It occurs to me the difference between my childhood and that of my great grandchildren is an aching chasm. Let me explain.
The entertainment of cartoons like I had, with the Flintstones being one of my favorite programs, were designed to make us laugh at ourselves and life. Fred and Wilma came on just before we went home across the street from the sitters place. They had a TV and we didn’t, and Dino was my secret crush. Silly I know, because he was a baby dinosaur, but we couldn’t have pets because we were so young, and both our parents worked. Overlapping shifts at that. We knew we were loved, by family and community.
Now we have Barney. Ironically the same type of dinosaur Dino was way back when, who was black and white before the Flintstones were colorized. Yes, I was a kid before color TV was common. I watched the original Star Trek in black and white. But back to Barney and his annoying jingle and his glaring purple and neon green costume. How sad that we need a children’s show to reassure our little one’s they are loved, and they have a family.
Such a startling difference in the two characters, similar in appearance but so at odds with each other as to purpose. And sad that it should ever have come to be this way. When a hug is considered inappropriate when given by a human in a position of authority, so we need to substitute a costumed reptile to be a surrogate for the comfort of a caring touch.
When fear of what might happen and inability to trust in good, have kept us from experiencing the wonderful closeness and caring of a tight knit community raising their children together, life becomes one long night of nebulous anxiety.
Yes bad exists, but when have we gone too far to protect ourselves from the might happens? Suspicion of motives and what agenda is behind every gesture has destroyed our ability to trust and enjoy the comfort of extended communities and safety is now an illusion.
Man, this has turned out to be a dark rant. You might think things are pretty hopeless.
Counter this by offering your friendship to those around you. Your neighbors, your coworkers, and the lost child in the mall will all benefit from a smile and a freely given act of help or kindness. Let’s start building trust and love in our communities again, so we don’t have to turn on a screen, and let Barney teach our kids they are loved.
Build those small pools of love and safety, and eventually we will have strong communities everywhere. And Evil will fear to raise its ugly head, as we will turn the table and live in the light once more.
I'm a teenage girl. But I don't try on dresses or spend hours on instagram or whatever everyone's doing nowadays. I play with plastic dinosaurs. I know it's something a first grade boy would do, but I still have a tub of them in my closet that I take out to battle sometimes. My favourite is the toy Parasaurolophus. I mean, yeah, it's a cool dinosaur, but there's a special reason it's my favourite. Now, it has a little label on it's stomach saying 'PARASAUROLOPHUS' in all capitals to teach little kids the name of it. That's the key. Because this dinosaur is not a Parasaurolophus. At least completely. Because the Parasaurolophus has a distinct head shape, which this toy does not. Basically, the manufacturer messed up the head of the toy, switching a Parasaurolophus head with a Pachycephalosaurus head, which basically is like a little spiny helmet. So it has a Parasaurolophus body and a Pachycephalosaurus head, making it the ultimate dinosaur to me. Trivial, but just comes to show that... actually I don't know. I just like dinosaurs. And manufacturing mistakes.
dinosaurs get all the fun
no one talks of the cambrian explosion guys, no one makes a film about the silurian or the carboniforous. just those dinosaurs. and why? because they all went extinct? because they were big and angry?
don't make me laugh.
the real reason why all the other epochs get barely a mention, is because the dinos are still around.
yes. it's true!
the big mesozoic lobby is a bunch of live and kicking sauropods, who camouflage themselves and make it a point of hogging all the attention.
they know, those monsters, that one day, someone is going to build a park. say, call it 'the garden of the jurassic'..something catchy like that. and the monent someone does, they will get their old happy world back.
dinossaurs are like that. they dont want any attention to protomammals, or amphibiants. keep them down.
dinosaurs are also very good at making changes and adapting rapidly to the environment. you may think that they don't, but those evil bastards survived meteors and volcanos and just beushed it off. do you really think they will save a place for the world they are building? not you, and not any mammal, whom they resent and loath.
on the pkus side, dinosaurs are really good when you grill them. some oil, seasoning, and just let them ride the machine.
enjoy biting in, as long as we can.
THE TRACHODON BLUES
Everyone knew Jerry Travis was an odd duck. After all, how many 32-year-old handymen went around town in a dinosaur costume? Jerry wore the body suit to all his house calls. He would fix leaky toilets, build outdoor decks, clean out roof gutters—no job was too small or too dirty.
The costume was not part of a promo or the product of a lost bet. Yes, Jerry loved to study dinosaurs, but that's not why he wore the outfit or put up with titters and belly laughs when people saw him riding his bicycle to his next job.
Jerry wore the outfit because, in his soul, he was a dinosaur. A certain prehistoric creature: Trachodon, a duck-billed creature with webbed feet. A plant-eater who roamed North America more than 70 million years ago. A dinosaur whose Trachodon genus name is dated and is not used by paleontologists anymore. Simply tossed aside and forgotten.
Yes, the handyman was a living, breathing Trachodon. There were physical similarities. Jerry had a large, sloping nose; as a child he endured taunts of "ski nose" and "Donald Duck." At least now the big beak atop his costume dwarfed his nose. Also, Trachodon means "rough tooth," and Jerry sported a chipped front tooth from a car crash.
And like a Trachodon, Jerry was a vegetarian. A couple of ALT (avocado-lettuce-tomato) sandwiches were on the lunch menu today. They were in a brown bag stowed next to some tools in his bicycle saddlebags.
But this morning, as he pedaled to Mrs. Bernice's house to fix a dripping faucet, Jerry's mind was on one thing: a DNA genealogy test showing that the father he knew briefly was not his father. Jerry got the results two days ago, and he could not stop thinking about all the lies his mother told him about his "wonderful dad" who "had to leave the family to find work" when Jerry was a toddler. Mom passed away five years ago after an overdose...and after her only son began learning about her promiscuous, drug-laced past.
Jerry's doubts scarred his psyche. Was his last name really Travis? Was his moniker dated, something to be tossed aside like Trachodon? It had been more than four years since Jerry doubted himself as deeply. That was when he received a second DUI after his wife of two months cleaned out his bank account and left him forever.
To this day Jerry does not know precisely what saved him from the verge of extinction then. He prayed. He got sober. And when the court took away Jerry's motor vehicle license in the drunken-driving case, Uncle Dan bought him a bicycle to ride to his handyman jobs.
Jerry is simply glad that his mother's brother took an early interest in him and his love of dinosaurs. Dan would mail his shy nephew occasional gifts, from toys to archaeology kits. However, the bicycle was completely unexpected. So was Uncle Dan's death from a heart attack two weeks later, and another package that arrived in the mail the next day. Jerry was dumbfounded when he opened the box. What was Uncle Dan thinking when he sent a kids' dinosaur costume, albeit adult-size, to a 28-year-old man? Grief and indignation overwhelmed Jerry, and he shoved the gift box to a corner of his bedroom. For three weeks it sat there.
But the grief would not go away, and one day that and a customer's fixit complaint drove Jerry to pull the costume from the box. It was indeed a Trachodon. From the moment he tried on the body suit, Jerry experienced warmth and a never-before-felt sense of belonging, bordering on confidence.
And the costume became part of Jerry Travis. He knew it would help him through another rough patch.
"Let them laugh," Jerry said of his detractors. "At least I know I'm wearing a costume."