Friends with Elephants
In the room, that is.
It really is an amazing place to be isn’t it?
When things seem to finally plateau, with you on top?
Even in the ups and downs of this life, you will get to that certain age (different for everyone) when the scales of challenges vs. contentedness seem to finally balance out, and you’re rolling. ie.. you’ve got this.
Your car is fine.
Your computer is running and the glitches (so annoying!) seem to be minor and/ or they seem to “just sort of go away.”
Your kitchen system is tight. Dishes, done. Extra bags? Under the sink or in that odd-shaped drawer that you thought was good for nothing.
You’re so organized!
The stack of mail? It’s non-existant or tiny.
You just did your taxes.
Voter registration? Done.
Did you just move like I did? No problem — all your address changes are updated and you paid your car registration EARLY this year.
Life is clicking.
Social life? Ah maybe it’s still a little light since the pan-2020 but you know, you get out and mingle as much as the next bro or chica in your ‘hood.
You just saw some friends this week and you even made a note to talk to more people — just in passing. A little small talk (which you normally avoid like the plague) at gas stations or stores. You’re trying to slow down and savor just a bit. At least for the benefit of others (is what you say to yourself).
You’re doing it. You even noticed a pair of pants slipping this week (true story) and you installed <insert exercise equipment description here> in your house or apt. and you’re using it. You’re not procrastinating anymore, the challenges of starting a new habit, like walking or running, seem to be gone. You wanted to start ______ and now you do.
Me? I eat less cheese.
You’ve got projects or travel or events on the horizon. And you know what? You’re excited about them — and you should be! These are major things that psychologists will say keep people going right?
Things to look forward to.
And you’ve got them.
To summarize, you’re running your life, not the other way around.
So. . .
So if all those Maslows-y things exist, here’s the pyramid in case you forgot:
If all those things are clicking. . why does something still feel off?
I’m gonna switch to first person now, just so we’re clear.
The above happenings are all present for me at the time being. There is much to be thankful for right at this moment, and there is much to be optimistic for, in the coming months.
- A new business here in Nashville (in one week).
- A published book — based on the making of my latest film (two months).
- 10 new Homestead bikes — bikes not made since 1991 but desired again — on the strength of the story told in the aforementioned film, 30 Bikes.
In short, 2021, although zipping by, is looking better than last year.
Last year I was slamming into Antelopes on the plains of west Texas.
And having way too much fun getting blocked by celebrities like Vincent D’ Onofrio for simply saying that proof was important if one was claiming masks actually work against an airborne virus.
I didn’t think proof was a controversial request.
But I still love him in Men In Black.
What about the Elephant
Well, sorry to say but I think it’s simple.
The elephant is the truth.
I’d love for someone to correct me but I’m thinking we’ve got to go all the way back to Galileo for this much disagreement over facts and truth. This much fervor over those “non-believers.”
I’m not talking about differences after the fact — ie.. 9/11 being an inside job or not, Vietnam being a wasted war or not, dropping the Atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki being necessary or not, fighting a war over slavery or not, and on and on.
I’m talking about a fact so simple it should never have become a touchstone of argument.
Based on my studies, I’m gonna say right here that the Earth actually revolves around the sun. Not the other way around.
*GASP* — Assemble the guillotine!
The M-Word and the L-Word
Masks — esp. in a huge country like the United States — simply cannot (esp. when wadded up and reused for weeks) significantly (please respect that word) stop an airborne virus — at least in any statistically measurable amount.
And if I’ve lost 1/2 of you please hear me — I’m not claiming to know something epidemiologists don't, I’m simply pointing out the obvious — we don’t have proof they work. If you do, great. I’m all ears and you can send any proof (I’ve been waiting for a year) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Even the pro-mask crowd I follow have said as much — masks never were to be such a touchstone. They never were meant to be associated with results beyond what they were designed for (blocking a sneeze during surgery, as just one example).
Whether or not I enjoyed the extra time and the chill nature is irrelevant. We simply have too many counties and states and countries that didn’t lock down (Sweden, Florida) as proof that either — just like masks — they do nothing, or so small an amount of good as to be unmeasurable.
But masks aren’t the issue for me.
Lockdowns aren’t the issue for me.
School closures aren’t the issue for me.
Beaches being closed (though asinine!) aren’t even the issue.
The issue is how do we go forward.
With 1/2 the world thinking we revolve around the sun, and the other 1/2 thinking. . . well you get the gist.
I had a (for me) heartbreaking exchange via email recently, with a friend (completely convinced that masks work), who mentioned how he’d rather not talk so much about this issue, but wants instead to hear what I’m up to, to follow my exploits and travels, and in short, to move forward.
Would he be shocked (esp. if he’s reading this now) to hear that I agree?
Well I do.
I’m all for moving forward.
Sadly our gov’t and many others are not wanting to move forward.
Until — yes I’m serious — we all agree.
What do I mean?
I mean as the truth comes out it’s more and more clear. The issue isn’t masks. It isn’t lockdowns either.
Nor even vaccines.
It’s our attitude towards the measures.
Yes I’m serious.
Andrew Cuomo admited as such last May — remember —
Since when did respect trump facts or science or data?
The McCarthy hearings.
The Salem Witch Trials.
Again — regardless of my or your politics — there are a few facts here and they’re being ignored.
Facts like kids not being at risk (put up the plexiglass! Oops tear down the plexiglass!).
Facts like masks being useful indoors and esp. if you’re around a vulnerable population (but not by yourself in your car!!).
Facts like vitamin D and sunshine are good for all of us (but let’s close beaches!).
Facts are being avoided for politics’ sake.
Can we recover?
How did we recover after the division from the Vietnam War? After such a tumultuous decade of protests and tense Thanksgivings and bloody violence broadcast on TV nightly?
We created Disco.
Then Star Wars.
Then the Moonwalk.
See the pattern of distraction?
My heart is not broken because of a difference of opinions.
My heart is broken because of the avoidance of truth for ego’s sake.
But mostly my heart is broken because this isn’t my friends’ fault.
Nor is it mine.
We did not do this to ourselves.
This could not (ie, it has never) happened without a greater force doing it.
Like who, you say?
- The media
- The government
- Big tech
Do I care which is more to blame?
I just know that from what I can tell, none of those sources is interested in repairing this division.
The fix-it job lands squarely on us.
The question is, will we stand up for the truth, and repair it before it’s lost forever?
Or is it already?