60 is fast approaching. I have no idea of what it is I am supposed to do once I meet this fated age. I don’t feel 60. I don’t look 60. I don’t think 60, except for my understanding and ruminating all over history, and my memories of how things once were.
What is commonplace that was uncommon back in the day? Violence is still the same, more common than ever. Civility is a thing of the past. Disrespect of women was somewhat less common. I remember when Black men treated all women as sisters and looked out for us and the entire neighborhood. That was in the time of Black Panthers. They provided free breakfasts, education, and other community activities intended to foster unity and a sense of family.
This is the most lackluster Black History Month I have ever experienced. The only new information I gleaned was from the Pacifica Network, KPFK. I learned about the great opposition MLK faced at the end of his life. 55% of Black folks disapproved of him because of his stances on war and poverty. Imagine. This is the 50th anniversary of Brother Malcolm’s death.
Can’t say that lies are any less prevalent. Neither is hate. Ignorance and stupidity are in staggeringly great supplies. Sometimes I can’t determine if there is more of the latter than there was before. There seems to be more cunning and cupidity in the works. I am not satisfied with the state of the world. I never expected such dysfunction.
Children are much more sexualized and exposed to sex and violence at extremely alarming rates. Everyone is stuck in the palms of their hands, even while driving. We are much more vulgar and coarse than we have ever been.
Health care is the pits. I miss being able to choose my own doctor, develop a relationship with my own doctor, and pay my own doctor without having to depend on an insurance company to act as go-between. It is only now, after several years of seeking a diagnosis for what I suspect is an autism spectrum difference, that a psychiatrist finally heard me and gave me a preliminary scale to complete. There were 50 items. The cut-off for likely having an AS difference was 32. My score: 45. The doctor also told me that the medical power structure did not want to diagnose me because of my age…. Seems to me that if we want to help these young people coming up in droves with autism, we ought to study those of us who have aged through before there was a name, other than weirdo or eccentric, for those of us with the glorious difference. We’ve got some knowledge to drop on those coming behind us. I pray our numbers increase rapidly. We are in need of a major paradigm shift in our ways of being.
It took a heap of living to get to 60. Never expected to get here given the way folks around me seemed to drop like lead weights. Death has always fascinated me and I began obtaining and storing obituaries when I was quite young. Such wonderful short stories that sometimes speak volumes with the information that is omitted about the deceased. I’m examining a data set of my own compiling that is composed of markers indicating the level of involvement, connection, and interaction with society that the deceased cultivated in life. I want to know if those who live longest were more invested in the process of living. Does social connectedness really contribute to a longer life? Is it the quality of the connections that matter? The number? My base interest is with the concept of excess death. Go look that up.
I’m happy to be getting older, but I definitely want to make a change in my world, immediately and on down the line. Things cannot go on as they are forever. The decimation of the middle class has been going on for the last 40 years. What a good ride downhill, Workers. Doctors are no longer gods, but working stiffs who have to answer to the insurance companies. Unions are nearly defunct. We, the people, who are supposed to be the government, are being ill-served by those lawyers in Congress. I’m not feeling this perpetual war stance we’re taking. I am sick of all sports. Spend billions on stadium building, but do nothing for homeless veterans, homeless families, homeless mentally ill, homeless victims of domestic violence. We spend $62,300 to incarcerate someone in California, but only $9100 to educate that same somebody. The prison-industrial complex gets rich and Congress wants to block immigrants from staying in this country. Hell, without them, who will pay into the Social Security system? Able-bodied black, brown, and white people are locked up, likely never to earn a decent living, likely unable to adequately care for their families. Somebody’s gotta keep the ship afloat.
Gotta go ponder some more. Turning 60 ain’t no sissy sprint, I’ll tell you what.