Saturday, October 24, 2009

Uh, when did I wake up and find myself back in 1976?

Because today THIS was at the foot of my driveway. No shit.

I heard this loud - but muffled - smash occur out in the alley, one that I immediately felt had the characteristic sound of porcelain crashing against a hard surface. (Yeah, just trust me and don't ask why I know this sound, but I do.) It was loud enough to wake me up from a sound sleep, just before my scheduled daily alarm went off. And because I had been woken up earlier than planned, the coffee timer was still merely at the pre-brewing stage. So despite having not yet one cup, I still decided to bravely investigate by letting the dog out to pee. This was when I noticed these from the vantage point of my driveway as it leads down to the alley and street.

Seems one of my neighbors or a passerby had accidentally 'dropped' a full sink basin on the concrete walk or it 'bounced' off the asphalt surface of my street while they were driving by. (It's remains are in the background of first pic above, just past the swanky, green, disintegrating mesh beach chair.) But they also left this neatly-boxed, ancient, stash out in front of my neighbor's weathered tool shed for the recyclable zombies* to feed upon. (*They are those desperate souls who endlessly wander our neighborhood streets in search of more deposit/return cans and bottles to scavenge.) Now, just in case I had woken up in some parallel universe I HAD the good sense to check by coming back inside and see that yes, I do indeed have a G5, a Blackberry and a digital camera on hand. Tangible things that I could physically touch, and utilize in this present year of 2009. And although I was still groggy, and the sun was glaringly bright I managed to shoot off a few frames. You will have to excuse the crappy shots, I wasn't going to bother touching the dusty funk of 30-some-years past, just to to move the packs for better lighting in a shot.

Why people out here never seem to discard and leave me any old 70's toys, comic books or platform shoes is beyond me.I have to say it is doubly surreal to me that after that visual weirdness, when I had begun to indulge in my daily routine over coffee it was only to continue on as I was reading the news. After the ancient soda discovery today, and hearing so much media coverage concentrated on the Swine Flu is what is making me recall 1976 in particular.

One thing the current articles all seem to have in common is that they make mention of the recent increase of reported deaths and also the number of outbreaks in certain areas of the US. I feel this reporting has really gotten people worried about pandemic concerns based on the increasing numbers and thus, the public can only gauge their fear as legitimate as this gets worse, instead of better. Having been skeptical of the US media machine for some time, I've already done my research on this as much as I can though alternative sources. While I was already aware that the mandatory reporting of the amount of cases, or the fatalities to a WHO was no longer in place as of August or so, I wondered why the media bothers reporting the increased numbers at all? If it's to scare us into getting shots or whatever else? WTF? If the media really wanted to strike fear into us, why didn't they simply say how many people do not realize that any of these reported media sourced numbers is, or may be highly inaccurate because of this lack of mandated reporting from agencies since August? Beats me.

As always, I'm playing it safe as far as doing my best to ward of illness, but I'm not going top get so freaked-out or scared that I get a damn flu shot.However, it's the end of October that does worry me more. I understand that heath care workers are subject to getting these mandatory shots as it's a hazard of the job when one has a career where they often expose their bodies to illness or outbreaks. But I am always leery of US approved immunization for the general public who do not fall into this category anyway. The fact that people, if they so choose can conveniently get their shots the same place where I might get my food source and then go roaming freely through the grocery store, CVS, Walgreen's (etc..etc.) aisles afterward is just nuts to me. Most of these flu shot recipients will go touching everything in sight, while I am there grabbing Halloween candy, a card, (or whatever else) is what irks me. Guess Halloween is supposed to be scary, right? And of the people who do get the shots and become willingly inflicted with the symptoms of the sickness, I am reminded of prior co-workers. Those who usually just show up for work all the time, instead of calling out as they should. So screw it, as the Fall progresses if this doesn't let up going into winter? I've decided it might just be smarter if everyone this year on my list is gets either Art shipped out to them, or else online gifts sent to them for the Holidays.

Before anyone thinks I am a paranoid conspiracy theorist, understand that I know where a lot of my skepticism comes from, my upbringing and having survived the 70's. And thanks to today's web technology I was able to google and find an old 60 minutes clip HERE. Pretty crazy stuff. I actually recall my parents discussing this show after it aired, and much like the Legionarres disease scare (where in Philadelphia 28 people died of a mysterious virus dubbed "Legionnaire's disease.") the Swine Flu as well was already the subject of National news back then. However, having supposedly originated in Fort Dix that terrorizing concern over immunizing against the flu virus was elevated to a high-level of immediate concern for households in N.J., N.Y., and P.A. Especially in the schools. People were being urged by Uncle Sam to go and get immunized. This was all over the news and on TV in N.J. and the Tri-State area in 1976.

Dig this ad, and yes they were seriously televised ads and not a parody or farce.

I remember my Mom strongly arguing with my Dad about being against any of us getting one even before this aired. Hey, despite my awesome memory powers, I think anyone would recall things from childhood such as your Mom arguing against you getting a shot. I was on her side, what kid wants one of those? My Mom promptly refused that I , or anyone else in my immediate household was getting one of these. And so we didn't. Soon after more reports like this one from 60 minutes surfaced. My Mom kicks-ass.

Fine. Call me a product of the 70's (and anyone who knows me can and does, since I still can be spotted wearing platform boots and bell-bottoms from time-to-time) but revisiting this current newsworthy issue and topic of the Swine Flu all these decades later, I'm with her. Mass immunization, or mass anything recommended by the government or state for that matter, always raises concerns with me and people should do all the research they can to make an informed decision.

After today, I find that suddenly the title of the old Primus tune - "Pork Soda" now has a visual reference in my mind.


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