THE WORLD HAS GONE MAD. MAD, I SAY

Dude. The world has gone freaking crazy.

Anyone who ever appeared in a movie is a major star and opens a car door to get more press than kids starving on the street and ketchup is sometimes considered a vegetable in school lunch programs. Abbi uses her middle name instead of her last one (partially because the last one is Rinderknecht) and partially because she’s filled in when friends in the industry needed a standin. Among her rolls have been “brunette on slab,” and “girl on tradmill.” If anyone ever finds out who she is, she’ll be a headliner on AOL news and have her own reality show.

A guy was caught with a suitcase full of roasted fetuses.

Romney came out with a straight face and announced that “Russia is the US’s top geopolitical foe.” Even Colin Powell commented, “Come on, Mitt…..rethink this.” Hasn’t he been watching the news? Reading the newspaper? Or maybe he’s visiting Palin and looking at Russia from her front porch. Powell also said that Romney’s advisors are way too far right — Hell, they can’t even see the sun setting in the west.

But he won the Arkansas Primary. DUH! Did you know that Arkansas is #5 on the list of most populated Mormon states? Where’d the Southern Baptists go?

Get this. When the poll came out of Mormon states by population, I said out loud — “this is a piece of cake.” I figured the top one would be Utah, followed by either Nevada or Hawaii (home of the second Brigham Young University and owner of the Polynesian Cultural Center). Nevada barely made the list and Hawaii didn’t hit the top 50. Mississippi was #1 with 59%, Utah came in second, then, Alabama. Louisiana, Arkansas and South Carolina tied for 5th at 54%, followed by South Carolina, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, and Oklahoma rounded out the top of the list with 48? WTF?

But is that as important as Lady Gaga setting up a social networking site for “Little Monsters?” I think not.

A man was fined for drunk driving with a zebra.

Pakistan, supposedly our ally, tried, convicted, and gave a prison sentence to the doctor who aided the CIA in finding Ben Laden.

One guy got suspended from his job for intervening when a man was beating his pregnant girlfriend. Another got 2 tickets for jumping out of his car to save his son’s life.

And here’s a news flash: Bethlehem existed for centuries before Jesus. Who cares? It was in the right place at the right time. And the world, especially the middle east, is a very old place.

Oh, there’s a soap that claims to wash away fat.

There’s now an “Ugly Baby” Syndrome holding us back. Fortunately, my cousin Bud wasn’t aware of that. Bud was such an ugly baby that he looked like my grandfather chewing tobacco. And that was officially “butt ugly.” My aunt told people he was napping when they came to visit. He managed to survive. Played football in high school. Got his degree from WVU. The Navy paid for his dental school, and he went on to become a Commander before retiring. Thank God he didn’t know about Ugly Baby Syndrome.

In the never-ending story of the maturity of the Lakers, Good Old Metta World Peace dissed Mike Brown for his body type.

A grandmother shot her grandson 18 times and killed him. Second-generation Post-partum?? We now have a disease and a defense for everything.

And a cheerleader kicked herself in the head. This should be news? Has anyone watched a national championship cheerleading competition? It happens all the time. Abbi’s done it a couple of hundred times. Right after throwing a 125 lb girl up in the air and catching her. Hell, dancers can raise their legs way OVER to the other side of their body and still keep their balance. They’re freaking amazing — and they kick themselves in the head sometimes.

It amazes me that every day I pull up the news to find yet more people abducted, tortured, and found dead. Where did we go wrong? What’s causing all this anger? Or perversion? In my day, a pervert was a guy who wore a mirror on his shoe so he could look up a girl’s skirt. A delinquent was anyone caught with a six-pack of beer in his locker or a switchblade. A thug was someone who came to school with cigarettes rolled up in his tee shirt sleeve.

And new? The Charleston Gazette was delivered in the morning and The Daily Mail was delivered in the afternoon. They contained real news — what was happening in the nation, our community, and the rest of the state. Couples could put engagement and marriage announcements in the paper free of charge. And obituaries could take up a whole column — and again, were free.

Our parents kicked us out of the house as soon as they threw breakfast down our throats and told us to be back by dark. They didn’t care where we were, as long as it wasn’t at home. But we caught hell if we misunderstood “by dark” and were late for family dinner. On weekdays, we played after school, but family dinner was our half time. We then did homework, and may have been allowed to watch a little TV once it was finished. Or we could go back to a friend’s house till about 9pm, when it was time to come home and get ready for bed.

We all walked home from school –sometimes alone, sometimes with somebody. It never occurred to us that anything would happen to us. And it never did. For that matter, we walked everywhere. I’d walk down town from South Hills, then walk all the way across town to go roller skating at Barlow’s, and walk home again after about four hours of exercise on the wood floor. Not many fat people around in those days. We walked everywhere. We played tennis. Or golf. Or went to Rock Lake for the day to swim, dive, swing out over the water and dance in the pavilian, or were in gymnastics at a gym downtown, or roller skated at — damn, I can’t remember it’s name. It’s where dad had his first heart attack — it was on the east side….owner was Kenny…… anyway, we roller skated during the summer and he covered it for ice skating in the winter.

I’ve told Abbi more than once that rather than her Aussie moving here, she needs to move to Australia. And if THIS Republican gets elected to the presidency, as soon as my settlement comes through, I’m finding a nice island somewhere and applying for citizenship. I fought too hard for women’s rights in the 60’s to see them stripped away now. And damn. Russia’s our biggest threat again? Who knew. I kinda thought it might be North Korea or China — but I’ve been wrong before. Anyone who knows the guy I married or Kraig the Serial Husband knows that.

How the hell do we get things right again? Has the horse been back in the barn too long?

I think the lovely Samantha Lamb (“friend” her on Facebook and visit her site — read her blogs — you’ll fall in love with her). She took over her grandparents’ place in Hobart, Oklahoma (about 1.5 hours out of OKC) and runs her very own self-sustaining farm — makes her own wine and cheese, bakes tons of pies, built her own guest house, and lives with a menagerie of animals, all of whom have names. She makes her living with her photography, and even living on a remote farm, remains one of the most beautiful young women I’ve ever seen, and is a fashion icon of her own making. But if we’re ever in trouble, Sam has all her needs met at home. In a real community where people still care about each other, she meets with her “old guys” every morning for coffee and pastries, and where they still rally together as a community for barn raisings. I envy her. It’s a ton of work, but the thought of doing the same thing is in the back of my mind. The only trouble would be having animals I’ve given names, mommied, and raised slaughtered for breakfast in the morning. I can’t even eat lobster because they mate for life. Think I’d probably end up a vegetarian rather than slaughter an animal for food. And if you could have been there when I had to kill a chicken at my grandparents, with Doc Brown watching over the fence and laughing his head off, you’d understand.

This used to be such a great country with real neighbors and families/friends who were there for us when we needed them. We sat on porch swings and talked to neighbors. Met for church socials and had reunions complete with picnics during the summers. Holding hands or a guy’s arm around your shoulder or waist was intimacy. We bought our boyfriends simple gifts — I remember Barbara Mohler getting Mark Stewart a shirt from Frankenberger’s and having the sleeve monogrammed. Now, it’s digital cameras and trips and really expensive jewelry. The shirt meant more.

We have homeless veterans, women and children living on the street. That’s a sin in this country. We can’t get medical care without an employer providing a policy. We spend more (borrowed) money fighting other nations’ battlese than we do taking care of our own educational system — and we’ve slipped to one of the worst educational systems in the world. We not only don’t help our neighbors anymore, we don’t know them.

Something has to change. I thought I could make a difference one college kid at a time, but I was kidding myself. I’ve lived with too many who were raised to believe nothing has ever been their fault, they should never have to accept responsibility for their actions, their wants and needs are more important than anything else, and have never heard the word, “No.” They haven’t had to work for anything, so don’t appreciate what they have. They have their AMEX. Their Bloomingdale’s card. Their Beemer or Mercedes or Porsche. Because their family’s used car isn’t good enough anymore. Hell. We were thrilled to get anything with four wheels and a radio that could get us to Shoney’s.

For once, I have no answers. Just a sad, sad feeling in my gut that makes me want to go back to Tioga, West Virginia and have Doc Brown stand at our fence and laugh at me while I chased a dying chicken around the yard.

Until tomorrow, try to come up with answers. Maybe we can figure out how to change the country one person at a time.