We're not doing the world any good when we bankrupt
ourselves fighting wars all over the place.
We will extinguish the great beacon that we are
As many as 20,000 Americans are in a vegetative state,
meaning they are
alive and awake but without any apparent sense of awareness,
and 100,000 to 300,000 are in a related condition known as
a minimally conscious state,
in which they exhibit impaired or intermittent awareness
--In 'vegetative state' patients,
brain scanners show some alert minds
Perhaps we should re-name ourselves, The Minimally Conscious States of America (somehow, the numbers seem far too low.)
It was not the Summer of '69, but rather '64 when we graduated high school and were college-bound. Everywhere we went we heard Chuck Berry's "Maybelline", due to the fact that we hung out in hillbilly bars slap filled with Kentucky hicks. The knowledge gained from this drunken journey was nothing worth repeating.
Our three-month summer factory job was just a blip on the screen of a limitless horizon. We were passing through, but the hillbillies were there to stay, and this fact has not been forgotten. Our lives were expansive, but they were stuck in that shithole factory, and they felt happy because they drove hot-rod Lincolns and had access to cheap booze.
Now we hear these guys in Kentucky and North Carolina are losing their once-secure jobs in manufacturing and textiles and having to retrain in their 50's and 60's for jobs that are not being outsourced. Even those who make it through the IT programs face tough competition from the younger applicants and indeed, their own fellows (Job Retraining and Long-Term Unemployment.) Some estimates say one in 50 graduates will placed. Hot cars and booze still can't make that an appealing prospect.
That fall we entered Bowling Green State U, and Edd "with two D's" flunked out and went into the Army. Upon his ETS he attended my commissioning and that was the last time I saw him.
He's been dead 23 years, but I'll bet he is still hot-rodding somewhere in hell. Here's to you, Edd.
Labels: depressed economy