This week’s Funny Papers Again column will not appear in this space. Instead, some other nonsense will appear here. The reason for this is because to present an articulate position in a concise manner on the subject chosen I had to do a little re-research, a brushing up on material I have been exposed to in prior studies. Well, a little research reading led to more reading and more names and quotes, and given I have a space limit for this column, I decided to table the thing until it is concise but cohesive.
So, this week you get my mental musings; for which you must count yourself far more fortunate than I as you can stop reading right now and be free of such mundanities whereas that option does not exist for me. Anyhoo, here goes.
I have a bachelor’s degree in communications, no brag, just fact, so when one of the foremost communication monsters in the country seems to fail in the smallest areas of basic communication it rankles me in general, but recent recurrent events concerning one company has got me where I’m seeing a room with rubber walls in my future.
For eight months I paid my online service provider (I won’t mention any corporate names, but the initials are AT&T; keep it to yourselves) with a U.S. Postal Service money order placed in the envelope provided, stamped, and sent away. Always the reply to my received payment came two ways, via email and with another envelope through the front door mail slot wherein they always urge me to “go paperless”; so I did.
Six months ago they began deducting the amount on the 28th of every month from my account; now get this: two received payment notices still come, one by email as always, but now I get a larger envelope from the idiots with a couple slick pages of smart phone or whatever deals and three pages telling me all about my account and that I’m all paid up for another month and on the 28th of next month they will again deduct automatically; also, three times on these pages there are notices that I can “go paperless” with automatic deduction. I’m not kidding; a half pound of paper used to tell me what I already know and asking me to save the trees all in one self-cancelling communication.
A month ago I took all the paperwork they sent and wrote something akin to the following (some words substituted from original): “What the hereafter kind of sense does this make?” I next suggested that “you people need to take your own advice and ‘go front-door paperless.’” I then shoved it all in an envelope and mailed it away.
Three days ago I got an email telling me they were going to automatically deduct on the 28th as usual; yesterday I got another large, thick envelope from you-know-who. I tossed it in the circular file; pack of apple cores can’t communicate. And don’t any of you tell me you haven’t had similar problems with some of these masters of communication upon which we are all reliant, we are all fair game.
I like the Queen of England, Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II, Elizabeth Regina. I once spent a few days in an Arroyo Seco campground and there were two lasses from England camping nearby (young ladies from England are lasses, while young girls from Ireland and Scotland are lassies; don’t ask me why) and in a conversation I asked them what it was like to be considered a “subject” of the Crown, this being a foreign idea to Americans.
Their reaction for 20-something females was atypical from that age group, about how disconnected the Royals were from British life and how much it cost the taxpayers; but then they surprised me when regardless of those views they both spoke very warmly about their Queen: “Ah, well, she’s lovely, though, isn’t she?” and “It’s a bit like having a second mum, innit?”
That was a few years ago, but the thought stuck, so recently I watched a “docuseries” about the reign of this lady, and while entertaining, it is easy for a screenwriter to build a story using a string of historical facts and figures and then offer up some plausible dialogue for an audience. In fact most stories “based on facts” or “based on actual events” are done using this technique.
In this instance the story of this lady’s reign further interested me, so I viewed a half-dozen documentaries covering the House of Windsor, from its inception to the near present, and one thing sticks with me: the old lady at the head of the largest of the world’s remaining monarchies has reigned for 69 years, longer than any other British monarch, passing the mark of the great Queen Victoria by six years.
She is the oldest and longest running monarch and head of state on the planet; during her years sitting in the top seat of the Crown she has weathered some storms. And she loves dogs and horses, so she’s got that going for her. Long live the Queen.
BITS & PIECES
If hacking is such a heinous crime, why aren’t those who excel at it called “Lizzies” or “Bordens”? After all, she was the original hacker.
Back east recently there was a fine example of America’s National Pastime Number One combining with America’s National Pastime Number Two: baseball and shooting people. Talk of gun control will again make the rounds, but nothing will really change; we are a nation where any individual who wants a gun can get one and we have become numb to the amount of destruction those guns ultimately do. Sad commentary on American culture.
The numbers of Covid-19 infections are on the rise in many areas, so I will begin to wear a mask again in places where over the past few weeks I have gone without. I do not understand all the controversy over the matter of masks and vaccinations. For me it is simple: my country asked me to do this, and I complied. It just seems like the friendly thing to do regarding my fellow citizens.