I personally believe we developed language
because of our deep inner need to complain.
Politicians, who want to distort the truth (ie. lie) have it easy. No one listens and no one remembers. History, like geography (and most other subjects on the curriculum), are not known American strengths. Most people know what they want to believe and from whom they want to hear what they believe. The popularity of Fox News proves this point.
The problem for those interested in history and desiring facts is living with the anger and frustration…
Somewhere it is written, or so I have heard or read, that humans will suffer “the fire next time”. That may be, but prior to that apocalyptical event, Americans will suffer a worse fate: being dumbed down.
Headlines I harvested today from a reputable national newspaper...
GOP Convention To Feature Strong Lineup Of Conservative Women Listeners
NASA Asks Russians To Stop Filming Porn On International Space Station
Gay Marine Beaten To Bloody Pulp To Fire Up RNC Crowd
Tampa Bay Gay Prostitutes Gearing Up For Flood Of Closeted Republicans
Brave Woman Enters Restaurant Without First Looking It Up Online
Best They Could Get Accepts Republican Nomination
Cleveland Indians Take Advantage Of Racist Name To Open Casino In Stadium
RNC Builds Levee Out Of Poor People To Protect Convention Site
NB. Anyone not recognizing The Onion needs to seek professional help...
If people behaved like governments, you'd call the cops.
I would have made a poor CIA officer...or failed completely. I cannot act, lie, or deceive. I do not know if acting, dishonesty, and deception are needed, but there are the character traits most evident in films about CIA agents.
I did think about such a career at one time, but military service came first. One can make only so many sacrifices for one’s country. After serving “God and my country” (someone else’s words), I assumed the one government agency was as screwed up as any other, only the outfits were different. Any organization with a hierarchical chain of command could not be good place to work, because longevity is not a great determinant of promotability. I took my chances on the civilian world, in hope that I could progress based upon my ability.
The CIA is fine for entertainment, but surely makes a lousy career choice for anyone with intelligence, ambition, and common sense. People with illusions of grandeur, either about themselves or their country, might thrive. Any large bureaucracy serving a larger bureaucracy can never do any good.
I have been guilty of tending to cynicism. I can’t help but to call ‘em as I see ‘em. For me, a spade is a shovel, to dig your hole deeper; a club a blunt instrument to beat a dead horse; a diamond a piece of hard glass to tempt gullible people (mostly female, that most vicious of the species); but, a heart is something to have for the less-fortunate, the abused, and the underdogs amongst us.
With this in mind, I thought today about the difference between Germans and Americans, both fine examples of the species, even if each has evolved in different directions. Eons from now, paleontologists examine fossil evidence will notice variations in bone structure and teeth, both with evidence of different nutrition.
In general, Germans enjoy an excellent quality of life, but constantly complain. They know that life cannot become better for them, because of rigid social structures. Only lottery players hope for more, even if they know that they are dreaming. This is the only tax that anyone gladly pays.
In the United States, where streets are reputed to be paved with gold bricks life keeps becoming worse for the majority. Word about actual road conditions has not reached all foreign lands, and citizens do not understand that tax money is needed to improve all non-golden streets. Average living standards are declining, and the middle class is shrinking. Only the number of people sinking below the poverty level increases. Nevertheless, the American Dream is alive and kicking, with belief thriving unabated. Most seem to foolishly blame themselves or bad luck for dire circumstances and believe that the system and the Constitution allows life to become better, if only....
Unlike Germans, few Americans complain--except about the Government, regardless of the party in office. They know that improvement is just over the horizon and down the Yellow Brick Road...
The unfortunate thing about this world is that good habits
are so much easier to give up than bad ones.
I am a fine example of “penny wise and pound foolish”.
I hate to pay for parking. I will go to any necessary means to avoid spending even a few cents.
I re-use paper and plastic bags. I use a cloth bag to buy bread, avoiding the offer of a paper bag. I use the same bag for grocery shopping, which I have used for years.
I am happy with left-overs...and left-overs of left-overs. I hate to throw away food. My family criticizes me for ignoring dates on packages. I’m still alive, so they must be unnecessarily cautious.
My cellar (as well as other parts of the house) are crammed with items, which I refuse to discard. They might be useful...someday. I have stuff from the past forty years. Their time might still come...
I buy most of my clothes on sale. Why pay more? Men’s fashion rarely changes. And, when it does, it changes back in a few years. That’s why tie width and lapel width gets wider and then narrower over time. What else can designers do? So, I keep my ties and wait for fashionability to return.
I could be much worse, if I did not have a family to criticize me and urge me to spend money. There is often a struggle with my conscience, which demands frugality vs. dear ones urging me toward profligacy.
Then, I turn around and fly first class, stay in the best hotels, and enjoy meals at leading restaurants. I must be schizophrenic...or worse. I could be...normal....
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.