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Friday, May 2, 2014

Thought For Today

As the weather warms up from the long hard winter bringing woe after woe to Northern Virginia, people are out and about: jogging, bicycling, sightseeing, etc.  By noon, outdoor temperatures have risen significantly, and when the sun beats down, those who are out and about naturally get thirsty.  They are clutching their water bottles as if they are talismans absolutely necessary for survival.  Some people seem incapable of walking a city block without toting that water bottle!

The other day, I was thinking about the American pioneers who crossed the North American continent in the settling of the West.  These pioneers endured grueling hardships.  They cast aside creature comforts and forged on.  Often, we use the term pioneering spirit to describe those generations of Americans.

The contrast between Americans today and Americans of yesteryear is stark. 

What has the loss of the pioneer spirit wrought? See America’s Pioneer Spirit: Government Vs. New Frontiers.

Your thoughts on the above?


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. ???

    That was a great comment, FT, where did it go?

    I was just going to add, that we post-moderns seems to have all contrived the lemmings disease (from Bernay's, no doubt).

    1. Maybe FT is going to post that great comment at his own blog site.

    2. We can hope. I watched the movie at the link above the other day... very boring, but perhaps an "apt" metaphor for our current situation. We have all contracted the "advertisers" lemmings disease... and are committing suicide as a result. There is a way to "delay" the onset of it's ultimate effects, but it requires us to "break away" from the other lemmings...

    3. Thank you, but it was full of typos and omissions. (My typing is deteriorating badly) You may find the new, hopefully-improved version below.

    4. "The advertisers lemmings" disease? Not bad, Farmer, not bad.

      Certainly true but think about the economy, man.

    5. In the film, it's a virus that wraps itself around your optic nerve... very similar to how 'advertising' enters the human organism. ;)

    6. Try 19:45 - 20:30... and don't forget to hit the "Closed Captions" icon.

  3. I still have it in my browser's memory cache if he wants it back.

  4. Variations of Linus with his blanket.

    It used to be hard liquor swilled in saloons and corner bars. Then it was Sex, Drugs and Rock 'n Roll followed by endless PROTESTS. Now, it's cellphones with "selfies," compulsive phsycial exercise, frantic preoccupation with the avoidance of ill health, and these stupid water bottles. 

My cousin's husband works as a civilian for the military in Washington, DC. He's one of this same circle of jerks. He and his wife were guests at my place for three days last month, and -- my God! I couldn't believe it -- THEY BROUGHT THEIR OWN WATER and refused to drink from the tap in MY beautiful house in an elite community where the water supply is of unquestionably high quality.

    They, especially he, are latte liberals and SCARED to DEATH of anything NATURAL. 

You should hear them talk about how they buy and cook food. Everything has to be ORGANIC and very very very EXPENSIVE, or they think they're being slowly poisoned to death.

    I love to have them around, because their self-absorbed antics and pathetically narrow worldview make me feel so SUPERIOR. ;-)


I wouldn't be them or anyone like them, even if it meant I could live to be a hundred.

I blame industrialization -- and of course mass media -- for ALL the ills of Modern Life. Ever since Edward Bernays (Look him up!) we've been in the thrall of clever, unscrupulous manipulators who have brought us to our present pitiful condition.

I suppose toting plastic bottles filled with WATER “Imported from Superior Springs” is better than swilling down hard liquor and doing drugs, but there's something almost CREEPY about it.

    My cousin's husband is a METROSEXUAL. He breathes, he moves, he works, on rare occasions he even speaks, but -- by my standards -- I doubt he has ever fully LIVED a single moment of his life.

    People of this ilk seem in capable of experiencing joy or merriment. 

I'd feel better about my cousin’s husband, if he were a plain old garden variety HOMOSEXUAL. At least we'd be dealing with a NATURAL phenomenon instead of the insipid product of unscrupulous Mythmakers, the Advertising Industry and Social Engineering.


I suppose toting plastic bottles filled with WATER “Imported from Superior Springs” is better than swilling down hard liquor and doing drugs
      Convince me.

  5. FT,

    GOOD ONE! You have pretty well said it all.

  6. FT- I take offense to the water/organic jab. Have you done a lick of research about it at all? No? Then be quiet.

    The problem is almost over-education when it comes to health. Everyone knows exactly what can harm them and why. As a result, everyone lives longer, with 90 year-old's becoming common. A far cry from ages past when you were lucky to live to 30!

    Since we know what will harm us, we avoid it. We avoid rats because they bring deadly diseases, and mosquitoes for the same reason. We don't spoiled food, or chemical-laden, because we know the long-term harms. We wash our hands to avoid germs, we clean our houses to prevent mold.

    As a result, nearly everyone has no immune system to speak of. I am a rare exception. Being a girl who was dirty as any guy, I often got cuts and scrapes and germs from many kids. But, unlike everyone else, I did not believe in bandages or washing wounds or medicine of any kind. As such, I grew up like any 1900's kid would- no protection, no aid, no doctor. Either develop an immune system or die. My sister fared the same- not even Scarlet Fever brought a drop of medicine to her or a doctor's visit. The only thing I think I EVER got was meds for strep throat.

    The upside? I rarely if ever get ill, and when I do I bounce back fast. Unlike my friends, who have zero immune systems (genetic I swear...), I can be around someone with the flu and not catch it (without the shot).

    The DOWNSIDE? I suffered for ten years with a back injury that was never treated. Ya, small, but for a kid? Not being able to bend over is kinda bad. And to add to zero doctor care was zero balanced diet. As such, I grew up stunted in my torso, with noticeable desegregation of my skin, hair and eyes. Once I started eating proper food (organic, natural spring water, but I always had that- grew up on well, moved to spring; cannot abide DC tap. I can taste chlorine in that thankyouverymuch) I started to actually look healthy instead of waxen.

    Point, point. The advancements have upsides and downsides; and a zero-help lifestyle has upsides and downsides. Living in both, I personally prefer the modern way. I like not feeling ill from malnutrition, and breathing easier from a no-mold household. Granted, I still refuse to carry around a stupid water bottle, I will take the dehydration headache (I get dehydrated after 4 hours or so).

    A pioneering spirit means sacrificing health of all kinds, and many people frankly are not willing to do that. Why would they? There is nothing to gain by being dehydrated, besides pride. Pioneers were never idiots... they only sacrificed what they had to to advance.

    Pioneering spirit is indeed lost, but the definition is also lost (seemingly on everyone). I don't think it means being an ascetic, and that is the way nearly everyone defines it now. "Take stupid, useless risks for no other reason than to prove you are a MAN." That is the attitude my generation sees. The vibe I get is that we are given the choice to either being a revolutionary fool or a complacent follower. Neither choice is good. Followers have no souls and no daring; fools are the hippies, criminals, emos, hipsters, do-what-I-wanters who usually end up broke, in jail, high or a combination of the three.

    Whatever pioneers were, they're gone now. Nobody my age or younger even has a good idea of what the hell they were or a decent role-model to follow. The closest we have is actually the comic-book superheroes... and every comic makes a massive effort to convince people WHY their heroes are in the wrong for being vigilantes. Actually, check any media, period. The guys who break the rules are evil- hero or villain. This, my older friends, is what my generation has to go on. Are you surprised we are complacent? It's only been drilled in our heads by everyone from parents to teachers to media. And the only rule-breakers we have to imitate are usually ones painted as villains, and stupid ones at that.


    1. Wildstar,
      I wouldn't be too sure that FT hasn't done some research of the quality-of-water issue.

      There are conflicting reports on the matter. Some who drink organic water are not healthy, and some who drink tap water aren't healthy either. In addition, sometimes individuals have sensitivities to something at one point in their lives and not at another point in their lives. For example, in my own case, I was gluten sensitive for several months; then, no more sensitivity. As another example, for several months in my life I was allergic to all nuts (peanuts, almonds, etc.); then, one wonderful day, no more allergies to nuts -- that is, no more hives, no more wheezing, etc.

      Now, drinking natural spring water may indeed have helped you -- for whatever reason. But you may discover in a few years that you no longer need to drink natural spring water.

      Here's what I find amusing: people have the erroneous idea that if they do this or that, they will live a longer and healthier life. Well, my mother-in-law, age 94, was a health nut and has lived a long life. But she is in a vegetative state because of Alzheimer's. All that spring water and all that no cooking in aluminum pans!

      Each human being's body is unique in many ways.

      PS: It is not your prerogative to tell commenters at my web site to shut up.

    2. PPS: Taking offense in the context of this comments thread is a bit over the top.

    3. AOW- sorry about that. I really should know better than to write a comment when I get angry, I end up being rude...


    4. FT- really want to apologize to you. I shouldn't have been so harsh/rude to you.

      I really shouldn't take it personally. I did simply because I am, and always have been, an organic food well/spring water person, and I felt *wrongly* like I had to defend myself.


  7. As far as I know, cholera in the United States is a thing of the past. The main reason for its eradication here: Cholera cases are much less frequent in developed countries where governments have helped to establish water sanitation practices and effective medical treatments. The United States, for example, used to have a severe cholera problem similar to those in some developing countries. There were three large cholera outbreaks in the 1800s, which can be attributed to Vibrio cholerae's spread through interior waterways like the Erie Canal and routes along the Eastern Seaboard. The island of Manhattan in New York City touched the Atlantic Ocean, where cholera collected just off the coast. At this time, New York City did not have as effective a sanitation system as it does today, so cholera was able to spread.

    During the Westward Movement: Cholera killed more emigrants than anything else. In a bad year, some wagon trains lost two-thirds of their people.

    Today, most of us take for granted our potable water supply -- unless a water purification plant goes down or unless there is bacterial seepage into a private well.

  8. The only reason I tote a water bottle, I work in some warm houses. I take a water bottle, fill it 2/3's full of water, place it in the freezer, when I'm ready to leave for work, I fill it to the top, place it in a thermal sac and have cold water all day.
    I also remember when my parents bought a house in east Florida, we were beachside and had only well water...which is artesian. FULL of sulfur and iron...nastiest stuff you can imagine. When you sweat, you sweat black, from the sulfur and iron. Drop in an ice cube and watch the black flakes float down to the bottom of the glass. Guess what? I'm going to turn 60 and am on NO prescription drugs...explain that! Maybe the sulfur and iron helped me. Who knows?
    AOW, make sure I meet no metromales...I'd probably slap them for being a wimp! LOL!


    1. TMW,
      Some well water is fine and dandy -- pure and all that.

      But some well water is not.

      When I visit any lowlands region of Virginia or Maryland, I find that the well water there tastes awful -- and smells like rotten eggs, too.

      Here in Northern Virginia, some wells several decades ago were determined to yield water loaded with radon. Interesting that the rate of cataracts zoomed during that period of time.

    2. TMW, that's a very clever idea, and perfectly sensible. You are using ingenuity to supply a real need. The issue here has been about the sort of folks who BUY famous brands of bottled water at considerable expense and then wave them about all day as a sort of status symbol, as much as to say, "Look at me, aren't I virtuous?" It's a flamboyant exercise in Vanity as far as I'm concerned. I'm sure a person of your quality and integrity would never do anything like that. I imagine I know you better than you think I do, and I've heard nothing but good about you.

      I'm sorry Wildstar took my observations so personally. I was lampooning a growing class of people who don't live "real" lives. Instead they follow trends, adhere to political correctness, have little or no imagination and are, as I said, "scared to death" of anything natural, spontaneous, adventurous or out of the ordinary.

      They believe in SAFETY FIRST, LAST and ALWAYS. The very thought of freedom terrifies them, and they think life is simply a matter of following The Rules in order to avoid "Trouble."

      I've seen this firsthand all too frequently, and find it a depressing spectacle. Wildstar is much too passionate to qualify as part of the group I've targeted. Most of THEM get very nervous and quickly change the subject -- or just leave the room -- if anyone tries to talk about anything other than which organic food farm produces the best edamame, which exercise machine can do the most for you in the least time, what restaurants cater to lactose, gluten intolerant people and have items suitable for diabetics, etc.

      They worry themselves sick about the "purity" of "unregulated imports," and express consternation over Global Warming, Pesticides in the Soil and air pollution generated by Industry who have the temerity and unmitigated gall to try to make a profit on their investments.

      It's all exceedingly tiresome, and it's where far too many heads are "at" these days.

    3. FT,
      The issue here has been about the sort of folks who BUY famous brands of bottled water at considerable expense and then wave them about all day as a sort of status symbol, as much as to say, "Look at me, aren't I virtuous?"


      Status symbols are varied, of course. I don't have any patience with such trivialities. I have better things to worry about!

  9. Hey AOW! Yeah, we're becoming a society of wimps. To think that back in the day very few people drank water if they could help it, because they knew it could make you sick (though they didn't know why until the Victorian era). Everyone-- including kids-- drank beer and wine.

    1. Karen,
      I finally found your genealogy site. I had it bookmarked on my old computer, but the machine died. Now I've blogrolled you so that I can find your site again if my machine dies.

      You make an excellent point: back in the day very few people drank water if they could help it, because they knew it could make you sick

  10. Wildstar,

    I honestly don't get your point.

    1. Jon- my point was supposed to be that there are pros and cons to living both lifestyles- safety concerned or danger concerned. The article presents the pros of a more pioneering/advantageous way of living. And half of it was me being offended at the water comments.



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