It’s amazing the stuff I remember from high school classes: basic algebra, how to construct a sentence, why Cathy Jobst wouldn’t go out with me.
I had decent teachers, including a very good science prof who made us learn the Periodic Table. You know, the one you see near any blackboard in any high school chemistry class. There was a listing of what was then 109 elements according to atomic number (today it’s up to 118). Like most science, it can and does change with new discoveries.
But more to the point, why would I force you, especially those of you who never liked chemistry or math or science - to relive this? Please be patient. I really do have a point.
If I were to define myself as one of the elements, it would be Boron(B), which is basically forgettable and kinda worthless. I’m not being modest; I like my anonymity. But if you move your eyes to the lower left hand corner of the chart, you’ll find an element called Cesium(Cs).
Cesium is interesting because among its neighbors -- the metals that surround it on the chart, such as Potassium(K) and Sodium(Na) -- Cesium is quite content, a quiet, unassuming, happy little element. Kinda like Boron. But! Because it has just one electron on its outer shell, one ambitious electron aching to leap to any atom that might be lacking a full outer shell of electrons, Cesium is a nuke in a suitcase when it leaves its own neighborhood.
Example: on contact with Oxygen(O), Cesium will cause an explosion. And be sure you do not introduce it to Chlorine(Cl), Fluorine(F), Iodine(I) or Bromine(Br)! because RUN! Frankly it doesn’t matter where it goes, it’s always trying desperately to rid itself of that one little electron, and another eruption inevitably takes place. Only those who understand what cannot be seen are able to make any sense of it at all.
In a country that divides itself daily, splitting into millions of subcultures and sub-subcultures, where the word “united” in United States of America becomes more and more difficult to define, understanding what cannot be seen is increasingly difficult.
What is the economy? To hear experts tell it, “Purchasing is strong and that means we’ll have higher consumer debt. That will lead to a stimulated economy which means higher interest rates. That will control inflation, but will result in stagnant wage increases.” What does that mean? Lower prices. Lower prices mean strong purchasing! So… Purchasing is strong and that means we’ll have higher consumer debt…” And so on.
You have to read between the lines.
To wit: the economy is not good, and it’s not going to get better soon.
Let’s take a government program, like social security. If we’re honest with one another, we can just say it: social security is in trouble. Today, every two workers support one retiree. I’m fine with that as long as my two are Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, and my wife gets Beyonce and Oprah.
I glean this stuff from the news, partly because I want the data, but partly because I’m just a masochist. It’s the world in which we live, where every canard is reported as fact, and opinions pass as the truth. You know how the tunes you hear in elevators, in the lobby of the hotel or in the waiting room at the dentist, are referred to as “muzak?” Well, we have so much information spewing at us today, I’ve started calling it “newzak.”
Just as an FYI, do you know the rank of arms trading, illegal drug trafficking and oil production among the world's largest industries? They’re 1,2 and 3. Funny, but I didn’t hear that in any of the speeches from Cleveland or Philadelphia.
After two weeks of political discourse and campaigning by presidential candidates, I’m struck by the reality that our leaders are in no position to “lead.” I’m not just talking about Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton. I’m talking about everyone involved: the pundits, the senators, the mayors, the supporters, all of them. I get the feeling that, should any of us meet these members of the elite ruling class in a one-on-one situation, and if they were to be completely honest, their modus operandi would go something like the following:
“Have you seen my people? Which way were they headed? How many were there? How fast were they going? I have to catch them! I AM THEIR LEADER!”
If we would just instill our children with values like honesty, integrity and self-restraint, they’d be much less likely to end up in prison. Or politics.
If you live in the New York City metropolitan area, I’ll be happy to explain more to you! I’m performing at HA! Comedy Club in Yonkers on August 12 and 13. Tickets HERE.
Thanks for reading!