Sunday, January 20, 2013

Midnight Ramblings....

According to urban legend, even God rested on Sunday.  Wow, talk about a brass ball that even Lance Armstrong would be proud of.  Comparing oneself to a historically popular fictional character.  Anyway, if the Padre of Jesus can take a mental health day on Sunday, then one of his lesser mortals certainly can as well.  No swimming in the deep end of the pool today kids.  Here is to splashing around in the shallow end for a few minutes.  

Today marks the final day of President Obama's first term in office.  On Friday I saw on-line a piece that had  two photographs of the President - one taken shortly after he was sworn in January 2009 and the other taken earlier this month.  In less than four years, he appears to have aged four times that much.   Why anyone would want his job continues to baffle and amaze me.  On the other hand I suppose one has to wonder if the photos were genuine or had been conjured up somehow.  I was tempted to call Manti Te'o to ask him for some assistance in resolving that question but that poor bastard is up to his eye teeth in things to do these days.  Perhaps some other time.  

Margaret became an American Idol fan a couple of seasons back.  As a consequence of our newly-discovered viewership we spent Wednesday night and Thursday night watching this season's first two episodes.  Full disclosure compels me to admit that I have an extremely limited understanding of who Nicki Minaj is and have never (at least to my knowledge) ever heard a single song she sings and that among the celebrities whose continued existence I loathe as much as if not more than any other is Mariah Carey.  The two of them combine to produce an entirely unwatchable show.  I may pick up a mid-week, evening shift at the local Quick Chek so that Margaret can continue to watch the program without having to endure my mock retching and exaggerated sighing.  Thursday night I found myself rooting for Keith Urban to grab one by the ankles and use her to beat the other to death.  

I owe my appreciation of James McMurtry's music to my oldest brother Bill.  I had heard neither his name nor a note of his music until Bill introduced me to the latter about five years ago.  It is not an exaggeration AT  ALL to call McMurtry an American treasure.  If you have never heard any of his music, start listening to it NOW.  McMurtry is a Texan.  He is a gun owner.  And he is the author of what might well be the single most cogent, articulate and thoughtful piece on gun control, the 2nd Amendment and assault weapons that I have read in the aftermath of the seemingly perpetual specter of mass violence to which 2012 subjected us.  It is as worth your while to read the piece in its entirety as it is to listen to his music and by clicking this link you can read it from first word to last.  While it was chock full of good stuff, there were two parts of it that jumped off of the page at me because their common sense content was that great.


If we are going to call ourselves a society, we will have to behave as a society.  We will have to pass laws and make deals, and none of us are likely to be satisfied at the end of the day.  This is a symptom of a condition known as Democracy. 


The thread that runs through Tim McVeigh, Adam Lanza and Charles Whitman is not just mental instability, but rage, pure unfathomable rage. And we are an angry people these days. I don’t know why. I suspect that our world is changing faster than we are capable of changing. Some of us feel left out; some of us feel outnumbered; so we’re fearful and angry. Our societal anger needs to be acknowledged and addressed, perhaps diagnosed and treated, as do our individual angers. Our whole approach to mental health needs to be re-thought, and not re-thought in accordance with Wayne La Pierre’s moronic mental health data base insanity. We take our kids to the doctor for physical checkups on a regular basis, but rarely do any of us see a psychiatrist before contemplating suicide. We’re still scared of the stigma, the red brand of craziness, for which our relatives once would have simply locked us away and pretended we had never existed rather than attempt to grapple with the psychological complexities of the human mind and the chemical complexities of the human brain. 

We need to look at mental health as simply a part of health, toss away the stigmas and treat it, monitor it, and fund the treatment, a tall order indeed.

Wise words from a wise man.

Today being Sunday it is "long run" day for me in my preparation for the Central Park Marathon on February 24.  I am going to put eighteen miles on the soles of my shoes traversing the highways and byways of the greater 'NTSG Metroplex.  With a tip of the cap yet again to my brother Bill for pointing me in the right direction, I have added a new song to my "Central Park Marathon Training" playlist on my iPod.  I added it not because it is the type of tune to move me to run more quickly.  Rather, I added it because it is a tune that moves me.  And unless your heart served as the Seussian model for the Grinch's, I reckon it shall move you too....

....see you tomorrow.


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