Monday, May 28, 2012

Annual Rememberance.

Korean Memorial

Sixty One years ago tomorrow, my Uncle of legend but not of memory, gave the last full measure of devotion to his country as a member of the United States Marine Corps in service during the Korean War.
Words cannot express the depth of my gratitude to those that followed him into service.
An old Marine once told me of a phrase once scrawled upon the wall of a bunker outside Khe Sahn, in the Republic of Viet Nam.
"To those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know."
I grieve at the idea.
And rejoice.
Thanks again, Uncle John, and all the brave men of Charlie Company, 1st Batallion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division.

Friday, May 25, 2012


I was watching an episode of THE BIG BANG THEORY last night (and yes, I like the show but it's not important to the story), and as I drifted off to sleep (thank you, OTC sleeping pills!) the theme song drifted into my subconscious.

You know that BNL recorded a longer version of the theme, right?

In my youth, among my peers, it was common in the course of group discussions to hear the following phrase: "Boy, Historiclemo, you think too damned much."

Like it's a bad thing.  And perhaps, as a young man you're supposed to think thinly, rather than deeply.  Of course, at that age, I suppose you're supposed to feel thinly, as well, and for those of you that know me, a quick you think I EVER felt anything but DEEPLY?

Show of hands?


Anyway......I was dreaming about the Big Bang.  And when I awoke, a thought occurred to me that has been nagging at me ever since.....

If there was one Big Bang that created the universe, and that eventually the universe will expand as far as it's going to, and then collapse upon itself causing yet another Big Bang....them we must assume that it's happened before.

And in that happenstance, I wonder what THOSE people were thinking about.

I flatter the human race by believing that similar things happened before.  An Earth grew up, and went through all the stuff we currently go through......and perhaps there were variations.  Perhaps they didn't abandon the space program because the Moon was just about as fer as they could go, and went farther.

Perhaps there was great art that inspired the world to unity and peaceful co-existence.

Perhaps the prophets of great power in the long past lived long enough to actually write something down themselves, in the way of explanation.

Perhaps Pluto remained a planet.

But the overall meaning of the deep thought here is that the universe does not begin and end with us.  And time is long and short.  And this is not the beginning of the end, but the end of the beginning.  And how you think about yourself and the path of your life and the choices you make have got to be more important that what other people think of your path and your choices.

Because the universe is yours.

And eventually, there will be some schmuck far into the future sitting at a keyboard and writing frivolously about the universe that you lived in while he's living in his own, post Big Bang universe.

Where Pluto probably remains a planet.

Monday, May 14, 2012

The story you're about to read is embellished; but the fundamental depression is accurate.

You know how you can be watching some kind of televised program, be it live, or re-run, or DVD or whatever, and your enjoyment is interrupted by somebody coming into the room and offering unwanted commentary?


So, I'm watching one of my favorite secret pleasures; that being, a couple of old episodes of MONTY PYTHON'S FLYING CIRCUS.  And even though I've seen them thousands of times (those episodes got me through grad school), I still snicker at some of the lovely lunacy.

Enter the villain of the piece; a young man with no practical experience.

"That's stupid."

No experience, no resume to point to, and if he stays in the room for very much longer, no head.  Seriously, I have a bowling bag with his name on it.

"So, " I ask, "What do you find funny?"

"I like the real stuff."

"Such as?"

"Those JACKASS guys are pretty funny."

(Now, mentally picture me sharpening my head-collecting knife with slow precision, eyeing him for the perfect angle at which to strike.)

"Uh huh."  Is all I can manage.

"Well, it's funnier than a bunch of men in dresses, talking with stupid accents and hitting each other with their purses."

"Well, they're recreating the Charge of the Light Brigade."

"The what?"

(Yup.  It will be a public service to put this kid's head in a bag, but I'm not going to waste a perfectly good bowling bag on him....I'm thinking just one of those plastic bags I get at Walmart.)

"And what's funny about the JACKASS guys?"

"They do stuff."

"I've seen them.  It seems that they're committed to injuring themselves and others."

"Yeah.  That's funny."

He then leaves the room, and I let him go.  He's somebody's son, somebody's brother.  I can't take his head.  I'm far too depressed.

I am changing my name to Raymond Luxury-Yacht.

It's spelled "Luxury-Yacht", but it's pronounced, "Throatwarbler-Mangrove."

Good night.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


A little over a month ago, the local cable company and the local FOX affiliate began a war which robbed me of my episodes of HOUSE.  This being the last season for one of my favorite shows, I'm pissed at both the cable company and the FOX affiliate.

The worst of it is, I still get the FAUX News Network.

There's a sorrow in my heart when we, in this country, are unable to change our minds without being accused of being weak willed; as if knowledge stops at the decision.  As if after we choose, we are no longer obligated to read, or listen, or think.

North Carolina deciding that Carrie Prejean was right.

And let's keep in mind that the last time North Carolina changed its state Constitution was to ensure that marriage was only between two white people.

It's good to be white and straight in North Carolina tonight.

There are a few things that are keeping me sane tonight, my friends.  One of them is the idea that sanity isn't a fad; that open-mindedness is not a curse; that there are Christians that follow the teachings of Christ.

That's actually three things.

Another thing that keeps me sane is the fact that I'm having that feeling again.

That feeling that I'm a ruler's length away from something really interesting.

I'm standing in the dark.

But I have a memory of the light.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Avengers....uh....Gather over an Orderly Fashion......or something......

I think sometime in the last post, I mentioned that I was doing a little ditty as a favor for a student friend of mine at the local college.  It was an eight minute two handed scene with the humor of Shel Silverstein.  I had an excellent partner and a good director and the scene drew the laughs it was supposed to.....

There were six scenes of various lengths, so I had time to sit backstage and schmooze with the students.  Of course, all they wanted to talk about was the New Avengers Movie.

I mentioned, of course, that I was a fan of The Avengers back when it was geeky to be.

There was this place down on Third Street in Marquette, Michigan; a little liquor store that sold magazines, and they had a great rack of comic books which we would raid on occasion.  We were Marvel guys, mostly....although I did occasionally indulge my adoration for the Dark Knight....back when they called him The Batman.

But mostly, we followed The Avengers, in whole or in various parts.....Captain America, and Thor, mostly....and of course, we were very fond of the X-Men and a little group called The Defenders, which consisted of heroes that The Avengers didn't pay attention to....Dr. Strange and Son of Satan and The Valkyrie.

Things you could depend upon:  Galactus was always going to get a little peckish and try to eat the Earth; Villains thought to be dead would be alive again, for in the 80's and 90's, only Bucky was dead forever; and Doctor Doom and The Red Skull would be around to torment the heroes frequently.

It was color comics with a neat, black hat/white hat theme.  I miss that.  Some things should not be ambiguous.

Well, except for Wolverine.  He can be conflicted and moody and occasionally unleash the claws with devastating accuracy on the villain.

These days, Iron Man isn't an alcoholic.  Thor isn't a Doctor in his alter ego.  And apparently, Bucky has been a Russian agent for a long time. 

But they are still fun.

By the Bristling Beard of Odin, they are still fun.

Friday, May 4, 2012

When you look through the years and see what you could have been....what you might have been...if you had had more time....

It's been a couple of days of rotten introspection.

It started with the Tony nominations.  I knew people.  One doing a lead in ONCE, and one in the revival of EVITA.

I am proud of them, of course; both of them have grown into amazing performers, even though I would bet money that neither one of them would know me if they knocked me into the gutter, as Judd Hirsch had done many years before.

At least Judd Hirsch helped me up.

The introspection comes from underneath the pride I felt for them, was the realization that I was appearing in an eight minute scene as a favor to a college student I've worked with on occasion up here in the Capitol City of the Northern State.  I enjoyed the gig, mind had just the right amount of absurd humor and underlying creepiness to make it allll worthwhile.

But somewhere along this winding road that looks neither yellow or brick, I folded like a cheap suit.

Worse; I was never as good as I thought I was.

The introspection was concluded by several plays of TAKE THE LONG WAY HOME by Supertramp.

Annnnnnd scene.