Monday, February 8, 2016

To Conserve and Protect

Liberal arts colleges run to liberal politics and those that embrace liberal ideas. That’s just how it is. When I comment on the phenomenon to my engineer friends, they snort and then scoff. Sometimes they use their words, but that’s not one hundred percent of the time. 

When they do comment, they often say things like, “What did you think, you were studying ‘the hard sciences?’” 

Then they solve for “y.” 

What are hard sciences anyway? Science that is solid like cement? Or is it just a lot of math disguised as fun experiments?

I am a writer. No, strike that. I am an author. No, that’s not quite right either. 

I am a novelist first, then a blogger, then a smart mouth with a lot to say in a soft sciences discipline. 

I am also conservative by today’s liberal art’s standards.

I know that making this admission is tantamount to stripping naked in public and NOT having a Chinese word tattooed on the small of my back—but it is what it is. I also know that I run the risk of being dismissed for the sin of . . . being . . . staid. 

Staid is a word that means tattoo free—also boring.

During one of my college classes we were regaled with the lively tale of our soon-to-be-retired professor’s adventures of smoking pot in an RV during the wild, cool, hippy years of her youth. Everyone laughed. Her hipness had been established. The point made: cool people get stoned, drunk, and experience all of life’s wild, hallucinogenic drama, so they’ll have good stories to tell the other villagers before complaining about drama monsters. 

Staid people remember growing up in a house with a cool parent.

It’s hard to fool me when it comes to the consequences of certain wild, untamed, screw the Ten Commandments behavior. No, strike that. It’s impossible to fool me.

Full disclosure: I have an agenda. I am the grandmother to fourteen [in May] . . . that’s children . . . not hamsters or pot belly pigs. I’d eat a hamster if I got hungry enough, just like they do in South America, but I digress.

I will have fourteen grandchildren and teaching them the right way to live and be happy is part of my job description. It’s a village thing. Sending messages to the young and impressionable that living stoned or drunk in someone’s garage and racing around on a giant human hamster wheel on the Internet is ‘living’ are right out. Can’t risk it. I have a pretty big garage and a barn with a hayloft. My agenda is that cool can get you crabs and staid pays off in the end. 

Hard work, personal responsibility, and being honest with your fellow villagers are the messages around here. It ain’t flashy or hip, but it keeps the baby villagers from having to worry that the Daddy villagers will drive the family station wagon into a gator lake—again.

Fuller disclosure: Smoke, dope, screw, and live a life of fluctuating, sand shifting relative values all you want. It’s your life, but please don’t think that you’re going to live in my hayloft like a giant human hamster when the power goes out.

Liberalism is about change.

Change is dramatic.

Drama is exciting.

Drama is also expensive and exhausting and everyone says that they’ve had enough of it.

Linda (Straight Shot) Zern 

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