Friday, November 13, 2015

Golden Volplane

When was it that getting a bicycle no longer reigned as the greatest gift a kid could get? This year marks 50 years, a golden jubilee, since a wide-eyed Labann found a brand new bicycle beside the Christmas tree with a bow and sticker unbelievably attached with his name, a forest green Raleigh replete with fenders, guard over chain, and pump on frame. Nothing would ever be the same. Until then only rode borrowed bikes and hand-me-downs. Couldn't wait until Spring. Rode for awhile farther and wider than deemed feasible, then began taking it apart to improve speed and learn how to make it work better. Led to a lifelong career in engineering, so scolding by dad wasn't really warranted. Abused the heck out of it as anyone who’s gotten anything for free would. Treated it like another chemistry set or scientific toy, something upon which to experiment. Wasn't until the self earned Captain America Schwinn that carefully maintaining began to register. Common 3-speeds seldom got stolen, but you couldn’t leave 10-speeds unattended. Chain necklaces wore heavily on shoulders for what little they did to deter theft.

Streets back then were lined with trees that formed foliage tunnels. Leaf/leaves, loaf/loaves, sheaf/sheaves: funny how some words form irregular plurals, preserve mispronunciations, and retain vestiges from other languages. Come fall, maples down a line made for a golden tube, yellow above and below shaded in slanted rays, for arm-spread daredevils to dive into, rather an aeronautical volplane rapidly descending, exploring how papery leaves parted like frothy seas upon a macadam bed. On side streets back then few cars were around, off elsewhere or parked in garages, to impede curious kids on bikes. However, a block down was US1 with frequent spurts of cars and trucks, so you actually had to look both ways to cross. Flip calendars 50 years, cars race through 4-way stops at every back road intersection, while youth stay indoors playing video games.

You should honor any commitment to a nation by how well its policies treat golden agers, impressionable youth, and vulnerable citizens. Surely something can be done to ensure fairness, harvest experience, and provide opportunities? Fitzgerald lamented, “There are no second acts in American lives.” Nobel Prize winner Peter Higgs, whose surname precedes the elemental boson, said he'd never be offered a position in these days of academic productivity. They only kept him on at the University of Edinburgh because his theories might be proven right, which CERN scientists recently confirmed, though he voluntarily retired before the 20th Century closed. Even laureates feel like vestiges that hung on so long nobody knows what they mean or why they exist. Meanwhile, paint fades and flakes on a girl's pink bike ridden into destiny on a jejune mural. With no jobs for a new generation, are there even first acts in America anymore?

There is no requirement to read books or newspapers to know the truth in current events. In fact, all media does is feed you countless lies. You need to conduct your own research, just do things, so you know how things are supposed to be done. Only then you can comment with authority. Too bad your hours on earth are so few you can't know much. Worse, you're forced to act and decide on false information and scant input. Not much point giving advice. It will be misapplied, probably fail, then reap retribution instead of thanks. Anyway, all can be distilled to, “Do it yourself or do without.” Anything else will anger some, disrespect those who are acutely dependent, and get ignored by majority.

If you hold others to high standards you must act exemplary yourself. Recriminations evoke anger, especially when you're the victim. Saying, "You didn't fight hard enough," lets abusers get off scot-free. Identifying where transactions went wrong should be a step in improving next, if ever there's another chance. What's ideal is to glide headlong into damaged societies and reap lessons of their being mistreated and mistreating others. Thereby, social photo-essayist Sebastiao Salgardo and you are simply exempt. But that's not what typically happens. You're greeted with suspicion, often attacked without provocation by the Salt of the Earth. Takes tremendous courage to care, which is one reason why what's really going on is so seldom reported.

No comments:

Post a Comment