Monday, January 31, 2011

a mighty good road

"Rock Island Line"
an interesting song
written by Kelly Pace:
the beginning part has talking -- like a rap -- a guy telling the stationmaster what-and-all he's bringing on the train, I guess...he's listing off all this livestock....
to listen to, on You Tube:
Johnny Cash
Arlo Guthrie
Little Richard
Lead Belly
Lead Belly is a singer who's referred to by some of the artists I read about, such as Bob Dylan: this was my first occasion to listen to a song sung by Lead Belly. He died in 1949, so I was surprised at the high quality of that recording.
It sounds great -- he has quite a voice -- it rocks.
When you listen, you can totally tell where many aspects of Lead Belly's style are the basis for R & B as well as rock and roll.

And this guy was born in 1888!
In the immediately post-Reconstruction South.


Friday, January 28, 2011

just do it

Life is a sheet of paper white
Whereon each one of us may write
His word or two, and then comes night.
Greatly begin! though thou has time
But for a line, be that sublime.
Not failure, but low aim is crime.

-- James Russell Lowell
He was an American Romantic poet, critic, editor, and diplomat.
just learned that


Thursday, January 27, 2011

have you met Miss Jones?

Listening to the song "You're So Vain" recently, thought of my eighth grade English teacher, Miss Jones. She mentioned that song once -- I didn't hear it until years later when I was in college and listened to an AOR radio station: they were playing it as an "oldie."
Miss Jones didn't have conversations with us, usually -- she kept on-track with all this grammar -- diagramming sentences, worksheets, etc. I seem to remember, she worked "You're So Vain" into a grammar exercise -- it was part of the sentence.
----------Miss Jones was young and pretty. She had long, blonde hair -- parted in the middle and hanging down straight, and she wore short skirts. Not "inappropriate," but -- above the knee, because that was the style. Sometimes she wore blazers.

Some of the other girls in the class would try to engage Miss Jones in conversation, as if they were contemporaries -- someone found out what her first name was, & they would sometimes call her that. And she would say, "No, you're in school now, and I'm your teacher -- you have to call me Miss Jones."
And the girls would ask her who her boyfriend was, and if he was cute, and where was he taking her out to, on Saturday night?

I would not have asked the teacher those questions, but when the other girls did, I listened carefully to see if there would be any information forthcoming about these glamorous Saturday Night Dates.
(There wasn't.)
--------------------------- Miss Jones didn't have discipline problems in that class, that I can recall: we students did our "work" and behaved. But there was one day when something happened which I didn't think of for many years and then a while ago after I began writing more, it came back to me, very clearly.

We were in the "English Room," it was the beginning of the class period, and kids were not "settling down" and "getting quiet" the way teachers always want you to. I think it was spring -- warm and green, and people had energy and exuberance.

There was a general humm - buzz - giggle of conversation and banter -- very typical for that age group, and Miss Jones was admonishing us, nicely and politely as always, to
settle down
quiet now, people
time to get going with your worksheets,
sit down now, & listen...

and these two boys in the class, Gary and Dan, were calling back and forth to each other -- their seats were about four rows apart and at opposite ends -- one toward front, the other toward back -- and so, to keep their communication going, they had to practically shout --
and that was part of the problem, why Miss Jones was becoming a little more toward the realm of ticked-off; she always had good control, she didn't "yell at" us,
but that day
it was both
that students weren't settling down for school-work,
AND an actual noise factor she's working on that, and Gary and Dan's thing was -- basically informal insults -- like, for practice. You know how kids that age, some of them, want to act tough.
Well their competitive rhetoric had gone from tough-sounding to rude, and was cruising toward crude: Gary responded to something Dan said with a derisive comment that ended with the phrase " lips."

And Dan gamely shot back, "Lips on my zipper!"
Sound and time stopped.
Miss Jones whirled around, her hair flying -- oh man, was she mad.
Or -- maybe "mad" isn't the right --
she was incensed.
[Inside my mind: "Lips on -- what?
Why would--
Why would anyone's lips be --
Why would the --
{Where does an eighth grade boy learn a phrase like that? From
an older brother with a tattoo?
From a magazine under a mattress?}
Everybody in the whole class, including Dan and Gary, got real quiet and sat still like we were frozen while she talked to us -- loudly and firmly and strongly.
I mean to tell you, she read us the riot act.
I cannot remember what she said, except for the phrase, "You never say a thing like that!"
Like -- not just that day, but ANY day.
Not just in her classroom -- but out there in the whole World.
As she spoke, it was like, she owned her power and expanded it!
Not just today, or this year in eighth grade, but -- forever! You will behave and be your best self.
(I think she spoke for about three minutes -- and outside, birds flying in the sky were paralyzed in place, just for those three minutes -- and ocean waves were suspended, their motion arrested and held fast, until Miss Jones finished speaking.)
It was the Gettysburg Address of No Dirty Talk and You Will Behave.
It was the Sermon On The Mount of You Never Say A Thing Like That and You Are Gentlemen and Ladies.
(something like that)
A person could make the argument of, Why was she lecturing the whole class, only two guys were doing that -- and only one of them said the -- you know, the real offending phrase.
But I've got to say, What Miss Jones did -- worked.
She did not punish or humiliate individuals.
She didn't drag anyone to the principal's office.
There was no calling of parents. (She didn't need any other adult, or authority figure!)
There were no papers to write it down & tell them, "This is going on your record!" and then put in a folder.
Miss Jones did not want to attach those guys to that behavior;
she wanted to separate them from it.
I mean to tell you,
that young woman with the
long straight hair
and the short straight skirts
laid down the law
and it stayed laid down.
Rest of that school year: [in a whisper] -- (pretty much problem-free)!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

daylight sneakin' through the window

Happiness is sometimes
just the momentary, or individual
lessening of Stress.
Last Sunday a guy fixed my car,
and getting it back felt like Happiness.
Drove him back to his place; from the alley, he noted --
"That's our house, and that --"
(indicating another building with same siding)
" the garage where I work on race cars."
---------------On the passenger side, a thick black cat came into view, skimming over the vast White of the snow --
-- "That's our house, and that's the garage where I work on cars."
-- "Oh! A pretty kitty!"
-- "Yeah, that's ours, too!"
Happiness is a good cat.
Happiness is to have one's Buick fixed and not be charged as much as 9 Buicks.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

actual food

:::: There's an old joke that says...every Jewish holiday celebrates the same idea:
"They tried to kill us, we won, let's eat."::::
[from page 262 of the 2011 edition of Eat This Not That!]
So much diet / nutrition / health advice seems to conflict --
eat nothing but protein!
never eat protein!
no meat!
no carbs!
only carbs!
no bread!
exercise in the morning!
exercise at night!
exercise all the time!
hire a trainer!
(just buy MY tapes and exercise to those...!!)
never eat eggs!
always eat eggs!
stand on your head!
It makes you feel like you're being peppered by experts, or
chased by bees.
-----------------Eat This Not That!, by David Zinczenko, with Matt Goulding, is an appealing handbook which literally tells you, on each page -- eat this (and names the products and shows pictures of them), not that (and names those products and shows pictures of them).
It's very do-able.
The authors tell us how food has changed since the 70s.
It says,
--------[quote] "We've added extra calories to traditional foods. ... The result ... is that we absorb more calories than would have been humanly possible just a few decades ago. Our food and beverages are so calorie-dense that it's nearly impossible to eat healthy. And the way that foods are sold, in both grocery stores and restaurants, has made smart nutritional choices harder and harder to discern." [end quote]----------------------

The upshot is, we're best off to eat foods that are just -- food -- not a lot of ingredients.
Ten best things these guys want us to eat every day --
eggs, green tea, garlic, grapefruit, Greek yogurt, avocado, quinoa, bell peppers, almonds, Swiss chard.
(And for each of these ten items, after they write what's good about it, then they list "Substitutes" in case you don't like the main one.)
Very practical, do-able guide.
There's a whole section on chain restaurants -- what to have & what not to...(I realized there are a lot of restaurants I've never been to, or seen. "Sbarro"? "Ruby Tuesday"? [know song, but not restaurant]...something called "Blimpie"????? think I'd stay out of there....)
------------------anyway, it's a useful handbook.

Monday, January 24, 2011

closer encounters

The President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness
just had Jeffrey Immelt, G-E CEO, appointed as its leader:
this choice provokes
because G-E is one of the companies that sends jobs overseas and slurps up government bail-out $$ -- corporational "welfare," since the "downturn."

This guy sounds like he represents opposite of what's good for American worker and economy.
As I read the burst of Comments from
disappointed / outraged / exhausted Obama supporters,
kept thinking I'd encounter someone saying the thing I was thinking, but didn't:

Lyndon Johnson was kind of known for one of his quaint Texas-drawl-"politicisms"
(I'm inventing that as a word):
----------------- "Keep your friends close...
and your enemies closer."-----------------
Have no idea if Pres. Obama can make that -- or anything -- work.
LBJ was a unique Powerhouse of Persuasion. He had a God-given talent, like Chuck Berry, which he matched in hard work, determination, and Love of his Work and the Process.
Nobody else can be Lyndon Johnson.
But we shall see what Barack Obama can be.


Friday, January 21, 2011

there's an old joke...

I have learned from experience that any story or dialogue which starts with the phrase,
"There's an old joke..."
will be a good story, or dialogue.
--------------------- the start of the film, "Annie Hall"
There's a old joke...
Two elderly women are at a Catskill Mountain resort,
one of 'em says, "Boy, the food at this place is really terrible!"
The other one says,
"Yeah, I know -- and such small portions!"
-------------Well that's essentially how I feel about life --
full of loneliness, and misery and suffering and unhappiness, and
-- it's all over much too quickly! ::::
Truth, humor, irony, paradox. (Do the "Eat This, Not That" guys say we can have those??)


Thursday, January 20, 2011

I just flew in

Checking the You Tube upload from the Carson Show -- three segments, one Nixon, one Martin Luther King, & the third Robert Kennedy -- Dr. King says, "I flew out of Washington this afternoon..." and goes on to say the plane had "mechanical difficulties" -- [they used to call it that, and people would joke about it --
"Mechanical difficulties??!!"]

And, scrolling down, -- @PreCodeMovies had Commented in, about Rev. King's conversation with Carson:
----------Same here. Although, when he first said, "I flew out of Washington this afternoon..." I was really expecting him to finish up with, "and boy, are my arms tired!" --------------
OMG -- I had not heard that in 30,000 years, and when I read it -- it's like, shifting gears emotionally because it's been so long since you thought of it, but yet it is so familiar because you heard it a lot, at one point in life...

Johnny Carson used that joke in various forms -- it was part of his style -- he'd set it up for guests to say it -- "I just flew in from Palm Springs and boy, are my arms tired!"
(Could be -- Palm Springs, or from, Anywhere)
My father loved that joke, and said it a few times.
A boy at school, in fourth grade -- "I just flew in from recess and boy are my arms tired!"
Another kid jeered, "You don't fly in from recess! You're not funny!"
but he was


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

walk the walk

{Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Richard Nixon
on the Johnny Carson Show --
you can watch it on You Tube,
it's about three or four minutes.}

The thing I didn't know about the Voters' March
in 1965
from Selma to Montgomery
was that they had to try it

Don't know why -- but that really hit me -- amazed me.
Like -- I guess, going into a segregated lunch counter, or any type of business that was "segregated," is one thing, but these peaceful protesters were walking -- heck of a trek, 51 miles -- out in the --
like, world.
I mean, out in the countryside, simply walking --
from one city

Seems like out there in the air -- how to you "segregate" that?
But the first time they started walking, Sunday, March 7th, 1965, these lawmen attacked them.
(That's another -- sort of -- not-making-sense thing: policemen are supposed to stop the people who do the attacking, not do the attacking themselves.)

So what some Alabama law enforcement people were doing, in that situation, was --
Not enforcing a rule, expressed on a sign, in, say, a place of business owned by a person, that says the place is segregated, and black people either have to be in one certain area of the place, or not in the place at all.
In this instance, March 7th, these law enforcement people were -- not enforcing someone's rule, they were blocking a peaceful demonstration that was for (in favor of) something.

A peaceful protest -- really, you could just call it a Walk -- which was out in the country, down roads which, I'm going to assume, those protesters helped pay for with their taxes.

How do you rationalize that?
"You can't walk 51 miles."
Um -- I think I can.
"You can't be out in the world -- walking." ????
It wasn't the walking. It was the Idea that other people who live and work in our communities are stepping up and saying, "We need to have our civil rights, no different than you."
In our post-Sixties world, that idea doesn't seem like such a big deal. It seems like -- how could it have ever been different? We take it for granted.
In 1965 -- not so long ago -- for some people in some places, the idea of all Americans having the same basic rights was not tolerable.
That's so weird I almost can't even type it.

That was the part I never knew before -- that they had to try the Voters' March
three times.
March 7: became known as "Bloody Sunday" because people got beaten by police, and they stopped the march.
March 9 (1965) planned it, but King called it off.
March 21, they walked the 51 miles in peace, and made their point.
(Imagine the "visiting" [negotiating] that must have taken place behind the scenes in the 11 days between March 9th & the 21st - !)

The Johnny Carson Show item on You Tube is an upload of three different Tonight Shows --
Nixon is in 1967
Kennedy, in 1968,
and Martin Luther King, also in 1968.
(first time I saw it, thought -- wow all three of those guys on, same night! what a show!)


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

"Bloody Sunday"

In this "TIME" book called
Visions of the 1960s
there are black-and-white photographs from the era of the civil rights struggle:

page 40, shows police when they turned high-velocity fire hoses on peaceful demonstrators, May 1, 1963, in Birmingham, Alabama ...
("Subterranean Homesick Blues" recorded by Bob Dylan, 1965, has the lines:

Walk on your tiptoes
Don't try No-Doze,
Better stay away from those
who carry 'round the fire-hose...)
and on page 47, photo: the Voters' March from Selma (Alabama) to Montgomery -- the book says, they planned to have this Walk on March 7, 1965 -- 600 peaceful marchers started out, and were attacked by state and local police with clubs and tear gas.
March 9th, the peaceful protesters tried it again, but this time Martin Luther King halted the effort, to avert similar conflicts.

On March 21st, the walk from Selma to Montgomery commenced without incident.
For basic Voting Rights for black people in Alabama.
51 miles.
Actually -- 100 years and 51 miles.


Monday, January 17, 2011

to the freedom struggle

[excerpts from Letter from a Birmingham Jail, M.L. King Jr. -- April 16th, 1963]
As in so many past experiences, our hopes had been blasted, and the shadow of deep disappointment settled upon us. We had no alternative except to prepare for direct action, whereby we would present our very bodies as a means of laying our case before the conscience of the local and the national community. Mindful of the difficulties involved, we decided to undertake a process of self purification.

We began a series of workshops on nonviolence, and we repeatedly asked ourselves: "Are you able to accept blows without retaliating? Are you able to endure the ordeal of jail?"
...More and more I feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than have the people of good will. We will have to repent in this generation no merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people.

{this is why I --blue collar lit, not MLK, freak out, imagining the gigantic numbers of good, hard-working people who don't vote}

Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co workers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right.

Now is the time to make real the promise of democracy and transform our pending national elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. Now is the time to lift our national policy from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of human dignity.

...On sweltering summer days and crisp autumn mornings I have looked at the South's beautiful churches with their lofty spires pointing heavenward. ...I have found myself asking: "What kind of people worship here? Who is their God? Where were their voices ...of support when bruised and weary Negro men and women decided to rise from the dark dungeons of complacency to the bright hills of creative protest?"

...Yes, I see the church as the body of Christ. But, oh! How we have blemished and scarred that body through social neglect and through fear of being nonconformists. ...
-----------------------------------[end excerpts]

That was a letter to churches & ministers, basically trying to encourage these folks to get off their -- pews -- and help the cause.

You read that whole letter, and you get a sense of what a struggle this was. My God. The word "cause" which I just used is way too weak to apply, here so -- Sorry for using it.
That was not a "good cause," it was a
holy effort,
waged by unbelievably courageous people
in the midst of terrifying odds
(attitudes, not only of prejudice, but hatred at the one extreme, &, at the lesser extreme, simply that too-too-comfortable, ensconced, indulgent trust in the status quo...
"Why this? Why now? Why me? Just let it lie...."
I cannot imagine too many things that would be harder than that struggle.
I like how Rev. King used the word "nonconformists" -- you don't hear that word too much now.


Thursday, January 13, 2011


You can watch the Kennedy - Nixon debate on You Tube!
They talk about farm prices --
Nixon doesn't want to manipulate the prices for commodities; instead he suggests a "Payment-in-kind" program --
they did that in the 1980s, during Reagan Administration!
the "PIK" program, it was called...
didn't know the Idea went back to 1960 -- maybe it had been done before that.
All that history -- available to us -- unbelievable

once I read somewhere on You Tube -- a Comment from a -- Commenter -- they were criticizing You Tube in its current form, saying it was much better before Google bought it --
How could it be better?
Cannot imagine
how it could be better --
unless of course Sony would set the rest of Bob Dylan's music free and let it roam You Tube again ... liberate the Dylan music !! a lot of commenters on his remaining songs request that, augmenting their remarks with varying levels of profanity

I never experienced You Tube in its earlier form(s), so -- cannot compare


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

that ain't no law and order

Last week for several days, was on a major "Anticipation" - "You're So Vain" kick -- Carly Simon songs.
Thinking of the song "You're So Vain" made me think of Miss Jones, my eighth grade English teacher -- and thinking of her made me remember a day in her class that was kind of unforgettable. I've got to describe that, tomorrow or Friday.

OK, here's the platform -- 3 things we need:
1. Reinstate the Fairness Doctrine.
2. Reinstate Glass Steagall.
3. Prioritize civility.

Fairness Doctrine,
Glass Steagall,
Civility --
we're good!
It's Miller Time!

The Fairness Doctrine
the Glass Steagall Act
were already "passed in the past" --
they are nothing "new" or "radical" --
we had 'em
they worked
we got rid of 'em
now stuff doesn't work.

(Life is not that complicated.)
You know? We were smart enough to pass these policies; they worked; then we were dumb enough to --
stop enforcing the one, and to
vote out the other -- so
NOW -- we got us some stuff that doesn't work, namely
the Media
and the

When they stopped enforcing the Fairness Doctrine, that opened the door for cable TV to put obnoxious opinionators in front of microphones, with the word "News" on the wall, and they've been churning out unbalanced, one-sided ideas and political agendas which they tell us is "news," and it isn't.

In the last 17 years we've seen it escalate from obnoxious, to repellent and dangerous -- I no longer watch any of it, and I'm interested in politics.
I am repelled by the extreme right-wing positions, and I am a Republican.

Richard Nixon ran for president in 1968 on a platform of "law and order."
There were riots in the streets, and people didn't want that, they wanted peace, and law and order.

At that time, many liberals and some moderates thought Nixon was too "conservative" (a word that's been much used and abused and twisted beyond recognition in recent times); some of those voters thought "law and order" was 'French' for -- we're soft on police brutality -- sock it to those long-haired hippies who are marching, rioting, and -- listening to rock and roll. Whatever.

But what a Vote for "conservative Republican" Richard Nixon meant to most Americans, in 1968, was -- we can't continue with these riots; we gotta have some "settle down." Most people who voted for Nixon wanted that "law and order."


After the horrifying incident last Saturday in Arizona,
some people are saying the current vitriolic atmosphere in our political dialogue has been incitement to murder;
others are saying "No -- lone gunman." (we've heard that before).
I don't know which one is right,
but this much I do know:
That is neither law

If former President Richard Nixon were here, he would say, WTF.


Monday, January 10, 2011

a dark movie

This morning, between swimming to surface of consciousness & being aware of alarm clocks set to go off rather soon, dreamed something about the film "Taxi Driver" which haven't seen in several years. (Had it on VHS.)

Dreamed: The Robert De Niro character (a taxi driver) shot the pimp.
No -- the pimp killed a guy.
No --
and I awoke, figuring out in my mind, that
I think the pimp killed someone at one point in the film,
and then at the end the De Niro character shoots the pimp.
I think.
Don't take my word for it.
Didn't see or hear news all weekend.
(Am current with pages on my novel! Work (/fun) comes first.)
Then read on internet this afternoon, of the shootings in Arizona.
NY Times story included this --
----------[quote] Early Sunday, the authorities released a photograph taken from the surveillance video of a possible accomplice in the shooting. But the man later contacted sheriff's deputies, who determined that he was a taxi driver ... [end quote]

If I was one of those people who believes in dreams having a special significance, or predictions, or what we used to call e.s.p., I would be thinking about that:
like -- there was this atrocity in Arizona, which I didn't know about,
and I dreamed about shootings (in a movie)
and then here's the phrase "taxi driver" in the news story
(turned out the taxi driver drove that kid to the supermarket, but appears to be unconnected to the "assassination plan").

But, you know -- I don't do crystal balls or ghosts or any of that.
I'm a Protestant. "Be nice; don't kill people." That's my belief.
I'm not gonna do palm reading or future-predicting or e.s.p.
Probably better off not knowing what people are thinking.

That congresswoman who got shot in Ariz. had told a friend earlier this year that lawmakers with high profiles today earned their place in the spotlight through 'outlandish and mean behavior...You get no reward for being the normal, reasonable person.'

that's it in a nutshell...
things are not so good
we gotta work to improve them


Friday, January 7, 2011

Thursday, January 6, 2011

you can't bite city hall

This week: tired.
Big blizzard last week.
Raised the number of pages-per-day required to do for my novel (a comedy noir), beginning January 1.
Am behind.
(Why does a blizzard make me tired?)
Change in amount of effort it takes to
do the usual things.
Plan A: Drive to work.
However -- Car snowed into garage because city no longer clears the alley leading to garage. (For years, that task was done consistently, but in Recent years: Not.)
So -- Plan B: hitchhike to work.
(Was picked up by a young man named Corrie who said, "That's OK, I was out anyway, just lookin' for a white bow tie.")
Black-and-white party at local bar / lounge / bowling alley, that night, N yrs eve.
Eighty-five thousand inches of snow Burying Everything apparently does not deter some in the age group where the word "party" is still a verb, rather than a noun.

Plan XYZ, night before that was hire Guy Driving Pickup With Blade On The Front to clear that alley so that I could put Buick away in garage.
(Where did I find Guy Driving...? Middle of street, midnight. Always a good place to check.)
Didn't know where else to put car.
Drive it back to Work & park it and walk back to town?
It was one-degrees out !

Don't know why city has cut back on clearing efforts.
Blizzards have not cut back on snow.
People can always chorus, "cost savings" but --
we've had two new buildings (maybe more, two that can think of at moment) in the past couple of years which are -- you know -- nice, but not necessary.

If we have money for that, then Basic Services need to remain the same or improve, not devolve.


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

clouds in my coffee

Yesterday, titled blog post
with a phrase from a song by Carly Simon,
"You're So Vain":

"...some underworld spy or the wife of a close friend"
and then worried a little
that my selected title didn't represent any aspect of what had typed in the post
and -- realized -- did not mind because
"some underworld spy or the wife of a close friend"
is such a knock-out genius lyric
it can be anywhere.

In that song, I also love
"clouds in my coffee"
I had some dreams, they were
clouds in my coffee,
clouds-in-my-coffee yeah, you're So VAIN -- !

Well you're where you should be all the time
and when you're not
you're with
some underworld spy
or the wife of a close friend,
wife-of-a-close-friend AND --
You're so VAIN --

you prob'ly think this song is about you...
" "
A song with its unique drama, power, & irony

My 8th-grade English teacher liked that song. Miss Jones.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

...some underworld spy or the wife of a close friend

I'm checking daily this blog on the internet called
Rise Of The Center.
It's a flow of well-researched information
that's anti-extremism.

Discovering that there's a huge chunk of the American population
that doesn't vote
made me realize that basically the Election of governing people
is essentially being left to
the haters and extremists.

hence -- problems / unreasonableness, etc.

I used to think of myself as "conservative" -- but my definition was an older, more traditional one. Now -
I see & hear folks saying (screaming) horrid, hateful, untrue things, and
call themselves

[Saw a spot on the internet which advertised "three conservative books" for -- I don't know, a dollar, or something. Maybe a dollar apiece.
And over-priced, I'll venture to hypothesize.]

There's a group (a bandwagon?) where they want to say, "I'm conservative!" "I'm conservative!"
It's like -- a club they want to join -- so they can imagine that they are similar to whatever talk show stars they like -- it's a thing with which to identify.

And it's being marketed like crazy.
Like -- the hula hoop; cigarettes; WalMart; Silly Putty -- whatever you got.

Now -- "No Labels" is looking good.
"Conservative" has been shoplifted by extremists who label themselves that.
(What label do I want to call myself?
I'll be the Silly Putty, thank you.)


Monday, January 3, 2011

struck by a paradox

Rise of the Center
and all:
check this:

[from journals of Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., a contemporary of JFK]
September 20, 1961. The White House.

Dinner at the White House with Joe [Alsop, the columnist] and Susan Mary Alsop [his wife, a prominent Washington hostess]. The President was in excellent form -- very lively, pungent, and vigorous. I was delighted to see that he was particularly concerned with the role of the business community. He began by saying that he was struck by the paradox that, while labor leaders individually were often mediocre and selfish, labor as a body took generally enlightened positions on the great issues; while businessmen were often enlightened as individuals but invariably took hopeless positions on public issues. He said several times that he now understood FDR's attitude toward the business community.

May 14, 1962. The White House.

I forgot to record a remark of the President's last Friday. He was commenting on the Eisenhower press conference the day before. "The thing I liked best," he said, "was the picture of Eisenhower attacking medical care for the old under Social Security as 'socialized medicine' -- and then getting into his government limousine and heading out to Walter Reed."

I could relate to the following entry -- it's so true of people sometimes, they like ya, then they don't, then cannot remember -- plus often something that happens in life reminds me of a movie or TV show or something...
March 26, 1960: on the campaign trail. Democratic Governors' Conference, Detroit.
Jack seemed tired but was obviously in good spirits. His lack of pretense was refreshing; for example, he kept answering ringing phones himself, and when a message as required he sat down and wrote it out.
He was quite funny on [Senator] Wayne Morse who had been very affable toward him earlier in the evening. Half the time, he said, Morse clapped him on the shoulder and congratulated him; the other half, he denounced him as a traitor to liberalism and an enemy of the working class.
It all reminded him, said Kennedy, of City Lights, and the millionaire who, when drunk, loaded Charlie Chaplin with gifts and insisted that he spend the night but, when sober, couldn't recognize him and threw him out of the house.