Saturday, May 31, 2008
A Boomer Rants His Last I have decided to move to the woods. Most of my middle-aged friends have a similar dream of isolation, independence and self-reliance. For some it’s a sailboat on the ocean or a hammock on a tropical isle and for many, like myself, it’s a cabin on a mountainside miles away from anywhere, with a garden, a few goats and a good old hound dog for company. I used to rant about how things have changed in America since my youth. I am a well qualified to rant, I am, after all, a boomer. I represent the bridge between the greatest generation and whatever you want to call this profit driven zoo we are treading water in now. In my day I have ranted about medical care that is based on the return visit, endless tests and pharmacutical profits. There is little left in life that is not a disorder, syndrome or dysfunction. I ranted about suffocating litigations that have squashed the fun out the simplist of activities. Apparently, according to the courts, I am not expected to be responsible for my actions anymore. It’s always someone else’s fault. Then, of course, there are the banks and credit card companies who conspire to turn more and more of my money into their profits through fees for services and shark like intrest rates. I’m not sure why I need banks. In the same category I have ranted about the demise of family owned farms, the independent businessman and the corporations that have to make a 20% profit each quarter regardless of how much their products, services or employees suffer for fear of disappointing their stockholders....and why, I ask you, when a company fails to provide the service they promise they end up charging me to fix their problem? Consumers be damned, full speed ahead. I’m not sure why we need a Stock Market or a Walmart. I have yet to be convinced that new is always better, yet I have been doomed to a digital life. Before cell phones we actually had to plan and organize our days. Now I live a chaotic life where, with a call or two, my day can completely change and then be changed again. I have no sense of order anymore. I have ranted about the Nation’s lawmakers who feel compelled to layer law upon law until the orginal and often-simple intents are obscured forever. Do we really need any new laws this year? I’ve watched self-reliance, which used to be the heart and soul of this country, give way to a sad dependency. Katrina vividly demonstrated that our inner cities are lost without their government to provide for them. I have also had my secret, politically incorrect rants about immigrants who come to this country and insist on bringing their cultures with them, refusing to melt in to ours. That same correctness dictates that I can’t condem street crime or drug dealers without being racially inflammatory and I can’t complain about the food court employee who doesn’t speak enough English to undertand that I don’t want sugar in my iced tea. There used to be a time when it was ok for a community to stand up and say, “We don’t accept that behavior, stop it or get out.” Now we simply label it as diversity and move on. What happened to "Outrage"? Since this might be the last time that I rant I should also mention the education of our future generations of Americans. If you want to put it all in to perspective read some of the remarkably eloquent and expressive letters written home by the young and mostly rural soldiers of the civil war. Then read some of the FCAT essays written by our own little darlings here in Florida. For extra super credit, find a school that has a policy to handle a spitball shooter that doesn’t involve passing the responsibility for disipline on to law enforcement for fear of litigation from the parents. All of these things have been great fodder for my rants over the years but the tipping point for me, the epifany that is sending me deep into the woods, was this year’s Democratic Primary. I don’t know when it changed or why I hadn’t noticed it before but I suddenly realized that the American people really don’t choose their President. Two un-elected cabals represented by a jackass and a pachyderm decide who we can vote for. They have their own set of rules and conditions for who can participate. They can arbitrarily disallow votes and they have their own stable of elite super members whose individual votes count more than mine. Based on what I’ve seen, I don’t think it is possible for an honest, substantive representitive of the American people to ever be elected President. The election process has always been the great hope for change and has given the common man and his vote a sense of empowerment in an otherwise rantable existance. With that hope gone, my rants have become unresolvable. Sad, isn’t it? So, I have found a cabin on a mountainside where I can call the rabbit which has stolen carrots from my garden a nasty varmit without being censured by PETA. A place where I can discrimminate between good and bad, useful and not, without being a hate monger. A place where diversity refers to how many species of trees I have. A place where I can eat fresh, unprocessed food again. Take me home country roads.........and hurry. .