At a crossroads in history, the Internet changes everything

Have you ever wondered why it’s so easy to look back in time and see the major turning points in history? I suppose the reason lies with the complexities of day-to-day life that so many crucial things go by us without notice. Does it have to be that way? No. Let me throw a few points out for pondering to get the ball rolling:

The Industrial Age pressured our society into becoming individualistic. This was necessary to keep members of the available workforce separated as much as possible so that workers couldn’t organize and the fear of losing a job to an immigrant could be reinforced. Yes, the system thrives on a racist, discriminating society.

Church on Sunday was about the only chance that laborers could get together socially, with the church responsible for moral and ethical leadership that, often, echoed the wants of the local industry more so than Biblical teachings.

Individualism was reinforced more and more as the consumer market had to be “stimulated” in order for capitalism to continue to grow. At first, it was a matter of breaking up the cohabitation of extended families. As each family unit – father, mother, children – set up house, the more need there was for houses, appliances, furniture, etc. The demands of the job and now the distance between extended family members made it difficult to maintain social ties and family influence disintegrated.


Up is up, no matter what


Just a bit of rain fell, just enough to leave behind a few puddles in the parking lot. Walking around with my head down, deep in thought, consumed by worry and not far from falling into a deep depression, I saw the puddle under my feet. There, reflected in its wondrous glory was “up” – the fluffy clouds in a deep blue sky with infinity the ultimate presence. There, right there at my feet, was “up” just as persistent in getting my attention as my “down” state of mind was working to blind me to it. Up is down, and down is up.

Sometimes, there’s just no point in giving in. Sometimes, everything yells that giving in just isn’t a choice. No, there’s no way to give in..

…or give up.


The art of diplomacy in the face of indignant disregard

Self Portrait by Ruth Kristoff


It took me years to understand the concept, and even longer to build it into my …presentation. Truth is truth, right?

Sometimes, practicing the diplomatic delivery of truth ends with a very bloody tongue. I had thought my tongue would heal from Monday’s practice session, but it ended with yet another round today:

“I am well educated and worked at the corporate level. I demand what I have coming to me.”

Oh, bite my tongue, and bite it hard. What I wanted to say in reply was “So, you’re better than everyone else?”

What I did say was, “This is based on law. The applicable laws were stated in your determination. The law is the law. Where there is any room for interpretation to apply those laws to your situation is outlined in the Reasoning and Conclusion section.”


Embarrassed to be a member of the human race


On the rare occasions that my father had the time, he would sit and watch our first color TV and laugh with the same fervor that we imagined Santa Claus laughed. He would watch Roadrunner with glee, and the Honeymooners and Archie Bunker. I couldn’t understand the comedy of cartoons, couldn’t relate drawings to what my eyes saw around me. I couldn’t understand the jokes on the Honeymooners or Archie Bunker; couldn’t understand why the people on TV behaved like they were reading out loud from a book and pretending so badly to be whatever it was they were pretending about.

From the get-go, my mind translated what I saw on TV to be nothing like reality. I didn’t have to be taught that what was on TV wasn’t real. It was way too obvious. What was shown on the news became the same; it was pretend, fake, put-on, farcical and made up. I could understand Captain Kangaroo, but not the shooting of President Kennedy that they interrupted Captain Kangaroo to show. I didn’t understand why Mr.Green Jeans didn’t step onto the screen to explain what I just saw. Instead, there was Walter Cronkite in tears, saying the president had been shot. Not long after, it was Martin Luther King that was shot, and then Malcolm X. Still, it wasn’t reality.

No. It was on TV, so it wasn’t real. No one ever said otherwise.