Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Made in Italy

It took time for me to discover that not all Ray Bans are made in Italy.  Some are made in China.  Surprise! Similarly forty years ago when I bought my first Rolex I thought I was getting something like a Timex but more expensive. The quality of the products has survived the years. Certainly there are other fine glasses and watches. For example, I have a high regard for TOMS®: One-for-One glasses (not terribly expensive but very durable) or Oliver Peoples (pricey but decidedly bespoke). For watches I've also bought Cartier and Breitling, both well made and good-looking. What matters is that the commitment to quality persists. Settling for compromise is not something that works for me.

"Since Ray-Ban is known as an arbiter of American style some people may wonder why Ray-Ban's aren't made in the USA. While Ray-Ban has always been a classic American brand, founded in 1937, Ray-Ban glasses have not been manufactured in the USA for quite some time. In 1999, Bausch & Lomb sold Ray-Ban to Italian eyewear giant, Luxottica. If you happen to come across a USA-made pair of Ray-Bans from Bausch & Lomb, you either got an old pair of vintage frames or a fake.

When Luxottica initially started manufacturing Ray-Bans in 1999, they were made in Italy. But throughout the years, Luxottica has grown exponentially and started opening factories outside their native country. Today Luxoticca operates factories both in Italy and China. Many Ray-Bans are made in Italy but many authentic Ray-Bans are also made in China. Luxottica guarantees that the quality of the products from their Chinese factories is in no way compromised. The glasses are made from the same materials with the same machines just in a different location."

Mr. Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh reputedly likes beer. I like nice things. The battle whatever the sphere is against ambivalence. We're all governed by our weaknesses and restrained by our strengths.  Mine happen to lie in precision. Although this kicks upstairs a binary view of the world, the ultimate confession is not life's mediocrity but its perfection. There is always a glimmer through the clouds. It may however require a recollection of the rudiments to sustain one's drift. Recognizing the inevitable and equally uncompromising duality of life and death - intrusion and protrusion, now or never, here or there, with or without, do or don't, in or out, accede or gainsay, friend or foe - is just as natural and overwhelming as to pee or not to pee.

Lately I've had to suffer the consequences of aging, a process with which I was initially uncomfortable particularly when the alternatives were seemingly non-existent. I have however discovered - as I did with Ray Bans and Rolex - that in spite of the infrequency or lack of experience there are indeed options without total capitulation.

There's a tired old rib-tickler about the patient who complains to his doctor, "It hurts when I do this"; to which the doctor retorts, "Don't do that!" Sometimes the best advice is the simplest.  There are always certain rules - codes of behaviour to do or observe - but being guided by what feels best is not a bad starting point. Speaking of doctors (and the medical profession generally) there's an undeniable sense in the United States of America that the recommended medical advice is driven by the commercial interests of the stakeholders.  Recently we've both been swamped with dental suggestions which in my opinion broach unnatural tactics; and which in the opinion of our Canadian advisor are quite simply overkill. My cursory investigation of substantive and cosmetic surgical assistance has succeeded to push me beyond my intellectual limit. Effectively we have unwittingly fallen into a trap of possible courses of action which were never on our radar. The salesmanship of the providers is what stands out.  Meanwhile - as I recoil from the enthusiasm - I am recapturing the reality of my current vernacular; namely, I am getting old. I am learning that it is an enormous temptation to preserve a state of being which no longer exists - youth. Some misadventures are plainly irreversible.

The adoption of the more realistic choices immediately dissolves the erstwhile stress of improvement, the carriage of which can quickly become fanatical - not to mention financial. Adjusting to the bumps on any road, including its resulting bruises and abrasions, is just part of what happens. The perfection is not its withdrawal but rather its reasonable accommodation. Though this may all sound like token acquiescence to excuse confrontation, I have to say that putting on the brakes is uncommonly relieving.  The urgency to complete a matter is strictly an adolescent foible! This is not to say that enterprise is denied; just withheld "for further consideration". I am however quick to add that the addition of knowledge to my modest repertoire of intelligence is always satisfying; it's just that one needs time to contemplate the acquisition, like any other, in order fully to assess its worth.

A gimmick to crystallize the contamination of life's passage is to eliminate both the past and the present, those philosophical fabrications which never exist.  It is tantamount to cleaning off the dust from one's shoes and starting afresh. And why not! Can you seriously suggest that dwelling upon any moment other than the present is of value! Its only burden is the mistaken legitimacy of history or dreams. I prefer the cleanliness, novelty and rejuvenation of the present notwithstanding its logical though dryer allure. There's a reason there is so little difference between a sunset and a sunrise.

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