"The unexamined life is not worth living" Socrates

- - scatterings of ideas sent to my younger self, a sensitive girl who was fooled into believing she was a boy because of anatomy - -

Saturday 19 October 2019


I've noticed a trend in my life experiences and a tendency in my thinking over this past three years. I really don't get it. No matter what "it" is, more likely than not, I cannot relate to what is going on. I feel like a crotchety old person when I say this: the world has become very strange, and seems to be getting stranger.

I grew up in the 1950s and 1960s. They were not a golden age for me by any means. People 'like me' who refused to hide their nature were, at the very best, made fun of. While some things have become better over the past half century, other things have crept in and, as I say, I don't get most of it.

K and I moved during the summer, and, for a variety of reasons, we do not have broadcast television now. We might not have it until next year, we are told. I'm sure for most North Americans, that prospect would be horrifying. The feeling here is close to relief. This situation will provide an excuse when others ask about some topic I would rather not be talking about - "oh, sorry, (Canadians always manage to work in 'sorry') we don't have cable where we live". Don't get me wrong - I have my news links that I can check whenever it seems a good idea. There is an election here in Canada this week and I know all about it - but only what I want to know about it. When some "expert" starts trying to tell me who not to vote for (that is the way it is done now; vote for the least repugnant candidate), I can just move on to the next item or close the news feed.

I have no idea whether the program about serial killers, Criminal Minds, is still on the air or what even-more-violent depiction of American life has taken its place, but a search for "tv program about serial killers" yielded fifty-one such. In that nation where in 2017 almost 40,000 were killed by a gun, how can anyone believe this sort of program doesn't contribute to the problem? But as I say, I don't get it.

I don't know what actor got the sack on what program. Reality tv is no longer making me think the average person is incredibly stupid and gullible. Yes, I know - it isn't real, it is just for fun. Tell that to those 'average people'.

Speaking of reality, does it take being alive almost seventy years to have noticed that storms are more severe than ever? Winds are stronger on average. Does it really take a sixteen-year-old from Sweden to raise the alarm? It amazes me to see how the media can pay so much attention to irrelevancies and so little to the future of the planet. I don't get it at all.

I don't know what horror is being exploited by the networks this season. Is it vampires this year or the undead? Or has that reality star, the American President, managed to make real-reality more horrifying than anything a screenwriter can imagine? Come to think of it, the Donald and his crew might be trying to arrange for folk like me to be the next horror television theme.

Don't get me wrong - I have great empathy for people of intelligence who are still hooked by media. It might be interesting to know who is leading in the baseball standings ... oh, right ... the playoffs. In the end, though, I won't remember who won a month after it is over. I used to like watching hockey, but have no idea who played in the Stanley Cup final this year (professional hockey's North American championship), let alone who won.

If you made it this far, all of the above is just to prepare you for an important revelation about this blog and its blog-mistress. I have come to question its and my relevance. Sad, but true; my life is about a lot of other things that have nothing to do with my history. And yes, that is as it should be. 

A good friend is working in the current election for the Green Party. No, we don't expect Elizabeth May to be the next Prime Minister of Canada, but someday the young people will vote and who seems to care about their future? There are important things to be done for, and by people like me who don't get it. 

When it comes to our television situation, fear not, our vast DVD collection is getting some use. And on the topic of this old blog, I'm still here, ready and willing to answer any questions you might have about what it was like back in the old days.

K, would you pass the Geritol™, please?


  1. I think you've picked the perfect time to be cable-free, quite honestly. It's like living in a horror movie south of the Maple Curtain these days. :(

    If you're looking for a good show to watch online, I can recommend two brand-new ones that have quickly become personal favorites. The first is Stumptown, a detective show set in Portland OR starring Cobie Smulders (a Canadian, of course!). It reminds me of The Rockford Files - very high praise in my book. The second is The Unicorn, a very funny/sweet sit-com starring Walton Goggins (Justified, The Shield). Very sweet show. He plays a widower who is starting to date again. The supporting cast is wonderful too.

    Not sure if these are available up there, but if they are I think you and K would enjoy them. Happy viewing! :c)

    == Cass

  2. Hey Miss C!
    Those both look interesting, and yes it appears they are available. Now we just have to decide who we want to pay to get service, and whether we want to pay and watch commercials too - paying twice really bugs me, whether it is in a DVD or an internet service. Getting grouchy aren't I? Maybe we will wait and buy the seasons when they come out on DVD. :- )

    Big Hugs back.

    1. Not sure what the options are up there, but I can watch Stumptown on Hulu as part of my regular monthly subscription. The Unicorn is only available through CBS's streaming service, which has commericals, so I bought a season pass on Amazon Prime. I don't mind because I'm a big fan of Walton Goggins, and this is a really endearing, funny show. :c)

      == Cass

  3. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear! It is said that a good counsellor reflects back what we say. Now I'm not looking for a counsellor, and you are not offering that service. Why is it then that you are reflecting all that is going on inside me at present? The specifics may change, but the general is very much there.

    I did not realise, or perhaps did not choose to admit, that more and more I look at society with something akin to horror. Against that background, I find I am in a state of steady withdrawal. Feeling that one is a one-eyed man living in the valley of the blind does not feel very kingly to me.

    We don't have a vast collection of Dvd's, but such as we have is getting a thorough work-out. If only...... but there's no future in going down that track.

    Good to hear from you again Halle. I'm so glad you are able to do what I seem no longer able to do, namely to write a post.

    1. Thank you Tom. I hadn't really intended to write, but I was mulling these ideas over and a post happened; quite organically until the editing happened (thank you K).

      K and I often find a cheap DVD bin while shopping. Mostly there is nothing we want (or don't already have), but now and then we get a movie for $5. This week it was Going in Style, with Michael Caine, Alan Arkin and Morgan Freeman.

      Cassidy's idea of paying a monthly fee for a video service is getting more and more tempting.

  4. Well.....there are those of us who do believe in television, at least as a career. Doesn't mean I have to watch it :)

    I do, watch it however. I think it keeps me thinking young. Not the news so much, but we do like to laugh. Certainly books also occupy some of my time, but the television (there are several in the house) will never go away.

    Halle, you're such a good writer and you should keep blogging. Your history doesn't have to be part of it, but I'm a big believer in leaving blogs up for those, like us, to read in the future. Following a journey, from start to finish, can help so many out there.

    1. Oh Calie, you sweet-talker, you!

      I do agree that our blogs should be a resource for people living as we did ten years ago and struggling to find someone else who understands. It won't come down if I can help it.

      I'm glad to be done with pretending that I am male, and all that went with it, especially (and I think you and I have discussed this years ago) when I was working and the chat around the lunch table made it important to be aware of sports, and news and what shows were on.

  5. Hi Halle,
    A common theme I would suggest, particularly in regard to seniors, not to get it.
    As an alternative to TV or videos have you ever considered getting involved with the University of the 3rd Age? –My experience down under has been very positive. I was first on a committee that formed the local campus, then attend classes on topics of interest. I then become a tutor. It first started out in France and in Canada it is called Third Age Network. For me, I found it enjoyable and engaging but also afforded one the opportunity to meet interesting folk and to form friendships.
    Best wishes

    1. Oh dear, Lindsay, I did check and the nearest established group is a two-hour drive away. That means I would need to do what you did; start a new campus. What you need to understand about me is I had enough bad experiences in meetings while working to last a lifetime ... not going to do that again.

      Fortunately, I have music and those sorts of meetings give me joy and social connection.

      Thanks you for thinking of me. Nice to know there are lots of ways to avoid media deprivation.
      All the Best

  6. Great post and greatly relevant. Thank you.

  7. It was nice to chat the other day. Glad things are going smoothly :)

    1. Regular chats are a great way to keep in touch, but when the weather gets better we need to decide where to meet and break bread again.