Short thoughts for a short month
February 27, 2019
Here are some brief thoughts for the end of a short month:
Victim or survivor?
Why is it if you are mugged, you’re called a “victim,” but if you have undergone sexual abuse you are a “survivor?”
I always thought survivors were people who had faced a strong probability of death in an incident and come out alive, like a plane crash, a heart attack or a bout of an often-fatal cancer.
Sexual abuse is traumatic, but then so is having your house broken into, being assailed by a robber, and having your identity stolen. These acts produce “victims.”
Most sexual assault is not accompanied by an imminent threat of death, so I suspect that calling sexual abuse victims “survivors” is a fad of the #Metoo age, not that the #Metoo age isn’t long overdue.
So, what’s with “so?” So, this is how responses to most questions begin these days.
I’ve noticed it a lot on broadcast news. The anchor asks a source, especially when the source is another journalist, something like, “What’s going on with the Mueller report?” or “What happened today in Congress?” The first word in the response, nine times out of 10 is “So,” followed by a quick pause, then the response.
I guess it sounds better than “Uh-h-h.”
This too shall pass.
The incredible shrinking refund
I hear that people are complaining that their tax refunds are smaller this year. Some are hollering they thought taxes were going down.
They are going down for most people, definitely not all. Some tax deductions have been eliminated or reduced and that will raise the tax bill for many.
Why the smaller refunds? For the most part, people have been taking home more cash due to reductions in tax withholding, but those additions to take-home cash have apparently been too small to notice for most people, who still expect to see tax reductions in the form of a big refund check.
Transitions are tough. My wife and I succeeded in buying the last new Ford Taurus sedan at a closeout price from a dealer in Amarillo. Ford isn’t making these any more, or any other sedan except the Mustang. GM is discontinuing six sedan models, as well.
I’m sorry to see them go, but Americans want bigger — more big pickups and sport utility vehicles.
While we were in Amarillo, we wandered through a big shopping mall and noticed empty corridors and more “going out of business” signs. People seem to prefer buying sight unseen online.
I don’t think physical stores are going away completely, but many are bowing out. The shakeout is painful to watch.
I used to look forward to seeing and holding things before buying them, and talking in person to salespeople who knew something about the product.
Just people-watching at a shopping center could be fun.
I’m going to miss stores, and I don’t like ordering online.
OK, I’ll admit it, change gets harder as you age and, as of last year, I am officially old — whether I think so or not, according to pollsters.
Steve Hansen writes about our life and times from his perspective of a semi-retired Tucumcari journalist. Contact him at: