Errol Castens: Extremely random neuron firings

Here’s what’s on my thinking list these days – some serious, some silly: • Some days, being a journalist feels like doing an autopsy on the yet-twitching patient named Western Civilization.

• How humiliating must it be to be a male ladybug?

• Before we became sophisticated, our ancestors used to put on war paint, mob together and go down the road to attack people who weren’t like them. Today we’re much too sophisticated for such primal behavior, except during football season.

• I love the Lord but don’t rank as much of a theologian. My deepest thoughts are along the lines of wondering what to call an agnostic praying mantis … or why Eve couldn’t have been as afraid of snakes as my wife is … or being amazed at how much begetting those folks in the Bible got done back when they didn’t have TV and social media.

• Community policing at its best: Two Kansas City, Missouri, police officers saw a group of kids congregated along a street. The cops stopped, challenged the kids to a dance-off and paid the winners in candy.

• Before we talk about the filthy rich, we might remember that to people destitute of basic food, clean water or adequate shelter, almost anyone reading this would be the filthy rich.

• Helicopter parents can’t hover forever, and the crashes can be ugly.

• I’ve stood in the mist plume of Niagara Falls, camped on the rocky Maine coast, stayed in a swanky hotel on Miami Beach, attended a session of the U.S. Senate, stood under a Saturn V rocket at Cape Canaveral, toured the world’s largest naval port, climbed the Pyramid of the Sun, shopped at the nation’s largest farmers’ market, crossed the Continental Divide too many times to count and feasted my eyes on jewel-like glacial lakes in the Yukon. I never dreamed during such travels that my favorite vacation spot of all would turn out to be Parchman Penitentiary. That is how gratifying prison ministry is.

• We would hardly recognize some major companies if they went by their original names: Radio Corporation of America, National Biscuit Company and the ego-stroking Giant Organization Of Good-Looking Engineers.

• Even politicians, plumbers and reporters were once somebody’s sweet little baby.

• One of my bosses pointed out that among the top 10 professions most attractive to psychopaths are journalist and civil servant.

• In my lifetime, families have shrunk while houses have doubled in size. Back decks have largely replaced front porches. Not sure what says about us, but it says something.

• My neighbor Otto acquired a second guard dog. Named him Sycamore.

ERROL CASTENS is a reporter for the Daily Journal and the Oxford Citizen. Contact him at (662) 816-1282

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