Tuesday, August 22, 2017

LIVING ON BORROWED TIME


Today a friend approached me, sadness in his eyes, as I was having my morning coffee and croissant at Cole’s Coffee. He sat down next to me, put his arm around my shoulder and patted me on the back as if to comfort me.  I was surprised for I needed no comfort.  Perhaps, I thought, I have misinterpreted his look.  Maybe his look was due to a suppressed belch, a swallow of bitter and cold coffee; or perhaps he needed comfort.   

Then he spoke.

“Well, Kerry, in a week you’ll be living on borrowed time.”

“What do you mean by that?” I asked, expecting a humorous punch line.  But no humor followed. He was deadly serious.

“Well,” he said, “in one week you will turn 80.  The average life expectancy of a Caucasian male is 79. You are about to exceed that.  You are borrowing time from guys who didn’t spend all their allotted years.”

I have no idea whether his statistics are correct, and rather than ask Google.com Ph.D., what is my life expectancy, I decided to explore the guts of his statement that I was living on “borrowed time.”  Am I somehow indebted to those males who did not fulfill their life expectancy?  The life insurance tables tell me that when I was born in 1937 my life expectancy was 58 years.  My goodness, I have already, according to the reasoning of my friend, borrowed 22 years!  Current tables tell me that at 80 I have a life expectancy of 8 years, but a baby boy born on my birthday this year will have a life expectancy of only 77 years. 

So from whom am I borrowing?

Of course all this is rather frivolous and unscientific.  One’s life expectancy changes each year as he or she ages.  Having outlived my original life expectancy, and temporarily being in the position of exceeding the life expectancy of this month’s baby boys, I have to accept my friend’s conclusion that I am somehow indebted to someone or something for my good fortune to have lived so long, to be able to commence my ninth decade, or as I prefer to say, early old age.

In pondering a bit about this, I thought of a few of the things to which I am indebted:
  •  To the accident of fate that I was born in the U.S.A. to a loving middle class mom and dad. 
  • To my father who in 1937 at the moment of my birth somehow knew how to administer mouth to mouth resuscitation. In those days women often received ether during the birthing process. My mother received so much ether that it knocked me out in utero. When I emerged the M.D. could not get me to breathe.  Looking into the delivery room and realizing something was terribly amiss, Dad burst through the doors, grabbed me from the doctor and puffed gentle breaths into my lungs until I breathed on my own. 
  •  To the physicians who started my heart after my scalp split open by the falling bed of a dump truck on which I was riding on the running board during a construction job. My heart stopped during emergency treatment and the physician was able to restart it with a shot of adrenaline.
  • To the accident of fate that after being drafted in 1961 I was not sent to Viet Nam along with many of my fellow basic training draftees who fought and died there. I was sent to  Monterey, posted to the very safe and cushy position of Military Representative to the Monterey Peninsula Visitors' Bureau.

I could go on and on enumerating my debts.  But in my remaining years (8.1 per the official tables) it is more important for me to make some repayment. To do so, I will contribute in whatever ways I can to the improvement of the lives and well-being of my fellow human beings-- family, friends and strangers, old and young, men and women, whatever their race, sex, sexual identity, religion, social status or ethnicity may be. 

The slate won't be wiped clean, but the erasure marks will demonstrate that I tried.     


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

WHO IS THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE

The press is enemy of the people??? Well, let's look at the facts:
1. The press does not advocate taking health care away from 20 million people.
2. The press does not advocate castration of the EPA
3. The press does not advocate sweeping up whole families of immigrants and deporting them with minimal legal protection.
4. The press does not hate Muslims
5. The press does not advocate shutting down immigration by refugees.
6. The press did not support appointment of Mnuchin, who profited in the 100's of millions by fraudulent foreclosures of mortgages held by struggling homeowners
That above just includes a small portion of the harmful acts taken by the administration against the people of the U.S.
WHO THEN, IS THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE? You got it, it's our so-called president, Donald Trump, EOTP.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

HOW DO I LIE TO THEE

HOW DO I LIE TO THEE
(By Donald Trump with Apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning)
How do I lie to thee? I’ll count the ways.
I lie to thee to the depth, breadth and height
My ego can reach, texting in the night
Stretching truth and seeking praise
I lie to the level of every day’s
Political needs, by twitter’s light.
I lie to thee freely, damning the media’s slight,
Lying endlessly, desperate for your praise.
I lie to thee with the passion put to use
In my lusty groping in my piggish ways.
I lie to thee with campaign skills I used
Even though the popular vote I did lose.
I lie to thee with cheating, smirks,
Corruption and I'll still tweet lies vehement
Even after my rigged impeachment.

Monday, January 23, 2017

MY NAME IS EVERYMAN


In these dark, divisive and foreboding times, we must turn to the light of love and strive for unity.  Therefore, in the spirit of love, unity and inclusiveness,
I declare:

That my name is Everyman;

That my name is Everywoman;

That I am black, brown, yellow, red, white and the hue of all fellow human beings;

That I am male and female, heterosexual and homosexual, bisexual and asexual, transsexual and transvestite, and all sexual identifications that are freely chosen or inherent, and not harmful to others;

That I will fight against demagoguery, hate, xenophobia, egoism, misogyny, sexism and all other isms, creeds, beliefs and practices that demean, denigrate or destroy the well-being of my fellow humans;

That I will denounce and oppose by my actions and words the acts and positions of politicians, legislatures, courts and law enforcement personnel that infringe upon the rights and dignity of my fellow humans;

That I will denounce and oppose by my actions and words the degradation and destruction of the environment by those who would exploit the earth for personal enrichment;

That I love my neighbors, however they worship, be they Christians, Buddhists, Jews, Muslims, Hindus or of other religious persuasions that practice peace and love;

That I make this pledge fully knowing that my actions may adversely affect my comfort, personal freedom and well-being, but also fully knowing that my failure to so act would demean me before my God, my family and friends, myself and the world.

I so pledge.
Kerry Gough