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No time for love

It's called tombstone technology
Dear Dr. Jones
by GZO Jones

s it advice? Is it opinion? Or is it simply the monthly rant of a pompous, over-the-hill windbag? Whatever it is, it's been happening without fail since our very first year, 2001, when GZO Jones contacted us from his Brazilian retreat and hinted at a literary pedigree that reaches back to the Beats. So we offered him the job and he's amused us while remaining pithy and religiously reliable ever since. Plus, he works really cheap.

Dear Dr. Jones,

God but you're a pathetic loser. I used to think you were amusing but I see you're still bashing Bush over invading Iraq. Don't you get a newspaper in whatever rancid cave you live in? I mean, hello, there was a wildly successful election in Iraq – and it's all because of George W. Bush!

Voting Is Proof

Dear VIP,

I'll ignore your harsh invective and simply suggest that maybe you missed the re-publication of a story from the Sept. 3, 1967, New York Times that recently made the rounds.

The item carried a headline of: "U.S. Encouraged By Vietnam Vote."

With a subhead that read: "Officials Cite 83% Turnout Despite Vietcong Terror."

A text that began: "United States officials were surprised and heartened today at the size of the turnout of South Vietnam's presidential election despite a Vietcong terrorist campaign to disrupt the voting."

And ended with: "A successful election has long been seen as the keystone of President Johnson's policy of encouraging growth of constitutional processes in South Vietnam."

Did you never hear the saying: "Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it."?

The heartening Iraqi elections were well and good. But if I were you (and I'm glad I'm not), I'd wait a month or two (or a decade or two) before spouting off about George W. Bush's bulletproof legacy.

– Jones

Dear Dr. Jones,

If everybody knows meth is so addictive, damaging, etc., what makes so many people try it?

Method Man

Dear MM,

It's a backwards version of the old "cry wolf" syndrome. When a society works so hard to demonize something like weed, warnings about meth don't carry much weight.

– Jones

Dear Dr. Jones,

How come we always wait until after a tragedy to fix things that we knew were bad all along?

Why Oh Why?

Dear WOW,

You're not very specific with your question but I'll take a guess at what you mean.

The world sees a devastating tsunami and all of a sudden we need better warning systems. Terrorists take down two big buildings and we suddenly need better airport security.

It's called tombstone technology. The higher the casualties, the greater the attention. Big disaster plays the role of squeaky wheel and money gets cast as the grease.

Backwards? Of course. But that's the way of the world.

– Jones

Examine more advice from GZO Jones, visit his Web site and e-mail your question, large or small, to gzojones@hotmail.com.

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