As I write, I am still a little stiff from being up north at sister Patty and her mainsqueeze Wes’ new cabin in the north. Did a little brush moving and a little fire wood staking (very little), did some reading and some walking in the woods. Oh, and I got a little sun on my face, so if you see me within a few days, I am not having a heart attack, it’s a little bit of a sunburn.
First, “Thank you, Wes and Patty!”
* * *
Was able to read a number of things this weekend. One was a new book from the library called, The Complacent Class — the self-defeating quest for the American Dream, by Tyler Cowen. Wow, what a good, thought provoking read.
What is it about? Here is what the inside jacket says, “Since Alexis de Tocqueville, restlessness has been accepted as a signature American trait. Our willingness to move, take risks, and adapt to change have produced a dynamic economy and a tradition of innovation from Ben Franklin to Steve Jobs.
“The problem . . . is that Americans today have broken from this tradition? We’re working harder than ever to avoid change. We’re moving residences less, marrying people more like ourselves and choosing our music and our mates based on algorithms that wall us off from anything that might be too new or too different. Match.com matches us in love. Spotify and Pandora match us in music. Facebook matches us to just about everything else.
“Of course, this ‘matching culture’ brings tremendous positives: music we like, partners who make us happy, neighbors who want the same things. We’re more comfortable. But . . . there are significant collateral downsides attending this comfort, among them heightened inequality and segregation and decreased incentives to innovate and create.
“The Complacent Class argues that this cannot go on forever. We are postponing change, due to our near-sightedness and extreme desire for comfort, but ultimately this will make change, when it comes, harder.”
Like I said, wow. Totally recommend you checking this out from the library, reading it and then getting back to me. I see this happening right here in our own communities.
As an on-line read bonus, click here to read a Q&A with the author about this.
* * *
While on the library website, I also stumbled across this book, Kolchak and The Lost World. By CJ (not Oxford Leader editor Carnacchio) Henderson. Total, cheap thrill, fun to read 124 page paperback (in one night). I wanted to be a reporter since ABC TV ran the series, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, in the early 1970s when I was yet to hit double digits in age.
Carl Kolchak (portrayed by actor Darren McGavin — later the dad in A Christmas Story) was a reporter and reluctant monster slayer. It captured my imagination then, and when I was reading this book, written in the first person, I read it in McGavin’s voice. It was awesome!
* * *
As Alfred Tennyson wrote in the 1800s, “In the spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.” It was really spring-like this weekend and I also read the 2017 Preview from the Old Farmer’s Almanac, whilst in the cabin in the woods. I found this bit of advice from 1896, headlined, The Art of Kissing.
“Don’t peck a woman on the forehead or end of the nose, or jerk her bonnet strings in haste to get through. Now–take the left hand of the young lady in your right; let go of your hat–just let it drop. Throw your left hand over the lady’s shoulder and let if fall down to her waist. Draw her gently and lovingly to your heart. Don’t be in a hurry. Her left hand is in your right . . . clasp it firmly, gently and with thought and respect. Don’t be in a hurry. Her head lies on your shoulder. Look into her half-closed eyes. Gently, manfully, press her to your bosom. Don’t be in a hurry. Her lips are almost open. Lean forward with your head, not your body. Take good aim . .. the lips meet . . . the eyes close … the heart opens . . the soul rides the storms, troubles and sorrows of life (don’t be in a hurry) . . . the heavens open before you and the world slips from under you as a meteor rides across the evening sky (don’t be afraid) . . . the nerves dance . . . the heart forgets all bitterness and the incomparable art of kissing is learned.”
Who woulda’ thunk it?
* * *
Speaking of spring and of love, Easter is upon us. A time for renewal as life re-awakens from its time of slumber. Easter, a time to open our hearts to let the light from above inside. A time to grow your love; your love of self, your love of family, friends and a time to grow your love of your beliefs. Those are the “easy” things to grow your love in. How about this Easter you try growing your love of those you do not like; love those you do not understand. Dare to be different and more inclusive with your love.
This Easter is a great time to commit yourself to love. Happy Easter!
Comments? Email, DontRushDon@gmail.com