Despite being out of the country for most of the past week, theoretically engaged in relaxation and responsibility-avoidance, I couldn’t help but reflect on a few things that are rattling about in my head. And here we go…
ONE. Colin Kaepernick takes a stand by taking a seat.
There are many things that can be said, from many different angles, about choosing not to stand during the National Anthem, but it essentially comes down to this: Colin is exhibiting one of the true American principles by speaking out, in his own way, about social injustice. The people who are bashing and booing him for daring to have a different opinion than their own are showing their disrespect for the Constitutional rights of all citizens, thus making Colin’s case even stronger.
TWO. A conversation on the elementary school playground.
Little Brian: “But I don’t understand why you’re voting for Ronald Stump for Class President. He’s a bully and a racist.”
Little Rudi: “He’s going to make the playground great again!”
Little Brian: “But the playground is just fine. In fact, the playground has been doing pretty good for the last eight years, despite what they might be telling you on Fox News Junior.”
Little Rudi: “He’s going to build a wall between us and the fifth graders and make them pay for it!”
Little Brian: “Why in the hell would he want to do that?”
Big Martha, passing schoolteacher: “Watch your language, young man.” Then she went back to not caring about the students and tippling from her flask.
Little Brian: “Sorry. Why in the heck would he want to do that?”
Little Rudi: “Because they steal things and they sniff glue.”
Little Brian: “Do you even know any fifth graders? Most of them are decent people, just like you and me. Well, like me, anyway. You’re kind of an idiot.
Little Rudi: “You’re persecuting me for my religion!”
Little Brian: “I haven’t said a word about your religion. But if idiocy is the new religion, I might have to persecute that.”
Little Rudi: “Ronald is going to deport people like you!”
Little Brian: “Deport me? For what? Where did that come from?”
Little Rudi: “He’s going to get rid of everybody that doesn’t belong here. Everybody that he doesn’t like. And I don’t like those people, either. It’s nice when you meet someone who hates the same people. God bless America!”
Little Brian: “Do you even listen to yourself when you talk or do you just like the sound of your voice?”
THREE. The desecration of foliage.
Dear Credit Card Companies,
I see that you have just sent me the 376th offer to take advantage of your ability to produce a little plastic rectangle that will allow me to indebt myself for the rest of my natural life. Perhaps you didn’t notice the previous 375 non-responses to your dubious offering, so it appears that I am forced to be the adult in the room and explain a few things about life.
I don’t need you. This might seem a bit harsh and un-neighborly, but let’s get real. The only reason you are attempting to reach out and touch me in the morning is the fact that I already have a credit rating that is higher than most states in this country. I have done the right thing for decades and I pay on time. You are not going to get any interest payments out of me because I clear my balance every month. If you don’t grasp what this means, you clearly went to the wrong school. (Was it a charter school? That might be your problem right there.)
More importantly, those thick packets of promotional material that you keep sending me indicate that you have no concern for the trees on this planet. Paper comes from trees. Did you know that? Probably not, so let me clarify: You are needlessly killing the forests of the world by sending me something I didn’t request. Perhaps your marketing consultants could go on a team-building exercise in what’s left of the Brazilian Rain Forest. Maybe they can learn that “fewer trees = less photosynthesis = we need to stop screwing around with Mother Nature or we’ll all be breathing through those oxygen masks that flight attendants are always babbling about on airplanes even though no one is paying any attention.”
FOUR. Spitting in the wind.
Here’s the deal: Voting for a third-party Presidential candidate in America is currently ineffective, at best, and seriously detrimental, at worst, depending on your political leanings. Either Hillary or Donald is going to win the election in November. Nobody else has a chance. Yes, you might get some type of personal satisfaction by voting Libertarian or Green, and I do grasp the concept behind a “protest” vote, but the only impact such a vote will have is a balance shift between the Democrats and the Republicans. So you might as well vote for one of the two people who can actually prevail. Perhaps someday we can move to a multi-party system, which I fully support as it will chip away at the rigid partisanship that has resulted in congressional gridlock, but that day is not today.
Oh, and a side note to those Democrats who are threatening not to vote because Bernie isn’t the party nominee: I actually was a big fan of Bernie. (Hell, I voted for him in the primary.) But he didn’t get enough votes, it didn’t work out, and Bernie has moved on. You should do the same.
FIVE. The wider shade of fail.
I used to have excellent vision. Truth be told, the first time I had a consult with an optometrist, in my late teens, he was completely bamboozled by my ability to read the fine print on the menu of Dora’s Diner located in the next county. I think he even nominated me for an award of some kind, but I don’t recall the details because no teenager pays any attention to authority figures whatsoever.
Flash forward a bit, and I eventually hit the point where the optometrist evaluations went from “You can see Russia from your house!” to “Are you even aware that I’m standing next to you?” Age progression is an evil thing, ripping away your youthful dewiness and replacing it with dissatisfaction and loss. I skated along quite nicely until my mid-40s before my ocular abilities warranted any measurable type of intervention, but once I started down that mountain, somebody somewhere hit an accelerator button and my vision will never be dewy again.
Still, it’s not all that bad. I actually don’t need glasses most of the time, as my mid-range vision is just fine. (I’m at full-functioning form in most cocktail-party situations.) I only have trouble with things that are very close (the tiny warnings on prescription bottles, the text-dense screen on my phone when it’s giving me details about how I screwed something up, menus written by hobbits) or things that are very far (screens in movie theaters, road signs that are impractically small, the blue-plate special at Dora’s Diner). The whole situation is more randomly annoying than life-threatening. And eyeglasses are so expensive these days that I really can’t afford to be running out to buy a new pair every time my vision degrades from one night to the next morning. (Sound familiar?)
So the strategy is to just keep on carrying on and hope for the best. I’m sur that if things get realy bad, where it becums obviously cleer that I can no longer evan use a keeboard, then I mifht have to lake some changes. But unlit then, I plam to krrp tekking my sorties as long as I camp and purple still want to glisten to them….