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More on Bombs and Guns

     May Day featured the release of three American soldiers thanks to Jesse Jackson, who enjoyed the publicity. It was a propaganda coup for Milosevich, who calculated that it would influence among others the Mexican Americans, who were especially concerned about the two who were from that group. Mexican newscasts, calling them "officers", chattered at length about the misdeeds of NATO with scarcely a word about the flood of refugees from the Serb dictatorship.
     May Day featured also the usual May Day parades in many capitals. They were the usual yelling, brainless affairs, on a level with the conventions of American political parties, with the difference that they were anti-American. I have never participated in a demonstration.
     I would, however, have made an exception to take part in the demonstration in Denver against the National Rifle Association, whose rabid members do not realize what image they give the world of the United States and of its constitution.
     Their leader, Charles Heston, reminds me of the preacher who shouted "Thank God who gave us the right to carry a gun!" This is textual; I heard it,
     Years ago Heston and I were honored, wined and dined by the Southern Californian Pan American Association. The chairperson was a Chilean Hollywood mogul. Heston was selected as the Hollywood individual who had done most to enhance the image of Latin America, I as the academic who had made the greatest contribution to Latin American studies (my name was presumably pulled out of a hat). I should therefore have received a rabbit, but each of us got a bronze condor (the national bird of Chile, less attractive to me than even the glorious bald eagle). That boid still adorns my home.
     Why Heston? Well, after playing Moses, the became the Cid in a silly jazzed-up version of the Spanish epic. The Cid became an honorary Latin American. It would not surprise me if they made him an honorary member of the National Rifle Association.
     Oh, how they loved Heston! My talk must have seemed un-Cid like in comparison. The chairperson was very cool to me afterwards. Oh well, you canīt please everyone.

Ronald Hilton - 05/08/99