Department Of Theme Songs Previously Unheard…
Until now, that is.
Thanks to a radio station I frequently listen to when I’m driving – a station which treats the ears with old advertising jingles and televisions theme songs as well as “oldies – I recently heard part of the “Wonder Woman” theme song for the first time.
That show was on during the no-TV years for me. I never watched it, nor even knew it had a theme song with lyrics. As soon as I returned home I had to search the web and check the lyrics, to make sure I was hearing what I thought I was hearing:
Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman/All the world’s waiting for you,
and the power you possess.
In your satin tights/Fighting for your rights….
In your satin tights/Fighting for your rights….
Ahhhhhh, yes. Perhaps I have inadvertently stumbled upon an explanation for just one of the many, many reasons why both my lifelong quest for superhero status and civil rights have fallen short of my dreams:
no satin tights.
Now I can’t help but think of alternative verses commending the magical underwear of superheroes:
☼ In your lingerie/Showing us the way….
☼ In your undergarments/Chasing evil varmints….
☼ In your silken thong/Righting all that’s wrong….
☼ In your tighty whitey/Looking fierce and mighty….
☼ In your boxer shorts/ Rescuing cohorts….
☼ In your granny pants/Evil has no chance….
☼ In your woolen bloomers/Saving Baby Boomers….
☼ In your BVDs/Fighting Killer Bees….
☼ In your magic drawers/cleansing zit-clogged pores….
☼ In your skanky skivvies/.…
Feel free to stop me anytime.
* * *
Department Of How To Do More Than Just Gripe
…. meat production funnels far more resources through animals than it gets out of them…. even the most efficient sources of meat convert only ~ 11% of feed energy into human food.
And to grow all that animal feed, the industry is constantly converting more native lands to agricultural operations—burning and clear-cutting the Amazon and other forests to make way for feed fields. Today, a whopping 30% of Earth’s landmass goes to meat, dairy, and egg production, according to the United Nations. As the UN also reports, livestock production causes “an even larger contribution” to climate change “than the transportation sector worldwide.” That’s right: Factory farmed animals contribute more to climate change than all the world’s cars, trucks, planes, trains and ships combined.
(Fortune, “How Your Diet Can Save the Planet,” )
Governments of the Most Powerful and Influential Nations ® , especially ours, are doing little to nothing when it comes to initiating effective solutions to combat climate change. We need a global Marshall Plan devoted to such. Absent that, it is easy for individuals to become cynical and think that our ordinary, Best Efforts ® (I wash and reuse my plastic ziplock bags!) mean diddly-squat. But… and this is a big but…
…. there is something every individual can do that will make a difference:
Switch to a plant-based diet.
The human population has reached 7.6 billion and could number 9 billion or 10 billion by midcentury. All those people will need to eat. A sobering report published in the journal Nature argues that a sustainable food system that doesn’t ravage the environment is going to require dramatic reforms, including a radical change in dietary habits.
To be specific: Cheeseburgers are out, and fruits and veggies are in.
The 23 authors of the report, hailing from Europe, the United States, Australia and Lebanon, reviewed the many moving parts of the global food system and how they interact with the environment. The authors concluded that the current methods of producing, distributing and consuming food aren’t environmentally sustainable and that damage to the planet could make it less hospitable for human existence.
A core message from the researchers is that efforts to keep climate change at an acceptable level won’t be successful without a huge reduction in meat consumption.
(“Earth’s population is skyrocketing. How do you feed 10 billion people sustainably?” Washington Post)
Despite your best intentions, a weekly Meatless Monday or Steak-less Saturday ain’t gonna cut it. The numbers have been crunched: our patterns of producing, distributing and consuming foods – specifically, animals and animal products – are not sustainable.
New research shows moving away from animal protein towards legumes makes sense nutritionally and environmentally.
… A substantial amount of (greenhouse gas emissions, which exacerbate climate change emissions) comes from livestock farming with the production of the gas, methane….
switching diets towards plants as sources of protein as opposed to meat, is much more sustainable….plant protein sources (have) the lowest environmental production cost, while at the same time demonstrate the highest density of nutrients. “Peas have a nutrient density to environmental footprint ratio approximately five times higher than equivalent amounts of lamb, pork, beef or chicken.”
(“A switch to plant-based protein could help tackle climate change and hunger,”
Science X Network”)
You care about climate change and environmental degradation, don’t you?  You can do something. Not only about The Planet ®, but about yourself, as well. If this concept (plant-based nutrition) is new to you, you’re in for a treat. You’ll discover a tasty, healthier way of fueling your body, as opposed to the SAD (Standard American Diet) you’ve likely been following.  And despite the food-as-entertainment and eating-as-sport mindset our industrialized food culture has spawned, our intake of food is ultimately and primarily to provide fuel for our bodies.
If physicians know of a treatment that could prevent and reverse disease, then it seems like that treatment should be the first-line method of care prescribed to patients. Researchers at Kaiser Permanente, one of the largest managed care organizations in the country, found that there is, in fact, such a treatment. In their official materials, they now advise the 17,000+ physicians in their network to recommend the most powerful, yet least-used prescription to their patients: a healthy, plant-based diet and active lifestyle.
(“Why the Nation’s Largest Health Plan Wants Its Doctors
to Recommend a Plant-Based Diet”, Wellness)
Talk to someone who’s made the switch. Yeah, you’ve fallen for all the advertising that makes it seem cool to brag about adding bacon to every meal, but your body and mind….
will thank you for wising up. 
You’ll also, hopefully, derive some satisfaction for not personally contributing to the myriad of environmental degradations caused by industrial meat production, which includes the lagoons of pig shit which overflow after hurricanes and other natural disasters…
 …and the totally preventable/unnatural disaster of the contamination of rural communities’ water supplies from manure and nitrates, which are the “natural” and unavoidable by-products of industrialized meat farming.
And no, if you change your eating habits and go plant-based, you don’t have to go around tossing buckets of blood on people who wear fur,  or call yourself a vegan – or anything special, for that matter. Treat it like any other issue you care about and may, for example, disagree with a family member about. Your Uncle Anus takes every opportunity to crow about why he doesn’t “believe” in global warming; to keep the peace at Thanksgiving you might not counter his beliefs with the facts right there at the table, but you encourage him to do the research  and get back to you. Ditto, here. Do the research. Then, be a responsible person and make the changes you can make,  rather than literally or figuratively sitting on your (expanding, animal products-fed) ass and pissing and moaning about why your government doesn’t ban all coal production or whatever.
* * *
Department Of Ouch
Dateline: one week ago. I am on the phone with a Very Helpful Young Woman ® who is setting up an account for a new utility billing for MH and moiself. In order to establish credit and bill us, as opposed to requiring payment at time of service, she needs to run a brief credit check on moiself. The only info required is my name, last four digits of my SSN, my mother’s birthname, my date of birth, and occupation. She goes down the list of questions, and when it gets to occupation, she says, “I assume you’re retired.”
Now, then. Ahem. We’re communicating by phone, so I’m guessing the VHYW made the assumption based on my birth date (which still, IMHO and experience, is a young date to retire). No one’s ever told me my voice sounds old, but maybe to her I sounded like this?
* * *
Department of Touchy Issues 
I remember, at the beginning of the modern gay rights movement, how there were some vocal, disgruntled black Americans who complained, in a my-experience-of-prejudice-is-greater-than-yours kind of way, that with regards to discrimination (I’m paraphrasing here), “It’s harder to be black than gay, because you can’t hide that you’re black.”As in, people look at you and know your “race,” while homosexuals can “pass” or get by and no one will know unless you want them to.
I’ve been thinking about this issue – that of coming out, to family, friends, neighbors, co-workers – for many years now. On last week’s National Coming Out Day, I wondered if it would be appropriate to, say, on a Facebook post, encourage those of us who are religion-free (but unknown as such, to family and friends) to do the same, on that day?
I decided not to steal the fire, so to speak, from LGBTQ issues. Still, many of us who are religion-free (we People Of The Many Monikers ®, including, atheists, humanists, Freethinkers, Brights, Skeptics, et al) have long realized that we need to take a page from the LGBTQ’s civil rights playbook. It is far too easy for us to “hide’ or to have our worldviews remain unknown, especially in the USA where prejudice against non-religious believers is common.
A 2013 Harris Poll…found that 23 percent of all Americans have forsaken religion altogether. A 2015 Pew Research Center poll reported that 34 to 36 percent of millennials (those born after 1980) are” nones” and corroborated the 23 percent figure, adding that this was a dramatic increase from 2007, when only 16 percent of Americans said they were affiliated with no religion...( “The Rise of the Atheists,” Scientific American)
Despite the fact that there’s been a dramatic increase in the percentage of Americans who claim no religious affiliation, unless you are “out” the default assumption is that you hold (some kind of) religious beliefs.
It was only when LGBTQ people began to come out that the myths surrounding them began to be destroyed. It is easier to express or hold hateful (or just well-meaning but ignorant) opinions and beliefs about what “those people” think or do when those people remain unknown to you – you never have to confront your mutual humanity.
When you find out those homos or those godless commies include the person in the cubicle next to yours, your next door neighbor, your cousin, your mom’s favorite auntie, the man sitting across the dinner table or the woman who sits beside you in the pew every Sunday,  your opinions almost have to become enlightened…or at least, a bit more in touch with reality.
Wait a minute, I’ve always thought that gays are __ (insert favorite stereotype), but now I found out that cousin Andy is gay, and so is Susie in accounting and my best friend’s brother, and these people are all nice, intelligent, decent, hard-working and principled citizens — not the kind of people at all to cause tornadoes to hit Midwestern trailer parks….hmmm…maybew the 700 Club was wrong about that, and other things….
* * *
May you come out, come out, wherever you are;
May you fight the cynicism and make the changes you can;
May you send me your list of superhero undergarment rhymes;
…and may the hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
* * *
 If not, stop reading this blog right now, slit your arteries open and dive heart-first into a vat of suet.
 Not that you’re a bad person, but we’ve all mostly been raised that way.
 As fun as that might be…I mean, you can still do that, if you want (but I hope you don’t).
 As if the whole “go plant-based!” screed wasn’t touchy enough.
 Yep, many religious non-believers (including MH, son K, daughter Belle, and moiself) continued to be active church members, for a variety of reasons and for various periods of time, after personally acknowledging that they do not hold religious beliefs.