The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Friday, October 28, 2011

A smattering of musings

I have been musing of late. After all, being retired, I have nothing much else to do... not counting playing golf. I muse about most anything and everything and then I try to write it down here so you folks can laugh... at me, usually... or contemplate quietly.

I was first exposed to protests during the 50's. It was about equality for black people. It was pretty clear what was being protested and the cause was pretty popular everywhere but in the south.. Then there was the 60's where equality and the Vietnam War got entangled with protests and sit-ins. My mind started to change about the efficacy and purpose of protests. They went from "noble causes" to "excuses to party." Protests were everywhere, attendance at the bigger (or more notorious) became part of one's "resume." Those years soured my view of protests.

Now I wonder about the motives and formation of the Occupy [fill in the blank] protests. Not so much the random individual involved but not ignoring these either.

Caught an article just now about a "racial gap in marriage". Did you know there was one? I didn't. Here's the full headline:

"The Racial Gap in Marriage: How the Institution Is Tied to Inequality"

As I started in on the article, I found that it isn't so much a racial gap as it is a socioeconomic gap. Here:

"During the past few decades, marriage has become more associated with socioeconomic status than perhaps at any other time in American history. Marriage has declined substantially among poor people of all races, who are both less likely to marry and more likely to divorce than their counterparts from earlier eras. Meanwhile, the affluent and highly educated are more likely to marry (even if a bit later in life than in earlier eras) and less likely to divorce than their less advantaged counterparts."

I should have realized I was being misled by the headline when I read the first teaser line:

"Those who are best positioned economically to live without a partner or to have a child without being married are the least likely to do so."

The "trend" (if it can be called that) is that the better educated (those with college degrees) are less likely to marry young or have children out of wedlock. Later in the article, it begins to reveal the actual racial disparity in marriage mindedness. But, by then, I wanted to see an explanation of why and saw only inference that "black = poor and uneducated" How do we change that perception? Because perception, if not always reality, helps form it.

The Herman Cain campaign for the Republican nomination put up an ad on their website that has caused great controversy. It's not something said in the ad. It is something done at the very end. Mark Block, who is Cain's chief of staff in the campaign, takes a puff on a cigarette. That two or three seconds has created a firestorm. It has also provided the ad the widest possible coverage, much more than it would have otherwise received. Not sure if that was the intent (it is denied by the campaign) but it is the result.

The "Arab Spring", touted as a blossoming of democratic reform in the Middle East, seems to be hitting a few rough spots. I am not in favor of revolutions, few turn out well. The U.S. revolution brought about a positive change in how governments worked. It helped establish ideals. It also had a lot to do with the demise of the American Indian as a force and eventually led to such things as protests. But, overall, it turned out well. What happens more often than not out of a revolution is that the more extreme factions gain power and control which leads to greater oppression and less political freedom. We are seeing that in Tunisia now and I suspect we'll see it in Egypt and Libya soon enough.

And, finally, we have this:

Ohio Teacher Indicted on 16 Counts of Sexual Battery

"The former gym teacher and athletic trainer is pleading not guilty by reason of insanity and claims she can't even remember having sex with the teen boys she invited into her home. To add insult to injury, Schuler's attorneys are claiming she is the victim and was taken advantage of by the boys because she was too drunk from the booze she provided to give consent. " [more]

You cannot make this stuff up...

I think we are living in interesting times... just like the old Chinese curse predicts.


The Jules said...

Pfft. No-one ever takes advantage of me. 

Snot fair.

The Chubby Chatterbox said...

This last one about the Ohio teacher made me laugh...and then cry. So few people take responsibility anymore. Morality is a dingy sheet hung in the breeze by unscrupulous politicians. I can still close my eyes and see Jimmy Swaggart's tearful face confessing that ,"I've sinned." Of course he did this "after" getting caught...

Douglas4517 said...

I don't recall any teachers I would have liked to take advantage of me.

The Chubby Chatterbox said...

Douglas: There was a time when I did want a teacher to take advantage of me, not that I knew at the time what that meant. I wrote about it on my blog, archived September 19th. It's captioned: First Love, and you might find it amusing. 

Douglas4517 said...

I was never fortunate to have a teacher worth a 2nd look. Ever. Not even while I was taking some college classes. Maybe I was too picky. Well, there was this little CPR instructor in Jacksonville but I was in my 40's so she doesn't count.

Sightings said...

On another subject ... don't you think the racial (or socioeconomic) gap is not important in an of itself, but is a proxy for something else -- a stable lifestyle, a steady job, a capacity to postpone gratification, the ability to avoid impulsive behavior, the responsibility to own one's own home? Or, maybe the self-discipline to avoid self-destructive behavior, such as, oh,  smoking cigarettes?!?

Douglas4517 said...

There are those that say we use (socioeconomic) codewords when racial ones are frowned upon. But the truth of that is illusive. There is as much racism in seeing the codewords as there is in using them.

On the other hand, we generally move upward through society by not adhering to a racial stereotype but by adhering to a stereotypical principles. Shakespeare may have said it best: "All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players..."