Government-sanctioned Identity Theft

When I taught students how to write, one of the areas most troublesome for them was how to add more details to their writing.

Details are important to a reader by coloring in the outline of an image.

That is why it is unsettling to see how society is de-emphasizing details when it comes to gender, literally wiping away what makes our identities who we are.

It is like government-sanctioned Identity Theft.

The latest nonsense comes from Argentina which has approved a new national ID card that permits the applicant to choose “x” as a gender alongside “male” and “female.”

Here is how President Alberto Fernández explained it.

“I hope one day we get to the point where IDs don’t say if someone is a man, woman or anything else.”

In other words, the endgame is for one day each one of us to be anonymous. It’s as if people have misinterpreted the word “equality” to mean that everybody become blank carbon copies, unformed bodies lacking any discernable traits.  Like a science fiction movie turned documentary, identifying people without gender is a troubling concept to accept.

If someone assaulted you and you were filling out a report to the police, wouldn’t you want to be as precise as possible in describing who the person was?

Many schools now use the word “guardian” to describe all parents because the words “mother” and “father” demeans those who bring up children who are not the birth parents.

In addition to male/female, here are other word pairings that will soon no longer exist because people are not supposed to know if someone is a man or a woman:

  • actor/actress
  • comedian/comedienne
  • host/hostess
  • waiter/waitress
  • congressman/congresswoman

            Hey, aren’t there more pressing issues elected officials should spend their time fixing such as what to do about the homeless who seem to have the freedom to plant a tent anywhere in our neighborhoods?  At least “homeless” is already gender-proof.

Happy Fifth of July

Well, we survived another Fourth of July.

“Survived” meaning our 11-year-old dog got through the barrage of illegal fireworks that begins on June 1, concluding with the legal commercial fireworks display that Burbank puts on, reappearing after being dark during last year’s quarantine.

This year’s fusillade from neighbors far and wide seemed incessant, more intense than ever.  Clearly, people viewed this year’s July 4th as the exclamation mark of the pandemic’s end.

That’s why I always look forward to the morning of July 5th more for Noble.  When we moved into our house 22 years ago, one of the first things our next-door neighbor told us was of the wonderful view we would have from our front yard each Independence Day of the city’s free fireworks show over the hillside not far from where we lived.  At the time, we had our first dog and were worried about how he would handle it.  While a bit unnerved, he wasn’t that agitated.  However, that would change years later when we had our second dog, Noble, whose is more neurotic.

In his first year with us, he nearly scratched away all the paint on the inside of our front door as if doing that would make “the rocket’s red glare, the bomb[s] bursting in air” vanish.

That’s when I made the decision the following year and years after that to take Noble to my brother’s house who lived in another city so he wouldn’t have a heart attack.  My wife didn’t like me not being home to enjoy the fireworks, but I would rather him someplace quiet and calm than me seeing the show.

With the cancellation of last year’s fireworks show, I didn’t have to make that trip.  And this year I thought Noble would be able to tolerate it since his hearing has diminished in recent years.

That thought was wrong for when the first bang rocked our house at 9:00 p.m., all hell broke loose again.  His sight is still fine so as soon as the flashing lights pierced through our blinds catching his eyes, he was in full panic mode as if his family was under foreign attack. He barked loud and long with a crazed look in his eyes, pacing back and forth all around the living room, his impression of a fire alarm.

The Benadryl pill I delayed in giving him foolishly thinking that maybe this time he wouldn’t need it, I hurriedly administered on a piece of bread with peanut butter (cursing the hermetically sealed plastic that makes retrieving the pill impossible), even though by the time it took effect, the city’s show was over.  Or so I thought.

In order to counteract the booms, I turned on a bluegrass music channel on TV to act as white noise.  My eldest son and I kept petting his head and body, speaking soothing tones, using our voice and movements to sooth his old soul.

Within a half hour, the legal fireworks were over.  Noble finally settled on the white plush comforter atop his dog pillow, doing his usual three revolutions to the left, then two to the right, as if he was a locker combination.

Then, BOOM, BOOM, BOOM.  It was nearly 10:30 and I jumped to the window thinking, “Wow, those illegal firecrackers are close to our house.”  When I peeked through the curtains, I couldn’t believe my eyes.  Evidently, whoever set off the city’s fireworks forget to finish with the grand finale.  Suddenly, the sky was alit again with color and white light to the horror of my canine.  The finale lasted just a few minutes but it caught us all by surprise.

Another panic came and went.  Noble went back to sleep.  My wife and I continued hearing the illegal fireworks until we fell asleep from exhaustion.

And that’s why when waking up this morning to quiet and looking outside to see fog was quite comforting.  Happy 5th of July!