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

MVNews this week:  Page 12

1212 Mountain View News Saturday, July 9, 2022 OPINIONOPINION 1212 Mountain View News Saturday, July 9, 2022 OPINIONOPINION 




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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Did you ever get the feeling, like my friend Jane and I, that there is 

something missing inside? Do you notice that you, perhaps like my

friend Billie, are so busy doing one thing or another such that you 

constantly feel stressed or anxious; but underneath all of these pres

sures you know that you wouldn’t know what to do without them? 

What I am trying to describe is that a possible explanation for why so 

many of us are “busy being busy” with no time to rest, little time for 

friends and family, no time to think, just busy being busy. Possibly, 

underneath we may know that we are busy and harried doing lots of 

things of little or no real significance in order not to think about it as 

we repeatedly check our IPhones rather than actually meeting with 


I haven’t had time to see my friend Henry for a while but he emailed me this article about 

the 1972 book entitled “The Limits to Growth” written fifty years ago. The book discusses how 

computer modeling (primitive as it was in 1972) predicted that rampant pollution and resource 

extraction was pushing the Earth and its inhabitants to the brink of extinction. The modeling 

sounds like it could have been done last week as we now experience climate changes, water short

ages, and micro-plastics corrupting every corner of the Earth. As I understand it, the book was 

taken as one of many doomsday prophesies and after some attention it was ignored. In discussing 

the book today in an interview Carlos Alvarez Pereira, the co-editor of the book, explains that the 

intent of the book was to make clear that humanity had a choice to make.

He makes a similar point as does Neil Postman the author of the book “Technopoly, the 

Surrender of Culture to Technology” another book that was given to me by friend Peter to read. 

The point is that technology is pursued without any thought to its consequences. It is pointed out 

that the uncontrolled growth of technology has in fact “destroyed the vital sources of our human

ity”. It creates a culture without a moral foundation. It undermines certain mental processes and 

social relations that make human life worth living”. This is the same emphasis that Alvarez Pereira 

makes in “The Limits of Growth. Humanity has a choice to be led by technology and suffer the 

consequences OR choose to recognize the basic values of humanity. 

What are these values that create a healthy life? “It is not the consumption and the pursuit 

of wealth and adventure and diversion. It’s the quality of our relationships with other humans, with 

nature, that makes possible the scenarios in which you can decouple well-being and the growth of 

consumption. Is it too late or are we headed on the road to inevitable extinction? I don’t know. My

learned epidemiologist scientist friend Kevin tells me not to worry about it. Extinction is probably

a few generations away so while we have this gift of life do your best to enjoy it.

That may well be good advice but for me one of the great pleasures of my life is reading. 

The introduction to the Technopoly book (remember it was given to me by a friend) begins with a 

quote from Paul Goodman

Whether or not it draws on new scientific research. 

Technology is a branch of moral philosophy

I heard Paul Goodman, the writer, therapist, and social critic who has been called the father figure 

of the new left speak during my Berkeley days. I remember him emphasizing proudly that he had 

not attended college and certainly the above quote does not illustrate anything taught by our Col

leges. In fact the quote makes a similar point that I just chanced upon in the book “Neanderthal” 

by John Danton which was a part of my search for possible alternatives to our doomed (as far as 

I can tell) society. The point is made on page 292 that it is morality, that connection with others, 

that sets us apart from the beasts of the jungle “that and the certain knowledge of our own deaths.” 

The book discussed the possibility that within primitive tribes there was little concern for the in

dividual as to what was important was the welfare of the entire tribe.

If you have followed me on this rather disjointed journey I now reach back to my first 

question. Do you get the feeling that there is something missing inside? If so, as I attempted to 

point out, it was predicted at the dawning of the computer age that our society has been captured 

by the lure of technology and capitalism which have obscured the basic values of family, commu

nity, and caring. Yes, maybe it’s best not to talk or think about it much and just keeping busy. Still, 

that inner awareness haunts me and perhaps you as well.

Now, back to worrying about my home infestation of termites which is something we can 

all perhaps more comfortably relate to. (Check out my article from last week).

Did you have a happy Fourth? 


I sure could use a vacation about now — but I have no plans to take one 
this summer. 

That’s the breaks for self-employed people like me who do not enjoy 
paid vacation benefits. When I do not work, I do not get paid. 

However, nearly one in four American workers are not taking a summer 
vacation, either — in part because we’re the only advanced economy in 
the world that doesn’t mandate employer-paid vacations for them. 

This is the time each year when I envy my friends in vacation-rich 
countries around the world. 

In Kuwait, according 
to Far and Wide, 
employees receive 30 
days of paid vacation. 
When including days 
off for religious holidays, 
employees can 
enjoy up to 64 days of 
paid leave — 13 weeks 
off a year. 

In France, the government 
mandates every 
employee get at least 
five weeks of paid vacation. 
French workers 
average 37 days of 
vacation a year — and 
22 paid holidays on 
top of that. 

Austria requires employers 
to give their 
workers 25 days off and 30 days off to those who have worked 25 years or more. 

The Austrians also require one of the great job perks of all time: Employees can clock out at 
3 p.m. on Fridays rather than suffer on until 5 or 5:30 as we Americans do. 

Compare these generous time-off policies to America, where employees average about 15 
vacation days a year. 

We Americans really can’t complain. We’re world famous for being a nation of workaholics, 
even in good times. 

In tough economic times such as now, when costs are soaring and the buying power of our 
paychecks is shrinking, we have to work even harder to keep revenues coming in. 

We don’t like our government telling us or our employers how we ought to conduct our business 
or how many vacation days employers must provide. 

Our style has been, for the most part, to favor freedom over mandates of any kind. 

Goodness knows our government has been so busy handing out goodies to citizens, it’s just a 
matter of time before the freedom lovers are overrun by the benefit lovers. 

It will be a sad day if that ever happens. We’ll have a perpetually anemic economy, and all 
of us will have to struggle more to find the job opportunities that’ll bring us happiness and 

That said, we Americans could learn a thing or two from our vacationing friends around the 

“Vacating” from the stresses, responsibilities and worries of our daily lives is great for our 

We know we should take off work and go somewhere with our loved ones or friends and 
completely get lost for a week at a beach or lake. 

We know we should find more time to sit at an outdoor restaurant as the sun goes down, 
enjoying good wine, conversation and the delicious foods we never have time to prepare. 

We know we should step off the earth just for a little while, laugh heartily and sleep until we 
are fully rested. 

Vacating, or vacation, is good for each of us — and America. It restores our equilibrium and 
helps us become more productive, civil and poised when we return to our daily lives. 

Ah, heck, I’ve talked myself into it. 

I’m going to plan a trip to the ocean this summer and let its powerful waves wash my daily 
worries away — for a day or two, anyway. 

Tom Purcell, creator of the infotainment site, is a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review 
humor columnist. Email him at 



My erudite partner, Famous, 
recently told me men not only don’t ask for 
directions when they get lost, they don’t read self 
help books either. “What’s a self-help book” said I. 
“Exactly” was Famous response. 

In seeking to improve the quality of communication between 
the sexes, I interviewed several guys looking for suggestions. 
What would you like to say to your significant other? Few men 
would volunteer. Of those who did, they insisted on 100% anonymity. 
So, here are the top 15 messages guys had for their gals: 

1. Learn to work the toilet seat. If it’s up, put it down. We 
need it up, you need it down. Do we complain about you leaving 
it down? 
2. Please try to say whatever you have to say during the 
3. Christopher Columbus and Marco Polo didn’t ask for 
directions. Neither will we. 
4. Sometimes we are not thinking about you. Really. Live 
with it. 
5. Sunday’s equal sports. It’s like the full moon so let it be. 
6. Ask clearly for what you want. Subtle hints do not work. 
Strong hints do not work. “Obvious” hints do not work. Just 
say it. 
7. We don’t remember dates. Mark special events on 
a calendar with a magic marker and remind us frequentlybeforehand. 
8. ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ are perfectly acceptable answers to almost 
every question. 
9. Anything we may have said 6 months ago is inadmissible 
in an argument. All comments become null and void after 7 
10. Ask us to do something or tell us how you want it done. 
Not both. If you already know best how to do it, do it yourself. 
11. Men see in only 16 colors. Peach, for example, is a fruit, 
not a color. Pumpkin is also just a fruit. And who knows what 
mauve is? 
12. If we ask what is wrong and you say “nothing” we will act 
like nothing’s wrong. 
13. When we go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is 
fine. Don’t ask. 
14. Foreign films are best left to foreigners. Unless it is a 
Bruce Lee or war movie. 
15. Finally, if IT itches, IT will be scratched. 
Men, do not put this column up on the refrigerator. You’ll 
end up sleeping on the couch…or worse. If you forget and are 
shown the door, simply say the following: “I don’t really mind, 
cause it’s like camping. 

By the way, my band, JJ Jukebox is playing, Saturday night, July 16 at 
Nano Café. If you like the Beatles, Neil Diamond, Doobie Brothers,
Creedence, come join us for dinner, drinks and dancing. 6:30 – 9:30pm,
322 W. Sierra Madre Blvd. Sierra Madre, Call (626) 325-3334 and 
make reservations, Call Sunday-Tuesday before 3:00pm. Wednesday 
through Saturday until 9:00pm. Be sure to leave your phone number. 
Hope to see you there. 

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 
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