So trivial, yet it really ticks you off.

Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by GHT, Mar 21, 2015.

  1. 3fingers

    3fingers One Too Many

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    I started working in the "adult" world when I was younger than most. Most of my customers were at least a generation and usually more older than I was. Given that, I have had an unusual view of mortality and how long people are remembered. Many of those people were important men in their time.
    You are correct. Once your own contemporaries are gone your trail fades quickly. We will be lucky if anybody other than a rare relative will know we were here in 50 years after we leave.
    I must admit that thinking about all of those folks and how long that many of them have been gone does make me pay more attention to the passage of time.
    I was a young man once, now not so much.
     
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  2. tonyb

    tonyb Vendor

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    ^^^^

    In the recent film “The Irishman” (which reviewers seem to either love or hate) is a wonderful scene of the title character buying the casket he will soon enough be occupying. It’s subtly funny and sweet and sad simultaneously.

    Hanging on a hallway wall here is one of those oval sepia-tone photos of a doughboy, the image taken a bit more than a century ago. The young fellow in that photo is, according to my mother, who entrusted the picture to me, my grandfather’s uncle Charlie.

    That photo is quite likely the sole surviving image of that fellow.

    My heart breaks a bit whenever I hear of people losing family heirlooms to floods and fires and such.

    There’s much to recommend digital scanning.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2019
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  3. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    People tend to think too big when it comes to "making your mark on the world." Who really cares if people remember you a hundred and fifty years from now -- that kind of fame is really of no consequence, because no matter who you were and what you stood for, the more famous you are, the more likely it is that people who never knew you will hijack your fame and your image to represent things you never would have supported and never would have done. That kind of fame and that kind of "impact" is something the world would be better off without. The quicker we can forget that kind of "fame" the better.

    The way I see it, if you make a difference in the life of a single person, no matter how small or obscure, you've made all the mark you need to make. And I think if everybody thought small like that, the world would be a much better place.
     
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  4. tonyb

    tonyb Vendor

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    ^^^^
    Jesus of Nazareth, case in point.
     
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  5. tonyb

    tonyb Vendor

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    My objection to fame and fortune is when it is sought solely for its own sake. That’s close to the definition of vulgarity, in my book.

    Creators of things of great benefit to humanity — in the sciences and the arts, say — ought be known long after they’re gone. And I have no objection to their enjoyment of greater material comfort while they remain with the living.
     
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  6. ChrisB

    ChrisB A-List Customer

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    Sic Transit Gloria Mundi
     
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  7. tonyb

    tonyb Vendor

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    ^^^^
    I just love it when you talk dirty.
     
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  8. Lean'n'mean

    Lean'n'mean My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Vanity of vanities ! All is vanity.
    What does man gain by all the toil
    at which he toils under the sun?
    A generation goes and a generation comes
    But the earth remains forever

    The sun rises and the sun goes down
    and hastens to the place where it rises.
    The wind blows to the south
    and goes around to the north
    around and around goes the wind
    and on it's circuits the wind returns.
    All streams run to the sea
    but the sea is not full,
    to the place where streams flow,
    there they flow again.
    All things are full of weariness,
    a man cannot utter it;
    the eye is not satisfied with seeing,
    nor the ear filled with hearing.
    What has been is what will be
    and what has been done is what will be done
    and there is nothing new under the sun.
    Is there a thing of which it is said,
    "See, this is new ?"
    it has been already
    in the ages before us.
    There is no remembrance of former things,
    nor will there be any remembrance
    of later things yet to be
    amoung those who come after.
     
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  9. 3fingers

    3fingers One Too Many

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    ^^^ All these centuries later, he's still a pretty smart fellow. Enjoy your bread and the time you're given.
     
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  10. belfastboy

    belfastboy My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    I accompanied my mother to the mortuary to help her choose a casket. Have to admit I was creeped out by the experience but it was important to her so I did my duty. When she died I came across a trove of photos from her youth on the prairies. I have no children and at my advanced age have no use for more 'stuff' so I offered them to my cousin. She has 3 boys and multiple grandchildren and thought they would have value to her as cultural family artifacts. She declined as they were just more stuff her sons would be tasked with throwing away on her passing. Not sure what it says about our history and/or legacy but whatever it says I found it very sad.
     
  11. belfastboy

    belfastboy My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Yes, I ask myself each day..."did I make a difference today?" Tomorrow should be left for tomorrow.
     
  12. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

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    One of my wonderful Christmas presents is a book, a hard back book, how I love hard back copies. It's by the Scottish comedian, Billy Connolly and it's titled: "Tall Tales & wee stories." There's no story line as it's anecdotal and Billy's take on life is like no other. On death, he writes:
    "I went to a funeral once, a burying one, and I thought, 'My God, what a terrible thing to do to people!' It looked so horrendous. Then, right after that, I went to a cremation. That intrigued me, because they put the coffin on a plinth thing, and the Minister was over the other side. I had no idea, I'd never been to one before, you see. I was watching the coffin and I was thinking, 'I wonder what happens to it?' I mean surely to God they don't set fire to it right in front of you? You know, like the flambé steak in a restaurant." Billy goes off into the surreal after that, but the thought of a flambé cremation had me doubled up with laughter.
     
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  13. ChrisB

    ChrisB A-List Customer

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    “On the Vanity of Earthly Greatness”

    The tusks which clashed in mighty brawls
    Of mastodons, are billiard balls.
    The sword of Charlemagne the Just
    Is Ferric Oxide, known as rust.
    The grizzly bear, whose potent hug,
    Was feared by all, is now a rug.
    Great Caesar's bust is on the shelf,
    And I don't feel so well myself.

    Arthur Guiterman
     
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  14. belfastboy

    belfastboy My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    One of my sales jobs entailed calling on the local crematorium. Larry the sole worker, keeper of the furnace, and the man responsibility for the actual cremation process was always very glad to see me. He would have a pot of coffee ready, we would sit and have lengthy conversations. He wasn't a big customer, we were not close but it dawned on me that the guy was probably just very lonely and loved to have company whenever the chance arose. So we would sit and talk 10-15 feet from the 'oven's' door. It was a warehouse with a kiln like oven, Larry dressed in coveralls, a decidedly unadorned and non ceremonial atmosphere.
     
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  15. tonyb

    tonyb Vendor

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    ^^^^
    Understandable that he’d seek the conversation, seeing how his customers ain’t the talkative type.
     
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  16. ChiTownScion

    ChiTownScion One Too Many

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    When I retired from the job I held for over three decades (an assistant public defender in the largest unified criminal court system in the world) the thought hit me that if the life of just one person was better as the result of my doing my job, it was worth it. I think there was more than one out there.

    The trial victories were the easiest hash mark tallies in this area. There were times, however, when just being the only individual in a person's life who was expending an effort on their behalf was enough. Classic case was working up a successive petition for post conviction relief on behalf of someone serving natural life for a multiple homicide : you knew damn well that the hundreds of hours you'd put in will amount to bupkis. Your client wasn't stupid: he knew it too. Yet you regarded him and treated him as something more than a case. You visited him in the ancient prison where he was warehoused and treated him like a human. Someone whose parents were too elderly to travel the hundreds of miles to visit him. Not bucking for sainthood: simply doing a job well enough to be able to look at yourself in the mirror every day, I guess.

    In the grand scheme, it really wasn't much. Find a nurse who works a pediatric oncology unit: there's an individual who ranks us all.
     
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  17. tonyb

    tonyb Vendor

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    The truest mark of character is a person’s actions — for good or for ill — that go unwitnessed. No plaudits, no punishments.

    Doing right in the belief that an all-knowing deity is keeping a tally for which a person will be called to account is hardly selflessness.

    I recognize how the promise of Heaven and the threat of Hell have served to keep the masses in line. There is a social utility in it, for sure. But any all-knowing deity would certainly know that.
     
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  18. belfastboy

    belfastboy My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    As he was seemingly an extrovert his choice of career was perhaps not the best for his disposition. Although he would win the majority of the arguments in his workplace.
     
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  19. tonyb

    tonyb Vendor

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    The odds of success in such efforts may be all but impossibly long, but they’re infinitely better than doing nothing. So you do it.
     
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  20. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

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    You always post a good tale, for you, humility is second nature, it shines through. A friend of mine whom I have known since undergrad days, became a barrister, he practises law on the side of the defendant, he too sees the world much as you do, in fact, when asked, he describes his job as: "Laundryman." Then goes on to explain that he washes the dirty linen of others in public. He's had that sense of humour since his student days.

    My missus has an artist talent like no other. She exceeds in dressmaking, but she's quite accomplished with the artist's paint & canvas. And she takes that talent of colour matching to our garden with amazing results. In the past she has suffered bereavement, the disability of close relatives and the sort of pain and anguish that life can throw at any of us, at anytime, without warning.

    When we met she was working as a gopher in some fashion house in Central London, but not long after we had married she came home and told me that she had resigned. She had made the hot drinks, had fetched this, carried that and been expected to be lickspittle to those whom we Brits describe as being, "Up their own arses for longer than she could tolerate."

    "What do you plan to do?" I asked, not daring to let her know of my financial concern. "I've already done it," she answered, her triumphant smile telling me more. "Go on then," I said, "Yves Saint Lauren has heard of your talents and asked you if would be prepared to work in his Paris fashion house," I ventured, sarcastically but with a teasing smile. "Oh much better than that," she replied, "much, much better than that." She then knocked me over, "I'm going to be a paramedic," she announced. "What? Seriously? All that drama, all that blood and gore? Why on earth would you sign up to that?" I said. Here reply came from the heart, made me weep too. "I want to give something back for all the times that I have been through the mill," she replied, with utter sincerity. And she did, giving almost forty years of service.
    And she can still make a cracking Aloha shirt.
     

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