I’ve decided that if I can’t live under a patriarchy, I don’t want to live under any system whose title has the letters “-archy” in it at all. Certainly not a matriarchy, although that may be what is coming soon. I am afraid that the paybacks that would follow such a seismic turnover would consume the remainder of my time on earth, ending up with my spending my last days wearing a babushka and disguised as a woman while hiding in bombed-out basements and supporting myself by selling baked potatoes on street corners. “Get your nice hot Murphys here.”
I’d rather not have an oligarchy, either, although it’s possible that we may be there already and I’m just too oblivious to notice. Nope … no “archies” at all, thank you very much. Here is a short list of some others I would rather avoid at all costs:
- et al
I don’t trust the –archies because there isn’t a single one of them other than patriarchy that would have me as a member, and I am highly suspect even there because I don’t hunt, drink, or watch football. The ecclesiasts would be after me because I wasn’t religious enough, the heretics because I hid Easter eggs for my kids when they were very young, the monarchists wouldn’t take my plebeian calls at all, and the plutarchists couldn’t be bothered with anyone driving such a modest car as a Subaru.
So how many uninhabited islands are there on the planet? I wouldn’t need much. A clean and abundant fresh water supply, pleasant climate, good soil for growing things, no Komodo dragons, and high-speed internet. That would do it for me. Oh, and regular visits by a supply boat for incidentals.
The latest news from CNN has been awkward, to say the least. Apparently a couple of years ago, responding to rumors of hanky and panky among upper echelon management, investigators placed spy/janitors on each floor of the headquarters building in Atlanta. These men and women worked in shifts round the clock and were instructed to watch for anything suspicious. They were equipped with camera mops, periscopes, poison pills to swallow should they be detected, guns disguised as cans of Lemon Pledge, and devices that were sensitive to traces of latex and lubricants in the air. Turns out that most of these janitors were former Mafia in a witness protection program operating out of Bayonne, New Jersey.
Almost immediately the alarms started going off, the cameras started clicking, and before long massive dossiers were collected on basically everyone above the level of the runners who rounded up the coffees for morning staff meetings.
So far there have been only a couple of resignations, but it is anticipated that before long all of the occupants of the 23rd and 24th floors will have to be let go. The official line is that there has been a sharp drop in rectitude and a drastic increase in turpitude among these personnel.
There is a problem which surfaces in situations like these, and that is determining the acceptable level of adultery and other sexual wanderings in the journalistic professions. Purists say that the level should be zero, but there is a sense that this stringent standard would severely impact future hirings and a more moderate position will have to be taken.
It’s all reminiscent of the FDA deciding what levels of rodent hairs and insect parts were acceptable in cereals. There was no way to get the level down to zero, not when dealing with natural products such as grains, so they had to make choices. How much was okay, and what was just too ugly? It’s a reality I choose to ignore each day at breakfast, and I take the same approach with who is dallying with who at CNN.
Well, we did it. On Wednesday we experienced on of our rare snowfalls of the season. One of those beauties with flakes as big as dinner plates slipping toward earth and covering everything you see while clinging to the branches of the plants and trees making the world magical. Robin and I turned to one another and said as one: Zhivago.
Such an evening was perfect for our triennial re-watching of a movie that features snow and ice and visible breath at least half the time. And the running time is a generous 200 minutes. So if you pick the right moment you can get a snowfall looking out the window and the same thing on the screen in the living room. This double dose could conceivably give you hypothermia even while sitting on your own couch.
There is this, however. We can’t stay up late enough to watch the whole thing at one sitting. To attempt this would be to miss most of the second half, even if our eyelids were propped open with toothpicks. So Wednesday night our viewing took us to the intermission, and Thursday evening we finished it off.
The interesting thing for me was that I remembered nearly everything that happened on screen. But then I thought … well, sure … I first saw it when I still had a memory worthy of the name. Back when what my eyes took in was actually recorded in those little electrochemical packets somewhere in my nervous system. If I saw it for the first time today, in two months if anyone asked me if I’d seen the film, I would have to turn to Robin and ask her if we had. And her response would be – “was that the one with the Russians?”
But oh … the movie, you ask … what about the movie? It was splendid, as usual.
Here’s a Sunday morning treat. thirty photographs from around the world of children playing. Different photographers coming up with expressions of the joy that children are fully able to find for themselves. Often the best gift we adults can give our kids is to stand back, take our hands off, and let them do their very own thing.