04 November 2012

The Buddhist Threat, Friends Indeed, Being a Fan Amy W. --A Long Overdue Edition of Odds & Ends


The above clip is a rather strong condemnation on the republican party (not today worthy of being capitalized) in particular and the country as a whole. There is such woeful ignorance and outright stupidity throughout a country that extolls itself as the greatest on earth that one wonders how we manage to get anything done. Too many people eschew facts and indeed are unfamiliar with them. Fo News is a major culprit as it disguises baseless polemic attacks as news. Edward R Murrow, Walter Cronkite, I.F. Stone and dozens of other newsmen are turning over and over and over in their graves.

I'm thinking of taking the biggest hardcover book on my bookshelf and hallowing out the middle. I would then place a secret formula there and return the book to the shelf. All I need is a secret formula and a reason to hide one. So close.

When people say they didn't know whether to laugh or to cry I have to assume they suffer from sort of mental or emotional problem. Knowing when to laugh and when to cry is pretty basic and doesn't even need to be taught. Even a baby knows when to do what.

Have you ever been asked a question about yourself by a friend that would seem to indicate they know nothing about you? When my brother died a friend asked if he had a family. I don't know how many times I'd mentioned to this friend about my brother's wife and their four children including in the email he was responding to with his condolences and question. Then there are friends who never ask about inquire about your recent doings your family your health or your job nor do they solicit your opinions on matters of the day instead yammering on endless about this or that as if your sole purpose was to give them a human object to talk at. Actually you learn to separate such folks from your real friends.

I went to see the The Perks of Being a Wallflower yesterday. There were teenagers literally running about the theater and others who were apparently in the theater to picnic. I had the feeling that I might not be too happy trying to watch a film in the middle of recess. Then a group of pre teen girls sat right behind giggling and chatting up a storm. The writing was on the wall and written in bold letters. I went to the box office and said I had an emergency and could I have a refund and they said sure and I'm a liar but I saved myself an unhappy experience. Another time perhaps.

I was about to type the words: my favorite baseball team won the World Series for the second time in three years. But that would be like calling my wife my favorite adult female. I'm married to K just as I'm married to the San Francisco Giants. Actually K and I only go back to when I was in my 20s but the Giants and I go back to when I was eight years old -- sooner actually but my first memory of being at a game was when I was eight. That's not having a favorite that's part of your being. Anyway they are atop the baseball world again and its kind of weird. I'm not used to this though I'll try. A beloved team is like one of your children: you don't love it any less when it fails or any more when it succeeds. You're always proud. Intellectually there's a real danger in being a sports fan. It took me years to learn perspective and  to learn not to obsess to learn to celebrate and appreciate victories and not to waste energy bemoaning defeats.


I have a new musical love -- Amy Winehouse. I came upon her by accident and was immediately struck by the power and beauty of her voice. Her jazz stylings are terrific but it is a soul singer that she really shines. Of course this is all past tense as she succumbed to her addictions and died at the age of 27 just as two other of my favorites did, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. I know a little about substance abuse and it is a miracle that some of us get an out of jail card and go on to lead long and productive lives (okay I'm flattering myself here -- I may be on my way to long but the productivity of it seems open to question). Gin cocaine vodka marijuana scotch beer LSD wine in great quantities can make life seem more special more wonderful more exotic more alive. Then they wrap their tentacles around you and squeeze the life out of you. Drip drop and you stumble and you curse and you make other people uncomfortable and you question normal and rational and existence and do it in bad ugly ways like life is a gift you wanna exchange. Other.

As part of my recent efforts to learn to speak Italian I've been watching a lot of Italian films. This is not a chore. Fellini and Antonioni are two of my three favorite directors (behind Bergman) and I also admire DeSica, Rossi, Rossellini, Olmi and others. But the cool thing is all the wonderful films I'm discovering. Such as Dillinger is Dead (1969), Mid-August Lunch (2008), The Salt of Life (2011), Big Deal on Madonna Street (1958), Hands Over the City (1963), Seduced and Abandoned (1964) and Il Divo (2008). A few years ago I did a series on Italian films which you can find by checking out the Italian Films label on the right of this page. I hope to find time to do another such series.





1 comment:

Paolo said...

Amy's music pre-Rehab (the song. Pardon the pun) is gold.