Retirement Talk

WHAT to do with the rest of your life?



                 Some Shockers and My Responses

The following are widely publicized statements, I’ve read in newspapers, magazines and mostly text books, and my reaction to these statements.

I’ll start, not with the biggest shocker, but one that scares me. 75% of kids cheat in school. Sure hope a cheater doesn’t do brain surgery on me.

( Kids tease and trick their teachers today.  How do they pull it off? When we were young, any nonsense, and it was to the principal’s office (almost always a male) where we were advised, we’d get a beating. 

Half the kids nowadays hate to read.  I feel so sorry for them.  They are missing so much, as a life of illiteracy (non-reading) will be Hell.  Over half my knowledge about the world and any enlightenment I may have about people comes from books.   

On the other hand the elderly in ancient Greece lamented that reading and writing would be destructive.  People would get their information from books rather than their own experiences and that would be bad.  Even Socrates was against this new-fangled reading and writing stuff.

And today, while we, the elderly, are low-grade morons about the informational system, and may privately lament these changes from industrialism, we’re publicly quiet about our misgivings and are not making the mistakes of the early Greeks by repeating them aloud. 

Socrates said that the written word would diminish the importance of speech and give the “appearance of wisdom” but would not be real wisdom.  So according to Socrates those non-readers are on the right track.  Then again, maybe feeding Socrates poison wasn’t such a bad idea after all.
Few failures in schools today.  One school had 30 Valedictorians.  Hey, that’s the school I would have liked to attend. 

Now we have a win-win thing in schools, but in order to have winners, don’t we have to have losers?  If everyone’s a winner, why not save the gold stars?

Sixty years ago Americans were the first amongst industrialized countries in math and science.  Now we’re 27th.  Today’s kids have a higher IQ then we did, so why are we now the 27th amongst industrialized nations in math and science.  Something smells. Are they making IQ tests easier now? 
Autism and ADHD has gone from almost zero when we were young to almost one in a hundred today.   Could it be the retards and spoiled brats of our day just have a new, kinder scientific title?   India still refers to their autistic kids as retarded. 

Teen- aged suicides has tripled over what it was 60 years ago.  Have we reneged on teaching our kids the rough and tumble of life, and how to roll with the punches?  From what I’ve been reading, probably not.  Just saw on the news about a mother who was found guilty of child abuse because she gave her kid hot sauce.  

Maybe this “spare the rod and spoil the child,” of my youth, wasn’t so bad after all.  It sure taught us that life wasn’t a bed of roses and made us tough and prepared for the punishments of life.  I can see how any glitch on the way to the perfect life at the top could be such a monstrous disappointment, for someone who doesn’t know how to handle pain, that only suicide can alleviate it. 

Maybe this generation needs a little more fear, pain, rejection and failure. Studies show that stress early in life leads to later emotional strength.   So all of you up and about, and able to read this off the internet it’s because you had a stressful childhood. 

Jeans became a status symbol in Russia. When the communist government prevented their sale, they sold on the black market for $400.  It was said jeans had something to do with the downfall of communism.  It’s good to know communist were dumb, although not as dumb as we are, as we’ll pay in the four figures for name-- brand jean.  Jean are some kind of status symbol?

Parents overfeed their kids. Is it to please the kid, shut them up, or because they overfeed themselves?  Or merely because they have a lot of fattening food in the frig? 

We  bore the young.  Remember how bored we were, with the elderly when we were young.  It’s our turn now.

So now I’ve covered kids, here’s some random shockers, you’re probably already aware of and have read about yourself, that is, unless you fall into that miniscule class of elderly that don’t read.  

Rich people get the docs who came out of medical school with “A” grades, while the rest of us get the docs that came out with “C” grades.  So don’t expect much more than a “C” performances from your doc. 

Did you know Islam women are confined and veiled to protect them against their own insatiable sexual lust that consumes them from puberty? No comment.

Reality is said to have a liberal bias  The ideology of conservatives is the desire too maintain the status quo.  And they do it for a while, but it never lasts.  Because like it or not, change (a liberal’s ideology) comes, as face it, reality brings changes.   Hence, reality is inclined to a liberal bias. 

Now that I’m old, I hate change.  Why can’t everything remain the same?  Like why do we have to have seat-belts?  

Play ball. Football came about in 1018 when Danes invaded England and later when workers were excavating a building, they found a Danish Soldier’s head and started kicking it around.  Hence, the birth of football.   Like I needed to know that—found that one in a college textbook on history. 

They tell us today that it’s all in our genes.  It used to be intelligence, criminal behavior, tuberculosis, etc.,  was in our genes, but these assets and problems have gone the way of other scientific blow-outs,  to be replaced by a new set of behaviors--  Now it’s aggression, mental illness, weight, dementia, homosexuality, etc., wherein my genes made me do it.

At one time masturbation caused insanity, diabetes came from having a sweet tooth (my mother always referred to it as “sugar diabetes”), fat was a glandular problem, homosexuality was a disease, and all cars were black.  One of the biggest shocks of my life was seeing cars painted a different color. 

I’ve read studies about depression and unhappiness and the U.S., amongst industrialized countries, ranks #2 in unhappiness.  Japan is the most unhappy.  

Polls show religious people, who go to church regularly, are happier than secular people.  If that’s the case, why are countries, such as Sweden and Denmark, who are 90% secular in their philosophies, polled as happier than religious countries like the U.S.?

This U.S. unhappiness is good for the rich and powerful, though, as nobody can get the unhappy poor to band together enough to rebel.

On the other hand the rich have another kind of threat.  A highly informed society has always been a foreboding to the rich and powerful, so here’s the problem. For the U.S. to maintain its wealth and power it needs a highly informed work force.  Wonder what will win out?  

Read in a deviant psychology textbook that the elderly have low self-esteem, guilt, emptiness and pessimism.  Yeah, we do,  sporadically feel all these emotions, but we also are going through the happiest period of our lives.

The following are a list of more shockers and my reflections and flabbergasted response to them.
Why is it that African Americans don’t want to learn how to read or write?  They call it Whitey’s thing.  It also comes from a tradition where a slave who learned how to read or write got a beating or a prison term.  My question is—if I had been forbidden something by a hated master, that particular thing would be the first thing I’d want to do, once I was free.  So where’s the lessons in black history? 

Why don’t they have handsome male actors in Hollywood anymore?  All the old stars Robert Taylor, Tyrone Power, Cary Grant, Rock Hudson, Gary Cooper, etc. were incredibly handsome.  Today the top male stars are both short and below average in the looks department:  Al Pacino, Robert de Niro, Nicholas Cage, Bruce Willis, Ben Stiller, etc, would certainly not receive any beauty contests awards, but the female stars are still gorgeous.  That’s saying something about our society—but what is it?

WWI was started by King George II of England, Kaiser William of Germany and Czar Nicholas of Russia.  They were cousins, grandchildren of Queen Victoria.  Kaiser William said about WWI, “Granny would never have let this happen.” So three cousins got in a squabble and millions died.

But we, ordinary citizens, have an aversion to believing millions died for such frivolous reasons, and have to have historians convince us, it was the economy and the armament race that started  WWI?  As today, we hate to think of all those people killed, so the younger Bush could show up Daddy Bush.  So we have to sell ourselves on idea, the Iraq war was over oil, although only 10% of our oil comes from the Middle East. (The Economist.)

Justice, hah! In the news. A woman kills her husband and gets two months.  A guy sodomized two young boys and got 28 life sentences.  I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather have someone put a penis in my anus than put a bullet in my head. 

At one time little kids didn’t lie and a lot of guys ended up in prison for child molesting, so the kids, heady with success, got carried away, and began accusing their care-takers of animal sacrifice, Satan worship, torture, child sacrifice and therein blew their success all to pieces. 

At one time we had multiple personalities, college text books devoted whole chapters to this disassociated memory thing.  It was the other guy in my head that shot this person.  Not me.  They got their hour in the court, but now it’s been proven to be an act

Wonder when the medical profession will wise up to patients, especially psychiatric patients, that are out-smarting the shrinks and doctors all over the place.  But two things come from a good act.  The patient gets disability from the government and the psychiatrists get insurance payment because they claim the mental patient has a disease. 

Why is it that rich men, who had to have had a few smarts to get  rich, think a beautiful, much younger woman, loves them for himself? 

But one nice thing about sex today is that during the thirties, it was White Slavers that put the fear of sexual predation into mothers, so girls were watched like a hawk, while boys were free to roam, but now we have boy molestation too, so it’s an equal opportunity program

Finally. But we cantake comfort in that old age brings out our creativity--  more than half of the paintings in the Louvre were done by people older than seventy, philosophers wrote their most influential books after age seventy, ditto for music and old age.

So my elderly friends, don’t give up—keep at it.  And you’ll make an imprint on the world yet.








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