Where I grew up in the gentle South there was a lot of heroin addiction. The problem was greatly exacerbated by the war in South-east Asia. One of the wars behind that war was for a re-structuring of the Golden Triangle and the then existing conduits for the product. As a middle-class suburbanite, in my youngest days I was not smothered by the black wings of that angel of oblivion, though I saw and felt its ancient path of destruction. Once armed with the facts by a friend, I was in no quandary as to what to do and also wary of anything in a syringe.
There wasn't much unemployment in America during the decades of the Fifties and Sixties. If a person wanted to work, they could always find something. There wasn't much more than petty theft being perpetrated by drug addicts at that time. In my two states of residence, Louisiana and Texas, the prevalence of gun ownership deterred more crime than will ever be admitted by the anti-gun lobby. Criminals have always had access to firearms and when good citizens are restricted from owning them, a glance at the response times for 911 calls in any major urban center in North America will easily illustrate the problem that this imbalance will always cause. A study of the deeds of Mao and Stalin can easily show the interested student what happens after a population is dis-armed. It is ironic that Mao is often quoted as having feared a man with an idea far more than a man with a gun, yet he scooped up all the firearms before chucking people in prison on account of their ideas.
One of the ways junkies used to scrape enough dead Washingtons together to score a hit of smack was to donate blood. In the USA, it used to be the practice to pay the donor ten dollars for a pint. Ten dollars stretched real far in those days. Thus, it became associated in my mind from early on, that only junkies donated blood. The connection between these two things existed in my subconscious well into my forties. Until I met the Maltese lady.
I was a letter-carrier in Vancouver and after a re-structuring of my station, I found myself working beside a vivacious raven-haired lady and a heather honey-voiced young single mum from the Welsh borderlands. The first lady was intense and composed of mostly fire, while her counterpart was akin to a pair of warm slippers, a turf fire and a mug of chamomile tea.
Many years before that time I had worked in a bank. It was the first and last time I had been in a situation where I was the only man in a workplace. Within the first year, all the stereotypes and fantasy notions I had carried from childhood about the fair sex were blown away like bits of eraser from a page of foolscap. Only the falsehoods were put to rout and much of what I had suspected all along remained to prove itself true in the field of real life.
One thing I learned first-hand was something my Swedish grandpa had tried to teach me early on. It was a lesson about the magic created by men and women in relatively equal numbers. Put simply, they compliment each others innate natures and together are far stronger than any other possible combination. They compensate for each others weaknesses and inspire each other to do their best without a word being spoken.
Grandpa was a ship's engineer for fifty years and towards the end of his career, he witnessed the veracity of his convictions at first hand when the first women officers and crew were starting to appear aboard ships. I witnessed it during my employ with the Post Office. When the numbers are weighted far to one side or the other, the effect is quite different. This can be proved in many ways and one handy way would be to watch the Bachelor Show.
Men are men and women are women and both have been studied far more and for far longer than we are being led to believe. If you watch nature shows on TV you may have noticed that for some reason, in the name of saving the animals, arrogant folks working with grant money travel the world tranquilizing everything that crawls, flies, swims or walks with Ketamine and while it's K-holing measure it, weigh it and insert a transponder, strap on a collar or even a camera. Data is collected, DNA is taken, maps are created and the world keeps getting worse for all animals. Areas are set aside as precious global reserves in the name of some creature or other but are also mapped for timber, minerals and other exploitable resources by the massive NGOs that fund all the research. You can tell about a person by the way they treat their pet. You can tell about our system by the way it treats the humans.
One day, the lady working beside me asked me to guess where she was born. My only clue was to be her surname. She said no one had ever guessed correctly. I was told the name and the spelling and it was an altogether strange name. One I had never ever heard or seen in print. I studied her mixed Mediterranean features and pondered for a long moment. I said as my only possible guess before giving up that surely she must be from Malta. Her jaw dropped, she smiled and told me that no one had ever guessed correctly. We became friendly after that.
One morning she was telling me about her own favorite sport of bicycle racing in Canada and sprinkling this talk with memories of Malta. She said that on the tiny island that if a man was unable to impregnate his wife, that the priest was authorized to do it for him. In order to avoid any unpleasant confrontations, the priest would carry a black umbrella and leave it open on the porch if he was attending to this business for a parishioner. When we look at the birth-rates falling below replacement values in the developed world today and realize that the growth and over-crowding which we think we see is effected by wide open immigration; we will have to respect any culture that recognizes the importance of having babies, raising them and demanding the means with which to house, cloth, educate and feed them.
Another day, after I had bought my wife a pink umbrella, Malta mentioned that she had been a regular blood donor for some time and still volunteered handing out refreshments at the blood clinic. She asked if I had ever donated. I told her no and added that I thought it wasn't logical to take out of our body that which we strive daily to keep in. Her eyes sparked a challenge in a way that only could only have come from a female to a male. She had effortlessly seen through all my layers of rhetoric and I stood in fear as naked as the day I was born. I changed the subject and stayed to talk with the Welsh lady for a bit about domestic things. Her sympathy only hardened my resolve to get to the bottom of my feelings.
All that day on my route, I felt something terrible creeping up from my depths and forcing its way into my conscious mind. By noon, I knew that I was flat-out terrified of giving up a drop of my blood, although I am not frightened whatsoever by the sight of my own blood, if it is spilled by accident. This perplexed me. As I thought on this conundrum, it finally occurred to me that at the root of this very real fear and aversion, was a memory of seeing the hollowed out husks of junkies that used to be men and women who sold their blood to buy the next hit. I had always likened the pushers to vampires and their victims to the undead. All this imagery was in turn attached to all the horror movies I had seen as a child. It was perfectly logical but it was bullshit.
After my route, I walked several miles over to the Red Cross Clinic on Oak Street. I asked the lady if it would damage me in any real way to purposely take blood out of my body. She taught me all the medical facts about the procedure and the bodily response. Evidently, one could give up a pint every forty days or so with no ill effects and some beneficial effects, especially for men. I answered all the embarrassing sex questions, had my blood pressure taken and rolled up my sleeve. I was white as a sheet. I told the nurse about the negative associations I harbored.
She had purple hair, tattoos, black nail polish and many piercings. She laughingly told me not to worry - that she wasn't a vampire. After awhile in the most comfortable chair I had ever reclined in, my pint bag was full and I was disconnected. I was led to a table and treated to a basket of cookies and given raspberry juice by a silver-haired volunteer. I was told that each pint I donated would be used to help six people. My blood type was able to be tolerated by the other blood types and the fact that I ate no aspirins or other medicines made my blood the first choice for giving to infants. I went home and ate and drank like a hobo. I felt blessed to be married to a wonderful cook and decided that donating blood was a good way to share the bounty of our table.
I went on foot, after walking my route, according to the Red Cross recommended schedule and when I hit my fifty-second birthday, I had donated exactly fifty-two pints of Cherokee Swede Sweet Light Crude. I felt it was a good juncture to stop before the habit of giving tried to insert itself into my ego. I imagined three hundred and twelve babies out there grooving on my wife's adobo, tingling from the chili peppers I eat and growing up to find out they love the sound of a pedal-steel guitar. I know, that I would never have been moved to give that gift to my country, Canada had I not been stirred up and set into motion by the Mediterranean sparks showered onto me by that Maltese woman.
Today women have seemingly been empowered and men have been definitely dis-empowered. Last night's news featured a grown educated Vancouver man living in a hundred square foot tree-house and a woman complaining that her government hadn't yet approved an abortion pill that is being made available in other countries. A commercial in between the propaganda showed a good father dropping his empowered daughter off to join the marines as a combat soldier. New cars now have the technology to drive themselves and thus are hackable to be remotely controlled as are the new Samsung TVs which come with a warning that the owners' conversations can and will be recorded and transmitted to third parties should they opt for the handy voice control. The old saying that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions should now be read as the road to Hell is paved with convenience.
Regardless of how it seems, the world is still run by men but not by normal men. These men have women but not normal women. The likes of Bill Gates, George Soros, Zbigniew Brezhinski and Henry Kissinger are but the minions of the power brokers and they have many willing underlings of both sexes. Many levels down near the muddy bottom where elites fear to tread are the monkeys, jesters and pied-pipers. Dr. Oz, Oprah, Jon Stewart, Anderson Cooper, Peter Mansbridge, Ellen and Maury will not save us from the dangers we face. Neither will David Suzuki, David Attenborough, Prince Charles, Bono, Lady Gaga, the Pope or Judge Judy.
We shall have to save ourselves, which is only right. In order to do that we will need to work together, us men and women, which is only natural. Although we have been hammered on all sides and made ignorant on a steady diet of lies, drugs and additives pushed by those we ought not to trust, people are not stupid once they are armed with a few facts. My own feeling at this particular time tells me that it will take a few brave women to ignite the best in their menfolk.
I would recommend to any gals who are reading this and want to take up the task of their own education to seek well-documented factual material which can be verified. Tweet those things far and wide. Post those things on your FaceBook accounts.
Michael Hawes was born in Texas, raised in Louisiana and lives in British Columbia.