Beckett Beacons But I Got It Wrong; Some Things are Happening Out There; Uber Perhaps On the Way Out But At Least Contributing; Funding A Retirement; PUN and Pretty

I became rather fixated, fascinated by something written by Samuel Beckett. It has been a talisman for most of my life, written in notebook composed before I was twenty. It began to prey on my mind, googled the words to learn that I got it wrong. His real words: You must go on. I can’t go on. I’ll go on.”

― Samuel Beckett, The Unnamable

My abbreviated version: “I can’t go on. I will go on. I can’t go on. I will go on.” Beckett’s actual words, his version, is more nuanced, more complicated than my simplistic version. We absolutely must make nuanced the word of the day. Nuance; fine distinction, subtle distinction/difference, shade, shading, gradation, variation, modulation, degree; subtlety, nicety, refinement, overtone.The subtle distinction: two persons (or forces) speak in the authentic version, The edict :You must go one! The subject demurs: “I can’t go on.” but then relents and affirms: “I will go on.” More research is needed as Beckett is singing to me.

Yesterday was a highly meaningful day. Faithful readers (and those of my acquaintance) know that Uber is one of my pet peeves, even one might say, my mortal enemy. Place Uber in the search engine of this blog and all shall be revealed. Yesterday morning the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle heralded relief: “Uber, Lyft may face tax for snarling S.F. traffic. “Uber and Lyft could face a tax in their hometown that would raise millions of dollars for San Francisco transportation needs—like fixing bike lanes or increasing traffic enforcement.” The informative article went on to say: “If the measure passes, it is expected to raise between $30 million and $32 million a year. “ It went on to say: “The proposal, which is co-sponsored by Mayor London Breed, follows a bruising few weeks for Uber and Lyft.” The stocks significantly stumbled “as drivers staged protests around the world the world over their work and pay conditions.” A county report had found that two-thirds of the city’s increased congestion over six years can be attributed to the two companies. The very well written, researched and compelling article written by Trisha Thadani reported that: “Uber is pleased to reach an agreement that will bring dedicated transportation funding to San Francisco.” Well, goodie for Uber. It seems a well thought out measure including a lower taxation rate for electric cars. It is all very encouraging and shows a city government attempting to make things work. The article contained statements by naysayers but that is life. In all honesty, I Alexis McBride, familiar with Marin County politics do not think that its leaders are capable of such leadership. Despite my absence from these parts I do keep up. Marin always was in the shadow of San Francisco and will remain to be. But thanks for my retirement income County of Marin.

If this measure passes then as far as I am concerned, justice shall prevail. But more than that – Science has prevailed over superstition. I am heartened beyond belief. To those not in the loop – studies (science) found that Uber caused traffic congestion, lowered the use and funding of public transportation. Superstition dwelt in the minds of those that did not bother to research or learn anything but rather enjo d the ‘convenience’, the ease, and the inexpensiveness of the ride – neither knowing or heeding the impact on all around them – including the drivers that got them (sometimes) where they wanted to go.

Can I personally take credit for this stab at justice. No, I cannot but do feel that someone listened, that the world can be changed if the truth is spoken. Justice can be done. It can take a long time (and goodness knows I am impatient) but the truth will out. That, my dears, is a Shakespeare truism n from the Merchant of Venice: “LAUNCELOT: Nay, indeed, if you had your eyes, you might fail of the knowing me: it is a wise father that knows his own child. Well, old man, I will tell you news of your son: give me your blessing: truth will cometo light; murder cannot be hid long; a man’s son may, but at the length truth will out.”

That Will sure could turn a phrase and somehow it sticks in my memory. It sticks and I Google. The joys of Google. It adds to my knowledge but one has to have some to start with, I am not too sure that current education, coupled with lack of curiosity so frequently shown, will result in individuals who will seek the truth and use Google to find it. I am a lethal combination of optimist and realist. I seldom veer towards pessimism but it is not unknown as was pointed out by Grandson of Instagram fame. He definitely aimed an arrow at G,Ma. I did recover, in style, but he made a valid point.

But, at this point, there will be retreat to a previous mention in this posting having to deal with retirement income, which I receive from the County of Marin. Retirement was one of my causes in those preLondon days. The joys of a defined benefit retirement program was being questioned by any and all with no understanding of facts or science. I did rail on – but my readership did not equal this. Well I was right and here are the statistics to prove it. I received an email citing a study.

This research analyzes data on specific private sector pension plans (referred to as “multiemployer plans”) to assess the overall national economic impact of benefits paid by these plans to retirees. The analysis estimates that the economic gains attributable to private sector multiemployer pension expenditures are considerable.

More specifically, $41.8 billion in pension benefits were paid to 3.5 million retired Americans covered by multiemployer plans in 2016. The average benefit paid to retirees covered by these plans was $11,935 per year. Expenditures made out of those pension payments collectively supported:

• Nearly 543,000 American jobs that paid nearly $28 billion in labor income

• $89 billion in total economic output nationwide;

• $50 billion in value added (GDP); and

• $14.7 billion in federal, state, and local tax revenue.

But what will happen these days when no one can afford to retire and there are no more generous retirement benefits? I guess it is not my problem

Last week I had a very amusing lunch with a young man. I informed him of my ‘death benefit”, a sizeable amount paid upon my demise. He is so funny and so honest:

He: Alexis, I have already funded my retirement!

Me: I know you have. It is all rather amazing.

I have come a long way baby as that old cigarette commercial used to intone. He was not alive during the days of that commercial, in all probability. He teases about many items on my agenda.

He: Alexis, I was not born when that took place. .

Me. Oh shut up and stop reminding me!

Then laugher ensues. Ensue will be the second word of the day. Ensue, a verb: results, follow, develop, stem, spring, arise, derive, evolve, proceed, emerge, emanate, issue, flow; occur, happen, take place, surface, crop up, spring up, present itself, come next, come about, transpire, supervene; be caused by, be brought about by, be produced by, originate in, accompany, be attended by, be consequent on, come after.

Jokes and teasing with laughter ensuing, coming after, flowing and happening. I do wish, hope and pray that it is the laughter we shall remember when we remember the way we were. Perhaps I should turn that into a song.

The photo attached is one posted on Instagram with this caption. “Two birthday presents (early) on my pillow in my room. Names??? PUN and Pretty

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