Again, I hope you get my attempt at humor in the titles to these articles. They refer, in my version of phonetic spelling, to Tonto’s frequent answer to The Lone Ranger’s questions. And as the titles suggest, the articles will consist of random collections of questions. They range from pure silliness to more serious issues of philosophy and science. Some I’ve thought about for years, some are more recent, and I won’t be surprised if I think of new ones as I write. The creative process is like that. It’s also possible that I’ll answer my own question while trying to verbalize it. The creative process is like that too. I really hope that it happens. If it does, I’ll write about my answer as well.
Again with the endless questions. Please note that this time there will be a test.
1. The ’progressive’ U.S. tax system requires the wealthy to pay more taxes than the poor. In fact, those at the top end of the income scale are sometimes expected to pay thousands of times more than those at the low end of the income scale. Why then, are people surprised that the principles separating freedom fighters from pirates have become corrupted?
2. How is it that American citizens can express more outrage at the treatment of people who openly desire the destruction of our country than they do at the treatment of Americans imprisoned simply because of how they chose to treat their own bodies? Or should the question be why are they surprised that those prisoners are being treated that way considering how we treat our own people? Please note that just as ’high minded’ butting in has inspired the terrorists, it has also inspired a flagrant disregard for the law by many of our own people.
3. The news is filled with talk about the racist history of the Washington, DC area. I suppose they think that shocking us with such ’terrible revelations’ will inspire us to watch their wall-to-wall coverage of the upcoming Obama inauguration. But considering that we know all to well that this country was built on the backs of slaves, just who is it that they think will be shocked? I just want all the hoopla to be over so the man can get on with the monstrous task ahead of him. What would shock me would be for all those talking heads to shut up for a change and let the poor guy do his job!
4. Being the eternal optimist who always looks for the silver lining, do you think that maybe my distant cousins will finally get Manhattan Island back after all is said and done? Okay, enough with the laughing about the ’eternal optimist’ bit!
5. Who in hell designed the standard keyboard layout? After all this time using it, I still hit Delete when I want End and write nad when I mean and. It’s not my fault I tell ya!
6. I don’t normally watch the show Ghost Whisperer because it’s so depressingly reminiscent of all that supernatural crap from my childhood. But the lack of cable has caused me to watch a lot of shows lately that I wouldn’t normally watch. Having it on my TV right now has inspired me to wonder about some of my own dead friends and family. Here are just a few of my thoughts:
a. Was my brother sad that he wouldn’t be able to spend the Easter of 1970 with me while he was dying from two gunshots to the chest? The police said that the shooter was my brother’s best friend, in a drug-induced craze, using my brother’s own gun. Others said that the police had framed my brother’s friend for a hit actually done by them to prevent my brother from testifying in a police-involved stolen property case.
b. What was it like for my father to die all alone in the V. A. hospital during that same year? I don’t know the actual date because I was considered ’too fragile’ to be told right away and I was to pissed to ask when I was.
c. Did the fact that our friendship ended, over a dispute about Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, have anything to do with my former best friend’s suicide in 1980?
d. Was the son we lost ever conscious after labor had to be induced when my wife’s water broke too soon? I’m ashamed to admit that I don’t actually remember the date this happened, but I’ll bet that my ex-wife does.
e. He never said so before he died in 1995, but did my friend from work – the friend who taught me so much – ever know just how much I liked him? “You’ve got to be smarter than what you’re working with,” is still one of the coolest things I’ve ever heard.
f. What were my mother’s final thoughts while dying, unnoticed, on the floor of the L.A. rest home she had been left in by my niece, who apparently couldn’t be bothered with her any more? That was in 2004.
g. From tonight’s episode, how would I react to having someone tell me that the ’memories’ I seem to be having are actually true recollections from a previous life?
h. What was really going on when I was in that medically-induced coma, when I seemed to be flying over strange lands, out into space, and even into the future?
i. And does the fact that, in my dreams, I return over and over to people and places I have no conscious memory of mean that I actually exist in multiple worlds at the same time? While I find the possibility quite intriguing, the reality of it scares me half to death.
7. I read or heard somewhere that plants like wheat and rye are subject to disease that can cause people to become sick and/or delusional. I’ve even heard it said that, during the Salem witch trials, some testimony about things the accused had supposedly done where actually hallucinations caused by ingesting bread made from tainted grain. If this is true, then doesn’t it shine doubt on other visions of ’supernatural events’ referenced in our history books and religious tomes? Speaking as one who has had hallucinations from illness as well as from ’other’ causes, I know all too well just how real they can seem.
8. Regarding the last item, I suppose that there are those who now asking, “Is that why he’s so &#%@ed up?” The fact is that, however hallucinations are caused, the processes within the brain are the same. You should no more doubt my faculties than you would doubt the faculties of anyone who has previously had a high fever. While I may have shown poor judgement in the past, you should judge my current reasoning capacity by my current actions. And I submit that the contents of this Weblog stand as clear testimony that my rational faculties are in good working order. Bedeep, bedeep, that’s all folks!
9. I hear that Barak Obama is trying to quit smoking. Borrowing a bit from the movie Airplane! “Man did he pick a hard time to quit?”
10. Am I the only one who sees the ultimate irony in Visa calling their new credit card The Black Card?
Just kidding about the test. Did the thought of it make you thirsty?
I want ice water.