In my last column I exploded in a superb rant about the Town of Telluride’s refusal to consider preserving the pending newly acquired Valley Floor mostly (but not entirely) as a nature and elk preserve rather than wholly sacrificing it to the holy recreation Gods. Several people pointed out to me that I lost my head and was hopelessly pissing in the wind. Of course I was, but you have to admit preservation of that gem rather than developing it into the mother of all playgrounds isn’t entirely a bad idea. In fact, truth be known and all-out sacrosanct recreation be damned, it was a hell of an idea.
Last Tuesday, as I hauled myself out of bed on the 70th anniversary of my tenure on the blue planet, I thought to myself “It’s my birthday and I’m going to do whatever I want today.” Then, being retired, I suddenly realized that’s pretty much what I do every day nowadays anyway, so that specialty idea got shot down in a hurry.
I spent the rest of the day without success trying to figure out what makes birthdays so special to most people. Today, I reasoned, doesn’t seem any different from yesterday and unless something wild and crazy happens that will move my enthusiasm off dead center it isn’t going to be any different than tomorrow or the next.
Not one to give up easily, I pushed on. So why is this day so special to ordinary humans? To celebrate being a year older? Excuse me, but at this age I would celebrate if an annual reminder made me a year younger, so I prefer not to rejoice over an anniversary that’s increasingly calling attention to my impending appointment with the big sleep.
I considered standard procedure, which would have been to tip a few in honor of myself and acknowledge being lucky enough to make it this far but since alcohol and my body chemistry are about as compatible as a recreationist and an environmentalist, that notion disappeared almost instantly. Still, at this age of enlightened wisdom you’d think I could find some reason to celebrate the big 7-0 and just before bedtime I found it. I settled on consistency and it worked beautifully. Yep, that birthday was a virtual carbon copy of all the rest. Now that I’ve found my birthday celebration niche, I can hardly wait for the next one.
I periodically remind people that I am not your ordinary American in so many dull ways it would make your head spin. Add celebrating one’s birthday to the list.
Most Sunday nights on the tube, the Turner Classic Movies channel shows a silent screen flick or two. I get a kick out of watching a bit of some of them because the plots are so phony and stupid and the acting is so exaggerated. Pseudo-drama is the underlying theme. Unless the movie is a comedy, the actors portray a crisis or tragedy of some kind that’s repeatedly emphasized in almost every close-up facial scene.
Funny thing, after all this time we still have the same sappy entertainment today only with sound. They’re called daytime TV soap operas and in the evening they morph into a brain-dead art form called sitcoms. I can excuse the adoption of the early-days movies because it was a new and novel form of entertainment but you’d think after almost a century we would have learned something. Nowadays, those early movie substitutes take the form of intellectual trash. And you wonder why we have a moron for a president and a government about as popular as a pole dancer in a pulpit?