April 17th, 2011
09:00 AM ET

Letters to the President: #818 'Ah, grasshopper . . .'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: The president, long ago, asked for advice from the public on how to run the country. I’ve offered a lot in more than 800 letters. But not today. Ha!

Dear Mr. President,

As I write this, I am watching Enter the Dragon on TV. It is the first time I’ve ever seen it, and quite frankly, the first Bruce Lee film I’ve ever watched. I’m just keeping track of it out of the corner of my eye, and I’m not sure I’ll make it all the way through. There is only so much jumping, screeching, and karate chopping I can take at one time before I get tired of rolling my eyes.

I had a roommate in college who totally loved that guy - had a Bruce Lee poster on the wall, was completely into all sorts of martial arts, and really dug the whole philosophy part of it. As in, “Let me explain to you how peaceful I am, and then I’ll kick your butt.”

It was funny in its own way, but he enjoyed it and he was a good enough guy, so there you have it.

I took an interest in martial arts when I was younger, as so many did, and the primary reason (other than thinking it would be great to show Bill Gabootz a thing or two the next time he shoved me around in gym class) can be summed up in two words: Kung Fu.

The whole idea of that show was fabulous: This crazy-calm Chinese man wandering around the old west taking on the gunslingers, cattle rustlers, and railroad ruffians with nothing but a wooden flute and his hands. I could hardly wait for the introduction each week. “Take the pebble from my hand.” Could anything be cooler?

What made it so appealing, I must admit was the guilt-free nature of the violence. Kwai Chang Caine never went looking for trouble, and actually went pretty far out of his way to avoid it. And yet somehow, each week, justice ended up depending on his ability to fling some guy and his spurs clear over the corral.

Still, my mother was less impressed. After every episode my brother and I would spend a couple of hours flipping each other around the living room, and trying to put out candles with nothing but the sure, swiftness of our hands. Problem was, our errant slaps often sprayed wax across the table cloth, and then she would smack us in the back of the head so fast even a Shaolin priest could not have ducked.

Not sure why I’m telling you all this. I guess I’m just a little tired of talking about all the political nonsense, and I don’t want to be unnecessarily critical. Maybe, in the spirit of Caine, I just don’t want to start a fight. Ha!

Anyway, they’re about to start jumping around on TV again. Got to go.


Follow Tom on Twitter @tomforemancnn.

Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Richard Horvath

    If you want the housing market to improve, then stop the rouge, and criminal Mortgage "Servicing" scam. Are you aware the "servicing companies make more foreclosing then "servicing???????
    Contact me, I have the emails from about twenty people how have pleaded with me for help.
    Also, get rid of corrupt judges, especially those who use their office for personal gain, like one of the Deleware Bankruptcy judges.

    April 18, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
  2. Charles Fletcher

    Want to bring gas prices down we all must boycott two major companies Chevron and Shell do not even buy a candy bar show them that if they continue with high prices we the American people will put them out of business together we stand divided we fall ask not what the gas companies can do for you ask what we will do to them.........

    April 18, 2011 at 11:43 am |
  3. Mark

    More reporting on the situation in Syria is needed. It seems to be deteriorating fast and local videos and comments on the web show some serious violence against civilians. I could recognize the places and the people.. Shocking and sad!
    Maybe CNN can help shed more light on the events. Your program can help increase public awareness of the situation like it did in many other places. Maybe we can prevent further atrocities!
    Thanks for all your good work.

    April 17, 2011 at 7:33 pm |