Well, faithful readers, gawkers, visitors and trollers, we've reached the mid-point (at least that's where I think I am) of this little exercise called the Son, and that means I'll be taking some time off, perhaps months, as I try to finish the book I'm currently writing. While I'll miss the immediacy of this form, I simply don't have the time and energy to simultaneously blog and compose my tome, which requires my full attention. If I was paid to blog, was part of a group where I could post once or twice a week, or was backed by Time/Life or Conde Nast, that would be different. But I do this thing for free in my spare time. I've given my best, more or less, over the past year or so, but now that nervous energy must go into something larger and hopefully more lasting than these online blasts. So off I go to note cards, paper, pencil, pen and my black Underwood manual typewriter. Don't know when I'll return. I might trim down the archives to forge a Best Of, as there are several posts I'm quite proud of. And if some seriously stupid shit starts raining down (always a possibility), I may pop back briefly to scream and release my immediate anger and anguish. Barring that, I'm outta here till the manuscript is completed.
But before I go, some parting observations:*
Seymour Hersh's latest report about the Bush gang wanting to use tactical nukes on Iran
has many people jumping out of their shorts. And for good reason. While I believe that Hersh was fed this in order to test the domestic political waters for such an attack, as well as letting Tehran in on these psychotic thoughts, I put nothing past this crazed administration. It all might be simple psy-ops, a continuation of US policy where potential enemies/targets are left to guess whether or not we're fucking nuts. ("Pick up the gun, punk. I said, pick it up!
") But then, perhaps Bush/Cheney are going for broke as their poll numbers fall, Iraq continues to burn, Afghanistan remains a corrupt mess, and global competitors gain some extra traction. Still, I can't see it happening. But if it does, get ready for the next brutal phase of human suffering. And stock up on canned goods and bottled water.*
I was sent this transcript
(with video attached, if you desire to hear the horseshit) of David Horowitz and Ward Churchill, now starring in a dog-and-pony show about the politics of academia, appearing on "Hannity and Colmes." Why anyone left-of-center would submit to that fixed forum is beyond me, but if you decide to do so, then hit back and hit back hard. There's no point to entering a dog fight if you're wearing a muzzle. Hannity's "argument" is extremely easy to counter. All that's needed is some energy and grit. Churchill tried to wave him off and avoid direct contact, tossing out general comments to keep Hannity at bay. If you don't want to battle idiots like Hannity, then don't do his show. Otherwise you look ridiculous.
What little I've read by Churchill didn't impress me, and I was extremely critical of his post-9/11 comments. He seemed pretty comfy with Horowitz at his side, and I suspect these two are closer in nature than they let on. Horowitz's relaxed smile was the give-away.*
I haven't said anything about the current uproar over immigration simply because I have nothing new to add. I've worked with Mexicans and Central Americans who may or may not have been in the States "legally" -- I wasn't privy to their personal situations -- but better or harder working comrades I've seldom encountered. When you're both on your knees scrubbing the lower sides of public toilets, the concept of "nationality" fades away in the face of shared labor. And as Gore Vidal wittily put it years ago, given that the US stole a huge chunk of Mexico as part of our territorial expansion, it makes sense that these lands are now filling up with the descendants of those we long ago displaced. The ebb and flow of populations is a human historical constant. Building walls is a static reaction; they are always fated to fall. *
My son, who's in fourth grade, has known for some time that the Earth's moon reflects rather than generates light. (He can't wait to try out his new telescope -- neither can I.) What then to say about those adults who, while attending a Bill Nye "The Science Guy" presentation in Waco, Texas, got upset over this
"The Emmy-winning scientist angered a few audience members when he criticized literal interpretation of the biblical verse Genesis 1:16, which reads: 'God made two great lights — the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars.'
"He pointed out that the sun, the 'greater light,' is but one of countless stars and that the 'lesser light' is the moon, which really is not a light at all, rather a reflector of light.
"A number of audience members left the room at that point, visibly angered by what some perceived as irreverence.
"'We believe in a God!' exclaimed one woman as she left the room with three young children."
Wanna bet this woman has a Bush/Cheney bumpersticker on her ride? *
Speaking of the boy, he's recently discovered Laurel & Hardy. I found some old tapes I made many years ago, and as I began screening them, my son walked by and asked who those two funny-looking men were. I gave him a brief bio, then we sat together and watched "Helpmates," a classic from 1932, where the boys try to clean Ollie's house after a raucous party, lest his wife come home and discover the mess.
"Man," said the boy a few minutes in. "They can't clean without wrecking everything!"
I nodded. "That's Laurel & Hardy, son. They're poetically inept, even though they mean well."
The boy kept laughing as things got worse. Exactly what Stan and Ollie would've wanted. Imagine your work still connecting long after you've gone. Another human constant. A beautiful one.