Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Low Sparks and Other Human Highway Attractions

Despite what the calendar and my driver’s license says, yes I’m old but I’m also too old for a lot of the stupid stuff we do to one another in the name of ‘decency’ and other high-sounding virtues most of which we wouldn’t recognize if they bit us on the butt. 

For a large number of folks, the “good old days” seem to have a lot to do with things staying the way they were and when a change occurs we hate the agent of change as much (if not more) than the actual change.

The current outage d’ jour seems to be where people should go to the bathroom. I should be a half-full glass kind of guy and welcome the fact that we are willing to talk about in public at all. I remember as a kid watching Preparation H TV commercials and assuming the product had something to do with books or reading because the spokesperson was always sitting at a desk in what looked like a library.

If the tumult in my mass media feeds is to be believed we now have more genders than Baskin-Robbins has ice cream, or close to it and we don’t seem to have an official policy on what to do about it. I’d like to believe that reasonable people, no matter what their position on any issue may be, can create a consensus allowing for accommodation, though in recent years on just about any and every subject under the American sun that idea has been most striking in its absence.

I don’t want to know your views on transgender public bathrooms, on women being subject to the draft, what the minimum wage should be or when you should put cheese on your barbecued hamburger. Except for the hamburger, I’m not gonna tell you mine (and on that, the answer is “always.”). I really think we’re both better off that way, me most especially.


I cannot believe we ‘need’ a state law or a federal directive to tell me what goes on in a bathroom and who goes into one is none of my business (are none of my business? I think those are two different issues). And we certainly don't need a fake celebrity to chime in any more than we need my two cents. 

Too many of us spend too much time trying to fit into what others think of us or to meet and exceed impossible expectations that cause us to doubt ourselves. I’m thinking we might all be better off if we exhale slowly and take a step back from where we’re heading so we can better see where we may end up.

Our Declaration of Independence speaks of each of us having unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It could be just the root beer talking here (of course) but it doesn’t look much like a hot pursuit on that last one, at least not for many years.  We each have but one life and I’ve learned, so far, it’s hard work to make yourself happy much less trying to make others happy too
-bill kenny

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