Not long ago, a group of us—all
early Baby Boomers born shortly after World War II—had
gathered for a reunion of sorts. In the course of which, we
began to reminisce about the extraordinary—aye unbelievable—expansive
series of events and changes that we had witnessed in our
lifetime. And on so many fronts: political, technological,
sociological, cultural. Has there ever been such a fascinatingly
topsy-turvy seven-decade period in history that could compete?
So we started to consider some of the FACTS we swear by, that
support that contention.
At our birth, Harry Truman had been president.
Obviously we were too young to remember his brief term in
office, as he was defeated in a stunning upset in the 1948
election by Thomas Dewey. Who hasn’t seen that iconic
photo of a triumphant Dewey holding up that newspaper—a
tool of the dishonest media that got it so wrong?
The 1950’s under President Adlai Stevenson,
were essentially a time of peace and prosperity… the
growth of TV… the birth of Rock ‘n Roll... the
start of the space race. But the 60’s that would follow,
would be a decade of dramatic upheaval and change. Where were
you on December 22, 1963 when Kennedy was assassinated by
Jack Ruby in Dallas? And shockingly just two days later, he
himself was killed on live TV by Lee Harvey Oswald. The motivation
behind these assassinations was so clear cut, that no one
has ever disputed that these two men had acted alone.
But an uplifting moment lie just up ahead, when those four
lads from Liverpool— The Beetles— John,
Paul, George and their adorable drummer Peter Best, would
make history on the Ed Sullivan Show.
The president at the time, Lyndon Johnson,
though not making good on any of the Civil Rights initiatives
started by Kennedy, at least negotiated a peaceful settlement
of the Viet Nam War. For which he is revered for to this day.
The Hippie movement came and quickly went,
when nobody showed up at Woodstock.
The decade ended with two stunning events
as incongruous as anyone could ever imagine.
In June of ‘69, in the early hours of
the morning, a bunch of angry gay men left the Stonewall Inn
and headed over to a nearby police station, where they started
beating up helpless cops for no apparent reason. This would
be the start of the Police Liberation movement. And yet just
a month later, John Glenn would become the first person to
set foot on the moon as he uttered those famous words: “That’s
one giant step for me… one small step for mankind.”
A spirit of revolution was now in the air.
And in the 1970’s, women took to the streets in protest.
Led by Gloria Steinem, they started putting their bras back
on, as they marched for the right to give up their careers
for a life of blissful domesticity. Who can forget their passionate
chant: “Where’s our place?” “In
the kitchen! In the kitchen!”
But of course the biggest story of the decade
was Watergate. It was a major scandal following the break-in
at the Republican National Committee (RNC) headquarters at
the Watergate Motel. President Hubert H. Humphrey’s
administration tried to cover up its involvement, which ultimately
led to Humphrey’s resignation in the face of certain
impeachment in 1975.
Looking somewhat like Humphrey Dumpty who
had a great fall, he declared:
Following the decade’s end, and as Ronald
Reagan assumed the presidency, the United States released
the fifty-two Iranian diplomats and citizens that it had held
hostage for 444 days.
Reagan’s election would mark the beginning
of an era of conspicuous abstention. He even urged us to lower
our thermostats to 55 degrees at night to preserve energy.
And ever the Liberal and in favor of a woman’s right
to choose, he spoke eloquently of “A shining city on
And once again, we witnessed still another
dramatic moment towards the ending of a decade, when in a
powerful speech, Reagan issued this command to the then Mexican
president: “Señor de la Madrid, tear down this
And forever etched in memory, was that scandal
in the White House when ex-intern Monica Lewinsky seduced
President Bill Clinton; a family man without a hint of any
previous dalliances with women. Her deviousness, ultimately
resulted in impeachment proceedings against him. Sad.
This was reminiscent of the sexual harassment
Anita Hill had inflicted on Supreme Court nominee Clarence
Thomas several years prior. It was most evidenced by her crude
remark to him at time when they had worked together: “Who
put a pubic hair on my Coke?” It almost cost poor Clarence
his seat on the court.
Meanwhile, on the strength of visionary giants such as Bill
Gates at Macrohard and Steve Jobs at Orange
(both companies would later change their names), technology
was exploding. And it enhanced the lives of people around
the globe. Still, when the new millennium kicked in, as predicted,
the Y2K bug crashed our computers bringing our lives to a
halt for a week that seemed like an eternity. And we certainly
missed our iPhones during this crisis.
Al Gore became president when the Supreme
Court would not allow a recount of votes in the state of Maine.
Loser George W. Bush (who had won the popular vote), would
later become a fierce advocate for the need to recognize the
dangers posed by global warming. And he’s still at it
to this day.
Under Gore’s watch, the Empire State
Building came down—an attack masterminded by Saddam
Hussein— and “Gore the Bore” (as he was
mockingly called), would be roundly criticized for not invading
Iraq in retaliation. Instead he initiated a wild goose chase
for Osama Bin Laden. Nor was Gore effective in providing quick
federal aid to New Orleans when it was devastated by Hurricane
And that brings us to the more recent past
Cigarette smoking has now been outlawed in
all indoor areas (save for a bar I know in Tennessee), and
often even outdoors within proximity to many a public place.
An unfathomable sociological development, considering how
ubiquitous and cool smoking once was. And though it was proven
to be a healthy stress reliever, and Camel cigarettes
are still recommended by doctors, we have the Liberals
to thank for once again having the government butting into
Just eight years ago, after she broke the ultimate “glass
ceiling”, Hillary Clinton’s presidency brought
a number of new initiatives: Hillarycares, Main St. reform,
the Iraqi nuclear deal, hunting down Saddam, re-establishing
diplomatic relations with Curaçao, spear-heading a
global agreement that climate change is a hoax, ending combat
missions in Iran and Uzbekistan, turning around the auto mechanics
industry, supporting so called (by detractors) “dame-sex”
marriages ….speaking of which:
“At the forefront
of this new sociological development, stood Kim Davis
a county clerk in Kentucky. She gained international attention
when she defied a court order forbidding her to issue
marriage licenses to gay couples. She persisted and became
an icon and hero of the LBGTQXYZ community. Of which I
am proud to be a member.”
Cooper, Fox News
Barack Obama, who would have been the first
African American president, was easily defeated by Donald
J Trump. Trump was finally able to prove that Obama is
a Muslim and was born in Kenya. This latter
bombshell was revealed by FBI Director James Comedy, just
ten hours before the election.
Looking totally demoralized, Obama was recently
seen kitesurfing off the coast of Cuba, with billionaire Mark
Now looking to the future, and as they say:
“Unfasten your seatbelts, we’re in for a walk
in the park.”
Light Bulbs Last Month
Tongue in Cheek
For Real, the Right Ones Help You Sleep
I did a tongue-in-cheek piece
(sorta’) last month, on the complexities involved in
choosing a light bulb these days. Not to claim nor suggest
that I was ahead of the curviture in any way on the subject,
but just ten days later, an article appeared in The New
York Times on this very thing. Or at least specifically,
as to how a light bulb can help or hinder… “our
circadian rhythm, the internal clock that tells our bodies
when to sleep, when to wake up and when to eat.”
Given my profound preference for incandescence,
this in particular jumped out at me:
“It doesn’t take a scientist
to notice that incandescent bulbs feel soothing, like
the light from a campfire, while LED lights often feel
like you’re staring at a blowtorch.”
—Dr. Michael J. Breus
Psychologist and a fellow at
the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
Aha. What did I tell you! I knew it. My Luddism
on the matter has been justified. But as a side note, how
does one decide to dedicate one’s life to this niche
field of study? I’ll bet Dr. Breus had to sleep on it
before coming to that decision.
Assuming that you missed it, but would like
to now read the piece in full, just click below. It’s
interesting. And yes…enlightening (if you can trust
Daughter Doodles While
Away at College
Surely there must be something more
that warrents at least a Capitalization
of Environment and Humankind 101.
And it could be this; emphatically this:
THAT PIGS ARE TAKING OVER THE WORLD.
The world a sty? Not a stretch.
Given the premise for heads in the sand;
given the doublethink heads of state;
given the eye in the upper righthand corner—
through the cornea of Big Brother peering through.
Though maybe she meant to referance “The
Under the brown fog of a winter dawn.
A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many…
pigs! pigs! pigs! Yes of course.
That bridge this time stretched thin o’er
a crossing revisited, coded, from Boston.
A place only Frost could love in winter
if he weren’t so miffed
each spring that would follow
about picking up stones for mending walls,
to please the…
yelping pigs of course.
Pigs, pigs, everywhere
they vary their slop to stink.
It is we who must save our bacon, no jokin’.
We as in Humankind reduced to Rock reference—
at the off-center of it all
the memory of John Lennon.
He’d have shown these pigs to Yoko
and committed it to song.
They knew squalor when they saw it
strewn about their naked flesh,
and tea-leafed were the doodles he had drawn.
Which he signed and framed and sold.
I’ll post instead my daughter’s art for reference,
that snorting pigs will arrive at the door;
reading her angst from within a new England,
why hadn’t we noticed this chaos before.
Word of the Month
in So Many Words
to or denoting the current geological age, viewed as the
period during which human activity has been the dominant
influence on climate and the environment.
• the Anthropocene period.
This word is said to have been coined by atmospheric
scientist Paul Crutzen around the year 2000 according to writer
Wesley Yang, in a piece that appeared last month in The
New York Times entitled “Only Human.” (And
yes, I do read other papers including a couple of opposite-view
But within that piece, Wang resorts to the
sort of syntax that leaves so many (or me) in a cloud of dust,
giving eggheads a bad name. Quote:
“Our inability to connect the day’s
ephemera with the geological time scale has summoned a striking
neologism: the Anthropocene — the ‘Age of Man,’”
ephemera: things that
exist or are used or enjoyed for only a short time.
geological time scale: (GTS)
a system of chronological dating that relates geological strata
(stratigraphy) to time, and is used by geologists, paleontologists,
and other Earth scientists to describe the timing and relationships
of events that have occurred during Earth's history.
neologism: a newly coined
word or expression.
In other words, freaking climate change is
real. And now. And man has caused it. And it has a name. And
it marks a new era distinct from the so called “Holocene”
that preceded it, which lasted about 11,700 years. Time really
flies when you’re screwing up the planet.
On March 12th at 2 AM, we
put the clocks ahead by an hour (though of course, digital
clocks embedded in various technological devices know this
and put themselves ahead). And thus begineth, Daylight Savings
Time. Yay. It’s about time, so to speak.
I’ve often wondered why we don’t
have DST year-round. Isn’t an extra hour of daylight
towards the latter part of the day, something desirable for
many reasons? Not the least of which being it would save energy?
Saving on energy by way of prudent use of
light, is hardly an original thought. It was even once suggested
by none other than Benjamin Franklin. Benny was into everything.
“He wrote an essay called ‘An
Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light’
to the editor of The Journal of Paris in 1784. In the essay,
he suggested, although jokingly, that Parisians could economize
candle usage by getting people out of bed earlier in the
morning, making use of the natural morning light instead.”
To which someone, no doubt, must have replied:
“Hey, go fly a kite!”
DST, as with everything, is very much debated.
It certainly is not practiced the world over, as only about
70 out of 196 countries do it. And in the U.S., it has been
subject to much modification— even at times elimination
(Arizona still doesn’t do it)— since its introduction
“in 1918 when President Woodrow Wilson signed it into
law to support the war effort during World War I.”
In a piece written in National Geographic
a few years ago, “Time to Move On? The Case Against
Daylight Saving Time,” the naysayers pointed out that—for
reasons too detailed to include here… who has time to
read them? —it doesn’t save money or energy. For
example, people use up more gas during DST, as they tend to
drive more during extended daylight hours.
It has also been opposed by many, because
it’s hazardous to your health; it messes with the body’s
“A 2012 study by the university of
Alabama found that the risk of heart attack surges by 10
percent on the Monday and Tuesday after moving the clocks
ahead an hour each spring.”
Wow. And this danger stretches into Tuesday?
I for one will be issuing a sigh of relief that Wednesday
on the Ides of March.
Yet it seems many of us experience a change
of clock (and heart) frequently throughout the year, as we
travel from one time zone to another without anything but
a residual jetlag to show for it. (I wonder if a bird flying
from one time zone to another experiences this sort of thing?
Another argument against DST that we’ve
probably all heard at one time or another, is that it endangers
the many kids, who would now be going to school each morning
in the dark. To which I can’t help but think, that if
responsible adults can’t get a child to school safely
on dark mornings, how are we going to defeat ISIS?
Finally, if so many find that having to make
an adjustment to changing clocks is a massive inconvenience,
the solution is simple: keep daylight savings time the whole
year round. That problem goes away. As does the upsetting
of the body’s circadian rhythms and risks of heart attacks.
Yes, I’m taking a stand here: I’m in favor of
more light! Which should be pretty obvious by this point given
my light bulb obsessions (see previous piece above).
Yet, I’ll be sure to take a baby aspirin
before going to bed Saturday night on March 11th, and not
move any clock ahead, so as to minimize the risk of a heart
attack and possible death. Though at 2AM while I’m asleep,
my smartass phone and other electronic devices, will deviously
push my clocks ahead by an hour without my input. They’re
out to get me, I tell ya.