Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, April 9, 2022

MVNews this week:  Page 11

11 Mountain Views-News Saturday, April 9, 2022 OPINION 11 Mountain Views-News Saturday, April 9, 2022 OPINION 




Susan Henderson 


Dean Lee 



Patricia Colonello 


John Aveny 


Peter Lamendola 


Stuart Tolchin 
Audrey SwansonMeghan MalooleyMary Lou CaldwellKevin McGuire 
Chris Leclerc 
Bob Eklund 
Howard HaysPaul CarpenterKim Clymer-KelleyChristopher NyergesPeter Dills 
Rich Johnson 
Lori Ann Harris 
Rev. James SnyderKatie HopkinsDeanne Davis 
Despina ArouzmanJeff Brown 
Marc Garlett 
Keely TotenDan Golden 
Rebecca WrightHail Hamilton 
Joan Schmidt 
LaQuetta Shamblee 

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Then whose fault is it? This morning I met one of 
my two Republican friends on the golf course. Maybe I 
have more but right now I can’t think of any. The fact is 
that I am losing friends so fast that I can’t keep track. It’s 
all connected in a way to the fact that I am really feeling 
angry, kind of crazy and isolated. I want to blame the Pandemic 
or the Russian invasion of the Ukraine but really it’s 
all connected to what we now call “global warming”. We 
used to call it the “climate crisis”, but I guess that name was 
too scary and too political. Whatever you want to call it 
that was what my Republican friend was screaming about 
as we met at the first tee? 

“Why aren’t the Democrats doing anything about it? You guys are in power 
now with a majority in both Houses of Congress and, instead, all the attention is going 
to debates about the proper response to Putin and questions about which is the 
best vaccine or when is the best time to schedule a cruise vacation, or who is a greater 
villain Chris Rock or Will Smith”? He mentioned an editorial in the LA TIMES that 
declared that unless something drastic is done within the next two years irreversible 
damage will have occurred and our entire species will be facing extinction. He said 
this editorial was on the fifth page or somewhere. “Why aren’t people screaming in 
the streets?” 

My immediate response was to get angry at him for already ruining our golf 
game. I hadn’t read the LA Times article because I’ve sort of stopped regularly reading 
the paper or watching much news lately. I really miss Charlie Rose, and Rachel 
Maddow has disappeared, and John Oliver talks too fast, and Democracy Now is 
too depressing, although I still watch it most mornings and am horrified and made 
miserable by the frightening films of the devastation in the Ukraine and the videos of 
the bodies in the street. I remember Ronald Reagan, who of course I never liked, announcing 
that soon the entire Soviet Union would fall into the “ash heap of history”. 
Who was he kidding? And yet by 1991 the whole Soviet Union had collapsed and the 
whole world would be safer and Reagan and Gorbachev became friends. I foolishly 
believed the demise of the Soviet Union was a sign of increased rationality within the 
world and how fortunate we all were to have escaped potential nuclear devastation 60 
years ago during the Cuban missile crisis. Up until a very short time ago I was certain 
that the nuclear arsenal possessed by Russia and the United States acted as perpetual 
deterrents and absent an accident at a nuclear power plant like Chernobyl or Fukushima 
the world was free from the worries of a nuclear war. 

Ok, I was wrong! Thanks partly because of President Putin and the Pandemic 
the possibility or perhaps probability of environmentally anthropogenic (that means 
humans are too blame) comes closer and closer. Although there is some lip service 
nothing much is happening. Oh something is happening all right! Today, its 100 
degrees in Sierra Madre and it’s just one week into Spring. Still, there is more talk 
about rising gas prices than there is about the climate crisis. Hey, maybe that’s good? 
Maybe the price of gas will be so high that people can no longer afford to drive their 
cars and polluting fossil fuels will be less of a problem. Maybe soon people will work 
from home or form car pools or walk and use bicycles. Right now even that seems 
unlikely as many of us are afraid to walk the streets or let our kids walk to school because 
of fears of gun violence. Really, if we can’t even get rid of guns how can there be 
any realistic expectation that we can adjust to the necessary sacrifices that might save 

My epigeneticist friend living in Australia tells me that almost all species become 
extinct and I should just adjust to that understanding and have a good time while 
I’m still around. I don’t want to have a good time. Maybe our whole civilization will 
eventually be rediscovered in the future ashcans of history? Would it have been better 
if Zelensky had agreed to Russian demands, before the violence began and then tried 
to influence Putin to make democratic reforms? I suggested that more than a month 
ago but that really doesn’t make me feel any better. 

Is everyone else out there managing to have a good time? 




My wife of 45 years died 
six months ago this week. 
I have been processing 
her loss ever since. But the 
American Psychiatric Association 
now says that I 
have only six more months 
to heal myself, and that if I 
blow the deadline, I should 

be clinically defined as 
mentally diseased. 

It’s not in my nature to use this column for personal 
business. But the APA’s decision to add “prolonged 
grief ” (defined as one year or more) to its Diagnostic 
and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 
strikes me as a ludicrous attempt to reboot natural 
bereavement as a disease. And once you’re diagnosed 
with this newly created disorder, I bet there 
will be meds to make it all better. 

I can’t speak for other grieving souls, and, granted, 
I’m still a newbie. But 
I’ll hazard a guess that 
most people in similar 
straits fail to reorient 
their emotional framework 
within one year’s 
time. Heck, some people 
conclude their time on 
earth without ever finding 
a modicum of peace. 
We, the walking wounded, 
are grappling with 
life’s worst disorders, 
navigating at our disparate 
speeds. That doesn’t 
mean we’re “sick.” 

Six months after my 
own heart was gutted, I 
seem to be an everyday 
functioning person. But 
there’s no way that I can 
clear the APA’s one-year 
hurdle. When Oct. 3, 
2022 comes and goes, I’m quite sure I will meet the 
association’s new definition of diseased. I’ll still feel 

’s) decision. I worry for 

of us. I worry that this framing will render us even 
lonelier in our pain, even more convinced that our 
nonlinear, unpredictable paths through loss are 
‘wrong’…Many of the symptoms the psychiatric association 
uses to define ‘prolonged grief ’ are shockingly 
common. ‘Intense emotional pain (e.g., anger, 
bitterness, sorrow)’? Let’s call that a Tuesday. ‘Identity 
disruption’? When you’ve walked through a portal 
through which you cannot return, of course your 
sense of self changes dramatically.” 

And Martha Weinman Lear, who authored a book 
about loss, writes that the beneficiaries of the APA’s 
new diagnosis will be “pill makers.” She says: “What 
strikes me as abnormal is not grief beyond the APA’s 
one-year prescription, but the degree of chutzpah 
required, professional training notwithstanding, 
to presume to set timelines for the normal grief of 
others, which in fact is as various as the grievers 

The APA’s one-year deadline smacks of classic 

American impatience: “Get over it” and “Move on 
with your life.” Like the cowboy in Lonesome Dove 
who said, “Best thing to do with death is to ride off 
from it.” Um, it’s not that simple. At my six-month 
mark, I do feel myself “getting over it” – the worst 
of it anyway, but with many caveats. I do feel myself 
“moving on” – as best I can, but with many caveats: 
Is it possible to feel happy again? Is it wrong? 

Bottom line: I like the Bob Dylan line, “he not busy 
being born is busy dying.” What you do is, you learn 
to live with the emotional pain. Then you cushion it 
with all the joy you can muster for the good things 
in your life – be they family, friends (old and new), 
work, travel, biking, hiking, whatever – because you 
realize that gratitude can be a powerful palliative. 
You accept melancholia and whenever possible you 
lighten it with mirth. You honor your loss and accept 
the fact that your old life, and all the ways your 
loved one enhanced it, is irrevocably over – and that 
it’s now incumbent to craft a new one. 

Sorry, headshrinkers. I won’t need meds for that. 

Dick Polman, a veteran national political columnist 
based in Philadelphia 



As any of you who read my column 
know, I spare no hesitation in delivering 
truly useful information. Well, I inherited 
a boatload of brilliant bits of “stuff ” 
from friends Nancy and Ken. 

Information that will cause you (hopefully) 
to amaze and delight your friends, 

relatives, neighbors and complete strangers. 
Here goes: 

“Stewardess” is the longest word you can type with only the left 
hand. What about the right hand Rich? Hah! Got you covered. 
That word is “lollipop.” 

“Dreamt” is the only English word that ends in the letters “mt”. 
(Which is what my head is often full of.) 

Typewriter is the longest word that can be made using the letters 
on only one row of the keyboard. (Isn’t this stuff great?) 

Ever read the sentence: “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy 
dog?” Wonder why you see it? Because it uses every letter of the 

“Racecar”, “kayak”, and “level”, are palindromes. Backwards and 
forwards they say the same thing. 

There are only four words in English that end in the letters “dous.” 
Tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous. 

There are two words in the English language that have all 5 vowels 
in order: “Abstemious” and “Facetious.” But what about sometimes 

A goldfish has a memory span of three seconds. (How did they 
figure that out?) 

How long is a jiffy? 1/100th of a second. 

A snail can sleep for three years. (I may be a member of the snail 

Almonds are a member of the peach family. Huh? 

In the last 4,000 years no new animals have been domesticated. 

If the population of China walked past you, 8 abreast, the line 
would never end because of the rate of reproduction. (How do we 
prove this?) 

Leonardo Da Vinci invented the scissors. 

The Queen Elizabeth 2 cruise ship moves only six inches for each 
gallon of diesel fuel. 

There are more chickens than people in the world. 

Women blink nearly twice as much as men. That number goes 
way up when men are staring at pretty girls. 

Winston Churchill was born in a ladies’ room during a dance. 

And…all the ants in Africa weigh more than all the elephants. 
(Another one that may be hard to prove.) 

My rock and roll band, JJ Jukebox is playing 6:30 to 9:30 at Nano Café in Sierra 
Madre, Saturday night, April 23. 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s “FUN” rock and roll. Dance 
to it, dine to it, drink to it. Make reservations Wednesday through Saturday after 
4:00pm by calling the restaurant at (626) 325-3334. Leave your telephonenumber for confirmation and please call if you have to cancel (we’ll 


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