arteejee

A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Sunday, December 08, 2019

Sunday Morning Post, V.1, #43: Anniversaries – All Sad


As a born historian, I am compelled to note and mark past events.  Not all events are noteworthy mind you, but this weekend we have three days’ worth of anniversaries to note.  Unfortunately, these anniversaries are for sad events. Nevertheless, we must proceed.

Friday, December 6, marked the 31st anniversary of Roy Orbison’s passing in 1988. His death was particularly bittersweet: his career had been revived due to his work with The Traveling Wilburys, AKA The Greatest Band Who Never Toured.  So, let’s not mourn, but celebrate a life well lived.  It was cut short, but well-lived.

In their first single, Orbison sang the line, “I’m so tired of being lonely” as if he, and only he, owned the right to sing the word “lonely”.  I couldn’t agree more. We should have retired the word from all future works of art once he passed away.




Saturday, December 7th: Pearl Harbor Day.  This year is the 78th anniversary of the Japanese attack on our naval station in Hawaii.  It will forever be remembered as “a day which will live in infamy”, but the tragedy had to happen.  It was America’s wake up call to the fascism that is growing outside our shores in 1941.

Fast forward to 2019: world leaders are literally laughing at us as we fail to deal with the fascism growing within our borders.  I understand the irony, and I would love to laugh with them.  For some reason I’m not in the mood to laugh. Not yet anyway.

Sorry, no video for this.

Sunday, December 8th: the 39th anniversary of John Lennon’s murder in New York City.  I found it hard to believe that it happened that night.  I’m still can’t quite wrap my brain around it now, all these years later.

Some traumas are not meant to be overcome.

As a tribute, I want to post the song which was Lennon’s contribution to the season.  It’s my favorite Christmas song and I must hear it every day when it is the season.

Unfortunately, there’s no perfect video version of this song.  We are opting for the version with lots of footage from Lennon’s life in peace activism.  The official video version can also be seen on YouTube, but it’s EXTREMELY graphic.  It shows various aftermath images of war and drives home the point (like a one-ton weight to the head) that war can only accomplish the total annihilation of the human race.   Calling this version “heartbreaking” would be an understatement. 


(Thank you for reading. Well, this was a full weekend, wasn’t it?)

Sunday, December 01, 2019

Sunday Morning Post (V.1, #42): The Thanksgiving Myth


One of the more baffling WTF moments this week happened when the President, in front if his MAGA-hatted faithful, declared that some people want to change the name of Thanksgiving.  Naturally the media contacted the White House for clarification about the President’s remarks, and were answered with cluelessness on the subject.  Even Fox and Friends — who usually feed their conspiracy theories to the President — didn’t know what the eff he was talking about.

The President may have been referring to a movement among Native Americans to use Thanksgiving as a day of mourning for the genocide of their culture carried out by Western (read WASP) culture. These people perceive the celebration of the first Thanksgiving as the starting point of the white man’s policies towards the savages they encountered in North America.   They dismiss the myth of what every American school child has been taught about the Pilgrims inviting the local tribe to a feast to achieve a lasting peace with the natives.

Yes, it is a myth that all of the Native Americans welcomed the alien white culture in to their lives.  The Pilgrim story is all part of the feel-good history Americans have been taught about their country.  The problem is that we are supposed to learn from history, good and bad, especially the bad.  But how can we learn when we’re given the wrong lessons.

First, let’s get the true meaning of Thanksgiving settled.  It is supposed to be a day when we stop our day-to-day routine to express gratitude to God, or Providence, or whatever for the food on our tables, the roof over our heads and a multitude of other blessings we have in our lives.  That’s it in a nutshell.  It is not really a day to feast until we puke and watch football games endlessly.  All of those activities happen by default.

We should express thanks for all that we have and not want for anything more. Unfortunately, we live in a materialistic society that thrives, nay, depends on unbridled consumerism for its very survival.  Oh, how can we ever survive, if we determine we truly possess everything we will ever need in our lives and we won’t ever have to buy anything else ever again?

And lo, on the fifth day, God created Black Friday.  The irony of this should not be lost on any of us.

This is not to disregard the feelings and motivations for justice among Native American activists.  The entire idea of Thanksgiving doesn’t have to been discarded for the sake of grieving.  We can make room on the table for stuffing and mashed potatoes, then what the hell, we can certainly make room for gratitude of our blessings AND somber reflection on our national sins.

The motivation for justice among Native Americans is well placed at the national table.  We have to start the work against intolerance somewhere, but we don’t have to give the President another talking point for his rallies. 

(Thank you for reading.)

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Sunday Morning Post (V.1, #41) - Another Hospital Stay (Boo!), But More Drugs (Yay!)


Hey gang, remember last week when I looked forward to going back to work after being out for six weeks recovering from surgery?  Well, the fates threw me a curveball.  I ended up spending most of the week in the hospital.  To be fair I blame my optimism on youth; after all I was seven days younger than now.  Ah, to the naivety of youth.


I did make it back for one day, slept badly that night, and called in sick on Tuesday because I was too exhausted to answer phone calls and listen to complaints about health insurance.  It would not take much — I estimate it would take no more than a response of "Bite Me" to one caller — to sharply curtail whatever is left of my career ambitions.


I was only going to be at work for a half day since I had a previous follow up appointment with my opthel…opoth…(why can’t I spell ophthalmologist) for my glaucoma treatment.   I have a visual field exam performed at least once a year for the glaucoma.  This time the exam showed more vision loss in one quadrant of both eyes.  The doctor on duty at this office showed me the results and urged me to go the emergency room.


I’ll admit that I have been overly glib in my narrative so far, but the doctor’s point was very serious.  She explained that my peripheral vision loss may have been caused by a silent stroke.  Oh, eff!  She wrote an order for a brain MRI which I was to give to the emergency room personnel.


Truth be told I did not go directly to the emergency room from the doctor’s office.  Warrior Queen’s office was on the way to the hospital.  I stopped in long enough to give her my latest health news.  She did not take it well, as she is still feeling the stress of lifeus interruptus due to my hip surgery. WQ recovered quickly and, with profuse apologies for what was about to happen, I left for a quick stop at home.  I had a physical therapy appointment for later that day and I needed to call from home (where I could find their phone number) to cancel my appointment.  Then I was off to the emergency room.


I have had a complicated history with this emergency room.  Sometimes I wait for hours to see a doctor and watch others, who came in after me, get called in to the treatment rooms ahead of me.  Then there was the time I walked in the middle of the night and explained I was having chest pains.  That time my butt was in wheel chair within seconds and I was wheeled immediately into triage and a treatment room.

I half expected to be kept waiting this time.  I presented my order to one volunteer and explained that I am here for an MRI.  She pointed me to the outpatient department where testing is performed.  I was grateful that she instructed me to go there as I did not relish (without mustard or ketchup) the idea of waiting in the emergency room for the customary two to five hours for service. 


My gratitude and elation was short-lived.  The receptionist at outpatient testing looked at my order, said something about emergency room may want to do the ordered service, and walked me back to the emergency room.  All this walking was more than I’ve done at once in recent memory, but I could at least count it towards my exercise for the day.


The outpatient person gave my order to the emergency room personnel who read it and wondered out loud why the physician didn’t order me transported to an emergency room via ambulance.  Another employee in the emergency room had my butt in a wheelchair within seconds.  I made a mental note to myself for future reference:  heart attacks and cardiac vascular accidents get prompt service in the emergency room.


Back in the treatment room, my vitals were taken and noted, I was hooked up to a heart monitor, and a CT scan of my brain was performed.  One physician who came in explained that the CT scan was the “black and white television version” of the brain, and he would prefer an actual MRI because that would pinpoint whether the stroke was acute or chronic.  Unfortunately, the presence of my pacemaker precluded the use of an MRI.


Another physician came in later and gave me the news I was really dreading: they would have to admit me for more tests.  I was told that night that they would move me to a room or the newly opened observation area as soon as space permitted.   

Apparently, there was no room to be had that night or most of the following day.  I was not moved from the emergency room for a full 23 hours. *


The CT scan confirmed that there was a blockage in my brain which was most likely caused by a mini stroke and said blockage was the cause of my vision loss.  Blood work hinted that a certain enzyme was present which indicated that my heart had been damaged by a heart attack.  Subsequent blood exams discounted this diagnosis.  The scan also found a blockage in my carotid artery, which begged for more testing for a possible surgical procedure.   I waited around in my hospital room for two more days until they could do the ultra sound, and have cardiology, neurological and vascular surgery physicians review all tests to determine the course of treatment.


In the end, it was determined that surgery for my carotid artery blockage was not needed at this time, but I needed to follow up with all of these physicians.  More good news:  they prescribed two more medications to my drug regimen which would anti-coagulate my blood further and, hopefully, prevent future blockages.


I was released Friday night and drove myself home.  WQ was not able to visit me in the hospital due to her ongoing medical condition which is just was well. I suspect that she needed a break from me for a few days.  Our cats missed me and we had a grand reunion when I came in the door.


“…and that, friends, is how we fly across the ocean!”



*Believe it or not this is not my record with them.  I once waited a full 24 hours in the emergency room (same hospital when it was in a different location) before I was moved to the ICU cardiac unit.  That time I was left alone in a window less room no bigger than a Kardashian walk-in closet, with all lights turned off save for the lights coming from the monitors to which I was hooked up.


(Thank you for reading.  And how was your week?)