Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Nose Retrain

Late in summer a cyclist expects smells of asphalt, compost and creosote, maybe mixed with sour must of laundry and sewer drainage, possibly acid tang of old mills and toxic remains. Yet, a week after a gale, instead got an Autumn note of cut wood and dried leaves, reminiscent of tea you brew. Never much cultivated sense of smell, though dogs delight in exploratory, olfactory outings that exercise their glomerulus bulbs, mitral cells, and receptor neurons.

With fruits and vegetables finally ripening, farmer markets pop up around cities. You arrive by bike, drop by valet, follow your nose, and taste samples from stall to tent to umbrella, where an emperor of ice cream on a trike hawks treats as a finale of seem then packs up and pedals home. You assume freshness but question comparative quality, high prices, and lack of refrigeration or sanitation. Patrons buy to support local agriculture lest open expanses become housing developments. But prices reduce by half if you visit actual farms with their inherent odors and intimidating remoteness.

Mingling in crowds presents an opportunity to assess area residents. Big talk of collaborating universally will be choked irreversibly when you witness in person who you have to work with. Because banks made debtors of everyone, most are too worried about paying mortgages or rents to ponder anything else. When you can’t earn and don’t contribute to Social Security anymore, insurance houses, nursing homes, tax collectors, and utilities providers revel in draining your savings. Threats of becoming homeless forever loom, worse when your too old to shove what’s left into a van and simply take off.

An exodus undermines power, which is why conservative tyrants consider as a political ploy keeping dissidents moving. You don't have to submit, but should feel entitled to retaliate by running for office yourself or supporting candidates that promise more. Too bad you’re forced to hold your nose when you choose. But voting isn't the end of involvement, since you must monitor performance and recall elected officials if they don't serve your interests, though it's hard to do. The age of career politicians will be over when citizens demand more from elected officials.

Heard a celebrity host and local “philanthropist” discussing the good deeds done by dead business leaders and them. Who can bend their arms so far as to pat themselves on their own backs? When community treated them so well as to amass assets, it became their obligation to return some. Seems the bar gets set at crass greed, and however little you selflessly do merits applause. Charity does more for giver than receiver. Politicians, for example, squeeze constituents so thoroughly they create the need for welfare, then take credit for their presumed largess distributing among the needy while voting themselves enormous pay raises and tax cuts. Another way to dominate the poor is put them on the dole, paid for by middle class and small businesses, and reward privilege so rest believe they too can similarly rise.

More communicate now than ever in history. Both demand and supply are growing for written content. What's not growing is paid expectation. Writers, like most people, are slipping from poverty into slavery. When only 400 families own 95% of all wealth, your chances of selling human smudges on immaculate pages has declined to a modern nadir. Not enough readers can afford small cost of another volume after paying monthly fees for cell phone and internet access, where famous books and media comments can already be perused without additional cost. Ever smaller living quarters in crowded tenements means no room for home libraries, which is why book sellers have been closing or consolidating and ebooks taking over. Newspapers, too, have declined with preference for radio and television reports, often paid for by cable fees. People do go to movies, but try to sell an original story upon which all films are based. Delivery paradigm has irrevocably shifted, but that doesn’t stink so much if you think about it.

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