Monday, June 23, 2014

Our Wonderful Small Lives; Our Terrible Large Lives

It is hard to reconcile at times how there can be so many opposites in life to handle. So many things are wonderful and yet so many things are terrible. Personally, my major way of handling this has always been to fully enjoy a heightened sense of the absurd. This is why I love Woody Allen and even his occasional leading man, Larry David. They live in the land of the absurd.

For example, I have been making tests for the Teachers Pay Teachers website. One of these tests was on sex based crimes. I don't know exactly how Allen or David would work their way out of the below depressing state of affairs.  But I bet they could do it. (This entry has nothing to do with Mia Farrow's unsubstantiated, continuing attacks against Woody Allen, other than I think people who are still hounded when charges have been validly investigated and dismissed are also victims.)

As background for my test drafting, I knew that sex slave trafficking exists and is a global problem but I did not know that it involved over a million people, the majority being women and children. They are taken from Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia and brought here and to Japan and to some other affluent sections of the world. This info was necessary for my test on sex based crimes. From that I vaulted right into another fairly new crime called Child Sex Tourism. This is where people from the US go to Thailand, for example, to have sex with children. So these are my questions for my TPT test:

1. This sex crime committed in a foreign country can be prosecuted against an American in America regardless of whether the offense is punishable in the country where it occurred:

a. Child Sex Tourism  
b. menage a trois
c. sado masochism
d. bestiality

2. Global Sex Trafficking involves sexual servitude by women and children and also some men, recruited from Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia. This is not true about this crime affecting over one million people:

a.  these sex slaves work in the United States  
b.  gangs, especially Russian ones, are the criminals behind these enterprises
c.  sex traffickers are often women who began as coerced sex workers themselves
d.  conviction rates are high for Global Sex Trafficking in the United States

Correct answers are given in red above. Conviction rates are extremely low.

It seems incredible to me that the last time I talked about slavery was in a spirited conversation with my neighbor Rebecca after we both saw Daniel Day-Lewis play Lincoln. Why were we talking about slavery from two centuries ago when it is ongoing in our own time?

So this is what I mean about life can be terrible. However, at one and the same time I am going about my day and there is a lot about my day that is wonderful. I am reading a good book called Those Who Wish Me Dead by Michael Koryta about people out in the wilderness in Montana being hunted by two bad guys and using their survival skills to thwart them. Inbetween I will play scrabble, gin rummy and do a crossword on my ipad. (I have greatly improved on all three by just playing against the computer.)

Jim and I are going today to pick up our first food basket from our summer of produce from a local farm in the national park. His old boy scout camp is right around the corner and we are going to poke our heads in there too. He will later make one of his world class salads from the produce for our dinner. It is another nice, cool day in the mid 70s which is perfect for swimming since hardly anyone will be at our pool. Our pool is only used hard when it is much, much hotter. I just had a nice lunch of my favorite sandwich from Subway which is on flat bread and filled with Italian meats, cheeses and veggies. I've got two episodes of Orphan Black here to catch up on from BBC America, a sci fi series. I am ready to attempt closing up those sleeves on my animal print dress and it is now sitting beside my sewing machine waiting for me. And I will either be sipping a gin gimlet or a campari and soda in late afternoon or early evening which will be pleasant. I check my email with Rebecca and I see she is now filing her own blog entries with photos. These are computer skills which I taught her so I feel good about that entry.

Most importantly, I can see better than I was seeing due to my two eye surgeries. I could go on and on but in sum, my daily, hourly, minutely life is not bad at all.  It is actually very nice. I am stretched out as usual on my low sofa which overlooks the woods two stories up, as if I am in a tree house. I have four floor to ceiling windows in that spot for light and fresh air. My Mac Air is propped up on my belly as I write and look for photos from my favorite absurdists to go with this piece.
But I am hardly repining about not going out further into the world than those activities. I think some of the key to happiness, or at least senior happiness, is to think small. There is nothing that can go too wrong with my day as I've just outlined it to you. But make my plans more grandiose and I could be cruising for a major fall, especially with iffy health conditions. Presently my idea for more grandiose would be to get into the car and drive to Lake Erie on Geneva on Huntington Beaches, either this day or another summer's day.  How is that for risk taking? For me it is a just fine level although I am sure some of you are being a bit more Lewis & Clark than I am this summer.

I feel bad for the sex slaves but in the end I do what we all do, get on with my life in my microscopic section of the universe as best I can. I can't get through my own day with too much bad stuff. And why should I pick bad things I have not even the slightest amount of ability to control? So it is beautiful June Sunday and I will instead seize the day and enjoy it.

P.S. I have been trying to think of an inspirational person to write about for days and this is as close as I can get to that idea. If I could subtract Woody Allen's personal life from his equation he would be my choice. While a person is still alive, however, that is very hard to do. Let's just say I find him tremendously inspiring based on what he's accomplished professionally.

1 comment:

  1. So insightful, uplifting, and inspiring! And it's always a joy to hear appreciative words about Woody Allen--thanks for another fabulous installment of Living as Seniors!