Slow Down, You’re Moving Too Fast

Watching a Netflix series recently, I found it hard to follow. The voices were low, and people often mumbled. Plus, a whole series of events was conveyed in one gesture, so if you missed it, you didn’t know what was going on. It’s not just one TV series. A new, more realistic way of filming makes dialogue more life-like—the way we really talk rather than in whole sentences. This also goes along with a choppier way of filming, not fluid but more like the fits and starts of real life.

I applaud this realism, but, as I get older, my hearing is not good enough to capture all the different tones of voice. Nor is my mind fast enough to catch the subtle gestures, the fleeting glances and cryptic phrases that indicate something important has transpired. I’m often asking, “What did he say?” or “Who’s that character?”

Nor am I young enough (or I’m too old) to know all the current memes, tropes and buzzwords that emerge from popular movies, TV shows or popular music. I don’t watch TV shows aimed at young audiences and don’t listen to the new, hot musicians. I’m not on Twitter or Instagram, so I don’t know the current popular phrases. If it weren’t for Facebook and friends who are hipper than me, I would be clueless as to what videos are trending on YouTube and totally miss out on the dancing ducks tribute.   

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Now I Can’t Eat Tofu?

I watch my nephews, both young adults, eat a whole pizza covered in cheese, sausage and pepperoni, with a side of French fries, and think: You don’t know how lucky you are. Youth, as they say, is wasted on the young who can eat anything they want without getting sick, without worrying it will raise their cholesterol levels or cause acid reflux, and without gaining weight. 

The older we get, the more restrictions we face in life: not driving at night, especially in heavy city traffic; avoiding extreme exercise because our knees (or back or hips—insert appropriate physical issue) are worn out; and avoiding late dinners or concerts because we’re just too darned tired. But one of the hardest is having to cut back on our favorite foods because of health issues. When you can’t do other things, eating becomes one of life’s small pleasures, as many people discovered during the pandemic.

Many years ago, a doctor told me to stop eating dairy because it was creating sinus problems. So I switched to soy or almond milk, and stopped eating cheese, which was not easy because cheese adds taste to almost everything, including my favorite Mexican meals. But it wasn’t worth the clogged sinuses and headaches, unless I was in England, where making cheese is an art.   

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Unnecessary Cruelty

What kind of world do we live in where police officers appear to take great delight in using force to arrest a 73-year-old woman with dementia? The story of the Loveland woman has made it around the world now, with good reason. For the offense of walking out of a Wal-Mart without paying for $14 worth of items, police slammed Karen Garner to the ground, hogtied her and took her to a jail cell where she was handcuffed and left alone for six hours. Police apparently made no effort to call her family.  

Not only did the officers appear to use unnecessary force, as shown in a video, but later, at the station, they are shown watching the video of the arrest and laughing at the noise—the “pop”— that happened after the officers dislocated her shoulder, as if they were proud of having subdued and hurt a frail woman. Garner also suffered from a fractured arm and sprained wrist, and her family reports that her dementia has gotten worse since her encounter with police officers.

Garner likely left the Wal-Mart without paying because she forgot; memory loss is part of dementia. When an employee stopped her, she offered to pay for the items, but instead the employee called the police. This seems unnecessarily callous, as Garner walked from her home to this Wal-Mart every day, so employees must have known her. Why is there no room for forgiveness, for leniency? Has the world really become this harsh and judgmental?

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