Pros and Cons of Modern Life

I wish everyone could visit Washington, D.C., occasionally. It's hard to remain pessimistic when one witnesses the country's majesty.

I wish everyone could visit Washington, D.C., occasionally. It’s hard to remain pessimistic when one witnesses the country’s majesty.

[cb_profit_poster Beer2]Clinton, S.C., Tuesday, September 10, 2013, 2:30 p.m.

It seems to me that the bigger problem isn’t the government, or the bank, or the phone company, or the Internet provider taking away privacy. The bigger problem is people voluntarily giving it away.

Who really has the right to talk? Let him (or her) cast the first stone.

Okay, I realize technology is amazing, and in a year, for those technologically inclined, it’s going to make the amazing of today seem mundane. I know they search for keywords, suspicious locations and questionable affiliations, but I’m really not worried about the government keeping tabs on what I tweet about Dale Jr.

Just to prove I care, here's a photo of my truck.

Just to prove I care, here’s a photo of my truck.

Why would I worry when I can sign on Facebook and find color photographs of “friends” with their kitty cats, mutts, young’uns, motorcycles and cheeseburgers?

Besides, the sequester has to limit their ability to monitor my revolutionary views of the Clinton Red Devils, Furman Paladins and Boston Red Sox.

I should hasten to add that I, too, am one to talk.

I was sitting at a football game with an old friend recently, and he pointed out that everyone who reads this blog knows all about what I’m doing.

Tapping my phone? I’m more worried about NASCAR than Homeland Security.

Oops. I wonder if two of those keywords are “Homeland Security.”

2:55 p.m.

I heard someone say that it would be more appropriate to call it “global weirding” than “global warming.”

Where I live, it was April until August, at which point it became June. Right now, it’s hot for this year, but it would have been cool for last year. While the East was being soaked, the West was being baked.

Obviously, I’m not a scientist, which links me with an overwhelming majority of the people who discuss science. I tend to think we ought to approach problems based on what the experts conclude, but I don’t think that enough, at this late stage in life, to attempt to become one of them.

I’m not qualified enough to be able to assess problems or resolve them, but I do know what I have seen.

When I was about 8 years old, I could go up to a high point on this farm and see the m0untains in the distance. By the time I was 25, that was no longer possible.

Thunderstorms are now quite common in the winter. In fact, even though I live in a part of the country where snow is uncommon, I have experienced a thunder snowstorm. Given the recent inclination of hurricanes to visit new venues, oh, like New York City (where, as you know, they even make salsa), I wonder what happens next. Forget “Sharknado.” I’m a little concerned about a “hurriblizzard.”

My lifetime, simplified: “From Snow Cones to Snowcanes.”

3:05 p.m.

Hank Williams Jr. noted that one consequence of age is that “the hangovers hurt more than they used to.” Sometimes it seems as if everything bad is getting worse.

I read the other day that an increased percentage of carbon dioxide in the air is making strains of poison ivy and oak more powerful. Gosh. Shades of “Little Shop of Horrors.”

They’ve made it slightly illegal for football players to play football.

If Pres. Obama espoused the philosophy of Ayn Rand today, one of my home state’s senators, Lindsay Graham, would embrace the teachings of Karl Marx tomorrow. I was once taught that life was like football, and damned if it didn’t turn out to be true. Elections are exactly like football games. Right and wrong doesn’t matter. Just win, baby. I wonder if it would be better if the NCAA ran the elections … and election commissions ran college sports. In neither case could it possibly be worse.

That is, unless, they brought in Chris Berman to call the elections.

“Rumblin,’ stumbling,’ bumblin’ … Herman ‘Citizen’ Cain wins the Iowa Caucus! He … could … go … all … the … way!”

3:15 p.m.

What say let’s close this mournful tome with a bit of optimism.

Don’t feel so all alone.

The world has also changed for the better in many ways. As a small boy, I can’t tell you how traumatized I was by the Vietnam War, the civil rights movement, Nixon and Watergate, and the assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I was watching on live TV, at age 5, when Jack Ruby walked up and shot Lee Harvey Oswald.

Fortunately, at the time, I didn’t know what “traumatized” meant. Dr. Joyce Brothers might’ve.

Every evening Walter Cronkite told us the sad saga of black people being senselessly murdered and beaten, of war casualties, and of the country’s great cities being being burned and looted.

You think the public schools are in bad shape now? You should have been here during desegregation. I was so moved I’ve got a novel coming out about it.

Still, I managed to get a quality education, and there were good lessons to be learned from that whole, painful process. I’m certain similar opportunity is still available.

And another thing. There’s hope for the future. Kids today have their problems, but they’re better than my generation in so many ways. They’re less bigoted. They’re more idealistic, I think.

My generation is in charge of the country, and it has botched the job. I am by no means referring to Obama. I’m referring as much to myself as him or Hillary Clinton or John Boehner or Rush Limbaugh.

We’ve let it get away. We’ve forgotten the country and worried only about ourselves. We can’t expect the kids to be uninfluenced by our transgressions.

Honestly, though, I think they’re making progress.

I’m making progress, too, on the way to the publication of The Intangibles in late October and Crazy by Natural Causes down the road. The best way to prepare for those upcoming blockbusters is to read The Audacity of Dope ( or while you’ve still got time.

[cb_profit_poster Travel1]

About Monte

For 20 seasons, I mostly wrote about NASCAR. I'm still paying attention, but I'm spending more of my time these days writing novels and songs. I try to blog regularly on whatever happens to strike my fancy.
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2 Responses to Pros and Cons of Modern Life

  1. Andy DeNardi says:

    We were more idealistic than today’s generation. We were the generation that was going to change the world and make it less materialistic and militarized. You can see how well we did.

  2. Tony Geinzer says:

    I always feel, to save the taxpayers a bit of harm, have the Marines and everyone else come home from our ‘Nams (Iraq,Iran, and Afghanistan) and mind the airports and city buses. I get fed up over misleadership and Ol’ Boyism. Up here in Iowa, I’d like to see different folk too other than some ticked off guy who never won state and used that voodoo for ill.

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