This has been a week filled with news and politics and tragedy and …looking for a word which is not an expletive… assorted gradu. If you are unfamiliar with the term gradu, let me elucidate. Grab a cuppa and snuggle into a rocker. I shall stoke the fire.
Most often defined as the accumulation of dead skin cells, oil, lint and dirt in one’s navel, gradu is assorted crud or garbage. Although also spelt gradoo, based on its Finnish origin, the spelling with the u is correct. As those with a master’s degree in the audience will recognize, pro gradu is the thesis necessary to obtain a degree. Ironic, isn’t it? The quantitative proof of knowledge is “professional garbage”.
Not Friday Follies
There seems to be some confusion about the hatemails I sift through to bring you the weekly edition of Friday Follies. Let me clear the air a bit. I am not concerned in the slightest by the Internet riffraff which populate my inbox. They quiver in fury or fear on the other side of a liquid crystal display, far removed from the reality we so often discuss on M3.
I am pleased to announce: Since I have changed the email address of M3, I have less to sift. As you can tell from last night’s edition, the quality and outlandishness of the hatemail has not decreased in the slightest. Debatable: Not gradu.
Also Not Decreasing
- The number of off-the-wall comments which are very quickly deleted
- The number of newcomers who believe the M3 Readers like Kool-Aid
- The number of visitors
The M3 Readers are the best blog followers, bar none. In light of the decision to decrease the number of posts per day, your steadfastness is proven by the hit counter at the end of the right sidebar. This week, M3 will reach the 20% mark for number of hits for this year. Already, M3 is one of the most talked-to blogs…over half-way to the goal of 15,000 comments by the end of the year…and it is only the first week of March.
All of that traffic means a proportional increase in the number of …again looking for non-expletive… unsavory characters. 99% of everyone who comes to M3 is genuinely interested or a silent rubbernecker. The 1% is neither interested (in the traditional sense) or silent.
In the last seven days, I have deleted or spammed more than three dozen comments which attacked the M3 Readers’ comments. Yes, I know. It goes totally against my character to avoid an argument. It is not me with whom they wish to argue. These people are truly gradu.
Kudos and Gratitude
The lack of compassion or concern or anything resembling humanity this week on the social and mainstream media outlets in the face of the Chardon school shooting was enough to make me see red. Complete gradu.
When I was convinced there was no real point in trying to bring self-realizing content to the Internet, the M3 Readers engaged in an active discussion around the Thursday evening post.
The very simple fact of the vast majority of the posts on M3 is you are in control. You have heard the catch phrases:
- Only those who lie before the door are treated as doormats.
- Refuse to be a victim.
- You can do this.
- Make a difference.
What you did do was agree to be one bunch who is MAD. I am humbled and overjoyed to be in the company of such a grand group of people. Definitely, not gradu.
One of the concepts which causes me great turmoil and angst is the theory:
They get paid whether the game is rained out or not.”
Those of you in the inner sanctum know I struggle with this on a daily basis. The ever-growing number of you in my broadening social circle are coming to recognize a rant when you see one… like this one.
Not to say I am incapable of the expletive-laden, all-angst vitriol of classic rants. Truly, I am capable. This particular week held 16 hours of fodder for the classic rant.
Suffice it to say, the ignorance about handicaps, especially the handicaps of children, which is uber-pervasive (Redundant, I get that.) here in the third circle of hell (South Carolina) motivates me to test the lethality of Shaken Adult Syndrome.
Instead, it caused me to coin a phrase. If you have not been around M3 for more than a week, I must pause for an obligatory warning: On a daily basis, I am attempting to transform the American lexicon. My offering?
Incompetence is its own reward.”
Definitely, its end result is gradu.
Do not scratch a bloody spot behind your ear. While I will provide a political example, this is not permission to engage in politics on M3.
The American government, especially in its state as an example of corporate behavior, is an enterprise which rewards those who successfully shirk duty for the longest period of time with the greatest benefits. The irony of that statement is the profoundly steep learning curve one must employ to avoid this quantity of work.
By practicing voluntary ignorance, one can blissfully move through this world by ignoring the consequences of one’s own inaction on others. A completely guilt-free existence germinates procrastination, indignation when demands are made and a complacency rivaled in no other arena. Thus, incompetence is its own reward.
Utterly undeniable gradu.
Quite a few of you took the time to poke some fun at me with Wordless Wednesday, as well you should have. (If you have not already, we will wait.) My darling sister sent me a care package. Among the sparkly things was Arturo. He sits beside my laptop and stares at me.
Sometimes, I need to catch the look from both eyes, which questions innocently. Others, I need the one googly eye to ask me if I even thought about it before I typed it. He has made me smile quite a bit.
When we were discussing this week’s MAD post, I asked you a trick question: Do you know someone who is disabled? The answer was yes, but not for the reason you thought it might. I got a huge case of the giggles over the ideas of stupidity and rudeness and stubbornness as disabilities. Just by those definitions, I am disabled.
The truth of the matter: I am disabled. I have two invisible disabilities. One is massive cervical trauma from a car wreck more than twenty years ago, the extent of which did not manifest until 2009. The bulging and misaligned discs produce paralysis in my arm and hand.
Medical brilliance professes it is a mild disability because I have only intermittently lost 60% use of my left hand. No where on their how can we dismiss this as trivial list is the question of hand dominance. I am left-handed… and a writer who types more words beginning with Q, X and Z than most any I have met.
The second is the one which is the hardest to compensate. I can always type with one hand… as long as I am prepared to take much longer and use the backspace key a lot. The agoraphobia is not so easy to overcome.
I have a crippling fear of public places and crowds. The anxiety and blood pressure increases (240/190) associated with it was sufficient for me to have a stroke… at 39. Yes, this is gradu.
After the death of my daughter, I stayed inside the house, with the sole exception of doctor visits, for three years. No, I did not go outside. I did not feed the dogs. I did not water the plants on the porch. I did not go get the mail. I did not go outdoors.
When my late husband died, I had no choice but go to school meetings and the grocery. Today, I have no option but attend to all of the social and therapeutic needs of the little ones. I travel extensively… to the tune of 50,000 miles per year… in my truck. Back to the storied question: How do you do it?
1. Follow directions.
I heed my doctor’s instructions in this arena where I have never done it before. I take my medication before I must go out.
2. Remember, I am not the only Tigger.
Hundreds of parents have the exact same tasks as I do. We all do them because it is our responsibility to do them and because no one else will do them.
3. Remember, I am the only Tigger.
I am the only one in control of my actions. If I succumb to the anxiety of more than four people I do not know in a room or the overwhelming number of people in a store, I relinquish my control. I much prefer to be Tigger than Eeyore.
No accepted gradu.
Take It Away
Just like every other disabled person I have ever met, I do not want your pity. I want you to celebrate.
Celebrate the fact I get up everyday and do something productive…even on the days all I do is play with my children.
Celebrate the fact I do not exploit the things I cannot do to garner other people’s contribution to my life or their actions in my stead.
Celebrate the fact I do not fear telling my story in hopes it helps just one person stand up to a disability.
Celebrate the fact disability does not rule my world.
Celebrate my rejection of gradu.
Yes, my sister sent me the hat for a reason. Everyday, I have the chance to MAD and change the world. Everyday, I take that chance.
Until next time,
Just a bit of business: The poll is closing tonight. Even if you voted before, for the first time, you are allowed to vote again. Some did not realize you could vote for as many as you liked. If you had more than one answer, feel free to vote for more choices… or something I left off the list.
© Red Dwyer 2012
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