We’ve received some sad news. Long-time Venice resident Danielle Greco passed away on April 23. She was found in her backyard in Boulder, Colorado by her daughter Danielle, apparently having died of a heart attack. She had had a recent history of heart problems. She was 65 years young. Life was not treating her well as of late, and she had mentioned she might be planning to move to Florida, where it was warmer.
Both Marcia and myself are saddened by this news, but feel that in a way, it was a relief to her. Danielle lived in the canals during the mid-70s and left town in the mid-80s.
I’m sure that lots of readers will remember her and appreciate the mention of this sad news.
President Obama and Mr. Abajo
Some readers actually have become more than full up with all the Obama fawning and the constant admiring of his continual PR and his continual campaigning. In this April issue, Jim Smith writes some helpful hints for handling [economic] depression, such as:
“Unemployment insurance should be cranked up to at least 50 percent of people’s previous salaries…… Two or three people on unemployment should be able to pay the rent and utilities. Don’t feel bad about improving and enjoying yourself while collecting the dole. …….. Now is the time to receive a small dividend. Don’t turn up your nose at a year off with pay.”
Does this sound like he is saying it is good to ‘go on the dole’ as the Brits say, and assume that if a job is not easily found quickly, then just take the government’s money [that is= all the taxpayers’ money, including your prior employed payments] and pretend it is all ‘for free now’…not to worry…just take a year’s vacation on the back of the rest of the hard-laboring-citizens? Is that called helpful – moral – fair – and honest advice? Some of us differ.
The easy way out is not the best way, nor is the selfish taking “a year off with pay” a socially conscionable act. If you need time off because of some serious emotional or health reason, that is different, but just because work is more difficult to find or with less pay than you had before… that walk-away is not a healthy choice for you, or the rest of us either. In fact, the too-long-time-off creates other attitude problems for returning to employment. Better yet is learning how to trade and barter and help each other,any other, collectively, cooperatively, and willingly.
Spend less and realize that the good-economic-with-debt-times were a faked up advertised illusion, that you too believed as if no consequences would ever occur when over-consumption was indulged. Realize the ways USA’s have been sold on luxury, eating ‘out’, buying fancy new items [phones, electronics, clothes, toys] , and always “more” with it’s attendant Entitlement Attitude was fun but that was also a fake lure. All that is excessive has it’s cyclic turn and then …plop! right back into the good earth dirt mud. And what is wrong with being frugal, sharing sparingly but lovingly with others ? It’s not hard to do unless you have become indulgent, expectant, and spoiled-childlike.
So how can each person share whatever skills they have accumulated in-Trade with someone else’s talents and resources ? Barter more. What’s so hard about coming back around to where the global citizens had less, saved more, did without all those up-scale extras ? And….without complaints and self-pity. Without taking advantage of anyone else or even the system?
Can’t we do as others do: Share apt. spaces, and learn how to “get along” with others that seemed so difficult before . Not everyone needs a whole apt. for themselves alone, or even just ‘for 2’. Like so many other peoples of this world, spaces can be used in shifts, or shared in different ways as work spaces, not just stored as ‘sitting rooms’.And what tragedies occur if time is used more practically with a lot less TV, movie, DVD, and passive other-story-watching ?
Being INVOLVED in real life with real people is a real learning experience…yes, again. Learning to tolerate, accept and cooperate is a whole level we have easily avoided by the being able to live separately while previously affording ‘my very own’ for a while now. Can we now take the challenges we have avoided, like having to live alongside each other, again, instead of separating [like spoiled milk], or instead of looking down at having-to-share, yes, again.
Who ever said this USAmerican life is suppose to always be more filled with stuff, including electronics, toys, adult toys, and full wallets ? Who ever promised us that we would always get MORE while working longer hours for less and like it too ? We’ve heard that actual wages have not risen in real inflated dollars since 1997, but we have demanded to stay in that dream in which we could buy more and more because we “deserve” to keep always buying. Besides buying being a ‘national duty’ by this and prior Prez’s decrees too.
Is it Depression, recession, hard times or just ‘harder than we ever thought it Should Be’? The word description is not what is important. It is how we go into the challenges and find creative ways of learning to live…again…differently than we have grown accustomed to…but still not so bad as is feared.
We still have what friends we realize we can trust and like. We may even have family to which we must connect back..yes, again. We may find that regular home-cooking, doing our own cleaning and laundry, driving less and taking public transportation at times, reading for personal growth and learning, and talking to strangers [who love to share their secrets and advice too] is not as bad as we thought.The simple life. The fuller life.
Hey, why the sour look ? The free paycheck from the gov’t is not free for all. But while finding clever ways of making just-enough to keep us housed and fed until another job or opportunity emerges, we can still stay free, independent, inter-dependent and be adults.
The welfare roles are not the best opportunity for growth or gain, tho many do lazily prefer them.
Try another way, for a change. Grow. Be willing to do something ‘different’ than just get. For a change.
maryjanie – artistic realist, word-player, creative-thinker
The writer responds:
maryjanie has some great suggestions in how to cope with economic hard times. However, I do disagree with her statement that taking a year off with pay is a selfish act. My disagreement is based on several considerations. First, we are not on this earth to spend half our waking hours making a profit for a big corporation, or even a little one. Life is too short to waste it. Second, all the wealth of our society was created by the muscle, blood and brain power of our collective ancestors, as well as our present generation. We are entitled to use our insurance payments and our time as we see fit. We are the masters of our society, even if we don’t yet have the power to enforce it. Third, a year off from the daily grind can give us time to develop and improve our skills, both social and technical. The next time we go back to work, we’ll be more productive and more competent, although we may not be so willing to take the BS that is dished out on a daily basis. In summary, if anyone is being selfish it is the super-rich on Wall Street who are fleecing the rest of us, and still demanding billions more.