Don’t states of desolation descend on country clubs in autumn? Lingering summer’s unformed hours still insist on carefree activity. Remnants of airy remarks hover throughout empty rooms.
Those ghosts will remain somewhat lonely.
School has resumed. Vacations and lax diligence are finished. Although weather should permit several more weeks of sailing, serves and tee-offs followed by hacking, the emphasis our society places on nose to grindstone performance denies any extension of these pursuits past Labor Day.
Strolls through such vacant shore or brae addresses are now mixtures of somberness and relief. The leisure class has abandoned these boating and golf premises to housekeepers, gardeners, and kitchen staff who’ve happily shucked much of their occupational deference. Continue reading Clubby
The girl who hands over my New York Times is always astounded at its heft. Even on Saturdays. I laugh at her lack of reference. Stacked against almost every other newspaper in America, yes, the Times is plump. But as subscribers of a certain age remember, today’s editions are miserly compared against the fat decks of a decade ago.
Especially those Sunday sandbags.
My newsgirl doesn’t read newspapers. At least not intentionally. She’s of that breezily-informed generation which receives its mostly unedited information through bits and bytes. It shows. Their general lack of awareness, the blithe knowledge deficiency, augurs ill for them.
Fortunately, this group’s esteeming the ephemeral above all immunizes them against everyday worries as well as prospective maladies. Think of it as bliss without the Schedule 1 drugs.
Even when my age group lived carefree someone older always cautioned “beware!” If recalled correctly, while we proclaimed disregarding those admonishments they nevertheless seeped in to steer us through responsible adulthood.
My, how mentoring has changed. Etiquette, too. Continue reading Staged?
Unemployment gave me a lot of time to waste. Since being shelved, I’ve been able to sate a few extreme curiosities. Online dating has been one of the most perplexing.
Private by nature, the exposure such sites demand have asked more from me than I’m accustomed to relinquishing. Thankfully “Rex Merritt” has been honest.
In real life, that is life where actual humans maintain face-to-face exchanges, it’s easier to tailor questions and gauge responses. Doesn’t web anonymity license deception and puffery? Continue reading Social Intercourse
The current GOP doesn’t envy Mexico much of anything, but doubtlessly its more avaricious hierarchy dreams about becoming an Anglo version of the PRI. The PRI, or as it’s known in English, the Institutional Revolutionary Party, has been called “the perfect dictatorship.”
An electoral process gives the organization a sheen of legitimacy. Think of an oil slick upon water. See it as pay-for-play democracy. Isn’t this the system the Republican Party prays someday burdens the United States?
Ideally, doesn’t the GOP hope to import and infect America with this Mexican model? Through it “freedom” and “justice” mean “shackled to rank ideology and life-draining consumer indebtedness” while “scandal” gets erased altogether from civic discourse because almost every transaction, even the most mundane — especially the most mundane ones! — requires “a little something extra.” A taste. Some beak wetting.
There. Privatization of public services in a nutshell. Continue reading Reconquista 2012
Had my former employer been more of a parent and an attentive businessman, I never would’ve written GREEN VENOM. But he wasn’t. So I did. Read GREEN VENOM. It’s terrific! Available through Amazon Kindle.
Will our current despondency bring forth new versions of restoration farces? Aren’t the conditions ripe for mocking?
Or have we now reached a period whose circumstances prompt responses more pointed than ridicule? Continue reading Less Pie
Occasionally alma mater notifies me about attending orientation sessions for prospective or incoming students. At these klatches it’s hoped alums will attend and act as gushy founts of information (the more arcane the better) regarding the school as well as be enthusiastic ambassadors. In the promotional sense, not as negotiators.
My high point for transitioning cosseted high school graduates into women and men bearing the Arizona crest ended somewhere in the late 90s. Eighteen years after the fact represents a generational change. The place I knew has evolved into something unfamiliar.
Had my 18-year-old self attended one of our 1977 events, how might I have evaluated descriptions of the 1959 institution? A perceptive teen, sure I could’ve extrapolated another’s undergraduate years into my present. But doesn’t the overwhelming majority of that age-set looks askance at the old, considering the “ancient” irrelevant to their then lives?
At 18, who sees him- or herself at 36? While at 36, doesn’t 18 habitually become even more burnished?
Yet through the 1990s I made dutiful facetime. I owed alma. Am I not obliged to her until my will is recited before survivors? (Won’t that be a jack-in-the-box!) The 2500 miles between Sonora Desert and Northeast excited me with unknowns. The sort which never would’ve infused me had I remained coddled here within the familiar region and among equally mired contemporaries.
The adult fondly recalls the teen; the young adult never could’ve conceived of today. Continue reading Bleed Red and Blue
When did women’s health become a men’s moral issue?
These last several weeks of governing and campaigning in America have been more absurd than illuminating, but most of all revealing. Sadly much to the detriment of right-wing men.
The paternalism exposed across these past weeks is a throwback. It harkens to an era when women were belittled as the fairer sex, were denied property rights, the vote, even personhood. No. Real live personhood, not any angels on a pin pointlessness about whether sperm entering ovum confers sentience. Why not ask if zygotes should be counted during census years?
Naturally men’s misplaced consternation focuses on women’s reproductive systems. Particularly contraception. Even the most ardent abstainers finally agreed stopping results better than fixing them. Don’t believe it? Not long ago retailers stored condoms out of sight behind counters. Buying them required something between bravado and a speakeasy password. Today they’re sold as openly as sweet-laden snacks.
That’s progress. Especially for horny youths with sugar rushes hindered by shyness. Continue reading The Exalted and the Excluded
Our holidays were so desultory, all we lacked were a revolver and remorse to have made it a complete Camus Christmas. Being between jobs let me skip New Year’s Eve festivities. Just as well. I would’ve been ringing out 2011 anger and ringing in 2012 anxiety.
The whole stretch of cold-weather holidays from Thanksgiving until St. Valentine’s Day darkens my outlook. An extensive slough of despond.
If it were possible, I’d enter hibernation the day after Halloween and awake on St. Patrick’s Day. Early on St. Patrick’s Day. Was there ever a man less deserving of enduring the enforced spikes of autumnal and winter jollity?
Yes. The above is an exaggeration. Thanks to the American labor movement my present unemployment is bothersome, not troublesome. The safety net so many Republicans yearn to shred keeps the wolf at bay. Unlike GOP governors, each a mouthpiece for America’s Mr. Potters, I’m quite appreciative of past labor agitators who organized and fought for workplace dignity, be they have been Wobblies, Socialists, or — shudder! — even Commies. Continue reading Crossing Off the Crossroads of the World
August 6th has become a date receiving outsized attention. Aesthetically that’s quite understandable. Hiroshima offers superior visuals to Pearl Harbor, a site whose tragedy lies beneath a placid surface.
Pearl Harbor simply offers serene contemplation across Hawaiian waves. Hiroshima city fathers have done an artful job of propagandizing their preservations. Japanese ruins deflect guilt from the past. What incited 1941 America is mostly out of sight underwater and left to explanation. Continue reading Before Hiroshima
Despite the sad circus my place of employment has become, there’s still work to be done.
On what would’ve been singer-songwriter Buddy Holly’s 75th birthday I kept an appointment in Saratoga Springs. While I wished we could’ve met at the horse track, preferably between educated selections of The Racing Form (a publication whose pages are prayed over more than any evangelical’s Bible), alas, the clients preferred wagering on whether our company could fulfill their request.
One puckishly hopes we labeled the Saratoga Springs job “Longshot” and not “Out of the Money.” Continue reading Down the Line