“I feel the need to continue wearing my mask outside even though I’m fully vaccinated… to not have people think I’m a conservative.“

David Hogg

By Dr. Jim Ferguson

As comedian Jeff Foxworthy might aver, if you haven’t heard it, you might be deaf. Even this septuagenarian can hear the mating calls of Brood X.

Some years ago, while sitting on the porch with a friend from the west coast, I was asked, “What is that noise?”

A bit puzzled, and wondering if my friend’s adult beverage was affecting him, I responded, “What noise?” And then it dawned on me he was referring to the sound of summer evenings in the South. I then said, “Oh, you mean the cicadas.” I then realized we Southerners just accept the summer evening staccato as background noise. My friend had never experienced an accented Southern night. How sad, I thought.

I’m not an entomologist – I have stayed in a Holiday Inn Express. About ten days ago I first heard the sound of Knoxville’s 2021 Brood X cicadas. Perhaps it’s the number of hatchlings. However, for me the sound of Brood X is very different from the sound of our traditional “Southern cicada” I learned as a boy chasing lightning bugs on summer evenings. Instead of a cacophony of clicks, Brood X sounds more like a low-pitched incessant whistle.

Like the noise of a distant highway, the musical buzzing was loud at the South Knoxville Recycle center. In fact, Brood X’s mating calls were loud enough to drown out the noise of traffic on John Sevier highway. A town in Georgia reportedly told residents to stop calling 911 to report cicada noise.

Seventeen years ago, Becky and I were invited to the graduation of a friend’s son from the Naval Academy. I remember the date because it was in Annapolis, Maryland seventeen years ago that I first encountered Brood X, one of seven periodic emerging cicada species. Supposedly, these insects live underground for seventeen years and then emerge en masse. They exist in East Tennessee, but I don’t remember a mass emergence as a kid growing up in Knoxville, probably because in 1953 when Brood X emerged, I was two years old. And then in 1970 big bugs with protuberant red eyes were not part of my UT pre-med curriculum.

The first descriptions of periodic “locusts” in America was in the seventeen hundreds – though locusts are actually grasshoppers not cicadas. Experts think that the periodic mass emergence of cicadas is a survival ploy against predators; frogs, fish, raccoons and birds are enjoying the current feast. Perhaps this partly explains why birds are not very interested in my bird feeder lately.

Sometimes the absence of a sound triggers our awareness. We live within a symphony of noises and rarely is there silence. Some years ago, I took some city-slicker friends to a place far away from traffic and the background noise of civilization. When we arrived at the forest ridgetop, I insisted everyone stop, and just listen. The silence was “deafening” in the stillness of the afternoon without even a breeze to stir the pines. The novel One Second After opens with the protagonist noticing the absence of civilization’s background noise. He discovers the detonation of an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) weapon fried all American electronic circuitry and engines of planes and cars would no longer work.

If only the noise coming out of Washington and the media echo chamber could be silenced. At times I feel somewhat guilty because I no longer watch the news on TV because “news” has been replaced by politically motivated commentary. Make no mistake, we are subject to the same indoctrination that our children now experience in the “education” system.

To stay informed I now quietly read on-line newspapers, surf news sites and peruse blogs. And then I make up my own mind using common sense. I was educated in a different era that taught me how to sift information and think critically. To use Greg Gutfield’s tongue in cheek description, this “angry white male” is resistant to the major news media’s “big lies.” And I wouldn’t buy a stick of gum from the utterly corrupt Tony Fauci.

Apparently, advertising preferentially pitches to David Hogg’s 18–34-year-old demographic because they are the “most gullible” according to Bill Maher. While it is true that mental quickness is greatest in this age group, they have not yet acquired sufficient knowledge and wisdom through experience to discriminate between fact and fancy. And just telling “younglings” how wonderful they are does not build their character. It sets them up for an eventual fall in life’s competitive arena.

It’s especially noisy in the media as they try to cover their booties over the false reporting of the origins of the China Flu. Yes, you heard me say it. Trump was right, “it came from China” and their Wuhan virology lab. Sometimes political cartoons say it all with few words. A recent cartoon meme depicted Xi Jinping as an organ grinder and the WHO, Biden and Fauci as three monkeys who “see no Wuhan lab leak, hear no Wuhan lab leak and speak no Wuhan lab leak.”

You may find it strange, but I enjoy grocery shopping and planning our evening meals. It’s a whole lot better than trips to the ER at two am. Becky planned for four decades and now it’s my role. (I also share in house work these days instead of making hospital rounds.) As I shopped at Kroger’s I noticed that there was a sale on Coca-Cola products. This reminded me of a recent report that Coca-Cola business is off thirty percent after their political activism in Georgia. I guess, “Woke Coke has gone flat,” (Will Feuer of the New York Post).

I smiled and moved on because I’m boycotting Coke along with Major League baseball, the MBA and a bunch of other social justice warriors, including the ones who have also destroyed my church.

This “angry white male” doesn’t loot or burn. I just march away from all of their noise with my wallet and my attendance. I just hope that enough patriots have their eyes opened and will join The Fourth Great Awakening described in last week’s column.