Another Sin: Silence
Closely related to Pollyannaism, in my mind, is Silence. Often, I think the two slide into each other. I can’t speak for you, but in my own case, I have typically been an optimistic soul. In most instances, I strongly applaud this attitude both for myself and in others. Why? Because generally I find viewing a half-full glass better than the reverse.
But in our current political climate, to remain silent if one is morally/ethically outraged by the silence of those in power who have always appeared to be reasonable regardless of ‘party’, is terrifying in its implications. And though ‘ordinary people’ like me and my friends and acquaintances lack that same power, for those of us who DO march and protest, etc., during Week #2 of the new status quo, not speaking out when and if others applaud what’s happening right now, strikes me as evil. I struggle with this ‘sin’ now, more and more. And I see how easily the desire to assume a Polly Anna-ish perspective can slide into safe silence. No, those of us with these tendencies must think carefully: Are we mimicking the ‘Good Germans’ of the Nazi regime? Or are we going to say, ‘Enough’, and speak our particular truth, now, before it’s too late. Playing Polly Anna or remaining silent risks running our country right into a repetition of 1930’s Germany.
My second updated Dante sin is Trumpession. What? Well might you ask. Trumpession is the black cloud so many of us felt from that awful moment around ten p.m. on Election night when the count indicated that No, Hillary was not the sure bet so many of us had assumed. I, personally, was so upset even before the final verdict, that I forced myself to take a pill and try to sleep immediately. From the next morning on, and for many days, I was emotionally paralyzed. Oh yes, I marched, I went about my essential chores, but was I alive? NO! I was a Stepford Robot in a bad, black, state of Trump-as-President- induced depression. At least half my friends have admitted to suffering the same symptoms. Well, let’s face it, fellow sufferers: We must not allow Trumpession to steal our lives away from us. Facts, press freedom, refugees—all these are in great jeopardy. We cannot allow our lives to fall prey; we cannot.
Please share your own story of this ‘horrible’ condition. Surely none of us wants to suffer this horrible [to use one of ‘He Whose Name Shall Not Be Uttered’s’ favorite words] Dantesques level of Hell!
Dante’s Sins Updated
We’ll start with that one. ‘What?’ you say.
You may recall once reading the treacly children’s story starring the little girl of that name. Regardless, you likely know that playing Pollyanna means thinking, saying, and most likely believing, “Oh, everything’s going to be all right. We have the strongest democracy in the world….Etc., etc., etc.” Do we, really? Still? We did.
But tell me, honestly: Can you reconcile such a utopian place as the ‘strongest democracy in the world’ with the country that, as of right now, suddenly is stopping airplanes landing or taking off, removing passengers with passports listing the ‘wrong’ countries of origin? And does such a ‘strong democracy’ work to abolish established governmental Ethics Committees? Or destroy, with a pen stroke, desperate people’s chances for health care? And so on and so on? I’ve never thought so.
Yet many people whom I, personally know profess horror at our current cultural/political state, while simultaneously hiding behind their Pollyannaism? They’ll march; they’ll phone and email Congressmen; they read widely; they keep up with news [yeah, the old-fashioned kind still called ‘news’]; and they’re highly educated. So why, then, do they choose to ‘look the other way’ and insist everything’s basically all right?
And, possibly even more worrying, why do so many people in power who seemingly don’t agree with the idea of recreating 1930’s Germany here on this side of the Atlantic, suffer from this same deadly sin?
Please: Email me some answers to this question. We have lots more, contemporary, ‘sins’ to discuss.
What does it mean to say that 'age rocks'? Does it mean images of old people sitting in afghan-covered rocking chairs? Or Seniors rocking precariously on their feet as they try to maintain their balance while out walking uneven pathways? Or brains that rock from topic to topic with seemingly no coherent connection? Well, perhaps this is what comes to your mind when you hear the phrase. But that's not what it means to me!
To me, the idea that 'age rocks' is a crucial ingredient of what I consider graceful aging. No, I'm not a Pollyanna, nor do I particularly care for that sort of fake joy. But I greatly admire grit and determination and the will to find the bright spot in just about anything, And so I have trained myself to see just how interesting, humorous, and, yes, at times exciting, the process of aging can be. I would greatly welcome your opinion on this often, divisive, issue.
Do you remember the ad for “Try It, You’ll Like It”? I forget what the ‘it’ was, but I’ve always championed that phrase. Often, simply trying does work. But sometimes it really bombs. Well, I fear I’m in the middle of just such a situation, and I’d love to hear from you as to what you think. You see, given that publicizing books has shifted considerably since I wrote my academic works, I’m discovering that nowadays, you have to be extremely knowledgeable about social media. Well, I’m not. At the suggestion of a fellow retired academic, I decided I should start podcasting. If you’ve ever looked into this you know two things: First, on the surface, it sounds very simple…that is till you start learning about it. Second, even if you buy the simplest recommended equipment it’s not cheap. Well, being me, I bought the equipment. THEN I began reading. Do I really have time to pursue my true love of writing and produce a weekly podcast? All I can say is, ‘hmm’….
Any helpful hints?
This phrase, ‘domestic dysfuntion’, sends shudders up and down my spine. Why? Because I lived it. And I was an only child. That gave me only two confidantes: my imaginary friend, Alicia, and our dachshund, Duke. In those days, no one talked about such things. This was especially true in the case of a family like mine: Riches to rags, Horatio Algers in reverse. And I grew up, slowly watching the reel unwind from highly educated upper class down to twins of the people on the street holding out their hands, “Spare change?”
Please join me in discussing this phenomenon, which I present in my recently published memoir, Rotting Floorboards and Debut Dreams: Tripping through Childhood before LSD.
August 09th, 2016
July 26th, 2016
Screw Youth… Age Rocks!
What in the world? I can see you scratching your head now, and wondering: What...? What kind of a person would diss 'youth?' Well, to answer this question, why not read my forthcoming memoir, Rotting Floorboards and Debut Dreams: Tripping through Childhood before LSD. That will give you some idea of the kind of person who might feel this way. But, in my enthusiasm for my topic, I'm 'tripping' way ahead of myself. Let me begin again:Hi everybody! I'm Kathy. Well, yes, formally I'm Kathryn Allen Rabuzzi, and yeah, even more formally you can add the three letters 'Ph.D.' if you like. But really, at heart, I'm Kathy. Always have been [except when my mother was angry and I became "KATHRYN!"]. Most likely I will always be Kathy, that's who I amBut names are just labels aren't they? You still don't yet have a clue who I really am, do you? Unless you happen to have read my bio. But let's be honest, bios are just another form of label. What, really, do you learn from that "me, me, me" kind of form?That's part of what led me to write this first memoir, the urge to express myself and explain where I come from. My bio may show some accomplishments, but 'Kathy' began as a child and grew in a strange environment.Ok, now it's time for me to close off for today. So before I say goodbye for the moment, let me just remind you: I'm sitting on pins and needles right now! My lifelong dream of creating fiction - well, a memoir's at least half fiction isn't it? who truly has a perfect memory? - is almost out on Kindle on Amazon. So please, for just 99 cents, I hope you'll be one of the first to download Rotting Floorboards and Debut Dreams: Tripping through Childhood before LSD. I can't wait to hear from you after you've learned more about me.7 LikesWelcome to: Screw Youth, Age Rocks!
Kathryn A Rabuzzi
Screw Youth… Age Rocks!