I ditched the unusable progressive lenses through which I possessed no long-distance vision to speak of because the intermediate range rode far too high in the lenses and the seamless bifocals worked well only if I held my head as though I was in a neckbrace and then budged it not one inch, not one fraction of an inch. So I had new glasses made, reverting to lined bifocals, which now I discover are usable only if I hold reading material--for instance, oh, a book?--8 to 10 inches from my nose.
Mr. McGoo didn't have to hold books 8-10 inches from his nose. Why should I?
Well, that's the new dictate, I now learn, from Despotic Optometry Central. We no longer comfortably read, I'm informed, through bifocals; no, should we choose to read at a comfortable distance--say, the distance entailed by a book on one's lap--we must read through the lenses' "intermediate" range, which happens to re-rope one into progressive lenses, which just happen to cost more.
So what are bifocals good for? Other than reading in the manner of I.F. Stone--like a counterfeiter perusing documents with a jeweler's eyepiece--I frankly don't know.
I just want my old prescription back, in a new frame. That's all. But that would be illegal, I'm informed by Despotic Optometry Central. No, I must undergo yet another eye exam so that the optometrist can (re- or non-)prescribe my old prescription, which at any rate can be laser-read from the old lenses, which I still have, and which stand ready for easy reproduction at the eyeglass shop, which is what I wanted done in the first place.
The optometrist, however--and wouldn't you know it--is out of town till next week.
The saga continues ...
Somewhere in this tale there's a deeper tale about reasonable libertarianism, whose philosophical justifications I would happily research and relate, but I'm unable to read much right now, because I have new bifocals.