Sunday, July 28, 2013

Yaaaaawwwwwnnnn, and a BIG Happy Birthday to Me

It's very hard to get older. This coming Thursday I'll be closer to sixty than I am to fifty, and the number sounds a little horrifying. But when joking about such things at work the other day, I commented to some work buds that you either get older or you die. So here we go. It's funny that as I get older, I find more things to ponder and fewer answers. Is this what finally gives us wisdom; that we realize just how few answers there really are in life?

Can anyone tell me how it is that books are now used as decor and not as objects that confer wisdom, joy, fantasy? In magazines and DIY (do it yourself) programs, books are not on shelves to be picked through by families eager to learn something new or escape a hard reality, but to accent one's shelves and knick knacks.

Speaking of DIY, my husband is a fan of the programs in which families get new kitchens or yards or rooms in a weekend, provided by extremely attractive young contractors (yes, all of the contractors are hotties.) But when he watches the ones about guys who restore autos, or "pick" junk yards, why patience wears thin. Very, very thin, over the unnatural remarks made as the stars break the fourth wall and address the camera. They come across as stilted, and just annoy the hell out of me. "But," you say, "they are real people, not actors." Okay-then why do they sound so scripted? If they are real people talking about their passion, let them talk about it in ways that don't come across so poorly. It reminds me of an episode of the 1960s TV series "Gomer Pyle" in which Gomer is gong to sing in a talent show, and Sarge tried to teach him how to use his hands as he sang. Gomer tried and tried to do as Sarge said, but it was just phony. So Gomer sang as he sang, and it worked. Hoodathunk?

I keep seeing commercials about a dating site for Christians. They promise to help members "Find God's Match for You." Does God need that these days? Is that the best "He" can do to get couples together? Really?

We saw another commercial yesterday that started a conversation between us, for one of those "Feed the Children" charities to feed children in LDC's (Less Developed Countries.) My husband commented that we really need to focus efforts on feeding children and getting medical care to children in this country. I had to respond, "Yes, but in America there is no poverty except among the shiftless, lazy folks who want to live off the government teat." I was joking. Or was I?

In the two weeks since George Zimmerman was acquitted of the murder of Trayvon Martin there has been much talk, almost daily, regarding racism in America. There are many on "the right" who say that racism is over, and black people need to stop talking about it, that all this talk about racism is stirring up negative feelings, and creating problems where there are none. They accuse blacks of instigating a "culture of victimhood," and blaming whites for everything that is wrong in their lives. Please don't misunderstand me, I have seen some blacks "play the race card" in ways that are clearly wrong and manipulative, and those folks do diminish real stories of true racism. But, it's odd to me...there are black conservatives, and I haven't heard one of them, not one, speaking out in agreement with their white compatriots who say racism is over. Not one. Is it because they too have been followed in department stores? Is it because they too have been stopped for "DWB" (driving while black) by both white and black police officers?  I remember my maternal grandmother blaming Martin Luther King for the violence that sprung up around his marches, even though the violence was committed by the whites against the marchers, who were both black and white. The remarks coming from whites in this current tirade sound like the same old stuff, same song, gazzilionth verse. While I essentially agree with Bill Maher that the racism that exists today must die out, there is no way to change the minds of people who hold on to these ignorant, arcane beliefs about racial superiority, we must look at all the subtle ways that racism is expressed by people who do not see themselves as racists. I have a friend who, when she has a problem with the behavior of a white person, it is a problem with that person. But when she had a bad boss who happened to be black, she assigned blame on that boss being "one of "those kind" of black women." This friend insists that there is no racism because she grew up with a black family that were good friends to her family. I have a serious problem with my friend, and my country's dishonesty and denial about the divisions between the races here. How can we fix a problem we deny the existence of?

1 comment:

Rene' said...

On the subject of aging, it is not for the weak, for sure but as I reach the halfway point of my 64th year, each day I remember that growing old is a gift denied to many!