A Hunger for Leadership.
Where Are the Brave and Admirable
Who Are Strong Enough to Take a Stand?
Saturday, November 18, 2000.
DATELINE: Pine Bluff, Arkansas.
Special to corndancer.com
By Joe Dempsey
Who really gives a rat's ass?
Oh, I'd say a number somewhere in the millions of Americans of every species and stripe who would like to raise their families in conditions close to prosperous, see their children well-educated and feel safe in their communities…. They give a rat's ass. And more. These folks have a problem. They are looking for leadership.
Our leadership is nothing less than flaky. Our presidential candidates (by the time this hits the net one of them may indeed be a winner) although discernable from a visual standpoint are essentially of the same ilk. They purport themselves to be leaders, but indeed they are followers. Followers of opinion. Followers of trends. Followers of party lines. Followers of their handlers.
They are so alike, you could flip a coin and not really go wrong. When one of them gets to the White House and begins to deal with our publicly elected bicameral houses of followers on Capitol Hill, the gridlock, well rested over the Christmas and New Year Holidays, will again fester and clog the workings of our alleged government.
Where are our leaders? Is the mantle of elected public service so tainted that none but the followers dare toss it around their weak shoulders? Is the media so relentless in their en-masse pursuit of the trivial slop that plays well for the 6:00 feed to blame? Have we been so long deprived of responsible leadership we don't know how to recognize a practitioner of this desirable social craft?
Hello out there. America is hungry for leadership. For a brave and admirable person to say, I'm making my stand. Who'll say I believe in my God and I hope you believe in yours. Who'll be tireless. Who'll say like Harry Truman, " ... the buck stops here." (Translated, I'm responsible.) Join me. When I find him (or her), this sore-kneed old paratrooper will say, sign me up.
The photo of me was shot on an Ansco or Brownie or something of that ilk when I was in the neighborhood of four years of age. My father's inscription on the back of the photo is included. [EDITOR'S NOTE: See larger photo below.]
Much has changed since that photo was shot.
I am a graduate of Ouachita Baptist College (now University) with a B.A. in art. I am a couple of hours short of a double major in art and journalism. Seems the journalism professor and I were at odds at the time and since it made him look good to have as many majors as possible in his department, I jumped ship and left him minus one major. I still don't regret it.
I have three sons. Two readily admit that I am their father. The third can't. He is profoundly mentally and physically retarded and is institutionalized. The two who claim me are gainfully employed by large corporations. I am gainfully employed by a teeny-tiny corporation. More on that later.
Wife, Dog, Cat, Car, and Waterbed.
I am now on my third wife, eighth dog, ninth cat, twelfth car, first waterbed (some twenty or so years of age) and my third job as a productive adult. I work for the meanest bastard in town: Me.
I am a partner in a small, but imaginative advertising agency in which I am responsible for most of the creative development, writing, and at least some of the production. We do political campaigns and have won more than we've lost. We also do banks and industrial accounts for the most part.
Having had more fun during my life than most, I will probably suffer more than others during retirement, should it become necessary for me to take that option. At one time, as they say in the south, " … the boy was bad to drank." The cure has descended on me and now I am dry as the Gobi desert in whatever its dry month is. And Lord willing, will probably stay that way.
At Least You Get to Jump out of Airplanes.
I went through the U.S. Army Jump School as a reservist "off the block" at the ripe old age of 31. I'd be lying if I said it was anything less than a bitch. But then afterwards, you get to jump out of airplanes, which ain't bad. Subsequently, the U.S. Army Reserve saw fit to promote me to Major and saddle me with command of Company A, 1st Battalion, 12th Special Forces Group (USAR), which I must admit was a fun way to spend weekends.
The choreographer of Corndancer and I have participated in several projects in which we mutually turned a profit. In that time and beyond I have grown to love and respect him as a person and as a professional -- whatever he is. Certainly not for his hairdo. I enjoy soaking up the missives, Epistles and dispatches and am privileged to be a part of this assault on the English language and those who insist on using it to nauseating perfection. So there!
Signed: Joe Dempsey
Joe Dempsey on War I field piece in tilles (sp?) Park -- this gun was taken away for scrap during W.W. 2