Well, I’m alive. Although, from what I’ve been told, I was a daisy pusher for a hot couple of seconds.
See, I got my spanking new defibrillator implanted Friday. Apparently, immediately after wiring up the little dynamo, the docs as a matter of course cause the patient’s heart to go into fibrillation so’s they can see if the machine will properly jolt said muscle back into its customary walking bass line. And since fibrillation is, essentially, sudden cardiac death, well then, technically, I was St. Big Mike for that little snippet of time.
I know, I know — I’m over-dramatizing the whole shebang but, jeez, lemme have my moment on the sun, wouldja?
Anyway, I’ll be taking it easy for a couple of weeks now, although clacking out these screeds does not count as an undue burden upon my ticker and my two forefingers. So I’m back to haranguing you with my half-assed opinions and half-cocked suggestions.
Funny thing is, I was chit-chatting with a pal the other day and she said she doesn’t believe in “western medicine” which, I suppose means she’s suspicious about the motives and actions of pharmaceutical companies, health care insurers, and other such used car salesfolk. To a large extent, I agree with her. The profit motive makes our health care delivery system fairly fercockt, at least in relation to that of every other civilized nation on this Earth.
Still “western medicine,” meaning the science practiced by those who look askance at such parlor tricks as homeopathy, faith healing, magnet therapy, and qigong, has come up with a number of machines and drugs that allow me to be sitting here typing this out rather than fermenting in the ground at Rose Hill.
I’ll take the west, thanks.
So, yesterday was the 43rd anniversary of the May 4th Massacre, aka the Kent State shootings. Four Kent State University student were gunned down by Ohio National Guardsmen during a protest rally that day.
For those of my generation, we can’t hear the words “Kent State” without thinking of the four dead in Oh-hie-oh, as Neil Young so memorably put it.
It’s also lesson number 624,539 that, no matter how uncivilized we think political discourse is these days, we ain’t got nuffin’ on the late 1960s and early 70s.
Consider this dialogue between a man who had sons attending Kent State at the time of the shootings and a researcher studying attitudes about the incident, as related by historian Rick Perlstein in his book, Nixonland:
Man: Anyone who appears on the streets of a city like Kent with long hair, dirty clothes, or barefooted deserves to be shot.
Researcher: Have I your permission to quote that?
Man: You sure do. It would have been better if the Guard had shot the whole lot of them that morning.
Researcher: But you had three sons there.
Man: If they didn’t do what the Guards told them, they should have been mowed down.
How delightful it must have been to have a father who was four square in favor of you getting your head blown clean off should you have failed to obey an order.
Here are some images, some iconic, of the day a bunch of Kent State students failed to obey orders.
Homo Sapiens sapiens. Yeah. Sure.
Glad to hear the ticker even from here. And the sound of the electric pencil scribbling …
Well, welcome back big boy. Glad things went well. Saint Big Mike has a nice ring to it but I can wait. I remember thinking why in the hell did the Guard have live ammunition? Crazy days.
Everyone has been asking about you. We’ll see you back at work when you’re ready.