There are times when the outside world is too much with me. But instead of turning off the TV and refusing to read the news, I natter and voice my opinions of what I think has been overlooked, as piddling as they may be.
Let me start with the concern in Massachusetts over the plan in one school to give condoms to 12 year olds. Parents are upset and don’t even want the subject of sex taught in the schools at such an early age. They are blaming everyone and everything else for the fact that their children are having sex earlier and earlier. Studies have shown that, in fact, their diets are probably just as responsible. Estrogen is stored in fat, and fat also produces estrogen. The more fat, the more estrogen, which will bring on the first menstrual cycle. Simply put, girls are reaching puberty and sexual awareness earlier — another side effect of our diet loaded with fat, sugar and salt so prevalent in fast foods. Boys are happy to accommodate them.
Certain unsophisticated tribes in Africa seemed to know about fat and hormones without having to do the research. When girls reached marriageable age, they were put in a special compound where they were given more food to fatten them up, to prepare them for marriage and child bearing.
Then there is Charles Murray, the conservative scholar who has written a much-publicized book, “Coming Apart”. His thesis is that since the 1960s the once silent, hard-working, white lower classes are not behaving the way they used to, which was doing their best to imitate the upper classes.
He does not seem to have regressed simply to the 1950s, but to the 1850s when the rich had plenty of servants to observe their behavior and share it with their factory worker friends. Today, he says, the elite upper classes are the well-educated intellectuals who stay married, have children within wedlock and go to church regularly. And also are very rich. But they live in a bubble and are not aware of the lower classes, so they don’t even try to teach or demonstrate how to live. He never mentions wage and job stagnation for the masses, or the advantage that these bubble people have taken of the working poor who strived to emulate them with buying larger homes and bigger cars.
There is another class, which my husband and I called ourselves members of: The Educated Poor. That was years ago, but since then our numbers have increased.
Professor Murray never mentions the cultural upheavals of the 60s. Nor does he take into account that poor working men can’t afford mistresses or an occasional call girl to keep their marriages alive and that their wives are too busy to take a lover.
However, if he is looking for someone in his elite class who can teach the lower classes how to behave, and get rich, there is someone who has even become a member of the idle rich and knows well the ropes of being a part of the elite and very, very rich. I suggest he consider Bernie Madoff as a role model and teacher.
In the middle of my tut-tutting, I must, in full disclosure, admit that this very week I went with two friends to McDonald’s. I am talking about the new and modern
McDonald’s right across from the new stadium. I had mentioned that the one thing I remembered about McDonald’s was that I had had a McMuffin and found it very tasty. That was about 10 years ago, but I could try it again. James volunteered to drive me there, and Doug volunteered to keep us company.
At 8:30 in the morning, the parking lot was full, and there was a long line waiting in front of the order clerk. We found a table in the sunlight and waited a while until all of the well-fed people went off to work.
The egg in my McMuffin was fried hard and instead of the advertised sausage, there was ham. No condiments, not even salt and pepper on the untoasted English (alias Mc) muffin. There is a rumor, which I think I may have started, that McDonald’s puts a secret ingredient into their fast food that makes it addictive. I withdraw that accusation. It is okay with me if another 10 years pass before I try another breakfast there. We all agreed the best part was sitting in the sun coming through the window.