Saturday, July 25, 2015

 ... and I thought that interviewer was calling from New York ... 

Here's the link to the Business Insider Australia article that appeared today online.   (Copy and paste into your browser.)

The world has shrunken considerably, and I cannot imagine why anyone across the world would be interested in such a mundane story -- or maybe I'm not seeing the whole picture -- but it does seem to be much ado about nothing, or at least very little.

But then in a world where the Kardashians and Donald Trump command more ink than the Pope ... .

Friday, July 24, 2015

After months of acknowledging requests for interviews, photos, etc., then letting the pleasant feelings of being appreciated wash over me --  

... then unceremoniously hitting the trash button in disbelief!

Last week I spent several hours  at the Visitor Center as the subject of a photo shoot that will accompany an upcoming article in the National Parks Conservancy publication; another phone call in which a hopelessly young female voice announced that I'd been selected as someone's favorite ranger and could I answer a few questions for the readers of Pathways? Then a 30-minute telephone interview for a NY Business Insider magazine article.   I've lost count of those requests and now they're hardly recognizable except as items on my Google calendar with little meaningless notations as reminders that fail to remind me of anything due to the speed and urgency my life has taken on of late.

... I've become increasingly aware of the fact that there are out there, artists, writers, documentarians, videographers, poets, artists of various disciplines who have attended my presentations in our little theater over time.  And it's not just the "Polygrip crowd" as one might expect, but a cross-section of the community from near and far. They've become too numerous to ignore, and too insistent to brush off, and their message has finally penetrated through my resistance that the magical "something" needs to be documented.

That thing that happens is clearly not an accident, and has by now become part and parcel of my new "normal".  What I was assuming was a mere temporary "bump" in visitation as the direct result of the NPR Krasny Forum interview is growing with each day, and shows no signs of ebbing any time soon.

My presentations have been raised to 5/week instead of 3, and each event now runs at full tilt with every seat filled.  We're having to pass out numbers in order to not go over the seating capacity as ordered by the fire department.  Next we'll  have to go to a reservation system. Who knew?

And I'm now beginning to realize -- as Earth time is clearly winding down -- that there needs to be a way to capture on film or videotape those elements that make up my American Story since that piece will establish the way I'll be remembered when I'm no longer here.

That is becoming important to consider.  Any false modesty is beginning to fade away, and I'm finally admitting to myself that it matters to me.

My 94th birthday is only one month away.

Wish I hadn't trashed all those requests ... and could now give them the serious thought they deserved ... .

I've enlisted a small group of friends to act as advisers.  We shared a lovely dinner last night to begin to explore next steps.

I'm so grateful to have their counsel at a time when I'm no match for the incoming public attention.

Monday, July 20, 2015

In this final decade the insights come frequently and with the clarity of those that I experienced as a 6 year-old... 

... which should make them suspect, right?

This morning as I listened to the continuing coverage of the senseless and brutal killing of those marines last week, the insights came fast and furiously -- so much so that I almost called in to the station with what seemed so obvious.

They were talking about whether this should be classified as Terrorism or not;  what the motives of the shooter may have been; why ISIS was being so successful recruiting young idealistic foreign and domestic millennials; announcing that the FBI had confiscated his computers for removal and studying of his favorite websites; his family and friend's responses to questioning, etc., and all at great cost to taxpayers and aggravated fear of a deepening threat to our well-being as a nation.

When will we stop allowing the "enemy" to set the agenda; the Terms of Engagement?

By the establishing of a policy of shooting to disable instead of shooting to kill, we could eliminate the motivation of "Lone Wolves" who are deliberately bringing about their own demise in as dramatic a fashion as can be created.  They can count on our participating in the tragedy -- elaborately, in costume,  in armored personnel carriers, in great numbers, in all of the color and style worthy of a legendary Cecil B. DeMille or a D.W. Griffith epic!  These young assassins have the power to set all that off at will and turn our police protectors into executioners.

What would my alternative accomplish?

If announced as policy well in advance of the next strike we would rob these disillusioned young men the passage into oblivion after glory.  Instead of the cost of investigating every minute detail of their former lives and motivations, ambitions and associations, we would have a live perpetrator to question and/or rehabilitate (if possible).

Would this not be a move toward eliminating the ISIS promise of a glorified martyrdom?

If the potential Lone Wolf would have to consider the possibility of imprisonment and/or permanent physical impairment from the violence of the arrest, could this not serve as a deterrent to the recruitment and kill the "romantic" motivation of martyrdom?

May be worth a try.

And -- I thought of calling in to suggest to the experts just how they were on the wrong track, but   then cringed upon remembering how embarrassed I feel for the call-ins while listening to their cockamamie orders to "authority".

But -- after thinking about it over the past few hours -- I'm certain that our marksmen and women are expert enough to shoot the weapons out of the hands of a shooter, if that is what they intend.  I'm wondering why that hasn't been considered before now?

Even given the fury and chaos of such an event and the possibility of the shooter being killed in the melee, in my scenario, that death would be accidental and never intentional.  In a successful arrest the culprit would be incapacitated and never eliminated.  That life is needed in order to have the chance to learn as much as possible about the level of desperation of a generation that may see nothing to live for and little expectation for change in their lifetimes.  These tragic events have one thing in common; they're all intended as suicides. 

Maybe the greatest motivator of all is not ISIS at all, but the never-ending sense of helplessness ... .

.. but then where could we place blame?