Life on Planet Looney Tunes

Life on Planet Looney Tunes

I can’t even believe that Father Time has turned out to be such an abusive bastard.

Is it not awful enough that he sucks the minutes from us like a tornado moving through Kansas? Now he has allowed a pandemic to steal a year from our ever-growing shorter lives.

Thanks Father Time, may the bird of paradise fly up your diaper.

As if it’s not enough we have to contend with living in captivity, the world has literally gone so mad I’m seriously convinced I left the planet and am now residing on Planet Looney Tunes in the That’s-all-Folks galaxy.

Recently, I was watching Bye Bye Birdie and suddenly I thought, hey, wait a minute. This was my life. What happened to innocence, civility, decency, respect and embracing the simple pleasures?

I must be living in a parallel universe where crazy is the law of the land and everything is upside down.

It’s as if we’re reliving the dream of our teenage years, spending our time sitting in front of the television, sleeping in and eating whatever and whenever we choose.

Well at least that was the dream then anyway.

It took years to achieve the freedom to live our lives as we wish and now we’re on a time out in our rooms for something we never did.  
The first clue I landed on Planet Looney Tunes was the masses paying thousands for Pelotons that covered the planet as far as the eye could see. People peddling for their life and sweating while some voice yelled at them from the great beyond. Isn’t relaxation supposed to be about quiet time?

I stopped riding bikes when my Schwinn rusted out and my tuchas lost all its fat, flattened out and the bicycle seat became my enemy.

On Looney Tunes, mobs rule, children disrespect their teachers and refuse to put down their cell phones, and anyone who attempts to change lanes while driving gets the universal middle finger signal.

When we were young we weren’t allowed to sit all day and watch television, we were castigated for overeating too many sweets, and were threatened with no television for not finishing our Brussel Sprouts. UGH! I hate those things to this day.

What has happened to our lives?

Every generation has been negatively impacted by the challenges of this craziness foisted upon us. Baby Boomers can’t cruise, tour countries they’ve never seen or play mah jong or canasta.

Children miss attending school with their friends. It’s sad they’re being deprived of their childhoods; attending class, playing outdoors, forming cliques and trying to survive high school.

I’m not saying childhood is perfect by any means, but how will our children cope with life if they’re never allowed to interact with the nice and not so nice?

Every generation faces difficulties, but I’m convinced it’s the way you emerge from challenges that matters. It is a plus that families are spending more time together. Well, for most families anyway.

I can’t even imagine how awful it was for our parents and grandparents during World War II when they endured four years of fears, rationing and the loss of loved ones without Netflix, Amazon or the Internet.

Can you imagine how much worse it would have been for everyone if they could’ve live streamed the Blitz or Pearl Harbor?

Sure this is awful, but four years of wondering if your sons, brothers, husbands, nephews or neighbors would ever return from Europe or the Pacific was bloody awful.

Perhaps our parents were tough because of the war. Perhaps we are powder puffs because aside from 9/11 we’ve had it relatively easy.

No, I’m not forgetting Viet Nam, the Cold War, John Kennedy’s assassination or Monica Lewinsky’s blue dress, but unless you lost someone in Nam, aside from the sadness we felt for those who did, our lives went on.

Aside from all the unnecessary death caused by that war, the saddest memory for me was the way our returning soldiers were treated. They’d been sent to a war for no other reason than to satisfy the egos of powerful men and made to pay a terrible price.

So yes, Viet Nam was a sad, horrible time, but I’m not certain it impacted the world as we are now experiencing.

Now we face another world war and because it’s biological it’s frightening and frustrating. We can’t pick up a rifle and shoot it, we can’t spy on it or run it over with a tank or nuke it with atom bombs. We can’t even force it to watch reruns of Petticoat Junction.

This is a new enemy, more evil than any we’ve seen. It’s as if China bottled the DNA from the most evil Nazi’s, put it in a test tube and loosed it on the world.

We are forced to cower in our caves like our ancestors when a wild boar sought them out. They had no weapons except a club or a rock.

As Albert Einstein was purported to have said, “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”

I guess somewhere along the way we luckily missed World War III because it seems we’re back to sticks and stones.

At the end of the day when, as all things do this pandemic passes, the better question is; into what kind of world will we return? Will our current struggles propel us forward as better people in a kinder, more civilized society or will we continue to be angry, bitter and volatile toward one another?

Have we learned as in the past after world wars that peace, love and sanity are the very building blocks of happiness or will we continue down a road of divisiveness and conflict?

I for one will be happy to be outside enjoying my life once again, spending my moments out of captivity doing as I wish. I just pray we can all celebrate being together again in a positive way right here on Planet Earth, and create a better world than ever before.

9/11: Is it Just Another Bad Memory?

9/11: Is it Just Another Bad Memory?

Life is about mixed messaging. Today, remembering the terrible attack in New York, The Pentagon and Flight 93, the visuals return with every bit of their gruesome horror. Then as we humans have been instructed, they fade once more and are filed away into the back of our minds. Only the loved ones of the victims hold the pain closely with no reprieve.

If there is one truth it’s that evil has no politics, color or creed. Oh, of course many try to equate them, but it’s impossible because evil is found in every political party and in every corner of the planet. It’s an entity onto itself and exists solely within the heart and mind of man. It’s true however that it can be spread like a black river of oil unto a fertile plain or in an ocean among the innocent sea life fatally exposed.

Yet, if we Americans are so affected by evil events like 9/11, Pearl Harbor, the Holocaust, is it productive to sweep them aside until they are marked on a calendar each year?

Can we learn if we’re encouraged to forget? Can evil ever be eradicated if we allow it to fester and thrive as part of history?

We’re taught to live in the present and see those who live in the past encumbering their ability to live a happy life. Yet, the message is startlingly ambiguous when it’s only by remembering the lessons we can forge ahead wiser.

So which is it, recall or move forward?

What is the proper amount of bad memories to dredge up and when does that number cross the line into mental instability?

Pearl Harbor hasn’t been forgotten, yet the enemy that attacked us is now our friend. We no longer cast aspersions on Japan or its people, nor should we, yet the lessons of World War II seem long forgotten. Because the Japanese people are now considered allies does that mean Nazis are as well and we should be electing them to Congress?

Today in the United States Congress Representative James Clayburn of North Carolina, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, demeaned Jewish Holocaust survivors to defend the hateful remarks of one of his America hating, anti-Semitic colleagues, Ilhan Omar.

So are we now to assume that every one who cast a vote for this horrible man or for her abhors Jewish people? I wouldn’t like to think that true, yet why is someone who castigates survivors serving in a country that fought a war to destroy a regime determined to kill all those whom their leaders deemed less worthy to breathe the same air?

Should hate spreaders be allowed to serve in our Congress among those that lost relatives at the hand of evil without censure or a day of reckoning? Their loathing has been exposed on numerous other occasions, yet they are not held accountable for their hate speech. America cannot condone such behavior and elect haters still we continue to do so.

Yes, free speech is the cornerstone of our democracy and without it there is fascism, but should we be electing evil spreaders to make our laws and lead our country? Intolerance is intolerable and yet we foster and nurture it in our own government.

So where do we live? In the past, present or future and which will allow us to improve life by learning from the lessons that cost us so dearly?

If it is healthier to evolve from the past is it also healthy to move on from the memory of foul deeds and events?

I’m mystified by the amount of maliciousness I witness on a daily basis and how perfectly acceptable it has become to overtly express these feelings, no matter how despicable.

The world accepts too easily what it hears and finds it easier to believe what they are told then to fight back. Because evil is proactive and good is reactive the scales are weighted in favor of the aggressor.

The simple truth is that we do indeed forget, because we are trained to do so. Live in the present is the chosen mantra.

Israel and many countries in the Middle East have just entered into a peace deal that will change that area if not the entire world.

Former enemies will now be friends and free to travel, trade and break bread together.

So what lesson must we learn from these shifting world dynamics?

I laugh at the simplicity of my own answer; to err is human to forgive divine.

Yet forgiveness does not mean forgetting. No, we cannot remember everything, but even if relegated to the past they must continue to strengthen our moral code.

If we forget the deaths and lessons of the wars we fought then we’ll be doomed to reelect politicians who espouse divisiveness. If we forget we must be vigilant when dealing with those who’ve proven to exercise evil deeds with no remorse, then we’re doomed to repeat mistakes and be vulnerable to malice.

If a government becomes so indifferent to the vindictive speech and deeds advocated by their leadership then unfortunately we have many examples of the outcome of such folly and its effect on humanity.

One comment should be enough to engage our outrage and battle against darkness. When someone shows you who they are, believe them or suffer the consequences. Can there ever be enough history to accomplish this end?

Yes, life is filled with mixed messages and from where I sit now I’m dubious. However, we must retain hope if we are all to survive and once again remember or even sadly, forget.

Yes, life is filled with mixed messages and from where I sit now I’m dubious. However, we must retain hope if we are all to survive and once again remember or even sadly, forget.

NO SENSE OF URGENCY

 

urgency

No Sense of Urgency

To procrastinate: delay or postpone action; put off doing something

One of the things I’ve found during this crisis is that I have rediscovered and am now channeling my inner procrastinator. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve said, “I’ll do it tomorrow in the last few months, well you know”

Yes, that concept we have been taught to avoid because it focuses on short-term happiness and goals seems to be the operative word now.

However, can we be accused of acting hedonistically when short term is all there is to focus on right now? Can we plan our lives even a week from now? Sadly no.

Aside from those that are lucky enough to still be employed and out functioning in the world, the rest of us seem to be busy trying to fill our days in captivity.

Of course there are many productive activities we can and continue doing like working from home, but many hours in the day we filled with more compulsory endeavors are now more discretionary.

I must admit that even I as an avid motion picture fan am growing rather tired of on demand, live streaming and Turner Classic Movies.

Yes, I do keep up with the latest Netflix offerings and read everyone’s comments on Facebook about the Tiger King and Unorthodox so I’m not living under a rock, however it does get old.

So begs the question, is a sense of urgency what’s necessary to cure procrastination? Or are human beings wired to move quickly when probed, like swatting a burro on its hindquarters. Andalay!

Mothers and fathers are now tasked with more to do as so many are working from home and must help teach and plan activities for their children. I know some young Moms who contend when this is over they will feel like they’re on vacation.

Perhaps these days of seeking ways to fill the time have been good and bad in many ways.

One good is obviously the fact so many have now embraced their inner Emeril. Cooks all over the world are drawn into the kitchen to refine their skills and experiment with new recipes and concoctions.

However this trend must be traced back to a primal urge for humans to eat when hungry or many times, bored, aggravated, bathing suit shopping, family dinners, depressed, hating a new hairdo or you run out of Cherry Garcia ice cream; and yes an entire carton is considered one serving.

So, the serge in cooking is actually predicated on the desire to first and foremost eat and second to fill the day. This is a positive outcome of the time in quarantine and will probably translate into new vistas of adventure for many that have never previously left the sofa to order take out.

There are many areas however one can point to and say, “Uh oh, procrastination has sunk in.” For example dressing up.

After all when you’re wearing sweats everyday and walking from the bedroom to the television screen not so much need for wardrobe changes or jewelry.

Although there are those who are exercising regularly outdoors as well, when at home it’s the bare minimum in fashion and the maximum in comfort one seeks.

Hair has become such an issue for some women that they are literally threatening to drive to other states to find a hairdresser to color their roots. Hello, Girlfriend, shampoo in tints, Amazon delivers, and a no brainer that even a baboon can do.

Elastic waists are ruling the roost now allowing room for all the extra cooking and tasting going on.

Where once women that lived alone could argue I put on make up even when I’m home just for myself. Out the window, cause unless you’re zooming not so much grooming.

Americans especially are a nation of urgency junkies. We love to receive a good kick in the behind because that’s what has always worked so well for us in the past.

When Japan bombed Pearl Harbor we were up and running. We even had a theme song, “Over There Over There.” Should be played now, “The Yanks are Coming the Yanks are coming, the drums drum drumming everywhere.” We jump into action and never look back. We’re a country of scrappers and we love a good fight.

When Japan attacked General Motors, we leapt into action once again and fought back. Okay, so Japan won that one, but we did make a heck of an effort.

World Trade Center, we fought, we conquered, we rebuilt. It’s what Americans do.

Human beings need a sense of urgency, which is proven by the way they’re fighting to get businesses reopen although the virus is still out there as strong as ever.

People need a reason to get up in the morning and yes, although a new Netflix movie may be exciting it’s not enough to fill our lives.

I think one example of a positive is the virus has forced us to spend time at home with our families. To cook, eat, watch television, read, exercise, talk and create new activities together. Sadly it may be a boom for divorce lawyers, but I doubt that, last man standing rule and all.

Perhaps there was a sense of urgency to slow down and smell the roses and if anything good comes from all this captivity, I vote for family time. The other side of course is not being able to see family and grandchildren.

The scale tips both ways, but as I’ve said before we rise to the occasion.

Expectations from others and from within ourselves are what drives and propels us to achieve more and greater goals. That sense of urgency we experience every day is what flicks on the light switch within us and forces the electric current into our creative selves.

So if you’ve been home channeling your inner chef, Picasso, Dior, or Hemingway, once life returns to normal it will be a sense of being in the world once more that sparks you up to the next level. New businesses, books, creative outlets will be born from captivity, but sadly one doesn’t have the luxury to plan when right now. Let’s face it, the song doesn’t just say “where”, but also “when” and that’s a big factor in giving one impetus to move ahead with life, dreams and goals. Perhaps there was a sense of urgency for you to delve into your inner dreams.

Much will change in this new normal we face, but one fact remains the same, every so often we all need to slow down, relax and procrastinate just a little. Get in touch with parts of oneself forgotten or ignored. But I think everyone will agree, enough already!