Major League Baseball teams have fantasy camps in the wintertime, where people who lacked the talent to be big-leaguers can pay a pretty penny to pretend that they didn't. And that's fine. Some 73-year-old insurance exec wants to pay money to get a uniform and take a few swings with others in the Senior Grapefruit League, no one gets hurt.
But in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a 73-year-old insurance bigshot can donate police cars and police guns and police equipment to the police department, and take some training, and boom! He's a police officer ("Advanced Reserve Deputy") with no business running around armed and dangerous, and yet it happened, and now a man is dead because this pretend police doesn't know his pistol from his Taser.
And in Baltimore, a young mother left her child in a parked car at the gambling casino for several hours while she was inside gambling to make money.
And in Philadelphia, a mother to a quadriplegic person with cerebral palsy who lives in a wheelchair dumped her son in a woods with a blanket and a Bible so that she could travel down here to Maryland to enjoy some quality time alone with her boyfriend.
And there is war and pestilence and famine and weeping and wailing and too much gnashing of too many teeth, but pick up any newspaper or magazine from long ago, and you will see there has always been plenty of all of these things.
We tend to look at the children of today and shake our heads at how pampered and misbehaved they are, forgetting that plenty of hinky stuff went on in "our day." That's always been true.
We see crime as being out of control, drug use as rampant, cynicism as a replacement for faith, and evil everywhere. But reading history helps us put today's enormities in context.
Remember Hitler? Hirohito? Robespierre? Nero? Caligula? Genghis Khan? Attila The Hun? Idi Amin? Pol Pot? Vlad The Impaler?
Mankind has survived all of them and plenty of others. With faith and good humor, our little boats form a mighty armada against the current of doom and sorrow.
And while we're referencing The Great Gatsby, remember: "Tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . ."