Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Life As An 8 O'Clock Person In A 5 O'Clock World

                During the information age of digi-tech and internet being more and more a part of our day to day lives,its not difficult for someone in my age group to have noticed major changes in how people access different media.  From the ages of 16 to 30 people born in the late 70's and early 80's have witnessed the transition from encyclopedia sets to personalized online wiki's, from petroleum guzzling SUV's to gas/electric hybrid cars. However one thing that hasn't changed much is people's confusion in meeting up to the demands to humanity's own creation of time. Workers and those travelling to appointments are still alternately condemned for being too late and too early for them. And since not every single clock on this planet is in precise sync with each other, the notion of being "on time" is actually pretty ludicrous. Speaking for myself again at the risk of sounding egotistical perhaps, there's another more personal side of this I am facing as I write this in fact.

                It is almost 1AM here now. I am not ready to go to sleep by a long shot and have a dental appointment tomorrow at 11AM. I chose that. However I will not necessarily be emotionally ready. Whatever my personal situation, it all comes down to the fact I am simply a night owl. That is not any revelation. More than half the population of major metropolitan areas the world over fit into that category-from New York City to London.  These cities have small and large business and services who cater to those who live and work by the light of the moon. When  treated by family to a 30th birthday vacation to Clearwater,Florida several years back I couldn't help but noticing the proliferation of night time businesses open for both. tourists and residence-some nearly 24 hours a day. It wasn't actually until returning for that entertaining and enlightening visit that something finally registered with me that had always been right under my nose.

               A good example of this occurred this past weekend. While on another family summer day trip we all thought of stopping at the colorfully tranquil Thuya Gardens in the Northeast Harbor area of Acadia following a picnic and walk around Schoodic Point. After taking a rather bumpy side road to go there, we checked a map in the glove compartment that said the gardens closed at 4:30PM. And this during the summer months. Maine,especially the coastal areas are dependent mostly on tourism during the warmer months. This gave me credence to look around and notice that on weekends,the most likely time for tourist traffic most business in the Acadia National Park area are closed down before the sun sets. Even many public restroom facilities. Its hard to imagine in a society with such variant schedules,the need for more employment hours by people of all ages and primarily the fact it is now the 21st century that such outmoded conditions of time could still exist in an area such as this.

              Within the past couple of years I've become more and more enthralled with Doctor Who, a television program that presents the idea that some aspects of time are fixed and must remain untouched, whereas other moments of time are totally flexible and can be altered. In the show its often referred to as "wibbly wobbly,timey wimey". Even though there are many who have accused me of sleeping half the day away over the years, don't most of us now live a "wibbly wobbly,timey wimey" kind of life? The "5 O'Clock World" the song talks about doesn't seem to be very viable today. Understanding rural oriented societies such as Maine intent on keeping its old traditions, perhaps some such traditions are not fixed points in time. And need to be appropriately changed. And not just to accommodate me personally: I am not alone. There are many people who want more hours at work, visitors who need more services-all on different time schedules  In the modern world, every place should be open to both those who rise with the roosters and those who live by the indigo skies after the dusk shine.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

July In America And The Question Of Patriotism

               One of the major sociological questions asked by the baby boomer and many succeeding American generations is the question of what is patriotism and what isn't. If someone were to ask me the question, I'd have so much to say. At the same time their is a mild faux Zen philosophy gripping many Americans even now,probably as an unseen form of self denial. And that is the "less is more" conversational ethic. Cannot tell you how many times that's been imparted to me in terms of my own mode of conversation. Without any patronizing on my part I'm going to give that "less is more" idea a genuine try in this particular blog. Especially since it will be the last before a self imposed three week vacation from blogging. So without further adieu, I will get to the point of this brief but hopefully enlightening blog.

           2013 is officially halfway through itself. And the nation of America is taking a long hard look at itself after years of purposing to be the greatest country on the entire Earth.  The  American public's attitudes towards President Obama,as he is continuing to support positive and humanistic social change,as well as that towards the young men who perpetrated the tragic Boston Marathon Massacre in April shows that sadly racism and prejudice of all sorts remain a hidden American epidemic. Same goes for sexism,with many political changes counter to ethnic minorities and women have been put into place this year as well. Yet at the same time,even as the debate on firearms continues the extremely anti humanist DOMA was defeated this year-less than a week from this writing in fact.

             This particular fourth of July showcases to me an interesting time to be an American. The beginnings of correction for social problems that have plagued the nation,even if too many people choose not to see them as problems at all, are finally underway. There remains the possibility of sociopolitical decisions unworkable in the present American society of being continually maintained by those few remaining people so frightened by change they'd just assume see a bad thing last forever. Yet for the first time in many many years, decades actually the age of cynicism and quietly enforced uncaring is beginning to fade from peoples hearts and minds. And as intolerance,both religiously and politically continues to wither fast with age the possibility exists for Americans to at last treat all other Americans as free people capable of fully pursuing happiness.