Does Anyone Else Have This Blot On Paradise?

By Jim Dickinson
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paradise island


I am sitting in my edge of paradise, overlooking the tranquility and peace below and the sweeping vista of Lake Chapala, a rapture that has somehow escaped me all of my life until we arrived here five years ago. The grandeur all around is breathtaking, and infinitely calming.

“Get the hell out of my life, you f---!” screams my beloved’s Kindle, shattering my rapture.

“Can you turn that thing off?” I ask.

“It’s comedy,” she protests.

“Well, I don’t find it funny.”

She knows me better than to persist, but the foul language spews forth from the Kindle.

“I’m trying, but I can’t turn it off,” she says. “I rebooted, but it came back.”

Eventually, she was able to curb it, and peace descended again in my daily evening reverie. But it had been broken, and I was irretrievably aggrieved.

How dare they? I groused, inwardly – “they” being the modern comedic culture where artists can’t make a living unless they flaunt the coarseness and vulgarity of the modern, media-cultivated culture.

I remembered my own family Thanksgiving dinner table years ago, at which our son suddenly flared during a protest I’d made in the conversation: “Mom, ‘f---’ is a perfectly respectable word these days!”

Something any boy would say to his mother any time, obviously.

Suddenly I realized we were too old. The world had passed us by. We and our lifelong conditioning were on the way out – so much so that we had lost our moralistic connection to the status quo.

Why had we not kept up and plugged-in?

Why, even, were we living at Lakeside, a place where our family was afraid to visit us, even when we paid the airfare? Then it dawned on me. We had unwittingly become trapped in a time warp. We had left a place where the crassness of modern life, not to mention its climatic assaults on our decrepit contentment had alienated us, and where we had found a refuge in which the comforting Mexican world and climate were more like the world we grew up in than what the modern USA had evolved into being. Not that the terrible U.S. media-amplified drug wars in Mexico are irrelevant. They just don’t affect us at Lakeside. Why don’t our families believe us? It’s because we’re old and irrelevant.

Does anyone else have this problem?


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