Hard Work Pays Off

By Zeke Dillingham
September 26, 2019

In socialism, everybody gets the same rewards even if they work harder. Atlas the Strongman contributed much more to the circus than the other performers like the clowns, yet got the same pay and as them, so he found other employment. The circus went downhill after Atlas was gone, and fewer people showed up to the events.

Usually, Atlas helped lift the large tent poles but without him, the ringmaster had to hire a construction crew to do it. The other clowns thought Atlas was inconsiderate for leaving the circus.

“This circus made him who he is. He shouldn’t have been so selfish,” said Kroogie the clown. Even though the circus wasn’t making as much money as it had been, the other clowns had been using Atlas’s old massage table and eating his special foods. The Russian calliope player, Alexander, told the clowns they had been acting like socialists because they were getting the same rewards as Atlas, even though he did much more work and had a more difficult job, which required talent and special skills. He had put more time and effort into his work, and that is why he quit.

Cannonball the acrobat and all the Tuttle family went around the nearest town looking for Atlas, and Cannonball found him in a gym. Atlas told them that the other clowns had been pretending to be victims, and the twins realized that the clowns were the ones being lazy and selfish, not Atlas.

Atlas told the Tuttle twins that he used to be a clown. The last strongman, Hercules, suggested that when he retired, Atlas should become the new strongman because he was such a dedicated worker. Atlas then explained the difference between supply and demand.

If you were in a desert, you would pay more money to get water, but where there was an abundance of water, you would pay less. But in socialism, you would have to pay the same amount of money in both places. Atlas is similar to water in the desert because you can’t find an abundance of strongmen.

“That’s the problem with socialism,” said Mr. Tuttle. “Nobody would be a strongman if you got the same reward as the clowns.”

The next evening during the show, one of the tent poles wasn’t secure and it started to fall. Then, out of nowhere, Atlas came running from the crowd and secured it back in place. After the show, the ringmaster agreed to pay Atlas more because he had more value, and he rejoined the circus. Thankfully, Atlas got to enjoy the rewards of his labor.

Rome’s Civilizing Innovations

This is the modern-day Colosseum in Rome, Italy.

by Zeke Dillingham
January 28, 2019

Amazingly, Romans accomplished many incredible engineering feats for their time, like the 50,000 roads that linked to Ancient Rome. Underneath the ground, a system of aqueducts brought fresh water to the city, hydrating thousands of people by channeling water down from the colossal mountains. While the underground aqueducts are destroyed, the intently made aqueducts that were built above ground still stand today. The Romans had a majestic construction even more grand than the aqueducts – the Colosseum. It could hold up to 80,000 people and, surprisingly, took less than 10 years to build. Like vultures, citizens viciously viewed the victims of gladiator fights and public executions meet their untimely demise. The Circus Maximus was even taller than the Colosseum. This towering structure was where the famous chariot races were held. These creations lasted an immense amount of time because the Romans used long-lasting concrete to keep their buildings strong over the years. Rome’s innovative history is a key reason it was one of the greatest ancient civilizations.

We’re on Russian TV!

When in the old city of Suzdal during our great Russian vacation last winter, I was interviewed by a reporter from Vesti news service. She was supposed to contact me on Facebook when the piece came out but never did. Stephen just recently stumbled upon it, and the kids and I are seen from 1:55 to 2:20. (I guess she thought I was from Wisconsin since my page shows I graduated from UW-Madison.)

The entire video’s interesting and highlights many of the ancient and medieval historic Christian sites we visited along the incredible Golden Circle. The funny thing, though, is that reporter and her cameraman followed us around and talked with me for a good 20 minutes, yet my one translated pull quote was “The architecture is tremendous.” Classic. The reporter was quite surprised that we were Americans AND new converts to Orthodoxy, which is the most intriguing angle, in my opinion. But I suppose the story was more about tourism, not faith. Oh well. Still super cool.