Grateful Dead

Not the best defense but a popular one
The audio for this screed, one take, blue yeti to Audacity trial version

How fascinating to watch the sequence of steps leading to your own demise. To look at the clockwork mechanism of destruction tick toward the end. The spring unwinds and the gears mesh and the minute hand moves toward the midnight of our ultimate day. My last day maybe, with good luck. Or, if unlucky, the beginning of wasting away and being draining of life . The Grateful Dead will be more than a hippy band remembered by retro music fans and old men like me. I refer to the headlines my family members have forbidden me to quote. “Russia sharpens warnings as the U.S. and Europe send more weapons to Ukraine”. I don’t need much imagination to visualize my last days. I had the image burned into my retina by movies. The day after, Terminator, Doctor Strangelove, and many many more. Nightmare scenarios but not fantasy. High tech, cutting edge, but not special effects. And too, I was part of the mechanism. I was a gear in the machine of destruction. A cog, a tooth on an escapement, a tiny little part. I saw the flash of a French nuclear explosion in North Africa. I stood next to a 1.5KT warhead in the belly of an Air Force interceptor in California. I made radio direction finding fixes on Soviet SLBM boats in the Atlantic. I was at a putative ground zero at a NATO base in Germany during the “cold” war. This stuff is all real. But to so many people it isn’t. It can’t be!, can it? They don’t want to hear about it. Ignorance is taken to be innocence. Hands cover ears. I have no argument against covering the ears, blocking the news. History is composted news. The fresh stuff stinks, it has the overpowering stench of something to be feared….But, humans can’t be on the edge continuously, thinking “I’m going to die”. The mind has a circuit breaker. The funny farm is full of people with breakers tripped. The combat veteran tells us that you either become numb or loose it completely. Unless you are in my position, our position my friend. Unless you look at the news then avoid it then look again then look away. Unless you dilute it with, Old movies, jazz, physics tutorials, Amateur radio. But even then. Today I talked in Morse code on 14 Megahertz short wave with a Ham radio operator from Ukraine. He was licensed in Ukraine but transmitting from Croatia. Kyiv has shut down the Ham radio hobby in the country. Its too easy for the invader to use it against his victims. I’ve learned to say “NO WAR” in Cyrillic letters in Morse code. But I know for a Russian to agree would make them subject to a 15 year prison sentence. Its real to them. There is a new Gulag now. A new archipelago for a new Solzhenitsyn to write about. Maybe its because I have never lived an insular life. I have kept abreast of the geopolitical news and dug into history for background and context. People who haven’t are possibly finding this current news thrust at them, unbidden and unwelcome. As though reality was intent on ruining their peace. The hands covering ears, attempting to block unwanted information. Listening isn’t a virtue and turning a deaf ear isn’t a fault. These are habits, the way we interact with “reality”. The imagined objective reality. Of course we do not share one world view so who is to say what is what? Me for my little fraction of the greater world. You for yours. A cloud of doom and gloom over my head gives no advantage. The end will come if it does when it will and nothing I can do can alter that. That pop song from years ago should be my mantra, “Don’t worry, be happy”

Published by glensketch

Retired from electronics industry. Ex USN ex USAF ex expat in Ecuador.

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