26 Things About Me
1. I joined the ranks of the terminally stupid in 1954, when I began smoking.
2. I left that august group in 1977, when I stopped smoking, for the last time.
3. Sometime around 1948, when I was around 14, I began to realize that the church had nothing to do with God. My conviction in that regard has only been strengthened since then.
4. Right around that same time, I realized that some men were inadequate to the central task of fatherhood. I resolved to be better.
5. In 1952, I wanted to be an aeronautical engineer. Then I realized I probably wasn’t smart enough.
6. By 1956, I still hadn’t figured out what I wanted to do when I grew up. I’m still trying.
7. In 1963, sitting in a parking lot, listening to the saga of JFK and the shooting, I realized that lives sometimes end meaninglessly. My fear of flying began at that point.
8. In 1956, I voted for the first time. I have never missed a chance to vote since that time.
9. In 1963, I decided I wanted to do something else with my life besides designing things that could blow up the world.
10. In 1964, I moved my family to India, to begin doing something more useful.
11. I’m still trying.
12. In 1965, I stood on a Cliffside, 9500 feet up watching the darkness turn to light across the valley in Darjeeling. As the sun caught each peak in turn, turning it gold, then the gold moving slowly down the glacial mountainside of Kanchenjunga, I thought that man could never create something quite that beautiful.
13. But then, in 1966, when our third child was born, I realized that man creates such beautiful things often. But we sometimes are too stupid to understand.
14. It was, I think in 1968, after Richard Nixon won the White House, that I realized that politicians should not be trusted to speak the truth.
15. But it was in 1980, when Ronald Reagan ascended to the throne, that I realized that the capacity of Americans to act stupidly, i.e., against their own interests, was infinite.
16. At that same time I realized that Republicans have only one principle—win and keep power, at all costs. Nothing else matters.
17. Republicans have never disappointed me since then.
18. In 2000, I retired ostensibly.
19. In 2000, I was both surprised and pleased that my several clients refused to hear of my retirement.
20. From 2000 to the present, I learned the joys of living and being close to family, especially our grandchildren, and their parents of course.
21. In 2001 I began to understand that I could combine a love of photography with some modest computer skills to produce a new (to me) art form, known as digital art.
22. Sometime after 2000, I realized that Wal-Mart was, by design, perhaps the single most economically destructive element in America. I have never set foot in their stores since that time.
23. After 9/11, I began to understand that organized religion is not simply unhelpful, but that it is potentially cataclysmic in its nature. If people still mentally residing in the 12th century can wreak such havoc, then the enlightenment has been a giant hoax.
24. After the onset of the Second Great Depression in 2008, I discovered that the “science” of economics is just a joke maintained by people who were not smart enough to be real scientists. I now understand economics to be statistics, or the great Art of Extrapolation, integrated with sociology 101.
25. I am still trying to understand why anyone pays any attention to popes, ayatollahs, ministers and all the other high priests of religion-speak, none of whom know any more about God or the hereafter than any child in the first grade.
26. Perhaps this should be first, but I only learned it late. To love someone for life may be our sole reason for coming into the world. I learned that it is possible, and the most wonderful element in my life.