Wandering In Forbidden Gardens

A misguided woman walked into the men’s changing room at the YMCA yesterday. There were no screams. She walked out with no fanfare. It would have been far different, had the tables been turned.

A lot has been said recently about the internet being a giant echo chamber.  Following one’s passions, without regard to opposing views, is not only possible, but also the norm.

Trips to the DMV were always interesting–if one could get past the frustrations of waiting, confusing signage, and rude employees.

Where else were there such cross-sections of humanity in one place waiting for the same things?  Was rudeness a qualification for employment there?

A sign with large block letters above the door to the visual examination and picture-taking room had braille lettering below.  The sign readable to the sighted–only readable to the visually impaired from a step-ladder.

Equal opportunities for all capabilities?  Nobody could reach the sign to read the braille lettering.  It certainly raised questions in my mind.  I suspected it had something to do with the facilities’ compliance with ADA laws.  All signage had to have both types of lettering.   Compliance with little common sense–if you asked me.

 

PARADE

cheshire cat

Uptight citizens
Emotions
Starched, repressed
Backs upright
Broomstick straight
Displayed, exemplary
Politeness
Might, made
Rightness
With standard
Held high

Victorious
Vainglorious
Crusade of
Culture clashes
Plied, the
Proscribed path

Marched in lockstep
With frozen
Cheshire cat smiles
Silently, in mock
Stoicism, onward
To obfuscation
All traces
Of humanness
Willed away

BE YOURSELF (Finer Points of Coolness)

When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other”

-Eric Hoffer-

 Looking cool and being cool were two different things.  Having the proper accoutrements didn’t necessarily make you cool.  Each generations standards were largely based on pop culture.  I grew up in the sixties and seventies.  Kids that looked or acted differently were cruelly singled out.  I wasn’t the stereotypical “flower child.”  …Rebelled in my own unique ways.  My crazy ideas–shave my head and have tattooed hair.  Legally change my name to “ZX09” or something difficult to pronounce.  Then, I’d feign indignantly, when my name was mispronounced.  I wanted an ordinary appearing, primered car with a souped-up engine, that would blow everybody else off the road.  Thank God those wacky ideas were never brought to fruition.

My idol was Edd “Kookie” Byrnes from the TV show “77 Sunset Strip.”  He embodied my ideals of coolness.  I copied his hair style.  If I only had a cool car?  …An attractive girlfriend to fawn over me?  Then I’d definitely be cool.  I tried smoking cigarettes–anybody that was anybody smoked.  My Dad was a strict disciplinarian and liberally administered corporal punishment.  Consequently, I settled for candy cigarettes rolled up in my T-shirt sleeve.  I was a shy kid and could only fantasize about beautiful girlfriends.  Later I aspired to have “Beatlesque” shaggy hair.  Mom and Dad weren’t thrilled about that, either.

Current cultural icons sport shaved heads, tattoos, and body piercings.  Tattoos and piercings are becoming mainstream.  Like my parents, I find some trends hard to understand.  To keep things in perspective, rebellion from parental control was part of growing up.  I wanted to make my own life decisions.  Sometimes my choices weren’t the right ones.  Peer approval sometimes overruled good judgement.  If everybody did the same thing–it was conformity, not non-conformity.  This concept passed right over my head.  Don’t take my message the wrong way.  Conformity is sometimes necessary for survival–in school, military service, while incarcerated.  Our thoughts can still run free.

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I admire eccentricity

Independence from conformity

Not what’s wrong or right

It brings me great delight

Break down barriers

Tear down walls

Push boundaries

Find a niche

Be yourself

Because it’s cool!

Advice from a rebellious old fool

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