Monday, August 30, 2010

The printed word is not dead.

It's the little things.


Robert B. Parker.

Spenser and Susan and Hawk.

Painted Ladies.


The little things.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

On the treadmill, the scenery never changes.

I don't know how many people joined Glenn Beck on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial yesterday; I was, as you can well guess, asleep. But, I'm pretty sure that Mr. Beck (never one to eschew an opportunity for self-promotion) will re-run it on his show on Monday.

I'll probably miss that one, too. Sleeping is more important to me than Mr. Beck. In fact, having a burning umbrella shoved up my rectum is ALSO more important to me than Mr. Beck, so you get the hierarchy here.

While I would like to bury the messenger under several tons of Ostrich feces, just for kicks, I do not deny that the message has a certain....validity. Restoring America.

But restore America to what, exactly?

Steve Martin once said, "I believe that Ronald Reagan can make this country what it once was.....a frozen wasteland, covered with ice."

A very funny man named Tom Lehrer writes songs about the old days, when we could "whop slaves and sell cotton."

People fondly remember the days of 1950's, when families were families, everybody sat down to dinner at the end of the day, the language was clean, and...well....only certain people had the right to vote and sit anywhere on the bus that they liked.

Is there any time period, in the whole of American history, where we didn't need to worry about something? Polio? Indian attacks? The McCarthy Hearings?

Mostly, what I saw in the pictures of this noble example of First Amendment freedom was..well, the 'Have-Nots.'. And the 'Have-Nots' in this country are getting restless.

I have always attempted to believe in the Horatio Alger myth; that hard work and dedication will be rewarded, and not just in the next life. You work your way up. You take the good examples; you become a reliable person; a good friend; somebody who would help a stranger as well as a neighbor, in any way you could. And you would prosper.

It seems, in this day and age, that the 'Have-Nots' are fully resentful of the 'Haves', and rather than aspire, they resent, and with that kind of prevailing wind, the only outcome is burning down the Mission, storming the Keep, and One Tin Soldier rides away.

Now, they have an enemy. The Dad Gum Gov'Ment. If the government would just leave them alone, they'd be all right. So, it's the institution, and not the populace that has actually PLACED the institution that's to blame.

As the old saying goes, "We get the government we deserve."

So, I guess where we want to go is back to State's Rights. That whole thing we fought over in 1861. Can we do that? Are the States ready to take up the slack that the Federal government has been holding since the 1930's? Are some states ready to have the military bases pulled from their states, and are the states ready to finance social security?

Are we all ready for a little Soylent Green?

Really.....if we look simply at the New Testament, we see that Christ tells us to render to Caesar what is Caesar, and render up to God what is God's. So, even Jesus was for the separation of Church and State.

Christ also said something about doing unto others, blessed are the cheesemakers (which I believe refers to any manufacturer of dairy products) and blessed are the Greek.

(This has gone to hell very quickly.)

Look at the MONKEY!

Look at the SILLY MONKEY!

(At this point, lacking a proper ending, Historiclemo runs for it....)

Monday, August 23, 2010

The coolness of the day during a 7th Inning Stretch.

The say that Comerica Park is haunted.

Yes, the ballpark is like...what? Ten years old?

Perhaps the ghosts of Greenberg and Cobb moved over from Corktown after the b***ards tore down the old stadium at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull. Perhaps old Jimmy Hoffa, displaced from The Meadowlands, has decided to take up residence in the only outdoor park in Detroit. Or, maybe the sushi you can buy in the concourse has gone off a bit.

Sushi in the ballpark. Ye Gods.

The Bengal boys are 11 back, and although they are back to their reasonably winning ways, they are not making up any ground. I suppose it's possible to pass the Black Sox before September goes, but barring an uncharacteristic meltdown from the Twinks, it's likely we'll be watching in October.

The Post-All-Star-Game-Meltdown will get you, every time.

Still.....the third place Tigers, decimated by injury and pitching problems, still manage to draw a crowd of 37000 in a city that's equally decimated by unemployment and general dispair.

The Red Wings are perpetual playoff contenders; they've made the playoffs every year since I was in my twenties....a very long streak, indeed. They've hoisted the Cup a time or two in this decade....and that's no mean feat.

But the Tigers are the heart of the city. A beacon of light in the darkness.

Bless you, Boys.

Friday, August 20, 2010

I will continue to hope, because hope is that last inch......

Years ago, I was an understudy for a play called The King Has Gone To Tenebrae. It was written by a man named George Herman, who I just happened to get back into contact after many years....still spry for an 80-something; he hasn't lost a step. But that's not what I'm talking about.

There was a line in the play:

"Remember, boy: we become....what we hate."

This little phrase has been coming back to me again and again in the last couple of days. It's been one of those manic times; I've been diving again and again into the pool of information, seeking thought-provoking snippets from the Wonderful World of Web. I've looked into anything and everything I found fascinating about life in America at the end of this first decade.

I'm trying to wrap my head around a concept that seems to obvious to me, that I can't imagine it hasn't been brought up before.

We have become an amalgamation of all of the worst demons of our collective national nature. We have become xenophobic; and in that trait lies the seeds of those horrible fields we once sowed, and reaped, to our shame: interment camps; tin drum trials and quick and quiet executions after rushes to judgement based upon the fact that they weren't "like us"; terrible lies told over public airwaves, turning hearts to stone and repeated just often enough to "become" the truth.

A growing economic and social divide. Where once, those of us not to the Manor born worked and strived to improve our lot, looking to the shining example as the goal....are now darkly resentful of the the Manor, and are offended and antagonized by the shining example....and you can almost hear the knives being sharpened.

And those that could de-escalate the conflagration are actually throwing the kerosene, implying that they are just speaking the truth....but their inner truth is that they WANT the fire to burn.

I am a cynic by nature; and from time to time, I feel an "I told you so!" bubbling up in my chest....but I force it down, because it's time for honesty and not cynicism; it's time for ideas, and not roadblocks.

It's time we started hearing all sides.

The President is NOT a Muslim.

The "Ground Zero Mosque" is six blocks away. In normal measures of distance, that's a far way (as we say in the elsewhere).

We are not at war with Islam.

If the 2nd Amendment is valid in this day and age, so are they all.

I may disagree with what you say with every fiber of my being, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

We will never get anywhere without respecting each other.

My challenge to you all: Do ONE good deed today. You can do more than one if you want, but do ONE. And then write to me and tell me what it was and how it made you feel.

Jeepers Creepers! When does the SUN RISE?!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Can you believe it's the middle of August already?


I'm Historiclemo. And I'm suffering from a lack of motivation.

I can remember, as a younger Historiclemo, that I had phases, like the lunar orb. Today, they call it "bouts of mania", but back then, it was called, "a positive mental attitude toward work." One day, I'd be sitting on the couch, with a rapidly shrinking pile of books, and a rapidly increasing pile of pizza boxes, and then next day, I'd be painting a mural of Jake and Elwood on my dining room wall. (It's still there, I understand....the apartment is rented primarily to college students, who have a fondness for Jake and Elwood, even in this day and age).

So....sitting at work. Staring at the same stuff on the same walls. Listening to the workings of other places on my handy dandy world phone. I can tell you that Albany is having a really tough morning. But it's only there, and no other place, so go back to sleep, I got ya covered.

Oh. A commercial. I wonder just how long you have to have your ass on the AbGlider before you see any results? Probably longer than my patience has.

I have been, as of late, on a buying spree, book-wise. Yes, the used bookstores around the country (ah, forgive me, around the WORLD) have me pegged as a touch. A couple of rare finds (a reasonably priced hard cover copy of A CANTICLE FOR LIEBOWITZ, and a hard-to-find hard cover edition of THE BOOK OF MERLIN) and copies of some of Douglas Adams' lesser-known works...and of course, JOHN ADAMS. And I think I have a few Sherlock Holmes pastiches....and there was an Edwin Booth biography out there someplace.....

Have gone into a "jazz" period on the Ipod. Or, "big band", depending on when you were born. Dorsey. Berigan. Harry James. The Firehouse Five and the Preservation Hall Jazz Bands. Billy Cobham, because I already have Gene Krupa.

Maybe I need some Mason Williams....Classical Gas. But then, I'll want Winchester Cathedral...and then it's anarchy on my Ipod.

As I've said before: There hasn't been decent music since Skynyrd's plane went down.

Finally, in this mishmash of thoughts and ideas, my dear friend Ms. T. Ridiculous has the feeling that somethings in the air.

My friend: some of the best things that ever happened to me happened just AFTER I had that feeling. That I was just a couple of inches away from something...interesting.

Go with it.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

It's been a long time since I did a Random Thought Thursday....

I love the things I can find in catalogues:

A Sweatshirt that says, "My baloney has a middle name: it's Roger." That made me laugh out loud for some reason. (What on Earth)

A garden gnome in skeleton form. It reminds me of a poster I had on my wall in grad school: it was a Gumby skeleton. (What on Earth)

A crystal skull; so I can be all Indiana Jones. (Design Toscano)

All manner of candies that I loved in my youth (God bless the Vermont Country Store).

A DVD collection of Dorothy L. Sayers' character, Lord Peter Wimsey. Both Volumes. (PBS Catalogue)

And while we're at it, Ken Burns' BASEBALL series, which includes an update entitled THE TENTH INNING. (PBS catalogue)

Catalogues are like a look into another world....a world of wonders, a world of reasonably priced entertainment, a world of treasures.....

Other Random Thoughts:

Thank you, Judge Vaughn Walker, who said quite eloquently: "moral disapproval alone is an improper basis on which to deny rights to gays and lesbians."

All Muslims do not want to kill us.

That Salahi woman said her interview on The View was "degrading." I wonder how she would feel about prison? And again, why isn't she there?

Attention, Brett Favre: I hope the fence you're sitting on is Picket; that way, you'll have the same pain in the ass I have from hearing about your annual idiocy. Aside from the people in Minneapolis, nobody really cares...

Well done, A-Rod. You're still kind of a dick, but I know talent when I see it. I'm hoping you'll last another five years, and hit at least 30 dingers a year, because I would rather have you (kind of a dick) have the record than the other guy (arrogant cheater).

Oh, my poor Tigers. They've caught Lion-itis. It's tough to be from Detroit.

Good night, and Good Luck!