Category Archives: the power grid

Meaningful Al.

My friend Al just wrote a thing.

Like most writers, who buy the books but rarely read them – largely because they are too busy writing – I rarely read what others write on social media if it smells like a piece. This is true because, like Al says tonight, what’s on others’ minds is rarely relevant to what is on mine. Because, of course, vice versa.

But, I’d just come from cramming the Kabalevsky orchestral reduction ahead of my prize student’s lesson on the subject and, perching at the screen, Al’s treatise was what the newly uncensored FBK algorithm chose to present first in my Feed. Call me ripe for a break in the metronomic mind bending; I was ready to receive.

First off, Al reminded us that all we think about is ourselves. Roger that. Or, he clarified, we think about ourselves and that which directly affects only us. Hence, our American politics, about which he held forth along with the economy with vivid cogency, ramming home his points with an uncharacteristic drive seeing as he would most readily be described by those who say Hey as a laid back jazz drummer sort.

I read the whole thing, I did. He kept me from go.

Then, I set my cursor.

“Apart from the occasional, charming (she said, condescendingly) misspelling, I find this the most comprehensive and cogent commentary on the world situation to come moseying along social media since, well, the last time I read what anybody else had to say on the subject. That would be rare, in and of itself, seeing as I only ever think about myself. OH, wait. NO. I think FOR myself, but ABOUT a multitude of issues yet, admittedly, as they affect me or those who have power over me.

My obsession? Those who have power over me. That would be the mediocre minds who decide a.) what my copay will be for the next medical test; b.) how much of the remainder of the bill will be covered by that old, rusty Cadillac, MEDICARE, into whose back seat I have recently been thrust, kicking and screaming, only to be gang raped by the legion of mediocre gremlins lurking in wait to remind me that NOBODY CARES ABOUT OLD PEOPLE IN AMERICA AND, TO PROVE IT, THE SYSTEM IN PLACE PAYS TO WATCH US SLOWLY DIE. OH, wait – yet, again. Proactive preventive medicine also lurks, deep underground, binding together its mindful and careful constituents, but for a price determined only by market demand. And, demand we will.

So, whichever Party hosts the next shindig, and whichever President raises that toast, here’s to the flagrant hope he/she/it will give a nod to the Otherwise Healthy (minus kidney stones and a penchant for hoarding excrement) among us senior members, and send that Cadillac to the metal crushers.

Tax me? I’ll pay it, to avoid the boot on my front end; but, expect the Mouth to step to the next podium and make a much louder noise than that which can fleetingly be heard sliding through the media feed.

Selah.

p.s. I’m with ya, Al, not against ya; but, don’t rub my butt unless I ask first.”

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Now, in order to make anything I just said worthy of the read, I’d have to get Al’s permission to share his thing. And, well, he already technically did – but, only to his Friends on the Book. My only recourse would be to paraphrase, but that would ruin the inherent value, especially were I to commit the venial sin of correcting his albeit phonetic spellings. Next, I could reveal his full name but, again, a violation of the sacred trust of Settings on Facebook.

So, I guess you readers with nothing better to do than plagiarize unpublished (you think) bloggers will just have to search for all the Alans on social media, then pinpoint his exact location, and you know the drill.

But, this Al is a woodsy man, Thoreau’s baby dinosaur, and one is never quite sure where on the planet he rests his sometimes weary, wary and bewildered head. We who know and luv him, myself being among his platonics, are content to be with him in spirit wherever he lights after a long day chopping wood. Winter is coming, yea, even at the doors; he’ll be ready, like he always is. And, he won’t have to write a thing.

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.Copyright 10/13/22 Ruth Ann Scanzillo. All rights those of the author, and her friend Al, her name appearing above this line and his only referenced herein. Be smart, not sneaky, and write your own things, you thieving foreigners.

littlebarefeetblog.com

*Addendum: Here, for those who know him, is Al’s insightful piece, reprinted with permission from its author:

“What’s on your mind , what’s on your mind ? ……You don’t care; you only care about yourself. 🙈🙉🙊

Obama didn’t brag about the improvement of the economy during his time in office. Trump bragged about the economic gains that came from the Obama era, mixed with the short term volatile stock market boost that came from company stock buybacks, knowing that that tax breaks were coming. No one ever mentions how the financial media played the leading roll in this illusion. But financial media has always jumped on the most bullish sounding narrative because that helps to feed Wall Street sentiment. In my opinion, that was the media hyped illusion that everyone missed .

Since that first year or two of Trump , the world economy has felt the hit from covid (which at first was treated like a hoax by Trump who played into his base, which still thinks it’s a hoax)

Of course Republicans have no progressive ideas/vision, so they’re just play on the world economic problems because people don’t generally see world economics. They only see their own problems. Personally, I dread the next presidential election, as much as I hate seeing the election of insurectionist, anti abortion rights, racist, Trump train opportunists… I’d like to see both Biden and Trump step away from re-election. I don’t blame Biden for the economy any more than I would have blamed Obama for what Bush handed to him, but it’s time to give the job to someone else. Trump can only be trusted to work for Trump as usual, and why would we invite that shit show back in ?

The future looks weird. I need to become obsessed with music and art again, and take measures to fend off seasonal depression. I might have to put my stuff into storage and go away for while . Hope you can follow along with my adventures on the World Wide Web.”

“How Shall We Then Live?”

For many years, this writer has been alluding to having been raised by a sect of Christian Fundamentalists. Most of the time, the context has been apologetic, or in the form of some excuse for alarming or curious reactions to life events. Almost assuming others are looking on with cocked eye or raised eyebrow, I have felt the need to explain why it is that I respond differently to just about everything.

Enter the coronavirus pandemic.

At first sign, I was sure we were in for a radical change in our social and professional landscape. Most thought me purely reactionary, alarmist, then sensationalist. Some laughed, handing me their version of a tin foil hat.

All this proved true but, by the time such reality was manifesting, my prophetic cries were muffled by dictae from the voices of hastily appointed if frequently shifting actual authority.

What ultimately ensued is still affecting everyone, today; yet, the ones out front sounding the call are still pushed aside in favor of some vaguely gathered general consensus by those firmly planted in the middle of the collective scope of reference.

You won’t find me among these. Why?

Because I was raised by a sect of Christian Fundamentalists.

What distinguishes me, and those of my ilk?

First, we view the world through firmly entrenched dependence on the black and white lens. It’s in our cells; we can’t – without excruciating, conscious effort – escape it. We see things from an all or nothing perspective; one is either saved or lost, bound or free, right or wrong.

And, this informs our judgments. When things happen outside of our deliberate action, we must immediately evaluate according to a moral paradigm. “Whatsoever things are true….honest….of good report……” Is there truth, inherent? Is there candor? Is the source trustworthy? Are the instructions clear, and appropriate? And, based on all of the above, what should our course of action then be?

But, it doesn’t end there.

Like most students of the Scriptures, we dig. Deeply. We read, and listen, and consider. We check references. We constantly ask of these: where is your evidence? From whom do you derive your data? No alleged, or self imposed, authority bends our knee. Having been taught to believe that the devil appears as an angel of light, we peel back face value to find what may be hiding behind.

Once we have made all of the determinations outlined above, we are compelled to act. And, act we do, but in a manner which some might term beyond earnest.

It’s called zeal. We don’t just decide, for ourselves. We stand, on the proverbial corner, and preach.

That comes from having been told to do so. “Go ye, into all the world, and preach the gospel to every tongue, people, nation…..” To us, there are no limits to either our scope or sphere of influence. We must tell it, on the mountain, to all.

So, the next time you find yourself recoiling at yet another declaration on social media which doesn’t quite align with that which you and your milieu have come to accept as true, stop. Look. Lean in. Take a moment, or more, and really investigate what is being presented. And, if it’s coming from me or somebody else so inclined, you might find yourself enduring a shift. Don’t let that frighten you. Many call this growth, and most celebrate its worth.

When you do, you may notice a certain kind of clarity of purpose forming. And, this will drive your action toward decisions which bring an even deeper peace. You will have developed a plan for living which no longer depends on following what just seems like an acceptable path presented by those with either the loudest or most pervasive voices; rather, you will have carved one for yourself, from the inside out, and nobody will be able to take that from you.

We in the Plymouth Brethren were taught that this source was the Spirit of God, and the gift given: discernment. I can’t prove the presence of such a Spirit. I have no hard data, on that. What I do have is a driving force, that comes from the center of my cellular nuclei, which moves me to both think, look, listen, read, compare, contrast, verify, contemplate, and then act. And, for that, I make no apology at all.

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Quote footnotes: “How Shall We Then Live?” – Francis Schaeffer; “Go ye into all the world…” Mark 16:15; “Whatsoever things are true…..” Philippians 4:8.

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© 10/1/21 Ruth Ann Scanzillo. All rights those of the author, whose story it is, and whose name appears above this line. No copying, in part or whole, including translation and screen shot, permitted without signed written permission of the author. Sharing permitted by blog link, exclusively. Thank you for representing the higher standard.

littlebarefeetblog.com

The Power in Not Talking.

I live in a small town.

Oh, it used to be the third largest city in the Commonwealth, but its census has steadily declined. Yet, even at its most vigorously populated, yep; still a small town.

A small town is like a personality – with a problem.

Certain patterns emerge.

First, its people tend to huddle in tribes. This offers at least the belief that those within their chosen group will provide protection — protection from any threat to stability, protection of assets, protection of reputation. Every living thing is prey to predator but, in close proximity, said predator could be just down the street. Self-protection is the whole purpose of tribalism.

Those in positions of leadership over these tribes are especially prone, particularly when it comes to management. Power cannot hide. It can’t just choose to live twenty miles away from prying eyes. Its actions cannot be protected by the anonymity afforded by distance. Why? Even tribes are not governed by proximity; people choose with whom they align, regardless where they might actually reside, and these usually according to common interests. The shop. The extended family. The bowling league.

So, those in power are self-protective, to a fault.

Over time, the desire to maintain self-protective power becomes a primary motivator.

This is how marginalization occurs. Suppose a tribal member rises in rank to a seat in council. Preferential actions are a given. Certain tribes may be relegated according to similarity bias. This is the cloak of politics. Soon, preservation of the control which comes with power can come to supercede even the interests of the greater good.

So, how is such power preserved?

In silence.

Withholding vital information. What is not disclosed acts as a tool, perhaps a weapon; what is known can be used to control.

Enter the coronavirus pandemic.

What do those in power, especially in smaller, tribal communities, know that they keep to themselves? To what might they be privy, which can be used to protect their own? Moreover, how much does maintaining power depend on seizing and holding information, information which might cause a threat to their positional security? Perhaps expectations are overwhelming. Not revealing a lack of readiness is a form of insurance.

But, in the interests of the greater good, such non-disclosure carries the potential for fatal outcome. How many communities are currently flailing, its members acting on the latest byte of allegedly viable information passed down from within a tribe? Which leader is to be trusted to dispense accurate directives? Who instructs the doctors as to their potential patient needs?

I have a dear friend. Living alone in an apartment building, she has been fighting covid since early December. Initially, her doctor diagnosed bronchitis, and prescribed an antibiotic. After her covid test came back positive, did this doctor halt the antibiotic? To what extent was this doctor instructed? To what degree was my friend’s tribe fully informed? Were all local physicians updated from the outset, by those in power? Had those in power sought complete education on the subject, and dispensed their data freely to the entire population?

I wondered then, and I wonder now. I sit here, in the house I call my own, in the town of my birth, and wonder in silence about what I have been told and how much I truly know.

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© 1/12/2020 Ruth Ann Scanzillo. All rights those of the author, whose name appears above this line. No copying, in whole or part, including translation without direct sharing to the blog link. Thank you for respecting original written material.

littlebarefeetblog.com