03 June 2019

A Poet's Birthday, Time Travel, Killing Hitler, The Gym Again, Working Again, Commencement, Also Etc.

Allen Ginsberg born on this day in 1926.
It is the 93rd anniversary of the birth of my favorite poet, the gentleman pictured above, Allen Ginsberg. He has been one of the great influences of my life not only for his poetry but for the admirable life he lived.

People often say that if they had a time machine they'd go back and kill baby Hitler. How awful! Killing a baby?! Me, I'd go back and kill teenaged Hitler. He must have been a particularly obnoxious teen and offing him would probably seem a relative pleasure compared to killing an infant.

Speaking of time machines...(dot, dot, dot) besides killing Hitler people often speculate about other deeds they might do when time traveling, many of which would change the present. Hogwash. You cannot change the past because it has already happened and we have a record of it. If you could go and change something in the past it would be changed now too. I thus can only conclude that if time travel ever becomes possible voyagers would only be able to view events and not interact. Perhaps we will -- I'm talking hundreds of years in the future, most likely -- be able to witness past events. Imagine solving all those ancient mysteries, murders and conspiracies. The truth revealed at last. How cool would that be? (I'm going to go with pretty cool.)

Check out these lyrics from the Mamas and the Papas song, Monday Monday:

Every other day, every other day
Every other day of the week is fine, yeah
But whenever Monday comes, but whenever Monday comes
A-you can find me cryin´ all of the time

Is that the most EMO shit you've ever seen? I mean, dude, crying because it's Monday? Get over it. I can see being a little bummed at the return of another school or work week, but if you're crying one out of every seven days, you need help. Plus, this sucker is a singer. It's not like he's a working stiff for whom Monday means the start of another arduous work week. You're a singer, you can sleep in on Monday. Hell, you're pretty successful, you can take the damn day off. Crying about it? Gimme a break.

I've complained ad nauseam about people who can't  tear themselves away from their cell phones even while working out at the gym so it shouldn't surprise anyone that I'm on that topic again. Recently I saw a woman working out who wasn't looking at her phone between sets (as many do) but stopping to look at it and text between reps! (I believe that was worthy of an exclamation point.) My god, can you imagine the mindset? The level of addiction? I saw someone yesterday on the elliptical machine stop and get off and look at a video for a couple of minutes before resuming his workout. Madness.

Another gym behavior I've noticed is a male thing. I often seen men get on gym mats (communal spaces, mind you) and spread out horizontally taking up space that two other people could occupy instead of being considerate human beings and taking up a vertical space. Last week, for the first time I saw a woman spread out horizontally. It was the first time I'd seen a female do so. No gender is perfect, I suppose. Some people are so self possessed they think of no one else, like those jackasses who blast music out of their cars so loudly you can hear it in the confines of your own home.

I started working again today after 93 days of retirement. I hasten to add that I am now teaching but one class a day -- in the mornings -- and whereas I used to have a commute totaling one hour and twenty minutes one way, I now have a 15 minute walk to my place of work. I don't know how long I'll keep the job, two months minimum and after that we'll see. As it is it's paying for a trip to New York in October for me and the missus.

I saw that German Chancellor Angela Merkel was commencement speaker at Harvard recently. Good get. When I graduated from Chico State (aka the Harvard of the west) we had a German sausage maker speak. I'm totally kidding, I've never gone to any of my college graduations, truth to tell it never crossed my mind to. I have attended my daughters' and as they are both starting graduate school in the Fall it looks like I have a couple more enjoy.

I see in the news that there was another mass shooting and once again the NRA has forgotten to apologize or put forward a restitution plan. My but they've got a lot of blood on their hands as do Republican members of Congress. The latter group is, by the way, saving their resources to have spine implants. It won't be a moment too soon. A bigger group of cowards is hard to imagine.

Well I've damn near finished with another novel and wish me luck because within a month's time I'll be trying to interest someone in it. I'll say this for me, I don't give up.

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