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Veteran of many losing battles
fires a few final, futile shots

I’m on the verge of my 79th birthday, old enough not only to recognize a losing battle, but to resist fighting it.

There are several losing battles that interest me, but haven’t the time or energy to participate.

Otherwise, I’d be part of any effort to overturn the election of Donald Trump. Instead, I’ll sit back and enjoy knowing those who voted for him will get what they deserve through the results of unregulated businesses. Not that I will fare any better.

I’d crusade against the primary system as the method by which we nominate our presidential candidates. I’d endorse the idea that only dues-paying members of a political party would have a say in the nominating process.

MOST OF MY losing battles are trivial. I’d fight for the NCAA to limit the number of teams invited to the annual basketball tournament to 32. That’s right, 32. Less than half the number of teams that currently participate (including the eight teams that have to play their way into the “real” tournament).

I’d fight for the American League to get rid of the designated hitter rule, and for football — college and pro — to banish the concept and the phrase, “breaking the plane.” I'd get rid of replays and put the burden back on the game officials.

I’d fight for bakeries and companies that produce baked goods — are you reading this, Sara Lee — to use butter, not whatever it is that has found its way into our pastry.

I”d fight for pretzel makers to double the amount of salt they sprinkle on their products.

I’D ADVOCATE the “Shave or Be Shunned” law. Men would be allowed to have full-blown mustaches or beards, but no one with a stubbly face would be allowed in public, and certainly not in front of a camera.

I’d fight to have the word, “selfie”, stricken from the language, along with the word, “blog.”

Use of cellphones would be limited to one minute per day, and minutes could not be accumulated by skipping days. Twittering would be a capital offense.

Makers of movies and television programs would be forbidden from showing conversations, brawls or sexual intercourse in restrooms. This rules out shots of men standing at urinals. (I actually watched a program in which the closed captioning informing me that I was hearing the sound of someone urinating.)

People in movies and television programs would not be allowed to vomit over trivial news. (“Tomorrow’s forecast calls for scattered showers.” “Quick! Hand me a bucket!”)

Also forbidden: the phrase “He wet himself” (followed by a shot of a man’s hose-soaked trousers).

FINALLY, no movie or television program set before 1945 could use the word, “fuck,” or any variation of it.

Things have gotten so bad, that if someone were to do a Netflix series about the Garden of Eden, Adam would tell Eve: “Don’t eat that fucking apple!”

I recently watched the first episode — and about ten minutes of the second — of a Netflix series called “Frontier,” about fur traders in Canada in the early 1700s.

I watched because the cast included Alun Armstrong, a favorite British actor I enjoyed in “New Tricks,” a police series. This time around he plays a tyrannical Brit out to eradicate renegade fur traders who’ve cut into his company’s profits. While Armstrong is very good at comedy, he’s also a convincing villain, but he goes over the top in “Frontier.”

The main distraction, and what drove me away from the series, was a cliched script the writers believed could be saved by the word “fucking,” as in, “We’re fucking outnumbered,” and “It doesn’t fucking matter.”

If I kept watching, I’d probably hear this version of a cliche classic:
“It sure is fucking quiet out there; too fucking quiet.”

It's too bad that in many losing battles, there are no winners.

 

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