Thursday, January 16, 2014

I Can't Drive 55

     Since today's my 55th birthday, I suppose I should be playing Sammy Hagar's, "I Can't Drive 55" but since I never could stand Sammy Hagar (especially after he replaced David Lee Roth in Van Halen), I think I'll take a pass.
     The blessed event happened at 9:50 PM, January 16, 1959. My incredibly pregnant mother was, for some reason, picked for babysitting duty while my paternal grandparents were out for the night. The twins, my Uncle Bobby and Aunt Peggy, weren't quite a year-old, my Aunt Cathy not much older than them and, for some reason, my Uncle Frankie, who was 14 years-old by this time, couldn't be trusted with the tots, hence tapping my Mom for babysitting duty.
     Well, sometime that evening, her water broke, Frankie went insane as any 14 year-old boy would do in such a situation. After a panicked call, my grandparents raced home and took my Mom to Astoria General Hospital in Queens. By all accounts, it was a fast and relatively easy birth, even though my father was stationed in Okinawa at the time and wouldn't meet me until I was 9 months-old.
     According to the medical record I'd seen years later, my first official act on coming into the world was to piss on the doctor who'd delivered me. Actually, back then, the term was "voided on doctor," which really dates me. In a way, it was revenge by proxy because his casual attitude, which included humming, really pissed off my mother. I don't know what she was expecting. Would panic on the part of the obstetric staff have set her mind more at ease?
     Anyway, for the next 55 years, I've figuratively been pretty much doing the same thing I literally did to that poor Jewish OB/GYN back in 1959. This especially goes for the last nine years or when I began political blogging. Indeed, I'd never seen such a level of wingnuttery outside of my own house and extended family as I have since getting into the political blogging business. They say when you piss people off and run afoul of their sensitivities, you're doing something right.
     That's far from the truth. I'd like to think that anyone who belongs to NAMBLA or pickets the funerals of fallen soldiers and Marines would be universally reviled. And right wing nut jobs offend our sensibilities on literally a daily basis. Does that mean they're right?
     The real test in life is knowing whether you're on the side of the angels and can afford to wear those contusions as badges of honor for taking up the good fight. I'd like to think I have, including in my jeremiads these last five years or during this neofascist administration of ours. My refusal to accept anything and everything Obama has been inflicting on this nation has cost me a lot of readers and that's OK. I'm a blogger and my job is to be honest, not to be a panderer or to expand your comfort zone. There are more than enough such sycophants on both sides of the A list blogosphere and especially in the MSM. All I have is the truth or my idea of what it is and, without that, I have nothing.
     At 55, I'm still young enough so that I can say that mentally, if not physically, I haven't reached my peak. I'm getting better and better as a writer, particularly as a novelist, although it remains to be seen if I can get some hoity-toity editors and literary agents to see that screamingly obvious fact. My critical acumen and way with words have gotten sharper even though I've yet to mount that stubborn summit of the political learning curve.
     I've been complaining almost since the beginning that this is a thankless endeavor, that I don't get the respect of my peers as I should, that reading the news and commenting on political and social events makes me want to take up permanent refuge in a hot shower. Because, while Americans should always have a valid voice in their government, it shouldn't be up to us to do the media's job in pointing out the evil, corruption and hypocrisy in our government and all over the world in general.
     But the internet gives us that option, regardless of that Clinton-appointed federal judge a couple of days ago striking down the very concept of net neutrality. And I guess, moreso than the piddling amount I get from all but one of my readers, moreso than my literary cockwanding is my inability to keep my mouth shut. There's a lot to talk about and I find more often than not, we're talking about the wrong things or focusing on trivial points. This isn't a celebrity or fashion blog. This is about politics and politics controls literally everything in our lives, including the quality and composition of the food we eat, the air we breathe and, as West Virginia found out the hard way, the water we drink.
     So, as I started life pissing someone off, it's a trend I'm afraid I'll be doomed to repeat until they finally lay me to rest (and even then I'll probably be screaming at my pallbearers for jostling me when I'm trying to get some rest). But that day, hopefully, won't be coming too soon because I don't feel 55 (although I don't know how I'm supposed to feel at 55). I still like tight blue jeans, love leather jackets and hard rock/heavy metal still puts lead in my pencil.
     If you've bee reading me for years as I know some of you have been, then you'll know I will never betray you and I will never sell out. I may be wrong from time to time but I'm always man enough to own up to it. And, sad to say, such a dedication to the truth and respect for what few readers I have is a damned rare thing these days.
     And, if you're still looking for any last minute birthday gift ideas, you know where the Paypal button is.


At January 16, 2014 at 2:03 PM, Anonymous Comrade Rutherford said...

Happy freakin' birthday, JP!


At January 16, 2014 at 4:26 PM, Anonymous Dee in NJ said...

Happy birthday. I'm exactly 1 year and 3 days younger than you are. :P

At January 16, 2014 at 10:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy b-day Mr. JP. I'm older than you. Thanks for reminding me.


At January 17, 2014 at 3:31 AM, Blogger NorRob said...

Well shit, mine was two days ago, same year! I knew there was something about you...

Have a good week, why put all the pressure on one day (mine wasn't a good one, I'm hoping for a better weekend...)

At January 19, 2014 at 6:52 AM, Anonymous Anton said...

Herewith are wishes for an exceptionally Felicitous Natal Anniversary to the Curmudgeon Laureate of Massachusetts!


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