August is here at last!!!!
Iíve mentioned this a couple of times over the past few years, but in case you didnít know, August contains a very special date!
Every year a national organization of personal freedom fighters that works towards the total equality of womanhood stages events all over this great country to show support for and to proclaim national ďGo Topless DayĒ!!!! The specific date changes due to how the days of the week fall on the calendar, and this year the day selected is to be Saturday, August 26th.
Here in Ohio a number of municipalities will see rallies in support of the work this fine group does to force state and federal legislators, and our society, to recognize that a woman has just as much of a right as a man to be comfortably bare-chested anytime and anywhere. Anything a man can legally do, so should a woman be able to do as well. In Columbus a day-long event will be staged at Goodall Park. To find out more about this organization and to see what is going on in your neck of the woods go to http://www.gotopless.org .
Now for something of a more personal nature...
Ya know, these days Iím often so emotionally exhausted that sadly to say I donít feel like doing much, and that seems to be adding to my problem if not directly causing part of it. Let me explain...
Watching television can get exasperating due to the fact that during this time of year (late June) I seem to have already seen everything shown on network television that Iíd like to, and even my movie channels seem to run the same movies over and over. Iíve become so lazy mentally that I donít even read as much as I used to. To make matters worse, for the past few days I havenít even felt like going for a ride, going for a visit, or much less, finally getting started on this column! LOL. Today the weather is beautiful, and Iím sure I WILL get out there and fire up the scoot for some wind therapy later, but for the moment even that seems to be too much effort.
Iím certain itís not what would be called clinical depression. I assume my recurring lack of enthusiasm and/or ambition is simply the result of watching so much daily news on television! I watch the news, the news sucks, it gets me down, nothing else is on that I havenít seen, so I watch more news. My friend Jackie has often said that is precisely the reason why she never even watches news programs... because most of the news seems to be bad news, or at least depressing news. But I just canít help it. When I can pull myself out of that vicious circle I feel like my old self again, but sooner or later it begins all over.
Itís gotten so that I even record regular news programs on a few different channels! (Iím about ready to go talk to a shrink about that.) For some reason I feel I have the need to know about all the terrible stuff that goes on, and that in turn has turned me into someone who has become (at times) lethargic and without purpose, hence my lack of ambition and drive.
Now, I donít mean to say that Iím like this all the time! Iím usually the same upbeat person Iíve always been - full of fun, hope, and enthusiastic good will for mankind (notice my previous endorsement of ďGo Topless DayĒ for example). But other times I seem to be stuck in some kind of quicksand not caring to find out how I could pull myself out of it. Maybe thereís a distortion in the space/time continuum going on and that has become the quicksand... sorta like the movie ďGroundhog DayĒ.
The problem with watching the news so much is that even if you CAN used to the local crime, the state of our human follies, and all the tragic accidents that are reported every day, there are more and more national stories of political plots, of dubious and secretive conversations, of character assassination, threat, and scandal... of conspiracies and challenges involving the internet, Russia, China, Syria, N. Korea, and the list goes on. Added to that, suddenly nations that used to be our friends (such as England and France) no longer seem to respect us, let alone think of us as the guiding light of democracy and freedom. Even Canada has issues with us now!
I hope I donít end up regretting what Iím about to write (and obviously these are my own personal comments and do not reflect the views of ABATE of Ohio nor those of Outspokiní magazine), but one thing that really DOES bother me deeply is the fact that throughout this countryís history, particularly in the last sixty years of MY life, if you criticized or said anything negative about any of our presidents - Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, both Bushes, and Obama - all that youíd get in response would be agreement, a silent shaking of someoneís head, and/or possibly a short exchange of mutually respectful disagreement or maybe even a slight argument, and then the discussion would move on to something else. Presidents have always been fair game for criticism and everyone understood that, particularly the presidents themselves... until now. NOW if you mention anything negative about, well... him, thereís a good chance that screaming and yelling will develop ending in bar stools being tossed around and blood flying. What the hell is up with THAT??!!
In the bigger cities public protests concerning the current administration (formerly a mainstay of democracy) now often result in opposing factors actually battling it out physically until cops start pulling them apart and arresting people! And this has been going on since January and continues long after the actual election is over!! Any official investigation thatís going on (and there is a lot of that) is simply just that, and not a good reason for the public to freak out in anger and indignation! I mean there are still actual rallies in support of a president that has already been elected!
People seem to get so damned personally defensive over all the current intrigue, itís as if they feel the need to defend how they voted. For that reason alone, I donít even discuss this stuff with some of my closest friends in private because some of them voted for, well... him and seem to have the need to angrily justify it. As it stands I sure wouldnít want to make critical statements in any public forum, let alone in a bar where alcohol is served. Iíve been in plenty of bar fights in the past over dumb shit, but I refuse to go there again over politics! That would be about as stupid as arguing about religion. In any event, thatís why I rarely voice my political opinions these days and Iíll try not to mention them again here in future columns (though I havenít this time really).
The whole point to all of this is that maybe the main reason for my occasional sense of gloom and lack of ambition is that Iíve been keeping a cork in my mouth and Iím not used to it. In fact Iím concerned that for the first time in twenty years of writing this column I might get some negative feedback from just writing this.
This is still the United States! It is patriotic to speak out and share your opinions, particularly if you donít like whatís going on with something or someone! I intentionally avoid getting too political here due to the fact that I donít want to show disrespect to the readers who might disagree with me, and I donít think Iím doing so now because my bitching is all about the general atmosphere of repression due to all the divisiveness. Usually in the past such discord was between the ďhavesĒ and the ďhave-notsĒ, but now people from the same backgrounds, lifestyles, and even families are so much at odds that some of us feel we have to edit what we say or lose friends.
Iím still very proud that once long ago I was jailed simply for speaking out. Hell, the reason I joined this organization (like most of us) was my desire to be heard and for my personal choices and freedoms to be supported. Regarding that; I often wear a new ABATE shirt that proclaims, ďSilence is ConsentĒ, and keeping my views silent in even personal conversations let alone publically at a damned bar or whatever is bugging the hell outta me.
I also still wear a patch that states, ďI love my country but I mistrust my governmentĒ, and during these current times, thatís one feeling that has only gotten stronger.
Well, I seem to have at least gotten some of that out of my system, and though I donít apologize for my ranting, for the umpteenth time I hope everyone understands that I didnít intentionally offend anyone specifically other than those who wonít allow others to speak their minds without being jerks. Now I can finish the ďventingĒ procedure properly by going for a ride where I HAVE to keep my big mouth shut or eat some bugs.
Bummer PS Donít explode anything youíre not supposed to this Fourth of July (wink).