Dear Class of 2017, Fix The World Why Don’t Ya

The future is in front of you. Well, duh! If you think that statement is a no-brainer, here’s another one. Your diploma, whether you got it for free or spent tens of thousands of dollars, will only get you so far. You’ll have to be fearless and inexhaustible to make a splash. Want to be a big fish in a little pond? Good luck. That pond is fully stocked with mediocrity and hypocrisy. Want to be a little fish in a big pond? Good luck. That pond is full of piranha and garbage and toxins.

So, what’s a shiny new graduate to do? Better not expect trigger warnings. It’s a swim at your own risk world out there. If you plan to strap on some Kevlar and dive in, be prepared to sink. Sure, battling it out against seasoned professionals who are simply trying to keep their heads above water won’t be that hard. Some of them already have one foot out the door. It’s the ones who are still paying off their student loans who are your real competition. Of course, there are also some who have their kid’s college to worry about, and they are the fiercest, so it might not be so easy after all. Experienced workers have seen the future. They know they can’t get ahead of it.

What you need is useful information. Well, here it is…

Generations who came before you made enormous progress toward solving the problems of disease and poverty and the “isms” that plague humanity. Some of them died trying. Corruption, greed, and ignorance still contribute to chronic crisis for too many. Slavery still exists, sometimes in plain sight. Substance abuse, child abuse, and spousal abuse permeate all socioeconomic and cultural classifications in all nations. Homelessness and food scarcity, behavioral and mental disorders, and, yes, drug dependency affect an ever increasing number of the world’s population. The world is old. Its inhabitants are aging. No matter how much you spend to delay the inevitable, no anti-aging gimmick will change that fact.

It’s all up to you now to fix this screwed up world. Good luck with that!

Trouble At The Lollipop Guild

crook-roof
Copyright Sandra Crook

“Gumdrops?!” The line foreman’s voice reverberated into the rafters.

“Yes, it’s our only option,” replied the union rep.

Just last month the members had agreed to a pay cut in order to afford roof repairs before winter. Some of them even volunteered to haul materials from the shipyard on their days off. Now they were expected to retool before Christmas for a new confection just because the president demanded they increase production or shut down permanently.

“You’ve ruined us,” said the foreman.

“The output of suckers is only one every minute. Gumdrops will make you great again,” promised the rep.

*****

Friday Fictioneers are here again. Rochelle Wisoff-Fields is the boss and Sandra Crook supplied this week’s prompt. Thanks, Ladies! **Late addition** I just realized that Sandra provides the prompts that prompt me the most to speak my mind and try to use humor to make a point. For that, Sandra, I am truly grateful.

*****

It’s Veterans’ Day here in the good ol’ U.S.A. and as a veteran, a woman, a person of conscience, hell, just a human with a pulse, I would be remiss if I did not remark on the bizarre events that occurred this week here in the land of the free. Politics is not my thing. I abhor fakes, frauds, predators, and provocateurs. Who gets what and how much, that’s what politics means to me. I have been unrepresented for so long that I have learned how to get by (with a little help from my friends, of course). It occurs to me that we’ve been looking for leaders in all the wrong places. Many people work diligently every day to serve their families, communities, and the greater good in the world at large. It is these servant leaders who deserve our respect, but even more, they deserve our cooperation and participation in the business at hand. What is that? The business at hand is this:

Talk to your kids about civility. Talk to them about sex and sexual predators. Listen to your kids. Model the admirable qualities that you want them to demonstrate, because you can be damn sure if you rely on government to foster civil behavior, well, prepare to remain dysfunctional. Too many children have no idea that they matter to anyone. Too many children operate in survival mode and become adults who struggle with chronic crisis.

There are no words of dismay or disgust that have not already been written or shouted about American politics. So, I cannot see the point of regurgitating vitriol for the sake of having my say. What I can tell you is this: Be encouraged by the fact that there are plenty of people who share your pain. Lead by example. Do not relinquish your self-respect. Ever.

 

Antipodes

She is the same old girl she used to be. Her smile, once a thin disguise for turmoil going on beneath the surface, no longer feels awkward from the inside out. She liberated herself from the private hell we all find ourselves when a fumbled attempt to put our best foot forward results in putting the other foot right in our mouth. An event usually intensified when alcohol is involved.

Business functions are not the place to get your drink on, but they almost always include adult beverages for those who choose to imbibe. Many’s the rubber chicken dinner she has endured with a glass, or three, of something from the bar. She dreads the social function season that begins with Labor Day and doesn’t let up until “Auld Lang Syne” becomes a chorus of “never again.” She is not alone.

Over the years she learned to not roll her eyes while pretentious small talk buzzed in her ears. She mastered the art of walking in her business appropriate footwear, lest she stumble and snag her hosiery. She now manages to hold back the avalanche of rebuttals to bloated bloviators’ sexist remarks because she knows that they are feeling the heat of their own personal hell. She is far, far from where she began with miles to go before she’s done. She won’t let anything or anyone stand in her way. 

Yes, she is the same old girl she used to be, only better.

 

 

Reality Sucks…Sometimes

There are many generous people in this world; people who would give the shirt off their back, or at least pull one out of the hamper, if you needed it. I have been privileged to know such people. Thankfully I’ve never found myself in need of their shirt, but they have graciously offered encouragement at times when reality has taken its toll on me.

It seems to be happening to many of us lately. We struggle to find answers, try to make our way in this world with some dignity, hold on to a bit of sanity. Some days fighting the good fight, well, it sucks. Some days it’s all we can do to just breathe and make a peanut butter sandwich. I know this.

Posts here have focused on some difficult realities. Atrocities that make us mad, sad, and terrified that this is in fact our reality. The reality of the future. When we realize it is also the reality of the past, well, it sucks. We need to do something, but what? We want to say something, but only if it doesn’t make anyone uncomfortable, create tension or attract unwanted attention. WHAT?! SERIOUSLY?!

And then…someone with dignity to spare, and a bit more sanity, threw me a lifeline. Thanks Allan for redirecting my focus and helping me to remember to laugh at myself.

Yippee!
Yippee!

Allan Smorra at Ohm Sweet Ohm passed along the REALITY BLOG AWARD to me and a few other bloggers we both follow. No matter how you may feel about blog awards, it is humbling when someone such as Allan, with an arsenal of talent, says that they find your blog to be an inspiration. So, here are my answers to Allan’s questions.

1) If you could change one thing, what would you change?

I would change the location of highway on-ramps. Yeah, they should not be located near off-ramps. That’s right! Traffic should not merge on and off the interstate in the same lane. Am I the only person who knows this?  

Merge right. No, left. No, right!
Merge right. No, left. No, right!

2) If you could repeat an age, what age would it be?

Hmmm, tough choice. The ice age with all of those woolly mammoth carcasses everywhere, the stone age when everyone smelled like goat or the bronze age, well, really more like burnt sienna…Nah! If it’s a number you’re asking for, I think age 100. Yeah, the age when I bungee jump and get a tattoo might be worth repeating.

3) What one thing really scares you?

Reincarnation. Screwing up this life so badly that I have to come back and live in a car. Very scary.

This Sucks!
This Sucks!

4) What’s one dream you haven’t completed and do you think you’ll be able to complete it?

A world without laundry has always been a dream of mine. Yes, it would be totally possible with a RepRap 3D printer. Imagine leaving a design on a printer at bedtime and waking to a new outfit every morning. At the end of the day, just throw it in the recycle!

It's like the Elves and the Shoemaker, only with dresses!
It’s like the Elves and the Shoemaker, only with dresses!

5) If you could be someone else for one day, who would it be?

This must be a trick question. So, I’ll answer it with a question of my own. Why in the world would I ever want to be anyone else?

Thanks Allan. I don’t have any nominations for this award, but Black Box Warnings is one hell of a reality blog whose contributors were generous and courageous.

NY Yankees