It was a nice day so we decided to take
a scooter ride to the St. Marks lighthouse. I imagine that everyone
around this area knows about the lighthouse; it is the biggest
attraction in the panhandle. It was originally built in 1842. That's
a long time ago and things have changed radically since then. When
the lighthouse was built the people still used outhouses, they hunted
for their food, and they produced large families. Most people back in
those days had integrity, they possessed common sense, and they took
on responsibility when they were very young. The country had not yet
experienced the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln was only thirty-three
years of age (too young to be elected president), and the nation
itself was only about sixty-six years established.
When you visit the lighthouse and
realize that the bricks and mortar in the tower have been standing in
that one spot for one hundred sixty-seven years, it should inspire
awe in the viewer. This tower has seen two World Wars, the Civil War,
the Vietnam War, the Korean War, and many more conflicts too numerous
to mention. One feels that one is stepping back in time when entering
the tower. If the circular walls could talk they would have quite a
story to tell. Wars were not the only perils in the long life of the
tower; there have been many storms and hurricanes that threatened the
light keepers and their families. Storm surges sometimes washed over
the roof of the adjoining light keeper's lodgings and the family
was forced to seek refuge up in the tower to avoid drowning or being
washed out to sea. On one such occurrence fourteen people huddled
together at the top of the tower while the battering waves splashed
them from below.
The adjoining house where the light
keeper and his family lived has been rebuilt a few times over the
years and it is fascinating to enter the rooms where the family slept
and ate their meals. There is talk of reconstructing the building to
make it look like it did in the earliest of times. This would be a
mistake because visitors would not see the original setting; only a
"plastic and phony" rendition of what we think it was like.
Remember, photography in those days was in its infancy and only black
and white prints could be produced. How would anyone know how the
walls were colored or how the rooms were really decorated?
It is interesting how things in the
past fascinate us. To visit an old structure and to imagine how the
people lived years ago is an absorbing subject, one that interests
the Ghost immeasurably. Maybe it is the fact that we can look back to
learn how others solved problems, or maybe we can imagine being in
the tower during a hurricane and we are safe because we were not
there. Much like watching a movie, a visit to an historic place gives
us a glimpse of something that will never happen to us. There are no
Indian raids with bows and arrows, no trips to the outhouse with a
lantern, no going to bed without supper because there was no game to
catch, and no hot, sweaty nights because there was no air
conditioning. So says Sam Post.
There has been almost no decent music being written in the past few years. The garbage that is being written these days parallels the sorry state of our society. As a result of this situation, many people who still have taste in real music are going back in time to the fifties and sixties to relive some really neat music and good times. The society was more wholesome back then and the majority of people could feel safe in their homes and on the streets.
Back in the fifties you could hear good music on the streets under the streetlights from small groups of young people singing a-capella. They didn’t have many musical instruments so they sang the instrument parts of the song while one person sang the lead. If you have seen the movie “Rocky” you will see and hear such a group singing in the alley when Rocky is carrying Adrienne down the street after they got married. The lead singer, by the way, is Stallone’s real life brother. Anyway, one of the pioneers of this “doowop” style was Dion DiMucci and his group was called the Belmonts. As a teenager, he must have been very talented to suggest to his friends to imitate the music that they heard on the radio. They wrote songs of their own and recorded them; the rest, as they say, is history. By the time he was twenty-one years of age, Dion was a millionaire twice over. The walls of his home are festooned with gold records and awards. He is but one example of many young people who have made millions with simple music.
So, where’s the regret? Can anyone think of a better deal than to make millions of dollars doing something that they love to do? And to make that money while giving something to the society at large and to realize that you have given something wholesome that generations will enjoy over and over again must be very satisfying indeed. Since Dion is roughly my age, I wonder if I had chosen to stand under streetlights in New York (we are both from the same area in New York) that maybe I could have contributed something worthwhile too. So says Sam Post.
As in “justice for criminals”? Our society has lost
all its morals and common sense, to be sure, but some things just go too far.
It would seem that any society’s criminals are the bad guys. Why are we
concerned so much with the bad guys’ rights, comfort, and justice? Do most
people think that it is okay to condone and encourage criminal behavior, as
does our government? It would certainly seem that this is the case.
It might surprise most people that prisons in this country
are more like country clubs than they are like institutions for punishment. It
is, therefore, no wonder that most of those incarcerated are encouraged to
become recidivists. In prison the inmates may have to obey a few rules (similar
to those supposedly learned in kindergarten) but other than doing laundry and
pulling a few weeds, most people in prison do nothing other than surf the net,
build muscle in their well-equipped gyms, play sports, attend college programs
and receive degrees. And you know who pays for it all: we do via our taxes.
Meals in prisons are hearty and plentiful; the cafeterias are well equipped and
they resemble any other food establishment. Inmates really have no reason to
want to leave. Most of them live better in prison than they did on the outside.
Their responsibilities are almost non-existent; they have plenty of time to
learn how to be more effective criminals from their neighbors and from the
Internet, books, magazines, and from corrupt officials.
There is only one person who is truly doing something in
this decadent society to help the public become safe and to improve the
citizens. He is a warden in Arizona who runs his prison as an institution for
the betterment of everyone who would seek a life of crime. He treats his inmates
as they should be treated. They must live in tents in the hot Arizona sun, they
get no privileges, there are minimal rations, they must do meaningful work
during a regulated workday, and they wear only pink underwear. His message to
inmates is: if you don’t like the conditions here, then don’t come back. He is
discouraging recidivism. The inmates are actually reaping the rewards of
criminal behavior and they are shown that a life of crime is a bad thing for
One wonders if the morons who champion the country club type
of prisons are indeed criminals themselves. They are corrupt in their thinking
and they are responsible for contributing to the dissolution of a safe way of
living for the population at large. Crime of all kinds is on the rise, more
citizens have guns for protection of life and limb than ever before, and almost
no one can feel safe in their communities. The Internet has become a fertile
soil for the proliferation of new, more virulent types of crime. There is more
corruption in government, police, and corrections departments. We are on the
verge of societal implosion on a catastrophic scale and it seems that almost no
one cares. Criminals show no respect for the community by way of their crimes;
why should they receive the rewards of decent citizens who obey the country’s
laws? So says Sam Post.
Everyone has goals that they work towards. Some
goals are small, like earning one’s daily bread, and some goals are large, like
saving up to buy a house. We Americans are steeped in goals of all kinds. Most
of us have a goal of making lots of money, although most of us want to get that
money in the form of a winning lottery ticket. When you stop to look at the
overall habits that most people have, you find that one’s entire life is made
up of a series, or concomitant, goals. For example, at any one time a person
would engage in several activities at the same time. We go to work each day
because we have a goal of, not only getting a week’s pay, but also to maintain
this job until we can get twenty years retirement credit, a gold watch, and so
on. Sub-goals may include saving some of this money for purchases of one’s goal
of buying a car, a house, or paying for school. Other goals may include the
desire for the affection of another person. This goal may dovetail into the
other goals of money attainment because some people are attracted to successful
workers (or, accumulators of money) and the toys that money can buy. Therefore,
some goals can support other goals. Still more minor goals can take the form of
getting to the lunch counter so that you can get the best seat before another
worker beats you to it. And, who wouldn’t want to be first in line to get the
On a more intelligent level, a person without significant
goals for his or her life is not really living; rather, such a person is just
existing, accomplishing nothing until it is time for them to die. One needs
goals for stimulation, and having goals leads us to be stimulated. Think of the
people who went through the Great Depression. I wonder how many of them were
stimulated to pull themselves out of the misery that so many people suffered.
Goals define purpose. When a person adopts a plan to reach a
goal they have chosen a life with purpose; there is a reason to get up in the
morning. Each day can become a stepping-stone to realize one’s overall plan.
Years ago people used to have a large jar into which they would put their loose
coins. Every day, whatever coins were in one’s pocket would be placed into the
jar so that, over time, the extra money would accumulate to allow the family to
buy a needed item, like a radio or a new toaster. Today, of course, the items
desired by most people are much larger (flat screen TV, motorcycle, automobile)
and the “cookie jar” would have to be stuffed with folding money, but the
concept is the same. The goal defined the activity, saving for something. A
person, then or now, has a purpose. Lucky is the person who can dream of a
better life for themselves, or others, and then realize that goal via good
planning and execution of positive, daily activity. So says Sam Post.
Of the many characteristics of the chronically insane, one stands out as the most ubiquitous of all: an inability to communicate. Believe it or not, failure to communicate is probably the most salient feature of all neurotics and psychotics. It is so common that most people don’t realize that they are not connecting with another human being in a conversation. Though there are a lot of words, gestures, and expressions being thrown at each other, most people do not communicate at all most of the time. I have seen this situation many times in many different scenarios. How many times, for example, have you gone to a restaurant and ordered a meal, and then when it arrived at the table, it was incorrect? This has happened to me many times in many different restaurants. Basically, no one is listening because very few people care. I have listened to many conversations in bars over the years and I have witnessed people talking to (or, rather, at) each other with no information being posited, no point being made, and devoid of any sense whatsoever.
A recent example of such nonsense occurred last Saturday evening. The Ghost was called in to play a party at a local bar. Everything was well for most of the evening; the party itself was made up of people in their late twenties. I was very pleased to see that the kids were respectful and polite and they seemed to be having a great time. Then, near the end of the evening, the owner of the establishment came up to the bandstand and said she wanted the music faster and louder. Okay, an adjustment to the amplifiers boosted the music loud enough to break the sound barrier, and the band played faster. Mission accomplished? No. Every five minutes this same person came up to us and repeated the same instructions. None of the band members could figure out what this individual was talking about. We eventually agreed that she was drunk and insane. Whatever she was trying to tell us eluded everyone; evidently she didn’t know what the words meant that were spewing from her mouth.
It is no wonder that there is so much discontent and enmity in this society. No one can understand what is being said because of apathy and insanity in most of the population. It would appear that the lack of education in most people is now showing itself as a contributor to the breakdown of communication. Also, when communication wanes, loneliness and depression ensue, drugs and alcohol abuse become more prevalent, and people become even more insane. So says Sam Post.
Not much, you say? How complicated could it be, just plunk
down some money, and drive it home, right? Not by a long shot. Of course you're
aware of the Cash for Clunkers deal going on right now. If you need a car, you
may be able to get a bone from the government (up to 4500 smackaroos) for your
present automobile. There are, however myriad rules, regulations, and nonsense
that has to be done to get this money, but thank heavens, it is all done by the
car dealers. All a person has to do is to present themselves with their vehicle
to the car dealer, let the dealer figure out how much you can get for your
clunker, and pick out your new chariot. The dealer handles the headaches; you
provide the rest of the money. Now, if you really need a car, and your old car
is on its last tires, then the deal is good. Most times you couldn't get 4500
bucks for your trade-in anyway. The government, however, is not doing any
favors for the average buyer. What most buyers don't realize is that they have
to pay for the rest of the car beyond the handout. This means that the average
buyer has to come with thousands of dollars that he or she would not have to
spend if this deal was not being presented. Most people's cars are adequate for
their needs; do they need another bill to add to their already overburdened
paycheck? I doubt it. This system is just another way to keep the average
person poor and continuing in the workplace. Instead of saving money for
retirement, these people are spending their money on a depreciating article;
they will never get a decent return on their purchase. Once again, the public
is duped into doing something that is not in their best interests by a selfish
government. So says Sam Post.
There are only two absolute necessities in life, as we know it. This writing will address one of them: air conditioning. The other necessity will be addressed in a future Ghost posting. Everyone, especially in the South, has air conditioning in his or her automobile; it is as important as the motor if you seek to be comfortable. In my early driving years (in the early 1960’s) not every car came equipped with air conditioning. I lived in New York at the time and if you rolled down the windows, you could be relatively comfortable with the breeze blowing on you. The really hot months, July and August, were horrible. It was not possible to go fast enough to get a good breeze; you just had to sweat and feel your wet clothes dripping on you.
Later on, when I took a job as a wedding photographer, the hot months presented a particularly miserable situation. Weddings in New York last eight to ten hours. This means that you will be spending a long time with the bride on one of her most important days. With no air conditioning in the car, and wanting your hair to stay in place, you had to drive with the windows shut. It was hot! By the time you arrived at the bride’s house to start the job, your clothes were saturated and you were most uncomfortable. Imagine opening your door to let in the photographer and seeing a bedraggled fellow panting and dripping on your doorstep. The situation only got worse as the day wore on.
In 1978 I purchased a car that had air conditioning built in. It took a little time to get used to it but I remember that it became indispensable to me from then on up to the present. Now, when I purchase a car, I want to be sure that the air conditioning is top notch. When I go on a job (of any kind) nowadays I arrive just as comfortable as I when I left the house. Viva conditioned air! (And when I drive somewhere these days I don’t have to worry too much about my hair getting messed up, whether or not the windows are open.) So says Sam Post.
I get lots of emails with plenty of interesting things on a variety of topics. One of my favorite areas is music. I believe that there is no more penetrating aspect of humankind than music. It is the most effective tool that we have to share our feelings; it is a cleansing vehicle that allows us to purge and connect. There is no more communicative feature that humans possess. It transcends language, transmits our inner feelings, and brings hope to our lives; it connects us to our fellow beings in a way that bypasses all obstructions. And it is available to all people without charge or requirement. Those who envelope themselves in music, playing it, singing it, dancing, or just appreciating it, find a world of life that can be shared with everyone. Music is a main highway to the emotions, and emotions are the most powerful part of a living being.
Yesterday I received an email that featured a choir that performed the song: Africa (Toto). There were about a hundred young people; they appeared to be high school aged. They were unique in several ways. Firstly, they sang wonderfully. Anyone who is familiar with the song will know that it is a very difficult song to accomplish; these young people did it flawlessly. Secondly, they used their whole bodies to perform the composition. That is, they not only sang their individual parts, but also they clicked their fingers and slapped their thighs and jumped up and down to simulate a rainstorm. If you could have heard it, but not seen it, you would imagine that the sounds were coming from Nature itself. Thirdly, I have never seen a better-looking set of people; all of them, boys and girls, were “movie star” material. Their energy and exuberance leapt from their faces as they sang; I felt the unfettered energy coming directly to me. Finally, they were from Slovenia, in a region close to the Adriatic Sea. They sang in English almost without an accent. In other performances they sang in other languages with equal ease. Though it is typical for Europeans to be multi-lingual, it always amazes me because most of us (Americans) are not. Indeed, most of us have trouble trying to speak English. (Ya’ll no whuh I meen?)
If ever the world’s people become smart and desire a common language, music would be the best choice. Language is not all it’s cracked up to be; just look at all the misunderstandings we have amongst ourselves. Look at all the ways language is used by government and lawyers and advertisers to confuse and upset people, not to mention the massive control issues that infect these three groups. With music there can never be confusion because one person’s soul is speaking to other people’s souls. There is no language to foul up the transmission; there are no emotional cripples (like the three groups formerly mentioned) to subvert the message. Do animals need language? No. Do animals transmit clearly what is on there minds? You betcha! Language is a problem; music may be a cure. So says Sam Post.
The fact that we call others friends means that we enjoy being with them, we have learned to trust them, and that we feel comfortable seeing them. All of us have a small (sometimes large) group of people that we call friends. Some of these friendships last decades, others are ephemeral, and others are ad hoc. Some of these friends inhabit all of the above. Considering the amount of time and effort that we put into making a person a friend, it is certainly something (the friendship) that we ought to hold dear for as long as possible. I have even heard of people referring to strangers as friends that they have not yet met. That's a very positive attitude, indeed! Of course, the other side of the coin is that there are people who would rather cross the street just to avoid having to be near another human being. Well, to each his or her own; I guess it depends upon what kind of experience a person has had with people in their growing up years. If a youngster has always experienced nice people, then he or she will look upon all people as possible friends and, therefore seek to meet as many people as possible to make them part of their circle of friends. The less fortunate youngster, having had trouble with people in their early years will, naturally, seek to avoid contact with others. And there are myriad levels in between these two extremes.
This past weekend I was happy (and fortunate) to meet with some people whom I have not seen in many years. One was a very pleasant fellow with whom I have had several meetings on the bandstand, but we never were playing the same gig. I entered the stage area of a local establishment yesterday to hear the band and I was elated to see my friend playing on the stage. As soon as he saw me he waved and said "hello". His natural warmth filled the room with an overwhelming comfort; his smile radiated friendship. It is truly rare that we find a human being as comfortable and pleasant as this man. One feels his engaging personality the instant that you are speaking with him; he is one of those people who make you feel that he is truly interested in you.
Overall, I am one of those people who feel, that everywhere I go, I have friends. Occasionally, I enter a room where I don't recognize anyone; by the time I leave that room, I will have gained another friend. So says Sam Post.
Yeah, I know it is supposed to be hot in July, and especially hot on the fourth. But, come on, it has been over a hundred degrees for the past two weeks (or more). Anyway, this past weekend was hot and muggy. I have gotten so used to wearing a hat and sunglasses when I go outside that I forget that I am wearing them.
When we walk our dogs it is easy to see how hot it is because the animals seem to show the heat sooner than we do. There is nothing more exciting in our house than the expression: “Who wants to go for a walk?” The normally sleeping canines immediately spring to life and jump around. Of course the house is air-conditioned and the dogs don’t think of the outside temperatures while they are inside. They think going for a walk is the greatest thing since canned dog food. Things change, however, when we go outside. They start out with the usual sniffing, peeing, and pooping, but then we start to see more panting and a slower pace. After that, it is a search for the next patch of shade so that they can stop and rest in the relative cool of the leaves. Sometimes we have to encourage them to continue to the river where they jump in and luxuriate in the water for a few minutes. As the temperature gets more extreme, the dogs spend more time cooling off in the water. This past weekend was no exception; with the temperature soaring, and no cooling rain in sight, the walks became torturous for everyone, including the dogs.
Maybe I will start wearing water-soaked towels and a do-rag in addition to my regular garb on these hot days. Actually, this weather reminds me of the wet, mucky days in Vietnam. Every day was hot and humid, and there was no respite. In a way, having a near constant weather pattern year round is probably better than this temperate climate because, once we get used to the heat (or cold) we can acclimatize rather well. The weather here in Florida changes so often, from near zero in the wintertime, to well over a hundred in the summer, that we are always thrown off guard. I don’t know whether to gather firewood, or to shove ice cubes down my shorts. Maybe if I did both the fire would melt the ice cubes and cause my pants to become soaked in cool water. Then I would be ready for August. So says Sam Post.
Sometimes I wish that I was not blessed with the innate talent of prognostification. That means that I seem to be able to predict the future rather well. Unfortunately, it seems that my talent is skewed toward the negative events more than toward the positive events in life. If I could predict the high points of the stock market, then I would have something to celebrate, indeed.
Today I took the Ghostmobile to my mechanic for a slight adjustment. When I got there I was met by a solitary worker sweeping up the last of the debris on the shop floor. I inquired as to the goings on and the worker told me that they had closed down their shop a week ago. There was not enough business to keep the place open. I learned quite a bit more as the conversation developed. He told me that the supplier of parts that had delivered to them for two years has lost seventeen clients in recent weeks. Seventeen auto repair places are now defunct that were in business a few weeks ago. It gets even scarier. The sweeper recommended another car repair place a few miles down the road; but he added that I had better get there soon because that place was preparing to move to another location where it was assumed that business would be better. I left my condolences with the sweeper and then I hurried to the recommended repair shop. There I saw several signs indicating that the place was going to shut down and move to another location. I spoke with the manager. His story was similar in tone to the first repair shop. He has already let more than half of his mechanics go and he has some doubts as to the future of his business.
Recently there have been a few restaurant closings too. Most of you know that the Silver Slipper closed recently; it was established in 1934 and had been run in that location without a problem. In Saint Marks, the Two Nichols restaurant and Lounge has closed its doors. As places close down, more restaurants and bars will feel the pressure also. Many establishments are reducing staff in an effort to keep their doors open.
Make no mistake about it, we are in a depression (not a recession) and we are in for much more disappointing news in the coming months. It is deceiving to read in the news that the economic conditions have hit bottom and that recovery is around the corner. The government has always lied about such things and the news media follows along on their puppy dog leashes. People and businesses are in deep trouble and it is going to get worse before it gets better. As a simple thermometer, we can say that whatever the media tells us is about six to nine months from reality. That is, if they tell us that the market has finally hit bottom and that recovery is about six months away, we can then add six to nine months to their predictions. We may still be wrong using this formula but at least we won’t be fooled, only to trip in the next pothole. Gird your loins, save what you can, and don’t waste anything – and don’t believe any lies that the government tells you, like trading in your car to get the forty-five hundred dollar payment. Sure, they will give you the forty-five hundred bucks, but when the smoke clears, you will have a twenty (or thirty) thousand-dollar debt to pay. Stick with what you have and take care of it, if you can find a mechanic still in business! So says Sam Post.
I saw a scary documentary last evening on the economic crises that are afflicting this nation. The film illuminated the situation in such a way as to instruct the viewer in the "behind the scenes" activities of all the politicians, and the overall greed of the American population. The main theme of the story was that: "If we don't change what we are doing (and have been doing for many decades) we will burden our offspring with a debt that can never be repaid". From where I am sitting it appears that no one cares about any of this; if anyone did care, then we would have done something many years ago. Thus, it is clear that the American way of living, indeed, the very existence of America as a rich nation is coming to a quick and certain end. Once again, apathy reigns.
For a comparison, the film pointed out that Rome was the longest existing power in recorded history. It failed for specific reasons. The most salient reason for its decline was moral decay. Overall, America is showing the same list of symptoms as Rome, moral decay is our most salient feature nowadays. We, however, are showing these decadent symptoms far earlier than Rome. We have passed the point of fixing the problems; even if we, somehow, could become smart overnight we could not stop the slide into the abyss. There is so much greed and stupidity in our way of life that we would not accept what it would take to fix things; indeed, we would think that we were being punished. Our education system (a misnomer) is geared toward dumbing down the population to the point that people are no more than cattle to be led to ineffective living through advertising. Everyone wants the American Dream except that no one really knows what constitutes that dream. We tend to think of luxury, laziness, and lying on the couch while someone else feeds us grapes. We say we know all about health and diets and "good living", so tell me why there are fast food restaurants on every street corner while health food restaurants have never been able to keep their doors open. We know all the facts on staying healthy (exercise, eating right, no stress) but we only pay lip service to these things while we gulp down burgers ‘n' fries while lying on the couch, and worrying about not having as many toys and trinkets as our neighbors. Most Americans are beyond apathetic; they stick their heads back in the sand when reminded of how inept we have become over time.
Our trade deficit is enormous and growing every day. At the present time America has the largest deficit of any major nation on Earth. We owe more money than anyone else. We have become consumers while we produce almost nothing. Is it any wonder that Americans have fewer jobs? We would rather buy our goods from another country (with money that we borrow from some other nation) than to gear up our factories and to produce our own goods. We became a great nation by keeping things within our borders, rolling up our sleeves and going to work to produce real, tangible goods and services. We won the Second World War because we got to work and we out-produced our enemies. Then we got lazy and stupid. In less than seventy years, barely a generation, America has gone from a super power to the brink of disaster. All the things that made this country great, such as morality, industry, cohesiveness, direction, discipline, and desire for real growth, among others, are defunct. What we see today are spoiled people seeking only hedonistic pursuits with no regard for any of the virtues of the past.
The film also included some scenes from China and a couple workers who lived very frugally, and who were working toward a better life. Each person (they were husband and wife) earned ten dollars per day. Their meager accommodations included a small apartment and only the barest of essential furniture. They were living on ten dollars and they were saving the other ten dollars to buy, possibly, a car in the future. By our standards, these are homeless people (actually, homeless people in this country make much more than ten dollars a day from the morons who give them money on the street corners) and our stupid government would instantly run in to give these people loans to buy houses and cars and other toys. In other words, our way is to spoil these people by preventing them from attaining virtues (like pride in themselves) while making them dependent upon making money to survive. The Chinese people in the film were happy and hopeful; they were looking to earn a better life. By contrast, most of our citizens are unhappy and are being manipulated into a poorer future by a liberal attitude that is infecting our population.
There is no doubt that only a catastrophic event can affect any real change in the present conditions, something on the scale of a war waged on us from another planet that would force all of us to band together in a common goal of survival. We would be forced to abandon our stupid ways, to forget our moronic toys, and to adopt real virtues, like honesty, altruism, and morals. So long as we persist in our ineffective ways, we will further damage our way of life. We need to produce real products for real living, not useless toys that have no meaning. If a person needs a spoon to eat their food, then spoon making becomes a real, useful industry. Useless (and damaging) products, like video games, paint ball, thrill seeking activities (like bungee jumping), and "virtual" programs need to be eliminated in favor of real learning situations (like allowing a child to play with a cardboard box or a dirty stick that he finds in the yard). Get rid of meddling people and let our children learn to be industrious, that is the only way to let any one acquire an education. Want proof of how rotten we really are at present? Just watch any news program. You will see the decadence, the greed, the stupidity, and the ubiquitous boredom that afflicts most people. If you want to be less depressed, then turn off the television, use newspapers for their best purpose (to wrap fish and to clean up after the dog), stop "surfing the net", and stop gossiping. Of course, these drastic measures would leave most people with nothing to do. So says Sam Post.
Well, this writing is aimed mostly at the South; this is the first time, no doubt, that Southerners will be introduced to the device that Alexander Graham Bell invented so long ago. A great day has emerged for the South. Now, instead of having to walk to a neighbor's residence (maybe twenty-five feet away), a person can contact his neighbor with this handy device that is sitting inside his own house. Wow! Just think of it. You can talk to anyone you want, no matter how far away they may be, by picking up the receiver and dialing in a number. Of course there will be substantial (and numerous) lessons given on how to dial a number, and how to actually pick up the receiver; there will also be a book of instructions that will be packed with the telephone. The book will be mostly pictures because the company understands that most folks cannot read fancy words. (Fancy word: more than one letter.)
The reader may be wondering why this new invention is being introduced now, so long after Alexander did his thing. Well, it happens that a neighbor (who lives next door) had a heart attack a couple weeks ago and no one bothered to tell any of the other neighbors. The Ghost was not made privy to this information either. Today the neighbor saw me outside and he informed me of his bad luck. Why, I wonder, did his wife not tell me of their misfortune so that I could have done some of the chores around their house, or visit the poor soul in the hospital (or, since I am facile with Alexander's new device, I could have called him to find out how he was doing!). I would have happily cut their grass, tended their garden, watered the lawn, and more, as I have done in the past. In fact, I remember his wife speaking to me over the fence one day - she never mentioned his misfortune.
I realize that common sense does not exist in this society anymore, but just by default someone ought to have the courtesy to let people know of situations that affect all of us. What's wrong with these people south of the Mason-Dixon line? They are so paranoid. No wonder the South lost the war; none of these people communicate with each other on anything except gossip. Stupid. So says Sam Post.
The musical side of the ghost has decided that a change of venue is necessary. You see, with fifty years of experience as a musician and entertainer, I have finally come to the conclusion that a change is necessary in order maintain some form of rudimentary sanity.
For the first twenty or so years in the music business I have studied and performed on the drums as my main instrument. It was enormously rewarding in many ways in terms of the gigs that I did, the people and celebrities that I have met, and in the experience that I gained. When I realized that the people standing in front of the stage were regarded more highly than the musicians at the back of the bandstand, I switched to playing guitar and singing lead. This change gave me more recognition, more money, and the ability to perform by myself if needed. Sometimes musicians can't (or don't) show up for a performance and on drums I certainly couldn't do a four-hour drum solo. Well, I could, but not many folks would want to hear four solid hours of just drums. As a guitarist and lead vocalist there is/was the possibility of doing a single and having the audience enjoy it. Anyway, it was a good change. I grew as a musician and as an entertainer. I still play drums when called upon and I have a special place in my heart for the instrument. I would be most happy to play drums forever in a good band that played steadily. Now it is time for another major change.
I have recently acquired another guitar and it has changed my whole outlook on performing. The last time I bought a guitar was in 1981. It was and is still a fine instrument, one that I have yet to master. Today it is worth more than it was worth when I bought it. It was a quirky gig that I recently did that set the change in motion. The gig requires a more folky, acoustic sound than I normally produce. Since I have always wanted to play folk music (I'm a diehard Peter, Paul, and Mary fan) I looked at some acoustic electric instruments. I was not ready for the quality that I found. This new instrument sounds so wonderful that it has changed my whole way of playing, and because I heard a concert recently by a great guitarist - who was playing a guitar of the same quality - I was encouraged to enter a higher plane of musical entertainment. Now it is difficult to play the same old three chord songs that I have played for many years; now I want to play more complicated pieces and to produce a better sound. It is a good change. So says Sam Post.
Yes, times are bad now and they appear to be getting worse. As I drive down the street I see more and more buildings vacant, more store closings, even restaurants are scaling down or going out of business. Even as the government tells us that the economy is leveling off, we on the bottom rung of the ladder are still seeing our surroundings dry up. Some of these things are happening all the time; even in good economic times we see stores going out of business and downsizing. Nowadays, however, it seems as if an epidemic is upon us. Recently I saw a Burger King restaurant vacant. When people cannot afford a burger and fries you can depend upon the fact that we are truly in economic trouble.
One of the things that happen in bad economic times is the domino effect. This is when one store closes and, as a result, another business will close down. It seems that we are all dependent upon each other for our monetary system to survive. It is easy to understand that when Detroit lays off workers that those people cannot buy groceries because they have no paycheck. It doesn't stop there, however, these same people cannot afford to eat at restaurants, go bowling, go to bars, or other entertainment establishments. One by one, just like dominoes, these other businesses start to fail because there is no money to keep circulating to allow ancillary businesses to stay operating.
Everybody starts to curtail their activities in an effort to save money. What little a family may have in monetary resources now becomes ever more precious. The kid's dance lessons may stop, fewer clothes may be purchased, and there will be fewer trips to the tonsorial artist. Maybe this is the time to go on that diet, do ya think? So says Sam Post.
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