MALARKEY, PHOOEY, BS ! These Days Nobody Is Honest…Even With Themselves !

| March 31, 2012 | Comments (0)

 

Dear Readers, today I am in a rapier-like mood. Perhaps it is the dreary drizzle  that renders this Saturday  a sunless day without joy impelling me to slash and puncture, poking holes in what I feel is false and phoney. Anyway, here goes !

You have already met my good friend, Rose, in these august pages. She of the Swingers’ Orgies where she learned not to be afraid of rape or people whose origins were other than Caucasian , even crossing over to same-sex fun and games if the mood was right.  A truly liberated person.  An independent female who struck out on her own after an exploitative marriage to an uncaring male chauvinist. A strong, lusty woman is Rose, a highly intelligent, tell-it-like-it-is broad whose advice and perspective I have always valued even though I may not agree totally with everything she says.

Alas !  Times have changed and, of late,  so it seems has Rose. No longer the clear-thinking, liberated, in-your-face  woman who wears the shoe if it fits, Rose has fallen victim to that 21st century social virus, a form of “malpractice” if there ever was one, where we refuse to take responsibility for our faults and short-comings, shifting the onus from ourselves  for our bad habits and even criminal acts to an alleged emotional/medical condition that seemingly absolves us  of all blame for our wrongful deeds.

Rose has a problem that she refuses to face and deal with in a solution-oriented manner: she is a bad speller. But her bad spelling is limited to mis-spelling ONE word – my last name. Spelled correctly the name is OGLESBY. It is of Norwegian origin where the syllable “ogle”, or an appropriately Nordic, guttural version, means ‘owl”,  with the suffix ” by” signifying the word “village.”  Owl Village or Hoot Town, if you prefer. During our 30-year friendship which has included the exchange of scores of letters,  and in more recent years, emails, Rose has NEVER once mis-spelled ONE word of the texts she writes to me. A school teacher and  skilled trainer of teachers, she is a writer of the highest quality, succinct but eloquent; her syntax, grammar and spelling are spot-on EXCEPT when it comes to writing my name. She has, over the years, rendered it variously as OLGESBY, OGLESKY, OLGESBIE; the mutations have been endless, distracting and  maddening. Once in twenty times she will get it right with OGLESBY, but then recidivism sets in with a vengeance.

After putting up with these mutilations for more than twenty years, I gently mentioned to Rose in a phone conversation that she might want to pay more attention to how my name is properly spelled, recalling her own fit of peak at my mis-pronunciation of HER  surname – Montblanc – when I rendered it clumsily as MOUNTBLANK rather than the more frenchified sounding MONBLAN which she preferred. I was given a lecture on-the-spot about the importance of honoring one’s heritage and ancestors  and showing respect by pronouncing and spelling a family name as it should be done.  But apparently when the shoe was on the other foot, it didn’t matter ! OGLESBY kept flying off in all sorts of orthographically unorthodox directions.

My campaign for correctness having failed, I decided not to “sweat the small stuff”, as we used to say back in the Army, and just forget about it; why should something so small bother me ? But it DID bother me. So several years later as the mutilations continued, I addressed the matter once again with Rose only to be told FOR THE FIRST TIME, that she was dyslexic and that her mis-spelling of my last name was NOT her fault and was beyond her control.

Rose’s form of dyslexia must be the most specialized in the world – limited to ONE word, my last name. And, indeed, a very recent discovery on her part, to say the least. In any case, Rose’s dyslexic  “problem” has largely been solved because she and I are no longer in contact. Not because of  her klutzy spelling mistake; there are other reasons. We may address them in a future posting which I will entitle “Trimming.” Get the picture ? ! ?

Before we dump Rose in the trash bin of former friends, I must invoke her name in connection with two other “medical” cop-outs. The first involves Rose’s boyfriend, Reggie, whom I must describe as an unmitigated jerk…and that’s putting it mildly. Reggie is loud, opinionated, ill-tempered, narrow-minded, selfish and super-spoiled. Rose recognizes these traits in her one-and-only, but excuses him saying he has Asperger’s Syndrome. Hmmm… To me, Reggie just has a case of bad manners and a biased, it’s-all-about-me mentality. But who am I to judge? There’s no accounting for taste, is there ?

More serious is the matter of Rose’s niece, Riponsill, who now languishes in a women’s prison in upstate Pennsylvania. Responsill, after years of lucrative grifting, was caught red-handed, involved in  a number of criminal scams and dispatched to jail where she is now near the end of her incarceration. Rose, who cares deeply for her niece and wants to help her turn her life around, ends up by copping out, concluding that Riponsall is “bi-polar.” So what she did is not her fault; the blame has been shifted to a “condition.” Risponsall is not responsible for her actions.

While I do not deny there are legitimate cases of dyslexia and manic depression, a line must be drawn somewhere delineating  bona fide conditions from bad behavior. We must ask ourselves if too many people are not taking the easy way out,  excusing themselves for actions which are more the result of bad judgment and corrupted moral values than a medical condition over which they have no control. And for which a type of drug or drugs is mistakenly believed to be the answer.

All said and done, Riponsall may be better off having had a vacation “inside” courtesy of you and me, hard-working taxpayers.  When she entered the “facility”, Riponsall was a mean-spirited 300-pound spectacle of grunge.  Today thanks to the inedible quality of prison cuisine, Riponsall has shed half of her former self and has emerged a tall, slender, beautiful young woman. For the first time in  her life, she is not ashamed of what she looks like. She has gained that most important of traits – self-respect – and appears ready to face the world “outside” with new resolve to live a life that enjoys freedom instead of  abusing it. Bi-polar ? B-LL SH-T !

But little Tommy is the saddest case. A six year-old, his parents inform me they are worried because  he is hyper-active. They tell me they have consulted doctors and that Tommy will soon be put on medications to “stabilize” his condition. His grandmother and I both believe  what the boy needs is an occasional tap on the wrist when he does something wrong and lots of positive enouragement when he behaves well. His parents don’t agree with this “old-fashioned” approach. They both work and don’t have much time to spend with Tommy. “The doctors know best,” his mother says.  So this little boy is being sacrificed to the higher Altar of Double Income and will in all likelihood become addicted to medications for the rest of his life. The pharmas must be happy with this news !

Sorry,  readers, for my saturnine mood today. Perhaps I need  medication. But from time to time we must tell it like it is. Hello,  Zombie Nation !

 

 

 

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