But that beach was COLD!
But that beach was COLD!
This may be is the year when we finally come face to face with ourselves; finally just lay back and say it — that we are really just a nation of 220 million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns, and no qualms about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable.
The tragedy of all this is that George McGovern, for all his imprecise talk about new politics and "honesty in government," is one of the few men who've run for President of the United States who really understands what a fantastic monument to all the best instincts of the human race this country might have been, if we could have kept it out of the hands of greedy little hustlers like Richard Nixon.
McGovern made some stupid mistakes, espouses some wrong-headed opinions, but in context they seem almost frivolous compared to the things Richard Nixon does every day of his life, on purpose, as a matter of policy and a perfect expression of everything he stands for.
Jesus! Where will it end? How low do you have to stoop in this country to become President?
Anyway, to find this gem, I went on Google. I clicked on the second or third search result and found the quote. Then I looked around and it turned out that I was on the personal blog of someone I knew back in grad school. Weird coincidence, eh?
2. Once you lose respect for someone, it's a lot easier to stop caring and break out of that love/hate cycle. It's even fun to tweak them a bit just to piss them off. All part of the process of letting go.
3. Oops! Have I ruined my couch? It smells like Ben-Gay. I thought I was careful after putting on the ointment, even putting a blanket down over the couch before I sat down. But it didn't work. The blanket stinks. The couch stinks. My living room stinks. The entire neighborhood stinks. I may need to burn the couch! Anyone have a home cure? Will it just go away on its own with time?
4. War on Terror and the bombings in Jordan: I'm late on this, but it reminds me of the old advice: Let the assholes burn themselves out. We'll win in Iraq and elsewhere because Al Qaeda will alienate the entire world and eventually each other.
5. Turnpoke: Nearly got run over on the way to work today. Usually I go pretty fast on the turnpike, but today I wanted to take my time in the right lane and do the speed limit. Nearly got run off the road by a truck or two.
6. Watched "The Biggest Loser" last night. Not bad. People on a reality show who treat each other decently, and all of whom end up winners, in a way. I cried like a baby at the end when the other contestants voted off their fat friend who had lost 100 pounds. But then again, I cried at the end of Shallow Hal (well, mebbe just a sniffle.) ReadThe Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien before you judge me on this.
7. So I told three of my old friends from college about this here blog. I did it just to shake things up. But one thing I've noticed is I'm less likely to reminisce. I mean, now there are readers who were there at the time! Someone could call bullshit! That is, if they can remember. Something tells me none of us remember all that well.
8. With all the testimony of mysticism throughout the ages, in all cultures and in all times, how can anyone: (1) Take Ayn Rand seriously (2) Take Karl Marx seriously and (3) Take materialism seriously.
9. I still haven't gotten the tone of this blog to where I want it. My personal writing voice still has too much self-importance in it. Too much speechifying, not enough, oh, I dunno, reader focus.
10. To-do-before-I-die-dept: write a book of essays on literature. The opener: Why Tristram Shandy has both parodic and non-parodic elements. Sterne tell in love with it part of the way through, and then wobbled.
11. Re-read Screwtape. Even better this time. Nothing to add to it.
12. I feel like I've been especially devoid of insight lately. I don't feel like I'm learning anything. Except for those Mandarin Chinese tapes. My friend and I can't agree on how anything is pronounced. He pronounced the word "person" as rien. I think it sounds like zjen, but the guy on the tape says it's between "r" and "y". Rien, though, is the French word for nothing.
13. No number 13. Superstitious.
14. By the power of Grayskull I get, but Nintendo ... wasn't that Pong? In the pop culture references category: It took me forever to figure out a boatload of pop culture references so I could figure out what the hell people older than me were talking about. Now that I'm 41, I find it frustrating that I don't know what the hell people younger than me are talking about. I haven't figured out how to text message yet. Or if I want to.
15. Okay, that's enough.
So I think of a duck.
On the 20th question, 20Q asks me, "Is it heavier than a duck?"
I had a choice of unknown, yes, no and sometimes. I hit sometimes.
Because a duck is certainly not not heavier than a duck.
And a duck is not heavier than a duck.
And it's not unknown. Is it?
So I answered, "Sometimes."
20Q accepted the answer and then guessed, "Is it a duck?"
But what's the answer: Is a duck heavier than a duck or not?
Coda: My friend's wife said, "Look, let's ask it something abstract ... these concrete nouns are too easy."
My friend answered, "Look, it's just a little blue box. Let's give it a break."
*Orthodoxy was rejected for other reasons, mostly pragmatic.