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  • Katherine Reese Kusza

Still Flying

Updated: Dec 6, 2021

May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.

~ Malcolm Reynolds


When I started this blog in January 2020, I wasn’t quite sure what it would become.

Its birth was not particularly painful – it was easy to write about Jim-Bob Walton and a schoolgirl crush.


I am furious that Covid-19 took such a prominent place in my life since March of 2020. A blog that should have been more nostalgic turned into a critique of our decaying healthcare and political systems. My audience likely would have preferred to read about goofy 1970s and 80s television shows or my interest in the Force and cowboys in space.


The abuse of the American People by the hucksters making millions on a bad flu brought to light just how corrupt our medical system is, how devious our politicians are, how powerless and ignorant the average voter is.


For someone who is as liberated and independent as I am, it made me feel as small and helpless as I did as a little girl.


If that wasn't obvious by now, there you have it. Having my livelihood and my life threatened by the government makes me feel small and helpless. And, no, I won't just "get over it" or "calm down" about it. It is nothing to "chill" about.


The entire country should be pretty pissed off about it, but, conveniently, too many people have taken the soup (an Irish potato famine reference -- starving Catholics renounced their faith in order to take food from the Protestant churches). Too many Americans are content with their Pfizer and Moderna payouts, or government "Covid relief" handouts, to protest.


Not enough people are hungry yet, not enough people are suffering yet, for most to care about (or even notice) what is happening in this country. Until it affects them personally, until they can't work or go to school or get medical care or get on the internet to play a game or stream a television show or movie, they don't give a flying flip.


My reaction to this, like my taste in television and movies, has been deemed by some in my life as "adolescent". I still have feelings and empathy and react fiercely to injustice in many ways as an adolescent does. Funny. Adults often say adolescents are self-centered. Since when is thinking about other people's misery and getting mad about it self-centered?


I have seen a lot of ugly in my career, but, by some miracle, I still have faith in humanity. I may have what appears to be a hard exterior, but I am pretty soft inside. There are misanthropes in this world who think that is a character flaw.


When I was four, I liked the show Emergency! and wanted to be Johnny, the firefighter/paramedic who rolled around L.A. County with his partner, Roy, saving people. The extraordinary series inspired a generation of first responders. Before I left the fire service in 2016, it was still being referenced in recruit classes and among the training officers and other old farts even if the young bucks had no clue what we were talking about.


Some kids who feel helpless develop what is called a “rescue personality”. They can’t save themselves from whatever bullshit is going on in their own lives, so they go out and try to save the world (others become addicts or miscreants -- it could go either way).


Some manage to do it and become Big Damn Heroes (yes, another television reference. Firefly, 2002, kept getting pre-empted by baseball. God, I hate the Red Sox.)


Others fight battles they can’t win and keep getting their teeth kicked in. Why do they do it? Are they stupid? No. Crazy? Maybe.


The average schmuck who goes along to get along can’t understand. Why fight the bad guys when it is smoother to just bend over and take it? Just comply. Stop being difficult. Take medication, drink alcohol to chill at the end of the day, smoke weed. Stop feeling so much.

What is wrong with strong feelings and action? The heroes in Star Wars are flawed, hot-tempered, yet redeemable characters (until Disney had to screw around with everything).

Luke Skywalker is a whiney and annoying little pissant in the beginning and learns how to modulate his impulses. Yet, he never loses his ability to feel keenly and act on the side of right (I am ignoring the last three movies because they are utter nonsense).


Han Solo (the real hero here) was only out for himself in the beginning, but learns that it is far more satisfying to love and be loved than only be looking out for Number One (I am still trying to figure out why Chewbacca only got to go home that one Christmas – Whatever happened to his wife and kid?).


Leia Organa is smart and funny, a strong leader. She takes no crap from the men in her life. Granted, biology takes over eventually and she falls for Han Solo even though he is an ass. She is his equal, though. I never read the books or explored the Star Wars “canon” beyond the films (the prequels sucked, too), but I would like to believe Han was faithful.


I could write all day on Firefly, a series that probably got cancelled because it was incredibly prophetic and looks an awful lot like what is headed our way.


Its heroes are outlaws living on the fringes of a highly technological society. Only the people with the right papers and affiliations have access to education, housing, medical care, high quality food and legal employment. Are you Gorram kidding me?


I believe in heroes, flawed or not. We used to have men who stood up for their wives, their families, their country. They fought kings, slave masters, National Socialists, Communists, and pedophiles who think it is ok to murder 3000 innocents on a sunny September day.


We used to have women who not only did all of that, too, in and out of uniform, but also while fighting fiercely for their children, nurturing and educating them, sacrificing their perfect figures and careers for them. And those who didn't have kids picked up the slack for the rest of us (thank you).


Sure, I have plenty of television and movie heroes to look up to, but I believe real-life men can stand up and be heroes. I believe real-life women can stand up and be heroines.


I hope that all is not lost, that We the People are not so beaten down by tyrants that we will rise up and say enough is enough.


I hope that Patriots will stand up to the despots in office today who are crushing us, forcing us to suffocate ourselves, forcing us out of work, subjecting us to medical experimentation for profit.


I hope that, no matter how many times the bastards knock me down, I will keep getting up and keep fighting for what is right. I still live in a free country and I will be damned if I don’t die in one.


I am still flying.




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