Yeah, January 31st!
So, after a crazy year where am I? Have things gotten better? Worse? The same?
Overall, I’d say things are cautiously better. I’m out of a bad living situation, and while where I am is still tentative and not really where I want to be ultimately, it’s far better than things were last spring. My health…is better too, but s-l-o-w-l-y over what it was. Of the two illnesses I had last June, one is gone completely and the other…is still there, but far better. My leg illnesses is First World War like; lots of energy expended for gradual improvements. But they are improvements! I figure when I take the dirt nap I’ll be in great shape! Hmmm……
Mentally, things are much better, but not really for rational reasons! I think I see so many folks around me my age, tired, cranky, defeated, frustrated that they realize they aren’t going to be Mick Jagger (or Tom Wolfe, if you want to get a bit more toney) and I feel oddly fresher than when I was 25. As with most good things in my life I have to give credit for this to Nietzsche. He’s the only writer I’ve ever read that has given me a workout and energy for life for decades. Even when I flag, that Zarathustrean esprit carries me through. As he said of Goethe, Nietzsche has “disciplined me to gentleness and a wisdom full of pranks.” You’ve all suffered through my puns; I can’t help it, that’s where I find that crackle, that lightning charge, that goofy delight in life and learning. Feh, on stodginess and seriousness. Astaire has taught me the virtue of light feet. (This from the guy with the swollen leg!)
There’s so much to do…and not enough resources, funds, and time. But we do what we can; writing here continues apace, and I even can find my peace and joy in it. I don’t edit myself anymore; why bother? Just go with where your finger energy takes you and figure it out later.
Among the goofy ideas I’d like to do…
See that ’49 Cadillac? I’d like to get something like that…..and make it a hybrid. It wouldn’t be too hard I think, and the idea of getting say, 25 mpg, out of a tank like that has a lot of contrarian appeal.
Plus…lets look for a partner to do this:
Love to you all, especially our Greenwich Floridian and Hostess, just for setting this whole shee-bang up!
Checkout the birthday card from my very sweet amiga, Lela Dowling!
When G.W Bush was fooled into invading Iraq, Democrats went insane with rage.
When Obama almost got fooled into bombing Syria, Democrats didn’t have much at all to say.
Did you hear the one about the priest, the rabbi, and the minister? You better not tell it at my office – or a lot of offices these days.
The partners in my firm were gathered together again for sexual harassment training. The earnest young lawyer talked about recent developments in the law, then she put on a film which, on about a sixth grade level, told us a pat on the back for a job well done constitutes sexual harassment. As management, We’re supposed to be safe persons to whom to report sexual harassment – as well as inappropriate religious jokes or ethnic comments. We then trigger the investigation. The basic message is better safe than sorry – don’t touch anyone you work with – or engage in conversation that touches on race, sex, gender, religion, physical handicaps, etc. Half the people in the room – essentially lawyers aged 35 – 70, were checking emails on their iphones as the earnest young lady spoke. We all knew the drill.
Two hours later, my secretary attended the “staff” session of the same program . At age 64, she found the “training” mildly insulting, and mostly just stupid. She walked into my office afterward, mockingly saying she had to report questionable conduct – while on the elevator, a secretary had touched an attorney. Playing along, I reminded her that I had a duty to investigate to determine whether the contact was inappropriate. So I quietly asked, “Were they going down?” We laughed at the stupidity of the behavior code, and we got back to work.
Several other long time secretaries commented on how lame the “training” was. Our office is not a hotbed of harassment, but most people ignore the code which sounds like it is out of Catholic school in the 50s. Most folks know the difference between office banter and harassment and know how to tell somebody who is taking things too far to knock it off , and most dislike sitting through some fatuous film telling them what they already know.
Why do we go through (and pay for) this Kabuki theater? Because, if a harassment suit is filed, a good defense is that the firm was unaware of the harassment and had in place a harassment policy with regular sessions designed to tell us what behaviors are inappropriate and who we can complain to.
I am old enough to remember when women put up with real workplace harassment. The situation was not good. But, the remedy - establishment of a statutory right to be free from upsetting behavior in the workplace, or any comments based on gender, gender preference, or gender expression, which is defined as a “hostile work environment,” has created a cottage industry paid to teach us what we already know. It is Harassment Theater.
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