Ask an Immigrant

We live in a free country, despite all the screaming that we don’t.

I say to any of you who think our country is a dictatorship, that you need a hefty reality check. You need to ask an immigrant what dictatorship is.

Ask a person who has escaped North Korea. Ask an immigrant who made great sacrifices to live here. Ask those that lived in dictatorships under tyrannical rule what freedom really is. Ask them why so many want to live here.

Freedom is what we already have. In spades! We are so incredibly fortunate. You need to take a look around. You need to educate yourself. We are free in so many many ways. We elect our leaders. We have abundance of everything. We can choose from a huge selection of cars to drive, clothes to wear, food to eat, furniture, electronics, appliances and gadgets. We can get jobs, an education. We can live where we want. Buy a house. We decide who we will marry. We have health care, hospitals, ambulances. We have pensions for the disabled and seniors. We can travel by planes, trains and buses, anywhere at anytime. We can speak our minds. Write books, make art, music. Sure nothing is perfect, but compare our country to the rest of the world. Do you realize these things we take for granted are not available to a huge amount of people in our world? They have no options and they live in constant fear.

Years ago I met a man from South America who was so grateful to live here. The story he told me of his life was shocking, and it is amazing he is alive. He had been beaten and tortured and lost his family. He had to watch everything he said, did and thought. He couldn’t go anywhere without permission. He didn’t have choices. He didn’t have options.

You cry because our government wants to protect us? By making us wear masks and get vaccines while we are in the middle of a global pandemic killing hundreds of thousands of people? I ask you, how do we stop the spread of disease? We are all in this together. The virus is our enemy, not our government. You think wearing a mask and getting a vaccine is persecution?! You know nothing about persecution.

You don’t understand how democracy works. It means we do what is best for everyone, and that sometimes means it may not be the best for you personally. We make some sacrifices. But we have so many benefits. So many freedoms. We live so well!

There are 50 dictatorships in the world, and the number is growing. You want to add this country to that list?

You have absolutely no idea what freedom is.

Mad Max Era

In the post apocalyptic Mad Max world, men fight not for food, not for women, but for gasoline.

Gasoline is power.

The ones in charge are the motorcyclists and the truckers. Our lone hero drives a souped up car, has a pet dog and just wants to be left alone.

In our pre apocalyptic world, enter the truckers and the motorcyclists, wielding their power to overthrow our governments and rain holy hell upon us with dictatorships and fascism. The motorcycle is quick and agile, the truck is brute strength. The car just wants to take a nice trip to the countryside and forget all this stuff.

I thought mechanical hostility reigned only in the movies and that the good guy always wins.

But alas we enter the Mad Max era, and every protest is a violent engine, noise and gas fumes protest, and the good guys are losing.

Every night, drag races rule the streets. Every weekend trucks block our downtown core. Motorcycles blast through our towns. Every day I read about how many tickets (that will never be paid) are issued and how many licenses have been suspended and how many vehicles have been towed. The numbers go up and up and up and lawlessness is wearing us out to the point the Mad Max universe will rule.

Only the world won’t be in the hands of the truckers and motorcyclists. It’ll be in the hands of the ones who own the gasoline, and they won’t let anyone use it, except themselves. Protests and all that go with it, trucks, motorcycles, guns and weapons will be banned. The war on democracy will be over, and the 1% take over.

Our hero, his car and his dog don’t win. Nobody who was in the fight wins. Just the fat cats on the sidelines who incited all the turmoil.

At least it’ll be quiet.

Barking

Someone in the neighbourhood just got a new dog.

It barks nearly all night.

How can people do that? Get a dog, leave him outside barking himself hoarse, while they are either out somewhere or at home with the ear buds in, playing video games, oblivious to reality.

It happens also in the apartment building I live in.

A new puppy is purchased and then we get to listen to the poor little darling howl for hours while the owners are away. Or worse, some tenants put their dogs out on the balcony and forget about them. So the stressed and lonely dog barks for hours.

How can people be so cruel and thoughtless? Not only to the dog, but to all their neighbours?

We had this problem when I was a kid at home. The neighbours behind us had a dog that barked all night. Even when we spoke to them, they were like, so what. Problem? What problem?

I realize that puppies have to learn to be on their own, and that if you want your dog to stay outside there is a period where they may bark. All of which I find heartbreaking. Animals need a lot of attention and love, and to me, that is what the real problem is. Dogs need companionship. A little love and care can go a long way.

Disdain

There is a disdain for self published authors that is not found anywhere else in creative pursuits.

They call it vanity press. It is vain to write and publish your own book. Why? It’s not vain to create art, to make a CD, to dance, to make a video, a movie or anything else. The big guns seek out the amateur for the next big thing. This does not happen to self published book writers.

I encountered this at my job at a bookstore many years ago. When we ordered books, we received a separate pamphlet for self published books that we could order from. Automatically it was as if managers were presented with a big plate of pooh. Faces changed, noses wrinkled. Disgust.

My first boss was not like this. She gave self published authors a chance. God bless her. I am sure she helped many to be a commercial success. But she was one in a million.

Why are amateur writers, who publish their own books so hated?

It is true, our work is unpolished, we are not professionals. But I will tell you, that the published authors aren’t professionals either. The only difference is they have the benefit of seasoned editors to take their raw gems and make them diamonds. Professional writers do not have a greater gift than the rest of us, except they lucked out and got a publisher with great editors and who promoted them. I guarantee you, before that, their writing was no better than a self published author, and in many cases, worse. And how many books that are professionally published are still crap? Many.

I suspect it is the book publishers who created this wide spread horror of the self published author. Their book sales take away from their profits.

I am very happy publishing my own books, even if they aren’t great. I love doing it. I am just wondering why that is such a bad thing.

The Morning

Have you ever noticed that when you are sick, it gets worse at night?

Have you noticed that most of your worrying is at night, and how outrageous it seems in the morning?

My Mother had a saying that I still hear in my head when I am having a bad night.

“Things will look better in the morning.”

Boy, that has got me through many a bad time.

Senior Employees

I think one of the possibly many reasons companies don’t hire seniors is this.

They are wise.

They are wise to all the tricks and manipulations bosses try to pull to make their employees work longer and harder for less, and all manner of degrading and belittling mind games that reduce employees to begging slaves.

Senior employees are not there to climb the ladder, so they don’t play those games. They’ve been there and done that a hundred times.

I think bosses are more interested in their own power than the good of the company.

Their loss.

Christmas Video

In my younger years I was a photographic pest. I took pictures of everything. I took my camera everywhere. And when I got a video camera, oh my, I went berserk!

My Mom and I went to a hotel on Christmas for dinner, it was quite the treat. My Mom loved it. What a nice break after so many years raising a family and slaving over Christmas dinner and dishes.

I filmed our entire Christmas affair, like it was a documentary. At the end of our meal, as we sat in the lobby waiting for our ride home, I set up the camera and interviewed my Mother, with the intent of sending that to my brother.

We were having a playful banter when this woman came over and wanted me to interview her. She asked me what news channel I was from and when this video would be aired. My Mom and I broke into gales of laughter and I tried to explain this was just a private thing. But the lady would not believe me! She thought my Mom must be some celebrity and that is why I was giving her an interview. This lady wanted in on it!

If our ride hadn’t of arrived, I would have interviewed her. It would have been a scream!

Refuge

There was a place I could go when I was young, in a castle, by a fireplace in a rocking chair. At the Friendly Giant’s.

I was a terribly shy introverted girl living in an extroverted world. Still am in many ways. The Friendly Giant sheltered me. I was safe and understood there. A place parents and peers could not come to.

My refuge.

When I get scared, which is often, I remember this program, the infamous harp and recorder playing ‘Early One Morning’ and the Giant summoning me to “Look up. Look waaaay up.”

Bob Homme was the kindest, gentlest adult in the world. I hated when he closed up the drawbridge when we were gone.

I loved Jerome the giraffe. He was in no hurry for anything. And the Giant was taller than him!

The older I get, the more I miss my childhood, because my adulthood mostly sucked. And there was no Friendly Giant.

Solve the Worlds Problems

Once a month or so I reflect on the current state of the world and have some thoughts.

Soon the world will be under the total control of the one percent, unless a miracle happens.

Watching women’s rights being flushed down the toilet on this sad day as the Supreme Court overturned Roe V. Wade. Next plan is ban contraceptives and same sex marriages. Step back into the dark ages. Once again, we must rise up and fight.

If there are no guns, or, as a comedian on Bowling for Columbine suggested, bullets were $5,000 a piece, there would be no more mass shootings.

Health care should be free and available for everyone.

Ditto for bus transportation and education.

Everyone should get basic income, especially senior citizens and the disabled, in addition to their meager pensions. That might bring them to the poverty line. Maybe. Better than always being below it. No one in this world should be impoverished. There is no valid moral reason for it.

Housing for everyone. Everyone. Not tents and cardboard shacks. Brick and mortar. Appliances. Heat. Running water. Bathrooms, kitchens. You know, decent living.

Gone, gone, long gone are the days you could earn enough to buy the things you need and want. Further gone is the notion that if you just work hard and long enough you can better your life. Or that higher education will get you a higher job. Ha! Now the process relies on supreme brown nosing, and even then, no guarantees the boss will like you and promote you. And lord, what you must do to keep what you’ve got! Rewards? How about some pens and lifesavers for 27 years of service?

Education should be about relationships with other people, history, how to handle money, how to care for and treat animals and the environment and not about how to hide under desks when an active shooter arrives at your school.

Education should also be about learning, thinking, solving problems, innovation, and most of all, having fun.

We need to stop worshiping celebrities and billionaires, and get them to pay taxes. We don’t need more electric cars, telephones and space junk.

And last of all, enough with the lame ‘thoughts and prayers’ from our leaders. DO SOMETHING.

Vehicles

Motorcycles, hotrods and trucks.

Instead of tanks and armies, these are the weapons of takeover in our society.

They are especially prevalent in the summer and impossible to police.

The strip of highway near my apartment is a perfect unpatrolled ribbon of straight road that motorcyclists and hotrods take full advantage of. It crosses a canal and a river and cuts through a park and is therefore just one big long bridge. A drag strip.

But many places in our city have become lawless avenues for vehicles. Witness the infamous trucker takeover in our downtown. Eighteen wheelers are massive and incredibly hard to move, noisy and smelly, and also pretty terrifying to encounter.

There seems to be a growing aggression in our world and the everyday man is resorting to vehicles to express their hostility. I think it is the only way to be powerful in a world bent on making us slaves and voiceless.

I have always maintained that the world is swinging to the right and violence because of the huge gap between the haves and the have nots. There is no middle class, no stepping stone from poverty to wealth. It is impossible to go from being poor to being rich. Hard work does not do it anymore. Luck and brown nosing works, but one is extremely rare, and the other, extremely costly.

There is nothing worse than not being recognized or compensated for your hard work, and to find yourself slipping farther into poverty the harder you try to get out of it. The system is rigged. Combined with our poor educational system, people cling to self serving leaders to fix things for them. Which, they won’t. The people who rage and hold others hostage with machines are undoing the good for all in the hope of bettering themselves. This will be the end of all freedoms and hope and secure the rich as rulers of our world. A global dictatorship. 1984.