28 February 2011

Wheww...and oy.

I'm glad this week's done. A lot of running around stuff taken care of, at least for now.

We had Bob's memorial service last Friday. Nicely done-a dignified service for a man who, despite his flaws, generally tried to leave the place better than he found it. His kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids were all at the service and the dinner afterward. Did you know that children can be active at a social occasion without being loud, rude, or annoying? It's true! I've been told by some that such was impossible. Evidently there are still a few practitioners of the obscure 'Responsible Parenting' cult scattered around these parts.

Also in a bit of debate I guess with Senators Flinthart and Therbs, though quite civil, since they're thinking people. I'm getting too old to expend a lot of energy with name-calling, and at any rate life's too short for it. There's a lot of talk of what's called 'the politics of fear', which I suppose is easier than 'the politics of getting something done'. I'm, as most of you know, pretty conservative-with traces of pragmatism and more than a touch of apathy. But I'm not so tied to the ideology that I can't bend when and where it might be necessary.

There is one phrase in life that, if it isn't carved in stone somewhere, should be.

"It's always different when it's you."

Actually, I think an episode of Red Dwarf might have used a similar phrase, which says that either a) the people who wrote RD were astute in their knowledge of human nature, or b) I watch too much TV and don't think for myself enough. But those six words seem to fit a lot of people who are, for lack of a better term, judgmental.

I can give a few examples for you.

Consider one Rush Hudson Limbaugh, conservative radio host. In his early years, Mr. Limbaugh was big on condemning drug users. Throw them in jail and toss the key. Then he was charged for illegal purchase and use of Oxycontin. Nowadays, he doesn't talk about illlegal drug use.

It's always different when it's you.

Or former megachurch pastor Ted Haggard. He was known for condemning homosexuality. All the gays were headed for hell. He got caught with a male 'friend' and methamphetamines. Today, pretty quiet.

It's always different when it's you.

Or the older person who calls a talk radio show and says 'The government needs to get its fiscal house in order and quit handing checks to everyone.' Meanwhile, they're collecting a Social Security check and getting health care courtesy of Medicare.

It's always different when it's you.

That, citizens, is why I'm not as polarized as a lot of people (on both sides) on a lot of issues. Because, someday, it might be me.

Also, what I actually know about most things you could stick in your eye and not harm yourself too greatly. It just might be that someone out there knows more about something than I do. Except for my boss, Rimmer, and St. Louis Cardinals fandom.

Anyway, I'll end this on a good note regarding a man we laugh at more often than not-Ozzy Osbourne.

There's a little fellow in the area here, 8 years old, with brain cancer. He won't be with us a lot longer, though he's been doing decently of late. He won't make his 9th birthday, probably, barring a miracle. Ozzy was in town for a concert a few weeks back and heard about Brayden's condition. Mr. Osbourne sent Brayden a drumhead, autographed drumsticks, and took some time to call the boy and give him good wishes. And maybe it isn't a big check to cover expenses for the family, but it's a kind gesture from a man who could've been a 'big star with no time for the little people'. Good on the Prince of Darkness!

yankeedog out.


  1. I'm polarised when there are those who do use insecurity and fear as a basis for gaining advantage. To me its similar to bullying and I don't put up with it. To me its cynical manipulation of base instincts to gain power over others. I do understand what you are saying, "walk a mile in my shoes", "do unto others..." are noblebeliefs. Where I draw the line is that the bullies don't "do unto others".

    That was a sweet move by The Oz.

    Mice report on the memorial service. That's what we do when one of ours passes and they always end up with us eating, drinking and swapping fave memories of the departed over a few drinks. The best way to do it I reckon.

    Oh yeah, and the debate thing we've been having? Its healthy and there is no ill feeling at all.


  2. I agree that it's 'different when it's you'. I haven't been there yet, but who knows? Come the day...

    My personal take on all this stuff comes from being poorer than dirt in college. And not at all well-to-do before. (Raised by a sole parent - my mother was a teacher, full-time, and after she and dad separated, she raised my sister and I together, on a teacher's salary. We lived for several years in a not-very-big caravan in what you'd call a trailer park.)

    It also comes from being (financially, at least) a thoroughly middle-class parent. And by and large, financial more-or-less security hasn't actually changed my views on social policy. Put simply: I owe my education and my present situation to the fact that my country has an effective social safety-net. I know that some people take advantage of it. I also know that for some, it's the only thing that keeps them going. And more: I know there are many, many successful people who've given back to the system much more than they ever got out of the safety net.

    Maybe if I got to be seriously rich, my views might be changed. But I don't know. And I doubt I'll ever be rich enough to find out.

    Having said all that: YD, I do appreciate the spirit and the restraint of debate with you. And I very much value your differences of opinion. I would hate to be surrounded by complete agreement, because it doesn't make me reconsider and rethink my ideas... and if I stop reconsidering and rethinking, then I'm likely to entrench a bunch of stupid mistakes.

    So please: don't hesitate to wade in. I'm very grateful. I probably don't thank you or the others like you who disagree in a civil and rational fashion, nearly as much as you deserve.

  3. Therbs-Yeah, I can see where you're coming from. Reckon it's easier to spout off hate than try coming up with a solution for a given problem.

    Flint-You know, you and I grew up kind of the same-single parent, not a lot of money, and we spent time in a trailer as well (but I remember there being some good times there). It's good incentive to work hard and do better.

    Hey, I took advantage of low-interest government student loans to pay for college, and was damn glad for them. Loans and grants can be investments in population.

    I know, here as well as there, a lot of people have benefitted from and eventually climbed out of the welfare system. It's the ones that won't that annoy me. I don't expect we'll ever cure that problem, though.

  4. I tend to look in the opposite direction, myself. I figure that the ones making a pittance off welfare can probably be afforded. But... in a country where something like three percent of the population controls nearly fifty percent or more of the wealth, aren't you wondering even a little why the tax system isn't leveling things out just a touch?

    I mean sure: Paris Hilton worked hard for her share of $500,000,000. But even acknowledging the important work she does - just how much of an incentive does she need? When does 'enough' become 'too goddam much'? When does the massive imbalance get rectified, and some of that wealth move back into the coffers of the country that created the conditions for that wealth to be harvested?

    I can understand being cranky at welfare cheats. But it seems kind of pointless, because they've got bugger-all money to reclaim. When I get cranky, I think about aiming the cannons towards the people who actually do have a lock on the resources the rest of us could use.

    Practical and pragmatic, I figure.