Friday, January 1st, 2016 -( -1˚C / +30˚F — Mostly Cloudy, mostly grey – and ‘quiet’ @ 1:45 pm here in Atlantic Canada )-
— I can’t remember the day or date. I was sitting in the waiting room of the Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep & Ram dealership in our Canadian town, just beyond the Capital Region’s official border. Our town was mostly suburban in character with a few ‘high rises’, none of which reached 10 stories high, several of them subsidized for the aged and partially handicapped, and most of them just off the main roads through town. There were a lot of farms just outside the town’s limits.
— The weathered man came into the waiting room while I was trying to adjust my posture to lean back against the wall just right to relieve the strain on my arthritis pained back and neck. I guessed he was a farmer – dressed in working clothes and boots, weathered face and gnarled hands – he carried himself with the toughness of somebody who had worked hard all his life and the tenderness of a man who loved to watch crops and animals grow. I thought the worry in his expression was due to the idea that he thought he should be tending crops or livestock instead of sitting around, waiting for his car or truck to undergo scheduled maintainance of have something replaced that had worn out.
— He smiled at me like he was someone who was relieved to have company- “That your Jeep I saw out there?”
— I nodded, “We got a good deal, leased it – I guess they were having trouble making their sales quota that summer because they included a lot of free maintainance with almost everything covered-”
— He smiled to himself and nodded, “I kept my old Jeep together with so many parts from cheap parts cars that the inspectors didn’t know what to call it- I bought in new one year, replaced fenders, headlights and just about everything else with parts from jeeps as much as ten years different- They always went with the original year when I showed them the ownership papers from way back.” He smiled like somebody who was fondly remembering a favorite hunting dog or companion he sorely missed.
— I winced and tried to move my back just right to relieve the pain that was beginning to sting between two of my arthritic spinal vertebrae
— He looked through me, nodded like he recognized the symptoms of living with the usual processes of aging and not exactly living a sedentary life. He looked away and wrinkled his forehead and looked back at me. He looked like he wanted to say something and hoped I was the kind of person who might appreciate what he had to say.
— I have no idea how people with similar philosophies recognize each other, or how people with controversial views take the chance that someone they’ve never seen before might share those views, but he made the leap, nodded, “Yup- I worked as a head mechanic for a GM dealership for many years – and one year my shop won a prize for best customer satisfaction in our district, so they sent me to Detroit, all expenses paid, to this high powered convention where a lot of mechanics were there and one of their big vice presidents came out and stood in front of several concept vehicles and new models that were about to go on display at a kind of yearly tour of shiny new advances in the automotive industry – This Vice President fellow sure did know how to talk, to tell us about how lucky we were to work for General Motors and how their big corporate plans had all been made with people like us in mind – and when he finished, he invited us all to come up and get a look under the hoods of all these shiny new cars and see what we would probably be working on in the near future.
— “Well, I got up there and I was looking into the engine of this brand spankin new family vehicle when I noticed something, and realized that this one part that was critical to engine performance and safety was made out of plastic – The Vice President was right there beside me and he smiled and asked me, ‘What do you think?’ I pointed to that part and said, “These have always been made of metal, this here is plastic, it’s gonna wear out too soon -” and the man looked angry – he sneered at me and said, ‘Do you like your job? Do you want to keep working for us? I’m paying somebody two million dollars a year to come up with ideas like that so you have a job!’-” The man I’d thought was a farmer looked deeply troubled, like he’d borne that weight on his conscience for way too long and still did not know how he felt about working for a corporation whose ethics and business practices were nothing like ‘honest’ or ‘above reproach’.
— I nodded, having worked for companies that rewarded unethical supervisors with yearly bonuses and pats on the back, myself. I walked away from that. But I never had a family depending on me and he was wearing a worn wedding ring on his gnarled left hand.
— Even now, several years later, I wish I could have thought of something, said something to him that could ease his conscience, convince him that he did not share in the responsibility for needlessly manipulating millions of car buyers into constant debt for way too long so corporate big wigs could suck on contraband cigars and laugh all the way to their banks – He was just as much a victim as anyone who bought one of those over hyped over priced, sabotaged vehicles – whose planned obsolescence might not just cost anybody who bought one more money than they needed to spend, but could also put their lives and health in jeopardy.
— I still feel his pain.
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— The blogger checks himself in the mirror before he gives his web recording video camera its last check and then positions himself against the green background where his intricately well-timed images will change behind his ‘talking head’ face while he reads his carefully planned and timed words. The first image projected is that of machine gun carrying, armored and face masked US soldiers standing around in Times Square with their fingers very near their triggers, ready – as New Years Eve crowds allow themselves to be patted down before they step into highly controllable groups confined to highly controllable areas : The blogger pushes his record button counts to himself, and,
“- About Last Night –
— “Do Not take my word for anything, but : –
— “Last night on Coast to Coast a.m. – George “Hollywood” Noory – continued a tradition by having ‘everyday’ people call in from all around the world and give their predictions for what they expect to happen in this coming new year.
— “I was in and out of sleep but what I heard leads me to believe that a lot of people believe that between now and the spring, the evil, militaristic, manipulating muther fupping Fascists will make their move to try to convince everybody on this planet that they need to surrender all freedom and submit to the ‘security’ agenda of the ‘anti-terrorist’ [ read that ‘Anti-Christ’ ] elitists who have been working behind the scenes since at least the end of World War II – when ‘good amerikan’ megala-maniacal control freaks imported Nazi war criminals to help them target, train, and then activate ‘Manchurian Candidate’ type victims to hypnotically act out their orders and commit mass murder and other terrorist crimes against innocent people inside the USA as well as inside most other countries in this world.
— “The nasties have already convinced a lot of mass hypnosis victims that Unions are the evil tools of the enemy of civilization – and everything else worth living for in the ‘free’ world – which is anything but free these days. -”
— He pushes the ‘stop recording’ button, takes a breath and wonders if he is doing the right thing or voluntarily sticking his head inside a noose.
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There was a farmer who grew excellent quality corn. Every year he won the award for the best grown corn. One year a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learned something interesting about how he grew it. The reporter discovered that the farmer shared his seed corn with his neighbors. “How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbors when they are entering corn in competition with yours each year?” the reporter asked.
“Why sir,” said the farmer, “Didn’t you know? The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbors grow inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbors grow good corn.”
So is with our lives… Those who want to live meaningfully and well must help enrich the lives of others, for the value of a life is measured by the lives it touches. And those who choose to be happy must help others find happiness, for the welfare of each is bound up with the welfare of all…
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— Happy New Year –,