Monday, October 7, 2013

Too Many Calendars

As of today I have received eight 2014 wall calendars from various environmental and or humane organizations.

And twenty or so Christmas catalogs.

It's not Halloween yet but stores have carried orange and black paraphenalia for the last two months.

Is this a conspiracy?

Are all our benevolent institutions and corporations determined to have us think ahead -- and buy ahead?

Is this just an American thing or is it now universal?

Must we always rush toward the next holiday?

What happened to living in the moment?

To savoring the autumnal slant of sunshine and the kaliedescope of turning leaves?

How about strolling in temperatures close to perfect -- warm enough to enjoy without undue sweat?

And eating soup again.

And snuggling under a blanket.

I urge you to resist the rush. To notice what is going on today. To be one hundred percent present to people and pets and sunsets. You can order Christmas cards later.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

NYT and Cats

On Sept. 24, 2013, the Science section of the New York Times contained a short item in its column of recent developments.

The item was a roundup piece about cats.

First it reported that the Iranians might send a Persian (how appropriate) into space as a prelude to launching a human in 2018. Okay... as long as it survives without trauma.

More disturbing, it reported that the genome of the Siberian tiger, largest of the cat family, had a "more than 95 percent similarity to the genome of the domestic cat."

Actually, that's cool. But this derivitave fact was used to explain "why our cats aren't very nice to us."

Excuse me! My cats are extremely nice to me. One of them, Herbie, is extremely nice to every living human being. Guinness, I must admit, is nice only to me but he is extremely nice, staying awake twice as long as most cats to watch over my every activity. When I'm working at the computer, he will walk in front of the keyboard when it is time for me to pay more attention to him, but that isn't not nice. It's just staying connected.

I value and respect most of the New York Times, especially its Science section but, really, any intelligent person should know that you cannot judge an entire species (or race, or gender or religion) by the fact that one or two individuals aren't very nice. After all, we wouldn't do that with humans would we?

Or would we?