?Scream'ing on a swift boat to Oslo - Ed Brock

These are surely sad times, ladies and gentlemen.

First, a quick note on the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" controversy.

I was not there when John Kerry yanked that guy out of the river, so I don't know if he was really under fire or not. I do know, as we all know, that when Kerry came home he turned against the war, something that was bound to irk quiet a few veterans of that war.

I also have no doubt that there is indeed a connection between the Swift Boat group and the Bush campaign, so let's just not kid ourselves about that.

That being said, I will conclude by saying that if the Swift Boat crowd is actually telling the truth, well, this will just be the saddest Presidential election in history. We'll have to choose between a veteran who lied about his war record and an incumbent President who may or may not have served even his time in the Reserves and who has started an unnecessary war.

It makes me want to start my own country on a small deserted island (well, it won't be deserted when I arrive). I mean, really.

And when I go there I'll make sure to keep my art in a secure museum as well.

So, it would appear that somebody has stolen Edvard Munch's "The Scream." Again.

This upsets me because, and I don't think I'm alone on this, I think "The Scream" is one piece of art that perfectly describes the 20th and 21st centuries.

Which is pretty impressive, considering that Munch painted it, or apparently four versions of it, in the 1890s. You may not know the name, but you probably know the picture.

It shows a little bald alien-looking fellow (or fellette) clasping their head between their hands with their mouth in a wide open circle indicating a scream.

I mean, isn't that how we all feel every day all the time? Especially during election year?

And yet all it took was a couple of guys with maybe one gun to walk in to the Munch Museum in Oslo and rip the painting off the wall. You know, I think it would be really cool to steal that painting, because it looks like it's screaming in surprise or dismay every time you look at it.

I can see these guys hanging around, chortling in Norwegian as they take turns pointing their gun at the painting and making comments like "Yeah, you better scream."

And from what I understand the theory is that the thieves, unable to sell the painting because of its notoriety, will hold it for ransom.

Or perhaps it is on a swift boat even now, bound for my tropical hideaway where I'll tack it up without a frame in my bathroom.

I am from Alabama, after all.

Ed Brock covers public safety and municipalities for the News Daily. He may be reached at (770) 478-5753 ext. 254 or via e-mail at ebrock@news-daily.com .