2022

Weddings & Rituals

When my grandson told me that he was invited to the wedding of his friend I almost teared up! When had he become adult enough to have friends who were getting married? He is my first grandchild, and I still remember the night my daughter and her husband called me to say that they were picking me up to go with them to the hospital as it was time – and, yes, I’ve told this story before – I also remember how I jumped out of bed, went to my closet and was rummaging through my clothes to find something nice to wear as if the newborn would even be noticing what I had on! I guess that my excitement at the prospect dumbed me! Wasn’t I the one who had been stating unequivocally for the past nine months that I wasn’t going to be the kind of Grandmother who oohed and aahed over her grandchildren as if I was the first one ever to have them? That not every utterance from them was going to send me swooning? I was going to be Different! Well! Well! The minute I saw him I went flat on my back and had to eat all that Different bragging! The fact of the matter is that I was no Different than Billions of Grandmothers across our Planet.

So here he is now, that First Grandchild, a Millennial, informing me that he is invited to his first wedding! How did those years fly by so quickly? In talking to many friends they echo the same feeling of how the years flew by – as if suddenly? – and found us now living out our Old Age. My, oh my! Fleeting as they may seem, though, our lives have seen many Births and Firsts, Marriages and Rituals each occasion being a Marker in its own way, each one leaving its Imprint on our lives. The fact of the matter is that they weren’t that fleeting, that occasionally they dragged on, that sometimes they felt endless, however, now in our doddering years, with time erasing some of those memories and forgetting the trials and tribulations of it all, we dwell on ruing those missed special periods of time – days? weeks? months? years? – when we should have been Living The Moment, not just looking at What Comes After It. Now, though, for those of us who have Grandchildren (or, Nieces, Nephews, or Godchilds etc.) and none of the child-rearing responsibilities, we are at that precious juncture where we could (should?) be Living The Moment. I make an effort to do that, though there is no denying that I regret not having done that throughout my life!

Anyway, musings aside, some of the Millennials, specifically those living in thriving prosperous communities (others having different issues), seem to be forging their own path in this world, with their own rules, norms, standards and aspirations. From those I have had the pleasure of watching from their toddler years to their Millennial stage – the oldest now being about 42, the youngest about 27 years of age – as well as from articles and books that I have read about them, I feel that they are less Idealistic and more Realistic than previous generations – mine, certainly, when we thought that we were going to change the world, and how though in some ways we did, in others we goofed big time. Anyway, back to the wedding whence the invitations were sent out by Text to the few close relatives and friends who were invited. Text! I loved the idea! The wedding itself took place at the grooms’ parental home with a dinner following the Ceremony at which the grooms’ father officiated! How charming! How original!

Moreover, and again from current trends, as well as the booming apartment buildings sprouting out everywhere there is an inch of land to build on, some Millennials do not want to be tied down to a mortgage, while others have chosen the more traditional route of their parents. On the whole, they seem to prefer the Freedom of packing up the U-Haul and moving whenever and wherever they fancy. They prefer Flexibility: in their dwellings, workplaces and all else. Perhaps they understand Freedom much better than any of us do? They also seem to be applying that same Flexibility to their relationships: not bothering with Boxing people into what they seem to believe are divisive categories: black, brown, white, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Immigrant, Native, Gay, Trans, tall, short or Whatever! They don’t seem to care about all that. Good for them! They also don’t seem to care about Politicizing Every Issue. They simply want their politicians to do what’s Right for People, for the Environment and for Humanity as a whole. Do we then wonder why so many of them are Bernie Sanders fans? I’m not a Millennial, but I am so much in agreement with them! Moreover, they hardly ever watch the vacuous stuffed shirts on television, huffing and puffing their irrelevant propaganda and brainwashing with no real news and a plethora of needless opinions. They prefer quickly scanning the headlines on their phones, or on one of the many Apps on their devices. And, when it comes time to vote – which they do – they research the candidates, make their choice and head to the polling station. No Fuss! No Muss!

Another observation is that during the years when my children were youngsters and if two kids were slugging it out in the schoolyard we didn’t know about this unless they came home bruised and bloodied in which case we patched them up, maybe scolded them a bit and then sent them on their merry way! We weren’t that much into our children’s business hovering over every nuance, mood and event in their lives. We were more about “benign neglect,” weren’t we? Nowadays, all the Alarms would go off, the School Principle will call, Counselors and Therapists would get lined up!  A whole big todo will ensue! That’s another reason why many Millennials seem to be unable to “self-sooth” as they call it these days; to handle any kind of trouble in their lives on their own. They seem to need constant emotional reinforcement and expect society (parents, boss, coworkers, partners etc.) to provide that – especially since they were brought up by wired, tired, over-achieving helicopter parents – and in most cases, that does occur, after which they probably do develop their own mechanisms for dealing with adversity. But it does seem to be taking so much longer than it used to, doesn’t it? Nevertheless, they are growing up in a changed technological world that affects their personal, social, and political landscape with challenges, anxieties and choices that could be quite overwhelming to navigate through. Phew!

Hopefully, the Marriages and Rituals that they are reinventing to suit their lifestyles and desires will help them to navigate their lives successfully and contribute to making their world a better place than the totally screwed up one we are leaving them with. Perhaps? Hopefully!

2022

Onwards Towards The Unknown!

Studies show that about 50 million Americans – and more than that worldwide – suffer from allergies, especially during the Spring Season. While most Trees are hermaphroditic, meaning that they have both Male and Female reproductive parts, the number of Male Trees in the US is much more than Female Trees. Why? Because nurseries found out that they can sell more Male plants since they are easier to grow than waiting for Nature to take its course and for Males and Females to pollinate each other. I call this another example of Tampering With Nature for the sake of more Profits! Moreover, because we have more carbon dioxide in our air than ever before in history – another Tampering With Nature example for the sake of Profits due to our usage of Fossil Fuels etc. etc. – Male Trees are now producing more Pollen than they ever did, hence causing more allergies in humans, while Female Trees produce no Pollen and, in fact, take the Pollen from the air and turn it into seeds, thus Fighting the Allergens. There you go! Is this another Simplistic Proof of how many Males, whether they are Trees or Humans are Destructive, while many Females are Constructive? Hmmm!

And, while we are talking Nature, recent scientific reports are ringing the alarms once again regarding Climate Change and its severe ramifications, especially since COP26 was Blah! Blah! Blah. Thank you, Greta Thunberg! I’m not holding my breath for this to change! Moreover, I don’t think that our Political and other Leaders in this World – who happen to be mostly Males – connect the dots, because . . .

. . . when the Subterranean World underneath our feet is experiencing Turbulence then Earthquakes happen, Hurricanes increase, Tornados and Stormy Weather become more threatening . . .

. . . and when the Oceans are experiencing Turbulence then Tsunamis occur . . .

. . . and when the Climate is experiencing Stress then Rising Sea Levels, Sinking Islands, Droughts, Uprooting and Migrations are set into motion . . .

. . . and when we add to all this a Pandemic and more to come, as some  scientists are predicting, topped with Inflation, followed by the predictions of a Recession, some Humans seem to be exhibiting their Worry and Stress with more and more Personal, Familial and Societal Relationship Dysfunctions and Behaviors, Mental Issues, Addictions to Drugs, Gun Shootings on the Streets and a whole lot of other Problems. All this while our US Political Parties are dead set on Annihilating each other rather than addressing these serious Quality-of-Life issues, and while the Corporate Media becomes more of a Tool for Government Propaganda and Avaricious Consumerism rather than advocate for Mr. and Mrs. Ordinary People. Very Sad!

Moreover, the war on Ukraine hasn’t helped matters at all, and the Ukrainian Humans should never have been sacrificed so brutally if Wisdom and Compromise had prevailed, just as the Syrian Humans should not have been sacrificed either! One Positive Observation, though, is the increasing Revulsion and Distaste of Most Ordinary People in this World for War and Violence except for all those Cold War Politicians, Military Generals, Weapons Manufacturers and War Hawks! Will that Repugnance, perhaps, impel us to seek more Peaceful Methods to Solve our Differences in future? I sincerely doubt it! And Ukraine is where, it seems, that the US and NATO are facing off with Vladimir Putin in order to obliterate Communism once and for all. And how cynical and tragic is it that some are saying: We will fight Putin to the last Ukrainian! Will they succeed? I have no idea! I don’t have any answers, but it is unbelievable what a whole lot of more hypocrisy, double standards and depraved behavior this war has unveiled with Everyone twisting their knickers over how Putin is using Cluster Bombs and White Phosphorus in Ukraine when both were used by the Israelis in Gaza and no-one was horrified? How Unjust, Inhumane and Bigoted is that? Moreover, that Rape has become a weapon of war in Ukraine? Excuse me? Has Rape not been a weapon of war throughout time? That US GIs did not Rape in Afghanistan, in Japan and elsewhere? That it is happening in Refugee Camps all over the World? Russian soldiers doing this are as Monstrous and Immoral as are too many to count on this Planet! But, they are Not The Only Monsters! The Male sex has always used this weapon whether in their Homes, or at War! Nevertheless, I feel that overall this is a very, very dangerous game that we are involved in here, and it cannot end well for anyone! This is why I dread what might be coming unless serious Negotiations and Compromise occur regarding Ukraine’s Calamity.

In Retrospect: when Bush and his Gang decided that after occupying Iraq they would continue on to Syria, Libya etc. and create that New World Order – which the Elder Bush had initially talked about – Bashar Al-Assad decided that he did not want to give in to that conspiracy and be humiliated and murdered in the streets like Gaddafi and Hussein. He, therefore, turned to Putin for military help and we all saw how Homs, Aleppo and a whole lot of smaller towns and villages were demolished, and millions of people were killed and uprooted. At the time, the US Administration knew that Putin was deeply and directly involved, though many of us weren’t as aware of how deep was that involvement. Had Obama aborted Bush’s New World Order mantra and taken another more peaceful direction would we have been here? And had Obama really acted on that “line in the sand” and faced off with Putin after realizing the atrocities occurring in Syria, would Ukraine have happened? There are always dire consequences to Meddling and playing God whether it is the US, or Russia, or any other country doing that! I know that for me, and for so many others, it is easy to say all that in retrospect, but aren’t Political Leaders and all the machinations – covert and overt – of their Administrations supposed to be wiser, more knowledgeable, more aware than us Ordinary people? Isn’t that why we elect them? Doesn’t seem so! Quite far from it, actually!

This brings me back to those Destructive Male Trees and the more Destructive Male Politicians and Leaders – as well as the Women who emulate them – who have throughout time led Humanity to Wars and more Wars that Innocent Ordinary People end up paying for with their lives and livelihoods. And, in our current situation, the Biggest Price of all Wars, Climate Changes, Inflations, Recessions and Pandemics etc. etc. will be paid for by the Humans of the so-called Third World. ALL of them!

As all this Turbulence is enveloping us, many of my friends and people I know have totally tuned off and are going about their lives blithely and carefree realizing that they are mostly helpless to effect any fundamental change at this precarious moment. In a way, I don’t blame them! This leaves the Political Junkies – such as yours truly – to follow up on the News and Views and March Onwards Towards The Unknown that the Warmongering, Arrogant Male Species is tragically bulldozing us into! Scary, to say the least!