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Passions in Poetry

Wealthy Quality

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Essorant
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0 posted 03-16-2012 01:23 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

If all the money in the world were divided equally among all the people, wouldn't we all be millionaires?  
Balladeer
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1 posted 03-16-2012 01:43 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

If that were to happen, withing a year we would have multi-millionaires and poor people...just like we have now.
Essorant
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2 posted 03-16-2012 02:38 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Indeed, it wouldn't be a one-time event.  All the money in the world would need to be divided ongoingly so we could maintain the equality in the future.  
Huan Yi
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3 posted 03-16-2012 08:17 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


Why would you work if you get the same
for doing nothing?


.
Essorant
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4 posted 03-16-2012 12:29 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

You seem to be suggesting we are supposed to work for money to begin with.  

I think most people have the spirit, if not an inborn instinct to work for much nobler things than money.  Happiness is one of those things, safety, health, knowledge, justice, etc, are a few more.  Most things are a lot more worth spending our work and time on than money.  If no one needed to worry about money we could focus more directly on working for things that are a lot more important than money.

Stephanos
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5 posted 03-16-2012 02:40 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

That would be frightful.  Distribution of wealth is a Marxist idea.  And it doesn't really work.  For example, a large number of houses built by "Habitat for Humanity" fall into disrepair shortly after giving them away to people who can't or won't work to maintain those houses.  I'm not one of these guys who says that we shouldn't help the poor.  We should.  But we also can't dispense with a society in which productivity and hard work is rewarded.  Enforced egalitarianism would take away all incentive, and would create a dystopian society of literary proportions.  

Stephen
Essorant
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6 posted 03-16-2012 03:20 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

quote:
For example, a large number of houses built by "Habitat for Humanity" fall into disrepair shortly after giving them away to people who can't or won't work to maintain those houses



But that would cease to be a problem, because they would be millionaires and would be able to afford either to hire people or to get the training and equipment to do it themselves.  Once much of the barrier of money and slavery to it is out of the way or is no longer such a burden, people can enjoy the freedom of being able to do what they couldn't/wouldn't do before because of the difficult conditions they were in.
 
Bob K
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7 posted 03-17-2012 04:10 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K


     I hadn't heard that about the Habitat houses, Stephen.

     The reason that I hadn't heard that is because in order to get a habitat house, you have to work on other habitat houses.  They aren't simply given away, you've got to put a lot of sweat equity into them — not only yours, but a number of others before you're even considered — so there's pride of ownership, and if that's not the way things are working out, I'd like to know more about it.  If the ownership process goes belly up too often, then that indicates a major rethink needs to be done.

     Where, Oh where, are you getting your information?


    I checked Wikipedia for information.  They felt their information might be somewhat too biased on the positive side and were inviting balancing negative information.  As a compromise of sorts, I'm including the part of the wikipedia article they printed in the rubric "Criticism"

quote:

Cost-effectiveness
An article in the Weekly Standard, an American neoconservative opinion magazine, questioned the cost-effectiveness of Habitat building projects. To estimate cost effectiveness, all costs associated with building a Habitat home must be used, including the cost of volunteer time and training.[27] For houses constructed by foreign volunteers, travel and associated costs paid by the volunteers are also significant. Including these costs raises the question whether building a house this way is an efficient use of resources. Particularly in developing countries where labour is relatively inexpensive, unemployment is high, and local currency is cheap, purchasing local labour and supplies may result in an increase in the number of houses built.
Habitat has been criticized for its slow and inefficient rebuilding efforts along the Gulf Coast after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.[28] After 18 months, Habitat had completed under 500 homes. A major factor was Habitat's reliance on working through local affiliates, who are not equipped to undertake large-scale rebuilding efforts.
[edit]Partnering with low-income families
Families are required to show an ability to pay for their home in addition to the need for housing. With these requirements, homeless and low-income families may fail to qualify for a Habitat home. Most American Habitat affiliates perform credit checks and criminal record checks on applicants before partnering with them for the construction of a home. Some critics therefore allege that Habitat misrepresents the nature of its work by partnering with families that might be considered nearly "middle-income."[27] To address this, many Habitat affiliates in the United States partner only with families that fall below the government-set "poverty line" for their area. The current poverty rate is measured according to the United States Department of Health and Human Services Poverty Guidelines.[29]
The credit and income requirements help assure that Habitat applicants are able to maintain their houses. Foreclosures on Habitat houses have been very low: 2%, according to official figures. The homeowners' monthly mortgage payments are used to build more Habitat homes.[1]
[edit]Ousting of the founder
Habitat's founder, Millard Fuller, and his wife were dismissed by the Habitat board of directors on January 31, 2005, citing “a pattern of ongoing public comments and communications by the Fullers that have been divisive and disruptive to the organization’s work”[30] after Fuller was accused by a former female employee of "suggestive comments and inappropriate touching" during a ride to the Atlanta airport in 2003. The Habitat board investigated Fuller for sexual harassment but found “insufficient proof of inappropriate conduct.” Some Fuller supporters claim that the firing was due to a change in corporate culture.[31]
Before Fuller's termination, attempts were made by former President Jimmy Carter to broker an agreement that would allow Fuller to retire with his $79,000 salary intact; when Fuller was found to have violated the non-disclosure portion of this agreement, he was subsequently fired.[32]
[edit]Conflicts with affiliates
In January 2008 a dispute arose between the parent organization and an unspecified number of local Habitat for Humanity affiliate organizations over the terms of their cooperation agreement. These local affiliates contended that the agreement gave the international organization too much power over the assets and operations of the local chapters. One of the affiliates, Habitat for Humanity of San Antonio, reached an agreement with HFHI in July 2008 to “continue working together in their efforts to make affordable housing possible.”[33]
[edit]

rwood
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8 posted 03-20-2012 05:49 AM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

The dollar wouldn't be worth the paper it's printed on.   Hasn't been for a while, really.

nor would the annihilation that would come from taking from those who have billions to distribute the millions.

Wealth & quality of life to some is clean water. Others require a holocaust or "cleansing" for prosperity.

If everyone were so noble, we wouldn't be spending trillions in military defense.
Huan Yi
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9 posted 03-20-2012 02:17 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


"I think most people have the spirit, if not an inborn instinct to work for much nobler things than money."


So why are there wealthy now?
Why haven't they written the checks?


.
serenity blaze
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10 posted 03-20-2012 11:57 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

John? I think it's not so simple because money becomes a game--a grown up game of marbles.

I never understood "collectors" myself, as the point never seems to be to have better of whatever is collected (stuff) or even more (money or monetary value) but ALL of the stuff.

sigh...I am married to a collector, and it's a problem. He hangs out with other collectors and I don't understand their mindset or their lingo. I tried to explain it to him like this-- Even as a child, I never understood the game of marbles. Even if one is the neighborhood marble expert, and completes the goal of winning every game and collecting ALL of the marbles, that expert marble player effectively puts an end to the game he loves--unless he has an act of charity and gives some back for love of the game. Or, like the guy I recall, who is probably living in some gated community by now, that expert SELLS kids back their own marbles only to repeat the process all over again...

Ess? I love your idealism, I truly do.

But um, that's coming from someone who lost all of her marbles.
Bob K
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11 posted 03-21-2012 01:08 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Distribution of wealth is also a religious idea.

     I happen to enjoy what money I have, though it isn't much.  I have no wish to give all my money away because I feel that I need some for myself.  While working on a locked psychiatric unit a patient developed a long term animus toward me because I had the nerve to eat my dinner in front of him and wouldn't give him any.  He was utterly un-interested in the fact that being short staffed meant I either ate in front of the patients or I didn't eat at all.  I, on the other hand, was completely rational, and have forgotten about the incident, now 25 years past.  Doesn't bother me at all.

     I wouldn't have wanted to eat the State food that he was forced to eat, by the way.  It was inedible gristle and slime, and could only have been defined as food by an incredible act of violence on the dictionary.  It was quite literally a choking hazard.

     My eating in front of this guy must have been pretty difficult for him.  Had I vanished to eat off the unit, as I was supposed to have done, I would have provided a danger for some of the other patients (yes, I did in fact save somebody's life from a choking incident during one of our periodic short-staffing periods).

     None of these patients were wealthy enough to pay for their own care, and the state grudged them every penny they spent, supplying rock bottom food supplies, rock bottom physical plants designed for air-conditioning but without air conditioning installed on the patient care areas and with minimal medical care.  One of my jobs when I started off was to wash the disposable medication cups for reuse, and it was occasionally the practice to find that doctors called to suture fingertips and other vital things would not show up until far too late and the fingertips could no longer be sutured on.

     I understand that there can be excellent quarrels started by talking about Might Have Been situations.  What would it be like if this or that unlikely demand were made.

     I think such discussions can be very interesting, as can been seen by the start made on this one.

     But look, folks, we have people who can't take care of themselves who are being exploited.  The experiences I was writing about above were part of how I made my living for years.  Instead of trying to make these things better in Massachusetts, where they were happening, the (Democratic, to my shame) government tried to side-step the issues by putting a lot of these patients into very short term hospitalizations, which dumped them onto the streets in a revolving door sequence.  Feeding, clothing and medicating these folks became a much more hit or miss affair.  It was a great solution for politicians because it looked great and cost little.

     Even better because it meant that there was little or no accountability for what happened to these non-voters.

     I believe it was a way to dodge the bullet by erasing an issue and a population by creating a more difficult sort of homelessness problem that we really hadn't had to deal with before.

     There are things that a responsible society needs to do.  Being wealthy is a very nice thing, but I suggest to you that being wealthy is something that should come a little further down the line than where we have placed it in our scheme of important Things.
serenity blaze
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12 posted 03-22-2012 03:38 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Bob? I was going to say that since I've never been wealthy, I can't really agree nor disagree with your proclamation that being wealthy is "nice".

I'm pretty sure that if I looked at my financial situation comparatively, I might be considered wealthy. Yep. In fact, I'm confident that if I could teleport a person from say...Haiti, they might be overwhelmed by the contents of a shruggishly kept pantry. (Beans, bean, ramen noodles, and lotsa save-a-lot side dishes?) But yes, I am pretty confident that the fact that I have much more conveniences in my life than that fantasy teleported person might have, would place me in the "comfortably" wealthy bracket which you deem "nice."

It's actually more than "nice". This "nice" situation allows a person to dream bigger and better dreams, because we, as humans, are animals that aspire. I can only assess your intent from the words you've written here on these blue pages, so I'm assuming you understand the psychology of environment which lends subtle signals of "hope" to people--even people who live in a hovel in a city of hovels. (I wish I knew how to find it, but I recall a story of a flowerbox campaign which took place in a poor neighborhood in New York City--can't place the year of publication, but I do believe it was a Reader's Digest issue.)

I also thought about Forrest Gump. That excellent film, and his innocence with lack of glee, after being told that his money had been invested in one helluva payoff--APPLE, inc., and what did he say:

"Well, good. One less thing to worry about."

But that's in the movies. Money is NOT less one thing to worry about. It's a helluva lot MORE to worry about. For money to have any value at all, it needs to have movement, energy. It proves or disproves one's value system. (And please understand I'm shifting focus just a bit, from just you, to everybody.)

Money is a challenge of moral responsibility and integrity. Where you decide to place that value indicates--no, PROVES who you are as a person. I think about the uber-rich at times, and I'm reminded of a story that Kathy Griffith tells of meeting Cher. She describes Cher's "home" as having its own zip code. She  further described security stations with armed guard, high gates, and a "home" so vast that when she was finally allowed in to see this cultural icon, she called out to her:

"Cher?"

And after she recovered from the shock of hearing an ECHO of her own voice in someone's home, an assistant appeared and smiled at her. She told her that she could holler all she wanted--Cher couldn't hear her. She was directed to take a seat, after her offering of a piece of birthday cake wrapped in aluminum foil was taken from her. (Her offering to Cher, a piece of Kathy Griffin's own birthday cake.)

Kathy Griffin tells the story better, but I felt a qualm of something cold inside of me, and actually had sympathy for Cher. Her life, as described, sounded very glamourous, but also very lonely. I thought as I listened to Ms. Griffin, that her visit may well have been a welcome respite for Cher. A chatty girl moment, which I'm sure Cher was well aware would become part of the Griffith act.

I thought that was sad too.

I think about Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Howard Hughes, and Kurt Cobaine. I think about how it really doesn't matter if someone has talent or not--they become a celebrated person because they made (or inherited) lots of money. And they become the focus of our peasantry attention because we are animals of aspiration.

And it's just that very focus that daunts me, an my own aspirations. It seems to me that wealth isolates people--it forces them into  community of elite, by necessity. Not only are they hounded by the love and acceptance they craved, they actually become dehumanized into a commodity for product placement advertisements, as our hunger, our curiosity, the very admiration/love and attention that we bestow on them traps them into a surreal world which requires some very expensive protection in the form of security--high walls, deep moats, big men with big guns and big dogs--stylists, agents, PR agencies, attorneys...none of this sounds like quality to me.

Me? I dream of solar panels, so I won't have to worry about the electric bill in July.

I'm really interested in a technology that turns ordinary water into gas. Even in a swamp, I like the idea of rain retention--it's raining right now, but yanno? I'd like to be able to test that rainwater for pollutants, contaminants ...

My ide of wealthy quality is still pretty much hippy-do-well--some beefsteak tomatoes, squash, basil, eggplant, and a nice barter system for services rendered. (I mean that in the nicest way. ) Really. I'm too old for dirty joke now--it's just..gross.)

Wealthy Quality, Quality Wealth.

I think we all know it's just paper, but that stuff has energy, and with proper intent, it can do a lot of good. Would that we were all as conscientious as Essorant, and as pragmatic as Grinch, with the combined fortitude of you, Bob, and Mike, with the long-suffering patience of our host, Ron, the exuberance of Noah Eaton, and the prodding thoughtfulness of our too-silent philosophers, who know who they are.

And a little bit of my wit. Just a little.



Karen just wants a nice garden, a good library, company who calls before coming, and good conversation accompanied by sweet tea in the day, pinot in the evening, and maybe some berries, vegemite, and drool-till-ya-sleep tv on occasion. THAT would define quality of wealth for me. Occasional worship, but no pictures, please.

and OH--an orchard would be way cool. *s*

G'nite folks.
Bob K
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13 posted 03-22-2012 04:02 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Goodnight, Gracie.
Stephanos
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14 posted 03-22-2012 09:24 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Bob, I was talking about Governmentally forced distribution of wealth, not generosity.  There's a big difference.  
Huan Yi
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15 posted 03-22-2012 11:14 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


From each according to his ability, to each according to his need,
translated into Stalin and his cronies eating caviar in their dachas
while millions of others starved to death; it didn’t work.


.
Essorant
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16 posted 03-24-2012 04:45 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

It would be a stepping-stone, hopefully, toward doing away with money altogether.  If we can live and live fairly well in the equality of all being millionaires, then we should soon realize we deserve the next and the best step, that of doing so as "zero-aires" no longer pretending we need to force ourselves to need or bother with money at all, at least for the most important things.  

Money is a completely artificial "need", something we don't actually or naturally need for anything we do.  Everything we do need and/or want we could do or have without money if we (as a humanity) let ourselves.  


Stephanos
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17 posted 03-24-2012 10:04 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Essorant, we couldn't live "fairly well" under the forced distribution of wealth.  It's been tried.  Look up "Cultural Revolution" ala Mao Tse Tung.
Essorant
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18 posted 03-24-2012 04:01 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant


Stephanos,

It wouldn't be a revolution or be forced on anyone.  It would be a gradual evolution of changes in that direction through the process of enlightenment.  People will learn to follow virtue more than money and the more they do the better both will be distributed until eventually people realize through the virtue that the money doesn't need to be distributed at all for them to be able to live and live well with each other.  They will make virtue their chief pursuit and give up money altogether.

Huan Yi
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19 posted 03-24-2012 06:06 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


And who, unlike anyone else in human
history, would be the successful teachers of this new way?


.
Bob K
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20 posted 03-25-2012 01:47 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K


Stephen,

     The Cultural Revolution was not about redistribution of wealth.

quote:

Cultural Revolution
n
(Historical Terms) (in China) a mass movement (1965-68), in which the youthful Red Guard played a prominent part. It was initiated by Mao Tse-tung to destroy the power of the bureaucrats and to revolutionize the attitudes and behavior of the people Also called Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution
Collins Eng



[Edited - Ron]


     I don't believe it was a good idea, either, by the way —  I assume, here, that you disapprove of it as much as I do.  It's probably more complicated than I can figure out, but near as I can follow, it's one of those nationalist movements that sweep countries every now and again and Mao decided to get behind it instead of trying to stand in front of it.  I think the modern equivalent is the Tea Party Movement in this country — anti-bureaucratic, anti-governmental, and populist.

     The Tea-party movement tried to be historical while the Cultural Revolution tried to reject history, but both were actually variations on Know-Nothing populism, I believe, and both were attempts to ditch the institutional memory of the bureaucracy.  

     As was demonstrated by the events in China,: No bureaucracy, no stability.  This may have been Mao's way of getting rid of The Gang of Four.  

     No one particularly likes bureaucracies, but they are what make the difference between institutions that last and institutions that don't last.

    

  

[This message has been edited by Ron (03-25-2012 02:32 PM).]

Bob K
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21 posted 03-25-2012 02:29 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

quote:

Stephen:

Bob, I was talking about Governmentally forced distribution of wealth, not generosity.  There's a big difference.  



     And were we talking about profit and not extortion, as is so often the case, there wouldn't be much point in the discussion, would there?  Unfortunately, you're talking to somebody who buys gas and who needs, on occasion to buy medicine and is aware of the artificially high prices charged for both.

     Nor are these the exceptions.


quote:


From each according to his ability, to each according to his need,
translated into Stalin and his cronies eating caviar in their dachas
while millions of others starved to death; it didn’t work.




     Actually, Marx didn't translate into into Russia at all, they had to invent something completely new, didn't they, John.  It wasn't Marxism any more, it was Marxism/Leninism and then later it was Marxism/Leninism/Stalinism.  They kept having to tack extra names on because the original was designed for industrialized countries and nobody had any idea what to do with Russia.  There was no theory there to cope with it, only the idea of a revolution, really, and a bunch of people with a commitment to having one.

     This is 1917 we're talking about, right?

     You're complaining?

     You're in the middle of World War One.

     What are you going to do?

     The Germans have just sent Lenin in a sealed train into St. Petersburg in the hopes of knocking Russia out of the war.  It's a good move for the Germans at the time.

     Who are you, and what are you going to do to make things go differently, and why?

     As for me, about the last thing I would imagine at the time would be a successful left wing revolution in Russia at the time.  I would have trouble imagining a successful Parliamentary government emerging with Kerensky at the head.

serenity blaze
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22 posted 03-25-2012 07:43 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Goodbye Bob.

Women have repeatedly tried to voice opinions here, and it doesn't seem to matter if we come from the Left or the Right. It doesn't seem to matter if we back up what we say with references and sources. We are all dismissed, but sometimes we get a pat on the head.

I've received e mails thanking me for speaking up, for venturing into what many Pip women consider a hostile environment, because women are ultimately dismissed as crazy, an itch of inappopriate content or just plain stupid...

*shaking my head*

I'm done. (Ladies, you were correct and I was wrong.)

I'm gonna keep smoking my cigars, though.

You gentlemen keep moving and shaking the world though.
Bob K
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23 posted 03-26-2012 02:30 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Gracie was the brains of the outfit, .  George Burns said so every chance he got.

     Your comment on wealth was way better than mine was.  It was more humane, it was more clever, it had more depth and it had more on the ball.  I wasn't patting you on the head, it was a bow of admiration.  I'd been masterfully outdone and I was acknowledging it.  I wish I'd done it better, but I have to settle for the best I can do most of the time, and I still don't think "Goodnight Gracie" was bad at all.  She was a class act all the way, and as bright and witty as they make them.

     As for me, I had to give up cigars when people started dropping quarters into my coffee when I was standing around relaxing on the street.    I was afraid the folks who were in it for a living would started demanding a cut.  How embarrassing would that have been?


     Your comments are frequently more interesting and clever than mine are.  It simply a bit awkward to say that straight out, though, isn't it?  I don't see men doing that, and I don't see women doing that either very often, especially not directly  in the middle of the conversation.  

     I don't know that clears things up, but it is an attempt in that direction, Serenity.  My best.
serenity blaze
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24 posted 03-26-2012 08:19 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

GREAT ANSWER!!! *smile*

And my apologies, for hypersensitivity.

I totally take responsibility for the fact that I sometimes make a point of being deliberately silly, and then getting offended when I'm not taken seriously.

I'll get some rest. Thank you for being a gentleman. I'll try harder to be a lady.
 
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