Thoughts at Large: 58

• Some people “collect” experiences.  For example, there are those whose goal is to attend a baseball game in every major league park in a single season.  There are those who wish to step foot on every continent.  One person’s mission was to visit a pub next to each of the 270 underground stations in London.  And one person, it seems, intends to view every one of the 110 films (and counting) in which Liam Neeson has performed.  Indeed, I am now sort-of watching what may be either the 27th or 43rd or 71st of those films, along with the aforementioned person.  I have nothing against Liam Neeson, mind you — he perfected the role of the sensitive, tough-under-fire problem-solver extraordinaire, the very trait that my co-watcher admires in me.

• I never served in the armed forces.  Everything I know (and don’t know) about serving in the armed forces comes from films.  If I were to believe how military service is depicted in modern films, I would conclude that only the baddest of the bad-asses, or those who want to become bad-asses, need apply.  Compare this image with those who served in (and won) World War II: factory workers and salesmen, florists and actors, plumbers and painters.  Everyday guys, your dad and mine.  At least that is what I learned from those John Wayne and Robert Mitchum films.

• Why is train travel not very popular in the United States?  For the answer, consider this: when a film calls for its hero to become trapped and hurtle near-powerlessly to his demise, what vehicle is chosen as his conveyance?  Elephant?  Rickshaw?  Segway?  No — train.  People distrust trains in films and for good reason: they are enormously heavy, have tons of momentum and ride slippery rails.  All that romantic clickety-clack is just a distraction from the high-speed havoc underfoot.

• When a Cheerio falls onto the floor, I leave it there — it may help save a drowning ant.

• I just opened a gallon of milk whose container insists that I should have consumed it several days ago.  I think the fact that I bought the milk before it expired and took it home and kept it nice and cold before I opened it should count for something.  Ungrateful milk.  We’ll see whether it seeks revenge.

• It is probably wiser to let words flow like wine than the other way around — but this may depend on how one chooses her words.

• I need to read more Nietzsche.  I may not agree with even half of his aphorisms but I did appreciate this one: “Convictions are more dangerous foes of truth than lies.”  Given the convictions of Congressional Republicans and the lies that emanate from the White House, it would seem that, together, they’ve got things covered.

• So the Scrabble Gods have decreed that a few hundred words that were already words will now count as words.  They also decided OK will count as a word, even though it is not.  I guess OK must have won the Scrabble Electoral College.

• There are takers and partakers.  Some of the latter are as intolerable as the former.

• People’s final wishes are not so much wishes for themselves (since they won’t experience them) but the experience they would force upon whomever has to deal with their earthly remains.  Making elaborate plans for others to carry out (my nostalgic wish was to have my ashes scattered in Schenley Park in Pittsburgh) is not very considerate.  So, I say give your survivors a break — don’t direct them from the grave and don’t ask them to do gratuitous things.  And I say to my loved ones, when I’m gone, do what works for you.  You’ll know what that is, and we may all rest assured that I will not object.

• All this rumination about final arrangements… it must be the milk.

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2 Responses to Thoughts at Large: 58

  1. Rob says:

    Nice set of ruminations for an evening where the rains have finally stopped and the sunset was spectacular.

  2. Joanne Wetzl says:

    Lol……I have a friend whose final wish is for his son to place his cremated remains in one of the smoke stacks in Pittsburgh that is still spewing smoke into the heavens, so that his ashes can litter the roofs and front porches of the neighborhood in which he grew up. Talk about inconsiderate! Imagine having to sweep all that up…

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