Dickens: I Wonder as I Wander

Have I learned from my great-great grandfather?

My life of late has been a blur of appointments and disappointments centered on infirmities and my questionable decisions to fix or repair self-inflicted and age-related damages.

If I’d known I would live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself… Not really… I’d do the same stupid shit that caused much of this.

At twenty years old, I was indestructible and lived that delusion. At seventy, I’m paying the price for my cavalier attitude. I can only imagine what the next twenty years will bring.

How interesting that my youth so closely parallels America. At least I’ve learned my lesson, some of them anyway.

As I listened to Friend Bennett’s May 26th program, the title of this commentary popped into my mind. The unintended autoplay function in the jukebox that is my mind is often the inspiration for my essays. Then, I heard this tune begin to play. I Wonder as I Wander

I am a wanderer. Some people have a clear life purpose and doggedly pursue that path. For me, the idea of entertaining any direction that life leads me is the path I prefer. I’m not just floating aimlessly like a leaf on a pond, often grudgingly embracing the twists and turns of chance.

It’s often the road less traveled that entices me.

I never know what I’ll learn in the process.

I’m well past the point of caring about the nuances of political aspirations and the driving factors behind that insatiable quest for power. I’ve read and researched enough to understand that there are costs to every decision – it’s genuinely a deal with the devil. I’ve written about this in past commentaries, so I’ll not belabor the point – let’s agree that nothing is free.

I believe that these trades are all about power.

George Bernard Shaw wrote: “Power does not corrupt men; fools, however, if they get into a position of power, corrupt power.”

As I wonder through this existence, I absorb things – it’s more like they stick to me for later review. They are the burrs that cling to my vest and jeans, the detritus I’ll examine as I pick them away. I often discover some fascinating seeds for thought.

I wonder about this country’s lack of a moral compass. It’s evident that we abandoned our need for a higher power – God, if you will – decades ago. I think the free-wheeling and decadent 60s marked the beginning of the end, but then every generation makes the same assertions and points to a time when everything went to shit.

Our emergence from the twentieth century marked America’s grotesque and reticent death. The Twenty-first Century was heralded as our opportunity to surmount the encumbrances of our past. It was our opportunity to forge a new and more indefatigable future.

Twenty-two years in, we have proven that nothing ever changes, but we can and will make it worse somehow. We have not been this divided since the War of Northern Aggression.

We face the same carpet-baggers and charlatans, but they’ve changed their names to politicians and political activists.

We haven’t learned a thing – Not a god-damned thing!

Somehow, we’ve opened all the old wounds, giving them a good salting and a squeeze of lemon juice. We’d made gigantic strides forward only to wrench them from near conclusion to be horrifically revitalized as political weapons. Racism has a new face, and fascism is the solution du jour for the political left, the ones I call DemoSocs – Democrat-Socialists, the radical left.

Everyone is angry about something. Yet, there are simple solutions that we ignore in the name of political partisanship.

Every solution has a furious and fanatical cadre of supporters who refute any explanation, not theirs, as a plot to drive the minority du jour back into slavery, poverty, or obscurity. If it doesn’t fit their agenda, it’s an impossible solution – and they will prove so with rewritten history or twisted sound bites and historical not-so-social media posts.

I’m angry about the lack of representation in our republic. Politicians assume that we want the same things they want. But I’m not running for reelection or trying to pass meaningless, trillion-dollar wasteful spending bills to support the “Nuke the Gay Baby Whale Society” or reawaken the “Friends of the Flat Earth” or NASA’s latest human-crewed flight to the Sun. By the way, I heard that they plan to go at night.

I just want a safe and solvent country.

Many ideas are worthy of investigation but do they warrant billions of dollars we don’t have and can never repay?

How do you graduate college with more degrees than a thermometer and not understand basic economics or sociology?

Congress strangles the American public with every misguided and ill-considered pork-barrel program. Does San Francisco really need Pelosi’s $300 million park? Hey Paul, one more for the road.

Maybe this is part of what has America so pissed off. There is a predominant bifurcated legal system in America.

The mastodons in the room are how violence permeates our culture and how mental illness is ignored; no one dares address them.

Everything from the media info feeds indicates that the games young boys play are incredibly violent but what’s done about it?

Consider the gladiatorial games we watch multiple times each week. Football, boxing, hockey, wrestling, and rugby are savage games geared toward the destruction of the opposition. They are games of conquest. Even the descriptive language smacks of vicious intent.

Probably the most overlooked commercially deceptive enterprise is the video game. Here is a tool teaching mayhem with no personal accountability. You learn to kill without remorse or conscience. It teaches that the best solution to every situation is violence.

Violence is the message, the indoctrination we wish for our children. We park them in front of the screen – The Altar of Enlightenment – then ignore them. They chose the violence that keeps them riveted to these portable persuasion portals. Do parents know the content of these purported innocuous games? I doubt it, but it does keep the little darlings quiet.

“Television is the monster in your home. And it’s called programming for a reason. Your television is nothing more than a mind-altering device; It has been designed to psychologically change the ways you view reality.” ~ Morgan Freeman

…and we’ve made it mobile, compact, and hand-held. We can pray at the Altar of Enlightenment anytime and anywhere we choose.

Friend Samwise, my wife and I go for breakfast nearly every Sunday. I pay particular attention to the number of parents and children staring at portable video devices. I try to glance at what has them transfixed. It’s usually some game involving violent activity. They sit quietly transfixed, never uttering a word, barely glancing at their food.

Mom and dad are just as bad. There is usually silence at the table. The only interruption is the server taking their order.

Mealtime was an opportunity to share and discuss the day’s insights and events and exchange ideas. Now it’s an inconvenient break in an over-scheduled life. There is hardly a word spoken. The silence is broken by notification beeps, dings, or bells that demand immediate attention. The children remain enraptured in the glare from their portable video displays.

I wonder why people spend the money for a restaurant seat when they could ignore each other at home just as easily.

Is this what passes for quality family time?

There is no denying their impact if these young minds are locked in this influential programming. Some kids are in pre-school, and many are in the primary grades. What skills are they learning?

What are they absorbing?

Are they learning to rationalize their unintended inclination toward savagery and insensitivity?

The influence on adults is as mind-numbing. We are as susceptible as our children. We’ve told the media info feed (MIF) companies what we want to see, hear, and read. They serve it up perfectly packaged and prepared for our consumption, presented on a portable five-inch screen that does everything but wipe our overindulgent obese asses.

Look around you. How many people are staring at their cellphone while walking, sitting, eating, and, worst of all, driving?

We recently completed a two-year mandatory crash course in brainwashing during the Wuhan lockdown. We forced our children to sit for hours staring at a computer screen while programming them to rely on the internet for intellectual stimulation and instructional data downloads. We compelled them to abandon interpersonal skills for text, tweets, and video chats, from behind an obligatory and futile face-diaper. Too bad it didn’t stop the shite spewing from the moronic mouths in DC.

Adults were forced to comply by an overreaching power-mad government bent on compliance and not on resolving the problem at hand. We discovered that their goal is to control. The lies they proffered and perpetuated were based on distorted facts and manufactured misrepresentation.

It was all a lie, and we swallowed it all, hook, line, and sinker. We even introduced it into our bodies – willingly under the guises of improving World Health.

What are we teaching them? It leaves little doubt that our messages of violence and fantasy have a deleterious impact on how we all view the world around us.

There is no doubt that a computer is a powerful tool, and like a television, it can be massively persuasive in education. But like every other tool in America, we’ve found a way to pervert it and use it to make obscene amounts of money, overlooking the effects on our lives.

“Power is neither good nor evil, but its user makes it so.” ~ Erin Hunter

June 12, 2022

~ The Author ~
Charles R. Dickens was born in 1951, is a veteran of the Vietnam war, for which he volunteered, and the great-great grandson of the noted author, whose name he shares.

He is a fiercely proud American, who still believes this is the greatest country on the planet, with which we’ve lost control and certainly our direction. He grew up in moderate financial surrounding; were not rich by any stretch, but didn’t go hungry – his incredibly hard working father saw to that. As most from that era, he learned about life from his father, whose story would take too long to tell, other than to say that, he is also a fiercely proud American; a WWII and Korean war, veteran Marine.

Charlie was educated in the parochial system which, demanded that you actually learn something, and have capability to retain it before you advance. He attended several universities in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree, and chased the goose further to a master’s, and has retained some very definite ideas about education in this country.

In addition, Charlie is a retired blues guitar and vocalist – a musician. This was his therapy career. Nothing brings him as much joy as playing music, and he wishes that he could make a living at it… but alas… life goes on!

That’s Charlie… a proud, opinionated, and passionate American.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *