APRIL 28, 2020: Axolotls & Boomer Remover
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Every teenage devotee of MAD Magazine knows the running joke of the whimsical "axolotl." This was, I assumed, a hilarious and strange animal conjured from the imagination of a MAD writer to appear in little cartoons.
No such thing! Axolotls, also known as the Mexican walking fish, are amphibians who never go through the metamorphosis that, say, tadpoles do, to become land animals. They lack enough thyroid hormone to do that. Axolotls live their lives underwater in Lake Xochimilco in Mexico City.
Are they not dear, these axolotls? I know it's silly and unscientific and anthropomorphic, but having "known" axolotls throughout my adolescence and having thyroid problems myself, I am smitten. This image was the for month of May of a 2018 calendar that hung in the kitchen to remind me of the days when the car needed to be moved for street-cleaning. I had it framed when May was over. I look at it quite a lot. When I'm feeling in despair, I gaze at the pinky black-eyed little being and vow "The world must be saved for the axolotl!"
In fact, the axolotl isn't doing well at all in the wild. It's not easy when your home base is the lake that's part of Mexico City. However, there are MANY axolotls in captivity. I myself could possess an axolotl, if I so wished. But for me, the photo is enough.
Other cool axolotl facts:
- They have the longest genome -- 32 billion base pairs -- of ANY ANIMAL!! Ten times longer than the human genome.
- They can regenerate their limbs, eyes and even their brains!
- Starting in 2020, they will be on the 50 peso note.
Have you heard this term? I just read it yesterday. Was it the New Yorker? I think a Charles Blow column in the Times. That's what many young people are calling the COVID-19 virus. Just a tad chilling, I must admit. Plus, the truth is that, besides old people, this virus seems to specialize in men, in black people, and in Latino people.
But I do understand the anger of young people.
The last few days I keep thinking about when I was doing FaceTime with my niece Rose, who is 31 and her boyfriend Lawrence, 30. I apologized for handing such a mess of a world over to them. I felt good about apologizing at the time.
I keep remembering their silence and the way they looked at me. Not with hatred, not at all. But not forgiveness, either. Maybe they were looking at me from a very great distance. The distance between what their 30s will be like, and what my 30s were like.
Let me be clear, these are two very together and motivated people. Rose will be entering graduate school for physical therapy in the Fall, and Lawrence is getting a PhD in mechanical engineering....
If there IS school at all in the Fall.... How is Rose going to PRACTICE PT to learn it? Physical therapy exists in a world where people are comfortable touching strangers' bodies, where people are comfortable letting strangers touch their bodies ...
After working incredibly hard for two years studying the prerequisites so she could apply to a PT program and sometimes getting straight A's (I'm sorry Rose, but I have to kvell), will Rose be able to move forward with this?
Well, this is what I'm saying. Why WOULDN'T young people be angry? They made very clear who they wanted to be the Democratic nominee for President, and their nominee was treated by the "liberal" press and the party muckimucks as if he was the coming of Mao Tse Tung combined with Attilla the Hun. Because he demanded Medicare for All.
WHY THE FUCK SHOULD OLD PEOPLE
GET MEDICAL TREATMENT
AND YOUNG PEOPLE NOT?
It doesn't make any SENSE! When my mother was 91 and had an exacerbation of her congestive heart failure for the second time, she spent eight days in the hospital. When she came home she said she definitely would rather die than go back to the hospital, it was so terrible, the different "procedures" they performed on her. Then she got the bill, which detailed how much Medicare had paid for that hospital stay, and it was $180,000.00!! My mother was outraged. It offended her sense or reason and proportion that the taxpayers spent that money on a 91-year-old woman with a failing heart. And for her it had been eight days of torture!
Wait a minute! I didn't expect this blog to veer off this way! But it drives me crazy when I read about a woman agonized that her 96-year-old mother with Alzheimers might die in The Pandemic. Would that really be such a terrible thing? Is her mother enjoying life so very much?
In my utopia, there would be enough for everyone. But first on the list would be children, who would get EVERYTHING for a good stable beginning of their lives. Then young people. And anyone over 80 would be at the very end. Yes, it's great to have everybody get absolutely everything they need. But younger people are more important! But our society has the pyramid on its head, in my opinion. And now we older people have sat around and sat around and had a lovely time for decades while our democracy went to hell. Yes, we're hella good at entertaining ourselves, even in a pandemic, but the whole democracy thing needs a bit more work, don't you agree? And it's not just about Trump. It's us not bothering to fix our house for forever, and now the house is falling down. Good luck, kids! Hope you can still live in the house! If not, well, .....welll.....
I think we old people deserve the rage of young people.
Okay, Bloggelinis. It's after 4pm, and I want to send this out. Perhaps it will provoke some discussion. Well, we'll see. Terry