Forehand from Pernie
Old people like me find the “new world” incomprehensible.
The current maelstrom of public suspicion, aversion, blame and anger is so ugly that it seems poised to explode, with plays almost inevitably falling into a more oppressive regime for all.
A Scandinavian friend, when her capital a few years ago banned diesel cars owned by many, exclaimed, “It’s the Nazis here in the city who are laughing at us.”
Science can no longer claim evolution as a given; humanity seems to delegate itself.
Greater social and legal change that avoids blowing up while “bringing” us all together requires better interpersonal relationships and attitudes simultaneously, more love, less regimentation, and endless, strangling, contradictory, short-sighted and piece.
The best life, and the gift to our society, is the awareness that we can always do more, and do it with positive determination, without the albatross of guilt.
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Everyone, especially teenagers, faces the challenges of growth and society. From early childhood, young people of all abilities and imperfections deserve more and better support, avoiding dismissive labels of disdain or prejudice such as “loser” or “scumbag” and eventually dooming them to feel inferior, to resort to drugs, even to land in prison, which marks them more.
All are gifted; the arts, characterized as impractical, produce many talented individuals who contribute to entertainment, wholesome inspiration, good moral examples, and economic growth.
A free and interestingly varied society actively supports individualism; values adding up to more than selfish competition and money; occasional mistakes when they are regretted and corrected, rather than the ruthless imposition of an unrealistic “zero tolerance”; responsible and nurtured freedom to choose one’s own career, schedule and priorities. Hey, it’s ok to be ok, if it’s not preceded by the deadly word “only”.
Public discourse needs friendly humour, not the current abrasive and boring, damaging or obscene stuff so prevalent and unhealthy. In honor of George Washington’s 290th birthday, Tuesday, 2/22/2022, I present an opening salvo, and a prediction: We’ll have COVID by the whiskers, ready to vamoose, by the birthday of one of my heroines, born on 7 -17-1917: the irrepressible Phyllis Diller.
As someone who only hit a “professional” career niche at age 29, to honor Presidents Day and sound educational principles, here is my interdisciplinary program, an educational tool consisting of a blend of civics, humor, music and other arts, and American History.
I chose a select group of victims; your choices may vary. Mocking others tastefully and lightheartedly, especially public figures, especially those who “kicked the bucket,” is appropriate and relaxing entertainment (ask Lyle Lovett). And “It’s Amore!”
Washington: “Let’s put it all together”
Adam: “Dear Abby” and “Freeborn Man”
Jefferson: “You’re totally right”
Madison: “Hello Dolley” and “Picture Show”
Monroe: “You don’t know me, but you don’t love me”
Buchanan (single)“I wish I could fall in love today”
Lincoln: “Love can build a bridge” BUT “You can[’t] Have Charleston”
To agree: “Support your local sheriff” Cleveland (1885-89 and 1893-97): “Already seen”
Teddy Roosevelt: “Mamas, don’t let your babies become cowboys”
Taft: “There’s a Fat Man in the Tub”
ADR: “Brother, can you spare a penny?”
Truman: “The Hard Way Every Time”
Ike: “On the Road Again” and “Car on the Hill” and “Big Yellow Taxi”
JFK: “We Are the World” and “Fly Me to the Moon” and “Abraham, Martin and John”
Lyndon Johnson: “Birdie, Birdie” & “You Got That Right” (reprise)
Nixon: “WAR! What’s the point?” and “Rocky Top” and “Till I Go Down”
Ford: Unpromised “Rose Garden” and “Bye Bye Birdie”
Carter: Bicentenary of our country and “Mama Loved the Roses”
Reagan: “[Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down] The wall”
Bush 41: “Expect to Fly” and “Eagles and Horses”
Clinton: ‘Chelsea Morning’ and ‘Hamburger in Heaven’
Bush 43: “Déjà vu All Over Again” and “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)?”
Barack Obama: “Michelle, my Beauty” and “New start” and [Kieran Goss version] “New day”
Forehand is a retired English instructor and former Ministry of Defense official. She lives in Vinton.