Today I’m cleaning my in box/draft posts folder. And yes I know curmudgeon is properly spelled with a “C” but I live in the Philippines and I can spell it anyway I want. You’ll find many ‘creative’ spellings of English words here, especially the ones that have been adopted into Pilipino or Filipino or Tagalog. I learned to read at an early age using a method my school was trying out … innovative at the time … called the Carden method. It seems a fantastic way to teach children to read but it purposely ignored spelling and all those silly rules of English like “I before E except after ….” Forget it, the rules still bore me. Thank you so much for your gift of reading, Ms. Mae.
"Miss Carden and her work remain a well-kept secret of American education," wrote educator Ronald E. Koetzsch, Ph. D., author of The Parents’ Guide to Alternatives in Education. "This is unfortunate, since the Carden reading methods and curriculum, and the schools that use them, comprise an important potential resource for American education," he said. We hope this Web site will help you learn more about our "secret."
Anyway, on a few occasions I have used that curmudgeon word in the past, I’ve had a comment or two that suggested a few folks aren’t really familiar with the word, spelled properly or not. It means:
a crusty irascible cantankerous old person full of stubborn ideas
There are some other definitions that vary from this one only in degree, this is the one I am proud to wear.
Here’s the first item I came across to touch on today. I get so many queries from people about “safety” here in the Philippines and see so many elsewhere that it almost makes me want to scream at times. If your goal in life is to be safe, don’t live in the Philippines, don’t live in the US, don’t, in particular drive a car. don’t fly in an airplane, don’t use an electric shaver … in short, just don’t live. News report: You’re dead meat, and so am I. We just don’t know the hour and means of our passing. I’m “using up” my minutes as they come along, you can do with yours as you wish … but we’ll all run out at the appointed time anyway.
When I read the news and talk with fellow Americans I often feel as if I were somehow a counterfeit, or that my own country has changed so much in 60 years that I don’t even recognize it. A fellow named Chuck Leathers made a comment on another blog I read regularly which said what i want to say so well I just couldn’t let it pass:
This stolen 172 hysteria is the latest manifestation of our national obsession with fear. This used to be a country of risk-takers and pioneers. Since the Bush-induced terror following 9/11, we have become a nation of cowards instead.
We lose 50,000 lives each year on our highways, over one hundred 747s full of souls, but are focused entirely on the 3,000 or so we lost on that day seven years ago.
We let just about anyone who can fog a mirror buy a handgun, but have to take our shoes off and get our private parts probed to travel by air?
Folks! What are we thinking? This isn’t who we are. Let’s get over it and get back to living our lives without fear.
Amen Chuck, amen. Incidentally. I just watched In The Line Of Fire, a 1993 film starring Clint Eastwood. The plot involved a crazed man who wanted to kill the President, but he could have just as easily been bent of hijacking an airliner. The movie shows in great detail how the would-be assassin got a customer manufactured gun through Secret Service security screening and close enough to take an easy shot at the president. Every trick the screenwriter used to make the hidden gun trick work, 16 years ago, would work today though brain-dead TSA airport security, QED.
So why are we nation of sheep just following rules because someone said so, when those rules demonstrably will not stop a determined individual from smuggling a weapon on board? So we can feel ‘safe’? Well guess what. I sometimes feel rich and good looking, but “feelings” aren’t reality. Wake Up, America.
Now on a brighter note … bright yellow, actually … let me make a sudden turn and get back on something Philippine-related. I’ve mentioned before that I’m a fan of the show Asian Air Safari, which airs here in the Philippines Sundays at 2-30. It’s available world-wide on The Filipino Channel, either from your cable operator or via direct broadcast home satellite terminal (dish) in the USA.
The host, Captain Joy Roa, works interesting stories about travel and airplanes into what are essentially travelogues, shot all ‘round the world.
Remember my made in USA Tire Gauge article from a few weeks back? Well Captain Roa found a much better example of American ingenuity, drive to succeed and business acumen, right here in the middle of this “huge economic meltdown” that the ever-fear-mongering US media is so happy to focus on. You’ll never hear of this company in Texas, USA, on US media I recon. Why?
Because the company builds the absolute best solution to the problem they set out to solve in the world … many of their sales are overseas … the talking bobble heads want you to believe that America can’t compete, remember. The company recently celebrated their 60th year in the same small town, and have a backlog of orders well into the year 2010. They don’t need government handouts, and advice from Harvard elitists who have never held a job with profit and loss responsibility or built a product in their lives, but consider themselves qualified to decide which businesses are ‘too big to fail’.
Thank you Captain Roa, for teaching me something about my own country … which is far from dead yet. God bless you, sir, and God bless the USA … and the Philippines too.