Do The Right Thing

When you take on the care of a pet, there are responsibilities that come with the fun. You must feed them well, house them safely, and occasionally … just occasionally … do something to them that they dislike intensely. Such is the case whenever we apply the anti-flea treatment to the nape of our cats’ necks. Both of them detest this interference with their bodies, and they take varying amounts of time to forgive us after we have finished. Poco takes an hour or so. Willow still hasn’t let me off the hook for yesterday’s application, and it’s been 24 hours now. She really takes it personally.

I do try to explain the necessity to them, since they are cats that are allowed access to the outdoors, but their ears and their minds are closed on the subject. To Poco and Willow, is it a violation of our contract with them, and not a benefit at all.

It’s a little like when I would take my kids in for immunizations. Unlike some of my fellow (scientifically-challenged) citizens I fully acknowledge the overwhelming benefits of getting those shots, and so I would show up in the pediatrician’s office with fearful children in tow time after time. Even though I was not injecting them myself, they were smart enough to know that I was a part of this painful process and what the hell was measles, anyway? They didn’t know any kid who’d had them, so why the needle?

At some point along the way you could talk to the victims and try to explain why this dread day had come. But truthfully, I don’t think these conversations were any more productive than having discussions about insecticides with cats. As a parent or pet owner, you simply do what you think is the right thing and accept the fallout.


Our government is a bit more of a mess than usual. Really, whatever possessed us as a country to elect such people? Good old truth-teller Joe Biden is turning out to be yet another spinner of self-aggrandizing yarns, half of the Democrats burn the other half in effigy nightly, and the Republicans … god … what a den of vipers they have become! At the present moment, we are “led” almost entirely by people who reveal the truths in all of those hoary adages about power and money and corruption.

For myself, I have decided to vote for Oliver Cromwell in the next election, writing his name in on all the blanks. I think he’s the man to take on our own version of the “royalty”in Washington DC, and we could always hope for a better end to his story this time.

Despite being buried whole in Westminster Abbey, London in the 1600s, Oliver Cromwell’s head ended up buried in Cambridge … In 1661, the year after Charles II restored the monarchy, Cromwell was dug up, put on trial and hung from the famous gallows at Tyburn, then had his head chopped off!

Wikipedia: Oliver Cromwell

This is a photo of the man’s mummified head, which had been placed on a pike for emphasis and installed outside Parliament by the royalists. My oh my, but the English are really good at holding a grudge, aren’t they? Probably too much to hope that they’ll ever forgive us for the American Revolution?

So if I voted for Cromwell would I be wasting my vote? Who knows? In a world where corpses can be tried for treason, anything can happen.



There have been a few pieces written over the past weeks about the widening educational gap between men and women in the U.S., and what this might mean for the not too distant future. Kathleen Parker nicely summarizes the topic and offers her viewpoint in Why men aren’t going to college anymore.

While correcting the cultural deficits and opportunities for girls was a grand mission that wouldn’t have gained traction without the relentless activism of feminist-minded women — and men — we sometimes veered into zero-sum territory. If girls were to succeed, boys would sometimes lose and, well, too bad. Hadn’t they had the upper hand long enough? This was no one’s stated aim, I’m pretty sure, but it became difficult to ignore trends aimed at diminishing the value of men and, collaterally, boys.

Kathleen Parker, Washington Post, October 1, 2021

I am not the most acute observer of the national/social scene, but at least thirty years ago I put three and two together to get four and I saw these same developing trends. Tactically, women were (and remain) behind in almost any way you cared to count them economically and educationally. Fewer CEOs, fewer leadership positions, less pay for the same work, etc. etc. But strategically, they were positioning (or being positioned) themselves for a major advance, and once they won that one, it would be adios amigos, and bienvenidos amigas.

There are still fewer female leaders and CEOs, but who are the people in power now? Old white guys who will soon be moving on to long term care, and who will take their places? … why, all those nice folks who went to college. And who are they? Right now it’s 3:2 in favor of women and that trend shows no signs of leveling off. It might still be a generation before this admirable work is done, but women are positioned to repair all those inequities. If they will, that is. Women are not one big bunch with a single mind, and we are seeing that truth at work now in Congress, where some of the brightest lights and dimmest bulbs are working in the same chamber, and the only thing they have in common is each of those members has two X chromosomes.

One of Parker’s observations is that with the use of sperm banks women really don’t need to keep a man at home for reproductive purposes. However, apparently those women prefer that the sperm comes from college-educated men with good physical characteristics. So what happens when that college-educated pool shrinks to little more than a puddle on the sidewalk? Very few women are going to go into one of those banks and ask for genetic material from a knuckle-dragging nincompoop.

A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle

Irina Dunn, australian social activist, 1970.

Ah, but this sort of idle talk is only a distraction. To have such a situation arise would take much longer than a generation, and falls more into the area of sci-fi than sociology. Maybe women when they are in ascendance will do a better overall job of managing the world and be more thoughtful and merciful than men have been. I certainly hope so, because my gender has mucked up some pretty important things pretty thoroughly.


And finally, a Doonesbury cartoon strip that makes me want to laugh and cry at the same time. What is wrong with Texas, anyhow?


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