Thursday, December 30, 2010

My Eulogy for Aaron Zelman

I never met Aaron Zelman so I only knew him through his writing, filmmaking and second hand accounts from others who did know him personally. I had enormous respect for his efforts with the JPFO. It wasn't just about guns with him; he was an uncompromising advocate for freedom in just about every aspect of human life. He didn't just know the words of the Bill of Rights but also understood the ideals behind it and, I think, he believed it was the best effort Mankind has made so far at achieving a free society.

The Christmas season hasn't been a good time of year for me for decades. I've learned to live with it and not impose my peculiar depression on family, friends or co-workers. But this really strained that resolve. This is about the crappiest way to end the year I can imagine. Gun rights are finally getting some respect and there is a glimmer that freedom may be on the ascendant again. It is terribly saddening to me that one of the men who made that possible did not live to see it happen. I haven't seen this kind of perverseness in the Universe since Willey Ley died less than a month before Armstrong walked on the Moon.

OK, I stopped expecting life to be fair shortly after I figured out the joke about Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. However, there has always been the wish that, if it can't be fair, at least it doesn't have to be so damned obstinate about it.

On the other hand, if wishes were nickels I wouldn't have to work for a living.
Multas per gentes et multa per aequora vectus
advenio has miseras, frater, ad inferias,
ut te postremo donarem munere mortis
et mutam nequiquam alloquerer cinerem.
Quandoquidem fortuna mihi tete abstulit ipsum.
Heu miser indigne frater adempte mihi,
nunc tamen interea haec, prisco quae more parentum
tradita sunt tristi munere ad inferias,
accipe fraterno multum manantia fletu,
atque in perpetuum, frater, ave atque vale.*

-- Gaius Valerius Catullus

Hail and Farewall, Aaron Zelman. Rest in Peace.

*English translation

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