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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Where are we now and where are we going?

The world spins and turns. There is so much happening around us, so many bad things, so much pain and disaster. Floods, tornadoes, nuclear reactors melting, slaughtering of innocent people trying to find freedom from dictatorship and poverty. And that's only part of it. Our country, once the greatest country in the world, has found itself being led by politicians who are nothing but puppets, manipulated and owned by the people who support their campaigns. This sounds harsh, but how else to explain the recent vote in the Senate to save billions of dollars in subsidies to the oil companies. These corporations are awash in record profits due to the high price of oil. Their executives go to Washington and say they are being discriminated against, that they need these subsidies to continue to invest in their business. Is this ludicrous or not? How can anyone defend their right to be subsidized when they are already the richest companies in the entire world?
We also have a Supreme Court on the side of the BIG, denying the right of citizens to file class actions suits against corporations. The Court also struck down the right of a female employee to sue for pay discrimination because of a time limitation. It didn't matter that it took a long time for her to learn she was being discriminated against. This makes any future suits all but moot.The Court also decreed that corporations should count as private citizens when it comes to giving money to poolitical campaigns. Once again, the rights of the individual are being trampled by those in authority.
How did we get here? What has happened to the ideals we once had about caring for the unfortunate? The poor, the hard working classes that earn enough to survive but not enough to have medical coverage or even enough food with help like food stamps.Our politicians are more concerned with helping Wall Street, Banks, the various industries like Insurance, Pharmaceuitcals, Oil, Agriculture, anyone who has enough money to lobby and enough clout to put their arms around the politicians shoulder and whisper sweet nothings in their ears.
I fear for my country. I fear the future for our children and grandchildren. My hope is that the younger generations will come out of their hi tech, twittering, facebook, texting, gaming obsessions and recognize that the future is in their hands. And then do something about it.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


At this time the political and economic climate of our country is depressing. Posturing politicians screaming for sound bites seem to be the rage. I find watching the news particularly irritating. The anchors are timid, the politicos are self serving, the so called mavens are anything but. I see and hear the same faces on TV, depending on the program being watched. From Lehrer's News Hour to Hardball to Bill O'Reilly (has there ever been a more arrogant smug obnoxious individual?) I get the same thing repeated over and over again. What it all adds up to is that I want to escape. I want to go back to a world where civility ruled. I want to go back to when the United
States was looked  upon as a shining example of democracy. Of course, we've always had our rapacious politicians and greedy Walltstreeters. We've had Joe McCarthy and the witch hunts in DC. But we've also had our finest moments.Those moments made me proud to call myself an American. When I travelled in Europe after II, it was more than satisfying to be greeted with enthusiasm when someone learned I was American.
So where does that leave me now?
I yearn to escape. And I try my best by turning off the news. I read more. I listen to music instead of talk radio. I watch sports and movies on TV instead of the news. For a while it actually helps. Unfortunately, it is not a lasting fix. Reality has a way of forcing itself upon you and all you can do is adjust to it as best you can.

Monday, March 21, 2011


The other day a friend of mine died. He'd been diagnosed with cancer a year before. After a few operations he recovered somewhat, at least enough to retain his incredible intelligence. His mind was an amazing repository of knowledge that included history, literature, music and the arts.
In the past year three other close friends have shuffled off this mortal coil. Inevitably, I think of what happens next. Who goes next? It certainly could be me. It could be another friend or relative. Although I feel well and seem to have no illness or disease, one never knows what's going on inside one's body. A silent killer may be lurking there, waiting for its opportunity to show itself.
My son just informed me that his doctor found that he is a diabetic. He's very upset, as am I. He is a relatively young man who now has to change his lifestyle in a dramatic way. He has to adapt to a new way of looking at food. He has to learn to follow a rather rigid diet and to exercise on a regular basis. His attitude is good. He tells me that this is a "wake up" call. and indeed it is. Perhaps it will give him the impetus to lead a healthier and more productive life. Wouldn't that be a fine outcome?
The old saw that we should look at every new day as the last day of our lives suddenly seems to take on new meaning. As Ann Landers used to say, "Wake up and smell the coffee."
Cliche's that we laughed at now don't seem quite so ridiculous. My mother used to tell me that the only important thing is your health. How I scoffed at her! It took many years of living to recognize how important it is that we try to look beyond the irritants of our lives and focus on the positives. There are so many things that make living a great event. There's no need to spell them out but I would like to tell you that to me the most important aspect of being alive is the ability to love. Sure, food, sex, sports, culture and the like are all wonderful, each in its own way. For those who have family and others to love, life takes on a whole new meaning.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Getting back to work.

I don't know what it is but I'm having a lot of trouble getting back to work. that is, getting back to my novel. The novel that I'm almost finished writing. But I said that already. I went away for a maonth with every intention of working whiole I was away. then lotus land got me and I did nothing at all. Now I'm back and all I'm doing is bitching about the cold weather and about how I can't get used to it.
Not very productive.
It irritates me because I've been a worker and a doer all my life. I nwever could sit around doing nothing. I couldn't even spend a few hopurs on the beach in the summertime without thinking of alla the other things I could be doing instead of just lhying in the sun.
so what happened?
Is it age? I am getting older, just as everyone else is. I'm certainly not getting any younger. What a laugh. when I look ina the mirror I see an llld guy who doesn;t look anaything like me.
Maybe that's what's wrong. Maybe I'm not me anymore.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


What does a writer do when he or she goes on vacation? In my case, 30 days in the Yucatan in 80 degree weather did me in. I had every intention of finishing a novel I've been working on for more than a year. I calculated that I only needed twenty or so pages to wrap it up. so what happened? Sunshine did me in. I did nothing for 30 days. Wait a minute. Not exactly nothing. I sat in the sun and then in the shade. I read a bunch of books. Old stuff like Jude the Obscure, Uncle Vanaya, the Moonstone, Mansfield Park. I even read of the fabulously eveil Dr. Fu Manchu.
Who needs to write when you can read and eat and drink and snooze all day in beautiful weather?