If I were Catholic, I would probably be starting out this entry with "Bless me Father-It has been 5 months since my last blog ...". But that just isn't how I roll. I told you that my postings would be ...irregular. I feel pretty safe in my assertion that that deal has been kept. It's not that I don't have anything to say - quite the contrary - it's just that I don't feel that strongly about saying it in an open forum. But I have been chided much of late for my tardiness with the blog by my significant other , Ms. C. This one is for her.
As we enter into my 52nd year on this Earth, there are quite a few things on my mind that don't necessarily have a single answer. I regard myself as a reasonably intelligent, well-read, well-travelled, open-minded and level-headed guy. But some of this stuff just got by me completely, or continues to vex me. I will give you ten or so thoughts, in no particular order of importance, to ponder along with me as we make our way through the cold, dark winter.
1. Why on Earth does anyone with half of a brain regard Sarah Palin as a serious candidate for the President of the United States? Seriously? This isn't about party politics...it is about gravitas...and commitment...and basic intelligence. If I see one more right wing pundit say, with a straight face, that they believe this poseur is a qualified candidate to be the leader of the Free World, well...my television may not see another day.
2. Do we really have that much pent-up animosity and opposition to an improved health care system in our country? Or is it that we just don't like being told that we have to spend our hard earned money on it? Because if it is the latter, I can almost understand the dialogue (without the vitriol). But if it is the former - then our society as a whole has truly gone to the dogs.
3. How is it that my country, which was founded by a group of people who were fleeing their homeland in search of freedom to pursue and practice their own varied religious ideals, has become increasingly intolerant (to the point of excluding and even ostracizing) those who choose not to follow the tenants of the Christian faith?
4. At what point did journalism disappear completely into the morass that is "mass media"? When I was young, you could count on the reporting of Walter Cronkite, Chet Huntley, David Brinkley and Ron Stone to be reasonably fair and even-handed. They reported the news - they were not "making" the news. I have to laugh when I watch the different slants that are added to a basic news story to give network A better ratings than Network B is getting for reporting the same non-event. Unfortunately there are way too many people out there who cannot filter out the sensationalism, and their lives are not made better by this change in the conveyance of information in our society.
5. With serious issues like genocide in Darfur, famine in North Korea, continuing proliferation of HIV within the developing world and the increasing gap in the education system (vs. the rest of the developed world) right here at home, why is it that we are led to believe that the number 1 issue threatening our way of life is human obesity? Try following your favorite news channel for one week and see how many stories are published that deal with the ever increasing obesity problem in our culture.
6. While we are on that subject, why is it that the people who want to overturn the recently passed health care laws point right at the obese population as being "those people" who we don't want to have to pay for? The people who are championing that idea might be really surprised to find that the population they are villifying are actually more highly represented among those who actually are already paying for healthcare. We are the "fat kids" that you went to school with who made good grades, went on to college, never really got in shape, and got jobs that would allow us to pay the ever increasing rates we are faced with for healthcare in today's world. We are also , as a group, probably less likely to use that healthcare benefit because of self esteem issues (try going to a Dr. knowing full well that you are going to receive a lecture on your weight from this well meaning practitioner - before they offer to treat your real issue). As a group we are less likely to use or misuse any addictive drug - food and sloth are our drugs of choice. Sloth is a stretch, because by and large we have and keep our JOBS. Get off our backs and deal with the real ills of our society...if you have the guts!
7. Anyone who says that they need to rely solely on the support of their biological family to help them make their way through life is clearly not in touch with the realities of my life. While it may have been true to some extent in my youth, it is clearly not even close to my existence at this time. My biological family (excluding my lovely daughter) spent a grand total of 2 hours with me last year - combined. And we all survived. My "real" family these past few years, on the other hand, have been amazing! Their contributions have been life altering - and the warmth and love they bestow upon my family have been the stuff of legend. And they have all been hand picked - mostly (I got a whole slough of them when Ms. C came into my life - most of 'em are alright, even though they lack the right chromosonal mix!). My buddy Skip - one of my older "Brothers" used to tell me that you can't pick your family. This is one you got wrong, pard...and we are both better off because of it!
8. Photography is a passion for me...and it always will be. But it will not be my life. I explained that to a buddy of mine who is quitting his day job at the ripe young age of 50 to pursue his dream of being a professional photographer. He is the one who inspires me to get better. He is following his dream so that he will be able to answer the great questions of life at the end of his days. I am going to help him any way I can and root for him as he goes forward on his quest. Along the way I might find a windmill or two to tilt at...Who knows?
9. I am middle-aged. I am fat. I do not exercise very much at all. Sometimes I sits and thinks and sometimes I just sits. I watch a lot of television because I like to watch television. I think a lot. I read a lot. I do not talk all that much. I do not suffer foolish drivel very well at all. I am a curmudgeon.
I laugh...a lot. I smile. I joke around. Humor is my friend. I am loyal as a Labrador. I am passionate. I am bright. I can carry on a conversation if I am interested in the topic. I will research a topic to death if I think it will help a friend out. I love my daughter. I heart Ms. C. If I am your friend, I will be your friend...to the bitter end. Even though the bitter end's a million years away! (I stole that line, but it is true).
That is who I am - and I am OK with it. I am pretty sure that life would be better if we accepted those around us for their good points and bad, recognizing that...for the most part...there is more good than bad in most of us. There are alwys going to be a few that you have to cull out...and that is OK too. They had their chance.
10. I look forward to the day that our elected officials go back and read their copy of the U.S.Constitution (that they should each have) and realize that they were elected to govern on behalf of their entire constituency...Not block those who would do so. It is a tall order...but one that should be attainable.
Sometimes I think fluffy thoughts. But this is not a fluffy time. There is a lot of stuff going on...and we all have to do our part to get a little sanity back in place. Let me know what is on your mind. We can talk and scratch and sit a spell. Somewhere a long the way we might even find a few windmills to tilt at. Wouldn't that be a hoot?