Author Archives: Ken Carman

Inspection- “Everyone I Know is Going Away”

by Ken Carman

 Isn’t it odd how some of what parents, friends and former lovers say to us slips away: becomes almost invisible, silent… yet some seeps deep into our souls and never lets us go.
 I don’t have an eidetic memory, but when it comes to long term memory: close. And, as with all Inspection columns, there are political, social even religious points to be made here. Hold on. I’ll get there.
 My father once said to me, “Everyone I know is going away,” long before he died. So I don’t have the excuse for that phrase being embedded into my soul I do when he said, “You know, I won’t be here forever,” the year before he died. I understood what he said less then than I do now. Read more

Inspection- Living on the Edge

by Ken Carman

 Life, if we’re honest, is all about living on the edge, spreading your wings and taking flight…
 Life worth living is defined by risk.
  Because there was a local emergency here: near Beaver River, a local owner asked me if I could take a vehicle down to the barge and tell them they would have to wait. It’s about 7 miles of sometimes rough dirt road. I have been driving since I was 13: on private roads, and used to drive all over the southeast delivering Porsches, Audis and Mazdas, an occasional Mercedes, Volvo. Mid that fun job I also drove a high profile truck with a street sweeper engine in the back bed down an ice coated, curve filled, road from Ashville, North Carolina to Charlotte, with my wife Millie in panic mode. I couldn’t blame her: I was scared too. My tour bus, an elderly motorhome really, used to have all bias tires. As the mechanic asked me once, “How the hell do you drive that thing? You can’t predict where it will go!”
  “You learn.”
  “You learn.”
  Back to my trip to the barge for a moment, then I will get to my point… Read more

Inspection- Benedict McCain?

by Ken Carman

  So unfair… to Benedict.
  Yes, Benedict became a traitor, but after being passed over, ignored and marginalized despite a sterling record commanding troops, and fighting, for his country. But Republicans these days have none of that. They have spent many years in power: having the presidency and controlling several branches of government. Yet they act like any insurgency that had never was allowed to have any influence at all, therefore was willing to do anything to win. Mao, Castro or Washington? Well the making of the frame: no matter how absurd or offensive, is up to each framer, isn’t it?
  Instead being the loyal opposition, or principled stands, instead all they have tactics: like meeting when Barack Obama was being inaugurated and plotting to block anything and everything that might reflect favorably on him. Even if they agree with it, even would save lives, even if was good for the country, even if people would die otherwise.
  Doesn’t matter: as long as it makes Obama look bad.
  Well, one would have thought after 2012: the plot obviously not having made him one term president, they would have changed tactics. Read more

Inspection- Kick Me People

Ferguson? Trayvon? Michael Dunn? Some people just don’t get it. Or don’t want to get it. I doubt it, but maybe this will help? Share it with those who “don’t get it,” if you wish…

by Ken Carman

 You probably remember the guy no one liked and remember when someone put a “kick me” sign on his back. If not the story is so common you’ve at least heard about it happening.
 Now imagine someone born with that sign permanently implanted on their forehead, their arms, their legs: everywhere. And imagine a society that started on the basis that these, less than human, people were not only worthy of being kicked, but kicking them was how one kept these poor pathetic creatures in line. And even though eventually they won the right not to be treated that way, local municipalities came up with innovative ways to make kicking them OK: indeed approved. In fact they came up with ways to make it acceptable to kick them even harder.
 Despite supposedly winning their right not to be kicked, year after year, century after century, slurs, insults: over generalizations that could just as well apply to those without the “kick me” signs, remain acceptable conversation. When such words, such phrases, became unacceptable they simply find other ways to say the same things.
 Kick me people with less signs are somewhat more accepted, but usually accepted in a patronizing way, and only if they would cheer on those who do the kicking. Read more

Inspection- We’ve Been “Robin-ed”

by Ken Carman

  Robin Williams…
  Robin Williams?
  The suicide of Robin can’t help but bring up movie moments. With the vast, multiple venue, career of Robin Williams, how can it not? As of now it seems, in part, depression; an evil internal golem if there ever was one, finally dragged down the Einstein of comedy. Maybe “Einstein” in drag, more than once? Took him away from us, and more important: from his family.
 We’ve been “Robin-ed.”
  The movie my mind keeps going back to is What Dreams May Come, where Robin goes into Hell to save his depression-prone, suicidal wife. If only the immensely talented comedian, and superb actor, could have saved himself from extinction, as I’m sure he had so many episodes of depression before.
  If nothing else Robin has opened up multiple discussions on suicide. Read more

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