I haven’t written anything here for so long, it’s going to take me a while to get warmed up–as if it weren’t hot enough already. The other day I gave my students a spelling quiz; one of the words was “sunscreen.” One boy wrote “sunscream.”
Which reminds me how I was screaming at my wife after she’d left the apartment the other day, flirting with a myocardial infarction. I’m sure the neighbors made a mental note not to make conversation with the mental case who lives next door/downstairs/upstairs/across the street/across town, etc. I can’t remember what it was she’d said that had pissed me off so much, but lately we’ve been pushing each other’s buttons so much the print on them has worn off.
I haven’t been guiltless in this endeavor, as it always takes two to tango. I was going to start this entry by alluding to the famous quote: “Behind every great man is a woman,” and behind every abject mediocre failure is a different woman (notice the implication that I don’t even know how to fail properly).
But I thought that might sound too misogynistic. Certain cliches exist for a reason. In a world in which one out of four women is raped at some point in her life, I would not want to be a woman. The other day I read about a guy on death row in Texas who first dragged a ninety-six year old woman over the top of a chain-link fence, then raped her, then murdered her. What a sweetheart!
Not that being a man is any great shakes either, what with our raging hormones and foot-in-mouth disease. (It reminds me of the old Woody Allen joke about the guy who went back and forth between genders in multiple sex-change operations: “He couldn’t come up with anything he liked.”)
And it’s disturbing to think that much as it may still be a man’s world in many ways, a lot of the women who claw their way to the top get there by acting like men at their worst (I’m looking at you, Hillary Clinton, Madeleine Albright, and Condoleeza Rice–oh and–how could I forget?–Margaret Thatcher, who at least has the decency to be dead).
Speaking of dead people, I’m reminded of the George Harrison album All Things Must Pass. I always thought of that in the Buddhist sense of not getting too attached to things, experiences, or people. Imagine my disappointment when I finally heard the song and found it was about seeking consolation in the notion that “time heals all wounds.”
(You could also argue that time wounds as much as it heals.)
On that note, a belated farewell to intrepid journalist Michael Hastings, who left the stage far too early, actor/philanthropist James Gandolfini, the mensch who played a goombah, and country western legend and singer of “Una Paloma Blanca,” Slim Whitman, who at least got to live to be ninety-six before he kicked the bucket–
–and didn’t even have to be dragged across a chain link fence or raped as part of the deal!
Also thanks to Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning for their heroic, understated expressions of patriotism instead of the usual flag-waving bullshit. Keep the faith, hard as it is in these faithless times.
And hello to all my friends in the N. S. A., and thanks for taking such good care of everyone and keeping your eyes peeled to make sure we stay out of trouble and stay stood in line.
I didn’t sign on for this infernal neurotic global nightmare.