The news of the past few days has my brain in such a turmoil I believe it is about to explode.
here are a few things I’d like to let fly so my brain won’t explode.
MURDER AND MAYHEM
Now is the time, I sometimes think, that it would be better if I stopped reading the newspapers and watching television. In the just the past few days of early July, we have witnessed mass killings in Istanbul, Baghdad, and Dhaka. If you’d asked me a few days earlier to list the capital of Bangladesh, I’m not certain I could have told you—now it’s indelibly plastered to my brain.
Besides mass killings, we have officers of the law killing black men who they have stopped for routine traffic stops. The one in Baton Rouge is so blatant a crime; it is impossible for me to know how the police officer is going to avoid murder charges. The killing in Minnesota seems to be equally as bad.
Have you ever noticed that the crime detective stories from Great Britain, usually seen on PBS, depict police officers unarmed? Yes, there is murder and mayhem, but rarely by the police. These depictions of intelligent and thoughtful police officers reflect a society that is less focused on guns and more focused on justice.
In Missouri, the legislature has passed a law allowing anyone to carry a concealed weapon, except in the State House! That makes my street a dangerous place to be. The next thing we’ll see is a shoot -out on the courthouse square—both legally carrying concealed weapons. It is possible to hide an automatic rifle under an overcoat so that the shoot-out may end in a massacre.
As I was writing this, news came in about shootings in Dallas, Texas. My first reaction, this is America, what else does one expect. As it turns out, the shooter killed four police officers and wounded 11. Again, I suppose the question, “This is America, what do you expect?” I’m beginning to expect that guns, out of control people with guns (civilians and law enforcement officers) are the norm. Sometimes I just want to cry, or maybe move to a safer place to live, like Afghanistan.
A few nights ago I watched an HBO documentary on climate change and ecological disasters. The documentary, HOW TO LET GO OF THE WORLD AND LOVE ALL THE THINGS CLIMATE CAN’T CHANGE by Josh Fox, took the viewer around the world continent by continent to show the damage done to people’s lives by the fossil fuel industry and other polluters. The Amazon Rain Forest, destroyed by poorly managed oil pipelines, is our lungs. The desertification of Africa continues unabated. The farmlands of Syria and Iraq are drying up—leading to the revolution ad rise of the Islamic State in the Levant. Pacific islands are disappearing. Polluted water supplies in North America affect children’s brains and destroy health. The list goes on and on, and the melting of ice sheets at the poles hasn’t even reached my list so far.
Often I receive mail from the political parties and those running for office. They want me to list my priorities of concerns (along with a donation). Most of the lists include education, equal pay, immigration, etc. I send the questionnaire back with a boldly written statement that the only issue that matters is climate change. If we do not manage the way we live on the planet, all other issues will be meaningless.
My nightmare is that eventually, my little place in North Central Missouri will be a desert island with hundreds of thousands struggling to survive on extremely limited resources.
My heart aches when I think of my grandchildren. What will it be like for them in 2050, when they will be middle-aged or approaching old age? Of course, I can be optimistic about all this and expect that science will somehow find solutions. However, it is not the scientists who have control, politicians, thoughtless, stupid, and bought-off, who make the decisions that affect our lives. I see no hope in changing that situation. Generally speaking, Americans are a part of the problem if not the problem. We are like the ostrich putting our heads in the sand, electing men and women who have no wish to represent us; they only want us to vote for them. Until we open our minds and our eyes, I fear America will eventually become the predicted desert island.
I have often chided myself that I watch too much tv. Here’s proof:
- The local PBS station is always saying, “We would like to thank…” they add some donor. It seems that the word “would” is conditional. Here’s how we use the word correctly. The word “Would” is a simple past tense and past participle of will; it is used to express the future in preceding sentences, as “he said he would go tomorrow.” The word is used in place of “will”, to make a statement or form a question less direct or blunt, as “that would scarcely be fair,” or, “would you be so kind.” The term “would like” is idiomatic and is best expressed in a statement as; “I would like to go next year.” My point is, the people at the PBS station should just thank the donor. Instead of “would like” they should say, “We are grateful to Exxon-Mobile for its generous support.” I know I appreciate a thank you, but not a conditional word of thanks.
- Medicine advertising has gotten out of hand. I am not qualified to know what medicine is best for me. I leave that up to my physician. My doctor may say take a particular pill, and I will recognize it from advertising, but I would never ask the doctor to give me a medication based solely on advertising. I suspect tv advertising contributes to the high cost of medicine. Here are a few of the things I have noticed in television ads for medicine.
- Now we have an irritating bowel trailing behind a hapless woman who needs to go to a meeting but instead must race for the toilet in the restroom.
- A bladder pulls a poor woman into a bathroom. Apparently, the bladder is disembodied. If so, why doesn’t just take care of its needs and leave the poor woman alone?
- A man who cannot have a bowel movement. He takes too many opioids. He envies a woman who has just come out of a public restroom trailing toilet paper on her shoe. Gag!
That’s enough for now.; there are so many things irritating this old man right now, I feel I can’t hold back. But, that’s enough for now.