republic
- Myanmar (Burma)
- North Korea
- United Arab Emirates
Level 5: Where Is That Again?
Not that it matters.
- The Federated States of Micronesia
- Sao Tome & Principe
- Sierra Leone
- Sri Lanka
- Timor-Leste (East Timor)
Level 6: Where Do You Want to Go For Lunch Today?
Usually an African nation. Sometimes a Pacific island group or other such ignorable collection of humanity. Occasionally the site of ongoing slaughter for the last few years.
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Equatorial Guinea
- Ivory Coast
- Papua New Guinea
- South Sudan
July 4th Birthdays
The Yoo-nited State of Murrica! — The most progressive, innovative, last-best-hope of humankind experiment in culture and government (at the time of its birth). As it grew older, it got fatter, more flatulent, greedier, more cocksure, richer, lazier…, hell, just like almost everyone I know.
Hiram Walker — Founder of the eponymous Canadian distillery just across the river from Detroit. Walker’s whiskey was superior to American distillers’ products so they lobbied Congress to force foreign whiskey makers to mark their country of origin in large letters on the bottle. Walker renamed his spirit Canadian Club and it remained a huge seller in the states. Walker also created a company town around his distillery. He controlled the town council, the police, and utilities.
Henrietta Swan Leavitt — A “computer” at the Harvard College Observatory, she studied Cepheid Variable Stars, allowing subsequent astronomers to determine how far various galaxies are from the Milky Way. “Computers” were those whose primary function at observatories was to do complex calculations and tedious counting jobs while looking at photographic plates. Men considered computing jobs entry level positions in astronomy. For women, the jobs were the upper limit of their ascent. It has been said Leavitt “provided the key to determine the size of the cosmos.”
Rube Goldberg — Cartoonist and inventor, he was famous for his cartoons of wildly complicated machines designed to do the simplest of tasks. Here’s his “Self-operating Napkin”:
Here he is:
Meyer Lansky — Played, loosely, as Hyman Roth by the brilliant Lee Strasberg in The Godfather: Part II:
Roth: There was this kid I grew up with; he was younger than me. Sorta looked up to me, you know. We did our first work together, worked our way out of the street. Things were good, we made the most of it. During Prohibition, we ran molasses into Canada… made a fortune, your father, too. As much as anyone, I loved him and trusted him. Later on he had an idea to build a city out of a desert stop-over for GI’s on the way to the West Coast. That kid’s name was Moe Greene, and the city he invented was Las Vegas. This was a great man, a man of vision and guts. And there isn’t even a plaque, or a signpost or a statue of him in that town! Someone put a bullet through his eye. No one knows who gave the order. When I heard it, I wasn’t angry; I knew Moe, I knew he was head-strong, talking loud, saying stupid things. So when he turned up dead, I let it go. And I said to myself, this is the business we’ve chosen; I didn’t ask who gave the order, because it had nothing to do with business!
Eppie Lederer & Pauline Philips — Born Esther and Pauline Friedman, identical twins from Sioux City, Iowa, who created, respectively, the Ann Landers and Dear Abby advice columns that were syndicated in newspapers all over the world.
Pauline (Abby, L) & Eppie (Ann)
Eva Marie Saint — The ostensibly naive but really morally sophisticated gamine, Edie Doyle, with whom Marlon Brando’s Terry Malloy falls in love in On the Waterfront, and the apparently conniving spy but in truth agent for good, Eve Kendall, in North by Northwest.
Ron Kovic — As you know if you watched the movie, Born on the Fourth of July, based on his memoir, with Tom Cruise playing him.
On this date in history, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson & James Monroe — the second, third, and fifth presidents of the United States — died. Adams and Jefferson died within hours of each other in 1826 and Monroe died in 1831.
From Left: Adams, Jefferson, Monroe