Necessities of life…..

February 8, 2013

new and improved giant economy size version….

For post-Boomers, the digital age is Life as it Should Be, but for many pre-Boomers, early Boomers, as well as those in their “Mature” seniority, it can be a strange, strange world indeed. Admittedly, I am a pre-Boomer and a technology clutz.

My uncle had a preserved section of pig skin that his father-in-law had owned. It was from the belly, obviously a nipple, and he called it the “hind teat”. It was a tradition to award it to those coming in last during any competition or just for the hell of it. In recognition of my dismal digital age IQ, I would probably possess it in perpetuity were it, and my uncle, still on the sunny side of the lawn.

Things are changing too fast for me, or faster than I care to scramble in order to wolf down benefits of the latest Widget before it is rendered Old Hat by the next “generation” of whatever it is the Widget in question happens to be. My “phone” actually makes telephone calls and that’s about it. Every once in awhile I’ll mistakenly apply pressure to some button or another when taking it out of my pocket, and experience a brief rush of low level panic as I try to figure out what function I have just activated and how to undo it.

My only area of at least minimal competence would be that little corner of my universe occupied by my computer, an antiquated desktop model with a pathetic 4 gigs of RAM and a 350 gig hard drive. Dark Ages fer sure, dude.

So, I was reading the morning paper, another Pleistocene relic, and the lead editorial was talking about the idea of the FCC opening the floodgates a tad and unleashing free wireless access to the masses. The internet, the piece seemed to declare, has evolved to join food, shelter, transportation, education, medical care, designer jeans, cell phones, and Crayolas as Necessities of Life and therefore should be henceforth provided “free”, compliments of the Federal Government.

The Necessities of Life keep being redefined and it’s hard to keep up. My understanding has always been that if one has a reasonable amount of edible nutrients in his stomach with an acceptable level of regularity, shelter that keeps most of the rain out, wearables to maintain body heat and dignity, and the desire to spend more time on one’s feet than on one’s stern sheets, one could survive and thrive. How well one would survive and thrive would depend on how much one contributed to the process, not on how loudly one screeched. One was perfectly free to play the “It’s my ass and I’ll sit on it if I want to” game if one so chose, but it was pretty much understood that manicures and color TV were not part of the package.

It’s a tough question. I realize that, like it or not, the cyber-dimension is the printing press of the twenty first century and society must adapt. But with so many things of tradition, as well as of principle, being supplanted so rapidly by so many new things and new principles in the name of such concepts safety, fairness, equity, and “Why Johnny Can’t Should Have Designer Sneakers and a New Smart-Phone”, I find myself waiting for the inevitable collision. With the federal government annexing so many responsibilities formerly owned by the populace, along with the authority and power to carry them out “efficiently”, when will some genius figure out that that the usual and customary definitions of Freedom and Liberty are passé and no longer fit the modern world?

Has Big Government and its entourage of suckling sycophants been hiding my late uncle’s family tradition all along, planning to hand us all, collectively of course, Hind Teat, just as soon as they get all of their ducks, and statutes, in a row?


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