Archive | April 3, 2012

Growing up uncensored

My sister and I were talking last night about how little censorship my parents ever put in our way. They didn’t censor our tv viewing but since the tv was in the living room they were always there. Ali was commenting on the fact that they let her watch Laugh-In and the Smothers Brothers and other shows that the humour in those days was quite adult in.

I had to point out that they didn’t believe in any kind of censorship. Mom made the librarian let me in to the adult section in the library when I was 10 and the librarian was quite shocked that when I wanted to read Don Quixote the librarian got a sharp reprimand from my mom for trying to stop me. I remember her telling the librarian that I wouldn’t understand the parts she wanted to keep from me anyway and my mom was right. Dulcinea’s profession and other things went right over my head and I thought it was a cool story.

The only thing I can remember her censoring ever was when I wanted to see Zeffrelli’s Romeo and Juliet and she wouldn’t let me, when most of my friends did. She didn’t want my first Shakespeare to be naked Shakespeare. She let me go see “Julius Caesar” with the Latin Club a year later. Caesar being stabbed in the rotunda was fine.

She was always scared I would hurt myself physically doing something which is why Dad never told her we were going down Class IV rapids the first time we went river rafting but they never thought we could hurt ourselves mentally.

The rest of my friends got censored from reading or watching things but we didn’t although she wasn’t real pleased with Dad when he took us to the drive in to see “Disney’s Son of Flubber” and the opening movie was in “In Like Flynn”. I think we were more interested the concession stand and I was reading a book than watching a movie I couldn’t really understand.

When I was in high school I never had a curfew either when all my friends did. Mom’s take was, If I haven’t taught you by now, it’s too late, so the one time I did go on a date because I couldn’t avoid it I made up one. I knew then I didn’t like boys and I didn’t want to be stuck somewhere too late I couldn’t get home from. Mom and Dad were really surprised to see me at 11pm. And I did a strategic duck in the door backwards to avoid the goodnight kiss. Mind you this was in 1972 way before I knew I was gay or that women could be gay. I only knew gay men growing up, I thought, later I learned that wasn’t strictly true. The women were just more closeted.

They wanted us to be critical thinkers and make our own judgments. I don’t think she thought I’d question myself right out of her norms and values. She did have a total meltdown when my brother and I came out and my becoming a pagan certainly wasn’t in her game plan either but neither of my parents believed in limiting the brain in any way. My dad was really socially progressive. He thought prostitution and drugs should be legalized to make them safer which was pretty interesting from a man who was very faithful and never drank or smoked. He and mom were both pro-choice way before Roe V Wade and pro-birth control once it came along. THAT was a really amusing conversation since I had no intention of ever sleeping with a man. Her biggest fear from the time I was little was that I wouldn’t go to college and I would become and unwed mother, uh, never going to be a problem, Mom.

So I guess it was a pretty strange upbringing when you think about it from a couple of Presbyterian Republicans with really broad thinking.

Chrysler has NO customer care and should have been allowed to fail

Corporations fail because they no longer care about being personally responsible. Chrysler is a case in point and after my experience yesterday they should have been allowed to fail, forget the gosh darn bailout. My last two cars have been Chrysler/Jeeps/ Dodge. I loved my 1986 Jeep Cherokee and I’d still be driving it if the insurance company hadn’t totaled it after a $50 fender bender of microscopic damage.

Next I bought a PT Cruiser in 2005, it’s a 2006 model and it still has less than 50,000 miles on it because I take the bus a lot of the time and because I’ve been unemployed permanently except for temp jobs for 4 years. Until last week it had never had a problem other than repairing the brakes once.

The Check engine light went on and I took it to my mechanic who always has done a good job and he ran the diagnostic although he had a pretty good idea what had happened, especially since another PT Cruiser was in for exactly the same thing. Evidently there is a bulletin out on the check engine light coming on due to defective programming of the camshaft computer and the dealer has to “flash it” or reboot it somehow. So it has a factory defect.

I called the Service Dept of the Van Nuys Chrysler dealer and was treated like an idiot by a rude son of a sea biscuit mackerel. He told me my mechanic couldn’t possibly know what Chrysler’s computer would say nor should he know about bulletins on defects in the vehicle parts. He said it may or may not be under warranty and they may or may not honor it either way because it’s old but for $130 they might tell me what was wrong with it. Not fix it mind you that would just be the starting fee.

So, I’m being punished for not driving my car enough so their defect didn’t show up sooner? I’m being punished for not fouling the environment more and taking the bus. Chrysler is a load of horse poop and I am never buying another one if this is how they treat their customers post bailout. I’ll buy an environmentally friendly car, something they still don’t have unlike say Ford or Toyota or Honda. Or I’ll get a Fiat 500 or a Smart Car but I will not be buying a god damn Chrysler because of the rude dufus who could care less about the people who actually own their cars.

Poetry month – a favourite folk song

Jock o’ Hazeldean

Here is a Border ballad by Sir Walter Scott about a young lady who knows her own mind!

Jock o’ Hazeldean
‘Why weep ye by the tide, ladie,
Why weep ye by the tide?
I’ll wed ye to my youngest son,
And ye shall be his bride:
And ye shall be his bride, ladie
Sae comely to be seen’ –
But aye she loot the tears down la’
For Jock o’ Hazeldean.

‘A chain of gold ye shall not lack,
Nor braid to bind you hair,
Nor mettled hound, nor managed hawk,
Nor palfrey fresh and fair.
And you, the fairest of them a’
Shall ride our forest queen.’
But aye she loot the tears down la’
For Jock o’ Hazeldean.

‘Now let this wilfu’ grief be done,
And dry that cheek so pale;
Young Frank is chief of Errington,
And lord of Langley-dale;
His step is first in peaceful ha’,
His sword is battle keen’ –
But aye she loot the tears down fa’
Foe Jock of Hazeldean.

The kirk was deck’d at morning tide,
The tapers glimmer’d fair.
The priest and bridegroom wait the bride,
And dame and knight are there.
They sought her baith by bower and ha’
The ladie was not seen.
She’s o’er the border and awa’,
Wi’ Jock o’ Hazeldean!

Meaning of unusual words: