The lead story in today’s paper was about a shoving match between a County Commissioner and an old lady. The commissioner apologized.
Below that was a story about the filing dates for the upcoming school-board elections, and a picture of a priest putting ashes on a man’s forehead.
Below the fold, at the very bottom of the page, was the story of a gunman in Florida killing seventeen high school students.
“My country, tears of thee…” ~Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Because of Donald Trump’s rants, standing for the national anthem now feels more like an endorsement of his policies than an act of patriotism.
I always thought it was kind of weird to have a national song that is only sung prior to sporting events, a song so difficult to sing that even professionals have a hard time hitting the notes, a song that’s really just a lyrical version of the fight scene in Cool Hand Luke. I only stood up for it because the song seemed to mean something to the people around me, even if I didn’t quite get it myself.
But now I don’t feel like I can stand in good conscience.
Excerpted from The Guardian’s article, ‘Our minds can be hijacked’: the tech insiders who fear a smartphone dystopia :
“The technologies we use have turned into compulsions, if not full-fledged addictions,” (Nir) Eyal writes. “It’s the impulse to check a message notification. It’s the pull to visit YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter for just a few minutes, only to find yourself still tapping and scrolling an hour later.” None of this is an accident, he writes. It is all “just as their designers intended”.
Read the entire article HERE.
Standard Celebrity Apology:
- I am very sorry
- I will learn from this experience
- Now let’s move on. I have suffered enough.
Excerpted from Jacob Riis’ autobiography, The Making of an American, ©1901:
You bring up the people slowly to a reform programme, particularly when it costs money. They will pay for corruption with a growl, but seem to think that virtue ought always to be had for nothing. It makes the politicians’ game easy. They steal the money for improvements, and predict that reform will raise the tax-rate. When the prophecy comes true, they take the people back in their sheltering embrace with an “I told you so!” and the people nestle there repentant.
When the investment bankers manipulated the market for their personal gain, requiring a trillion dollars in bailout money to cover their losses, there was no real debate: the money was instantly available.
People are dying and going bankrupt from lack of affordable health care, but that, we are told, costs too much money.
Jacob Riis, buried more than a century ago, would not be surprised.
All of his books are in the public domain and may be downloaded freely from Project Gutenberg, HERE.
(One question I am seldom asked is, “So, what are you reading these days?”)
Most statues are of forgotten men who fought forgotten battles in wars I read about in a book. They aren’t things I give a lot of thought to.
If it’s an especially nice statue, I might think to myself, “Hey- nice statue!” but I find it hard to invest much emotion into them– in no small part because of this:
by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822)
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”