The Land of Opportunity; LOST

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Just yesterday, while blogging away this pandemic era’s wee hours, my Internet connection went AWOL, again; this time out, just as my virtual, clicking finger was poised over the aqua hued, WordPress “publish button”.

Well, rather than rushing thru a manual re-connection, I allowed my router to engage its auto-reboot function; all the while delivering my muttered pep talk to A-I: “C’mon, red light, turn true blue!” (all to no avail).

With the recalcitrant tech gremlin giddily turning its deaf ear to me, I soon found myself leaning back on my sofa, eyes closed, drifting in and out of dreamland; waiting for my brain to go into auto-reboot mode, too. Well, at least, that’s how I view the realm of REM sleep.

Fortunately, my unconscious mind’s counseling session helped me better connect to my life as it truly is; arrive at this first waking moment conclusion:

My existence within this godforsaken tech desert, is truly emblematic of existence within Michigan as a (w)hole.

Michigan: The Land of Opportunity; LOST

I suddenly began comparing my life to that of my very first WordPress follower; best described as a kindred spirit; how his life and times in California, had afforded him the very creative paths Michigan, invariably, had (has) denied me,

Oh how I wish my father had taken Horace Greeley’s “Go West, young man!” wisdom to heart; made better use of his teaching degree by seeking out the California public school houses. Had he done so…

Suffice to say / safe to say, I believe the Golden State would’ve been my golden opportunity; afforded me a far better chance to lead the life I never had.

I can only imagine what it’d be like to not be languishing in Michigan; squandering my writing, broadcasting and musical talents. And even were such a self-assessment invalid, at the very least, I’d have found more doors to knock on.

I can only wonder how different life, elsewhere, would’ve been.

  • How many novels would I have authored and published?
  • At what radio stations would I have hung my FCC license?
  • Would my keyboard skills have rocked me onto the stage?
  • Would I have met the love of a lifetime and married her?
  • Would we have considered going the parenthood route?
  • Would we be co-authoring memoirs of our life and times?

Inevitably, some will wisely point out that my shelf life might extend outward, as far as 2041. But, such an invisible, bar coded time stamp is merely quantitative. The qualitative perspective would suggest otherwise.

Lest anyone forget, the unforgiving light of our youth and beauty obsessed culture tends to blind potential employers.

Beyond that, how does one safely walk life’s path set against the backdrop of a global pandemic? Who knows how much longer the vaccines’ efficacy will last? How much more microbial crud remains within Corona-V’s dirty bag of tricks? How much of it “he” has yet to hurl at humanity?

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Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

-30-

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A Non-Flesh ’n’ Blood Kindred Spirit

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One scant week ago, a much too long absent, non-flesh and blood kindred spirit arrived at my front door to resume our regular visits. At first glance, a double take was in order; mainly because I hadn’t seen this otherworldly friend since the pandemic had shuttered our world; well over a year ago.

Suddenly, upon factoring in my (typically) restless / sleepless condition, I had to wonder if I had nodded off? Wandered off into Dreamland? Or, was something else playing out; oh, say, along the lines of a supernatural themed TV series-come-true? Might I be blasting off from Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone launch pad?

However (brushing all reader attention grabbing hyperbole aside), as everything actually turned out, ‘twas not unnerving in the least. Quite the contrary!

What we’re actually discussing is my unexpected reconnection to a newsprint and ink publication; namely, a weekly newspaper (featuring state and local goings-on, human interest stories, recipes, op-eds and obits; not to mention the brain challenging Sudoku and crossword puzzles. All in all, food for thought!

Now, I do know (long sigh) that newspapers don’t mean all that much to the general public anymore; especially folks who’ve never known anything other than our (regrettably) Internet dominated and dependent world.

And usage of “regrettably” is not an exaggeration; especially considering how easily we could all become disconnected; be that issue related to tech gremlins / www dead zones, consumer cost-cutting or something far, Far, FAR more wicked and UNNERVING!

With regards to that last listed item, at present, we’re discovering too damned many nations on the brink of ideological collapse; inclusive of the United States (in spite of President Joe Biden’s efforts to thwart his immediate predecessor’s ongoing treachery). Problem is that fascistic leaders are far, Far, FAR too proficient at manipulating the misguided masses into committing what is tantamount to ritualistic, socioeconomic suicide.

Freedom does die wherever / whenever the cultish rabble get fired up by (smarmily) charismatic firebrands; otherwise known as a-hole autocrats to us wise, reality based, critical thinkers.

To take a brief spin thru that rogues gallery let’s “try on for size” the ideologically and psychotically supersized Vladimir Putin (Russia), Xi Jinping (China), Kim Jong Un (North Korea), Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi (Egypt), Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Turkey), Rodrigo Duterte (Philippines) and, saving the worst for last, the duly deposed in 2020 (and presumed 2024 chomping at the bit wannable Donald J. Trump.

Uh, on second thought (re that try on session), let’s not.

More to the point, ever since tyrannical Trump made “FAKE NEWS” his catchphrase that pays / got that reverberating in the echo chamber, brain-dead heads-of-state, worldwide, have been overusing and abusing such vernacular, ofttimes verbatim, whenever genuine article journalists spot on expose them as societal parasites.

Even more to the point, most autocrats keep their grubby little paws poised over the Internet Kill Switch. After all, in the end (THE END) when it comes down to trampling human rights, their first order of biz is to sever all lines of communication, especially online reportage. It’d not be hyperbolic to say that, in the wrong hands, such a “circuit breaker” could eventually unravel the Internet and kill the truth.

My above concerns are the very reasons why I deem all reputable, hard copy newspapers akin to:

A Non-Flesh ’n’ Blood Kindred Spirit of mine; hopefully yours too.

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Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

-30-

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So far… yet so near… (Vid of the Day)

My headline interlaces a bit of wordplay re humanity’s “so near… yet so far” expression… which, as we know, can serve to exhale our regrets / sadness whenever we get oh-so-close to achieving all we want in life…

Alas… to no avail?

My transposition of the elements / sentiments in that emotionally charged equation is with good reason. Such a reversal conforms to the literal about-face re what we’d expect tradition to prescribe.

Alas… this involves an unorthodox response to comply with what the pandemic new reality requires it to be.

Even so, the London based Camden Voices Self-Isolation / Virtual Choir has managed to creatively circumvent such freedom limiting protocols… however, only in the best, medically / socially acceptable way.

On the bright, sunshiny side… this choir’s switcheroo also morphs that equation’s failure into success… i.e., seeing how viewing their mood elevating clip will draw viewers en masse, spanning the vast WWW, closer together.

And… for the time being… under the current circumstances…

We can all live with that… both figuratively and literally…

To be earwitness to the Camden Voices’ interlaced with gleaming sunbeams, cover of the George Harrison classic, Here Comes the Sun… is to behold their ushered in sunrise to this new reality day.

If we can manage to keep Camden Voices’ optimism alive, our kindred spirits can and will also carry us onward… into the days yet to come…

Stay Safe! Stay Home! Stay Healthy!

We can avoid COVID-19 infection by following our learned medical community’s best advice (and by also following #5’s link to a short, surprisingly EZ to grasp, life saving tutorial)…

[1] Scrub hands often (at least 20 seconds each time), [2] Cover all coughs and sneezes, [3] Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth, [4] Observe social distancing protocols (remain at least 2 meters / 6 feet apart [5] Wear protective face masks in public [6] Avoid large crowds / Socially isolate at home  [7] Self-quarantine if you’re feeling ill and [8] Understand that even though you may feel fine, you can still be infected and spreading this disease to others!

 

CREDITS:

The Camden Voices Self-Isolation / Virtual Choir

Solos: Chloe Ravat & Kate Keara Pelen
Sopranos: Alex Wiseman, Elaine Camilleri, Amy Hall, Kadi Linda Kiisa, Bryony Thomas, Chloe Ravat, Sophia Steinsberg, Sofia Vilan. Anna Wyatt
Altos: Amy Rockson, Ella Bryant, Hansy Shore, Laima Ulozaite, Saara Kaldma, Sabah Carmen Barake, Cas Olowoyo, Maddalena Ghezzi, Harriet Crawford, Izzy Pietsch, Kate Keara Pelen
Tenors: James Rees, Kris Jackson, Tom Heath, Seth Stromboli, Brendan Jacot, Max Salzmann, Ned Westaway, Matt Ashworth
Basses: Lawrence Walker, Marios Panayi, Tom James, Ugo Rosano, Joel Hughes, Miles Horn
Video production, arrangement & piano by: Ed Blunt
Bass: James Hill
Drums: James Nall
Mixed and mastered by: Matt Cooke
Song by George Harrison (our version inspired by Nina Simone’s arrangement)