Thursday, March 10, 2011

Today's Opinion--Or Rant...

A friend of mine, one of the coolest people in the world, wrote today. He wrote a rant about having to get a new computer, his fourth in three years, or third in four years, and he wrote about getting ready to retire and not being able to afford health insurance. And he wrote about the youngsters of today who are not carrying out our political legacy--a legacy that includes civil rights, women's rights, gay rights, anti-nuclear proliferation, environmental work and a host of other very very important human work. And he asked why I wasn't writing about politics anymore, particularly as regards Wisconsin and the new Governor's bid to eliminate state workers from many angles of collective bargaining. And he wrote about the lack of poetry in the world today and how, if it doesn't change, he's gonna take his marbles and go home.
I was stirred. Like a chemical cocktail!!!! So here's what I wrote back. Just for fun, kiddies, but with a grain of truth...or sand....or whatever:

Dear Lar:
Wow, bad luck with the computers. I treated myself to a Mini-Mac---which is not a laptop but is a tiny square box that I could theoretically use anywhere that had a keyboard and screen--and it's freaking wonderful. I have no idea of everything it does--I still have not even figured out how to get the oral sex it's supposed to give, for instance--but man, it's quick and steady. Ran $800 with Macoffice, which it didn't come with. First new one I bought in five years--first new one I ever bought actually. And I wouldn't have had to buy it but my computer guy moved to Colorado and I couldn't find anybody in town to fix my old Mac G3, which I think is great but other people say is old fashioned.
It's just like the Nishiki 12-speed bike you gave me: You remember when that was a pretty top of the line bike: Steel frame, long body, racing/touring, very comfortable. I think it cost about $750 new 25 years ago. Well, I recently had it overhauled for about $300, including new tires, and it's a freaking dream. So I looked it up on Ebay. And people are selling them for $10-$50--when they have them! Unvbelieveable. But it turns out new bikes weigh half as much. And it turns out my old G3 MAC, the newest of the new, the state of the art, is now as much a lead sled as the darned Nishiki!!!!!!!!
And yes, kids are nuts. And I've got one son, Marco, who needs to be beaten but I'm not allowed to do that. Plus, he's 23, so what the heck. But he's been out of work for a year and there are signs up all over the place asking for people to work. And he swears he's applied but he's lyin!!!!!!!! He just sits in his shed behind Chepa's trailer and broods and plays video games all day. No drugs, nothing bad, just crazy.
And I agree about the tats. I am so sick of kids getitng these freaking tats that are just gonna look so bad when they gain 100 pounds in 20 years. And they look pretty bad already. I still don't have any, though I've got a lot of well earned scars from botfly infestation and sapo burns, and the flesh eating spider bite and the intestinal explosion and the hernia and all the rest. Now those are tattoos in my book. I remember the pain of each one of them. Not just: "Sat in a chair for an hour and had this guy write my boyfriend's name on my breasts. Then I had to have it covered over with another tattoo when we broke up!" That's not a tattoo in my book, that's just a bad hair day.
And you're ready to retire? I just turned 60!!!!!! I'm freaking out and freaking old and my beard is mostly white and my hair is gray and I hate it. And I have not had health insurance since I moved to Peru in 1998! Everything is cash on demand. Fortunately, I've been able to do most of it in Peru but still, I've spent more than $10 grand on the stomach ops and $3 grand on teeth--and they are not finished--in the last 4 years. Add another couple of grand in other stuff and that's been my whole profit from my Peru trips for a few years.
On the other hand: We be living, Lar. You're still probably the most handsome man on the planet, and you're strong, still doing triathalons, and you're gonna live 25 more years and make love a thousand or two thousand more times and you got a wife who loves you and beautiful kids and a tiny house that sounds like a nice tiny dream and your social security will come in and you'll get $1200 a month and work part time and sell paintings....and I'm selling my book a little at a time and making maybe $600 a month after expenses, and I get to travel to Peru and lead groups and my kids are gone but not far away and me and Madeleina still have the best of times and I have a grandkid and have something to do with raising Chepa's new all yer bitching is really just a way of saying "I'M FUCKING ALIVE!!!!!" I think. And the problem is that you see others who are not so alive. Well, I agree that sucks. These kids should have taken what we learned and gone further, not sat back and watched the politicos and corporations take it all away.
But they did. At least for now. And you and me, we can be in the fight--and I'm in the damned fight daily, though not in Wisconsin, particularly--but I'm in the fight about dengue in Iquitos right now, and in the fight about radioactive gas pipes and in the fight for the drug war and in the fight over corrupt politicians in Texas and as many other fights as I can be in--and you living right puts you in the fight as well. So we're doing our part. We're setting examples.
Aren't you sorry you got me revved up here?
I'm thinking I'm gonna buy a box of suspenders and some clothes pins and start handing them out to kids whose butts are hanging out....just an idea.
Anyway, I love you and I'm sorry we're all getting older. I still think and feel like 34 and so I'm gonna keep acting like it. Cool, suave, tough (okay, semi-tough) and excellent.


The Grudge said...

I understand your friend's sentiment. I am young and don't feel like I have contributed to this world very much. I have never been so passionate about a topic as to join so demonstration. The corporations have more power then ever and the Wisconsin law that just was forced through, if kept on the books, will have rippling changes all through out the country. I am not too confident those changes are going to be good. I think for me it is easier to focus on my little universe of me and those around me than to take on the Man.

Gritter said...

See? We agree yet again. One of the more popular "Gritterisms" is:

"Pain is good. Pain is your friend. Pain let's you know that you are alive!"