Don Williams
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Don Williams is a prize-winning columnist, blogger, fiction writer, sometime TV commentator, and is the founder and editor emeritus of New Millennium Writings, an annual anthology of stories, essays and poems. His awards include a National Endowment for the Humanities Journalism Fellowship at the University of Michigan, a Golden Presscard Award from Sigma Delta Chi Society of Professional Journalists, a best Commentary Award from SDC, Best Feature Writing from the Associated Press Tennessee Managing Editors, the Malcolm Law Journalism Prize from the Associated Press, Best Non-Deadline Reporting from the United Press International, Best Novel Excerpt from the Knoxville Writers Guild, a Peacemaker Award from the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance, five Writer of the Month Awards from the Scripps Howard Newspaper chain, and many others. In 2011 he was inducted into the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame. His 2005 book of journalism, Heroes, Sheroes and Zeroes is under revision for a second printing, and he is at work on a novel and a book of journalism. His columns appear at and have been featured at many other well-known websites. To run his column, gratis, at your website, post this link to a dedicated spot: Need a speaker, panelist, tv commentator or teacher for your group or to lead a writing workshop, in your town? Email

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'O frabjous day!'--A note of sober reflection on the capture of Saddam
(Copyright by Don Williams, All rights reserved   12/19/2003)

As our president has noted, now is not the time for gloating over the capture of Saddam Hussein. Rather, a few notes of sober reflection are in order. In the words of the late poet....

"O frabjous day! Callooh-callay!"

Wait, wait, wrong poet, what I meant to say, before you so rudely interrupted was....

"Ding Dong! The Witch is dead. Which old Witch? The Wicked Witch!
Ding Dong! The Wicked Witch is dead."

Hush Now. That's not what I meant at all.

"Ding Dong the merry-oh, sing it high, sing it low... Let them know the Wicked Witch is dead."

Stop marching around with that broom! That's not it at all. This is not the Land of Oz. I meant to quote the poem about how the world ends not in a bang but in a whimper. Now how does that one go....

"He's gone where the goblins go, below, below below, Yo-ho!"

Now stop that. After all, the evil man is neither a witch nor is he gone below, and how can we--especially those of us who opposed the war--dare behave as if this were something to, what's the word I'm looking for....

"Celebrate good times, come on! It's a celebration."

That's hardly the spirit of subdued gratification and reflection the president is asking for. We should choose another way of letting the world know we're thankful this step has been taken toward freedom and humanity in Iraq. We must work soberly to create a democracy in the Middle East rather than rushing about laughing and....

"Laugh about it shout about it when you have to choose...."

Shush! Let us turn to scripture for some serious words of reflection. Hmm, what verse would crystallize just the proper attitude....

"Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands."

Not that one. How politically incorrect can you be? Choose a different verse, something that won't offend any Sunnis or Shiites....

"Behold I bring you glad tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people."

No, no, not that one, silly. I meant something about humility. O.K., maybe quoting the Bible was a bad idea. Let's just take a moment for silent reflection....

"And dancin' in the streets. They're dancin' in Chicago, down in New Orleans, up in New York City. All we need is music, sweet music, there'll be music everywhere, there'll be swingin', swayin' and records playin' and dancin' in the street. Oh, it doesn't matter what you wear, just as long as you are there, so come on, every guy grab a girl, everywhere around the world, there'll be dancin', they're dancin' in the street... In Philadelphia, P.A., Baltimore and DC now, yeah don't forget the Motor City...."

Hush now, get control of yourself. Such a lack of decorum reflects poorly on our nation and culture. Celebration's no proper attitude, especially for those of us who never wanted this war in the first place.

"Do I contradict myself? Very well, I contradict myself."

Aha, you admit it. Now what do you have to say for yourself?

"Even those who never asked for rain may celebrate rainbows."

* Quotations, in order, are from: Lewis Carroll's poem, "Jabberwocky" (from Alice in Wonderland).

The Munchkin Land Song (Ding-Dong, The Witch is Dead)" by E.H. Harburg and Harold Arlen. Ditto. Ditto.

Kool and the Gang's, "Celebration."

Paul Simon's "Mrs. Robinson."

Psalms 100:1, then Luke 2:10.

"Dancin' in the Streets," by Stevenson/Gaye/Hunter. "Leaves of Grass," by Walt Whitman.

And I made up the last one.