Bloodbath

People forget what an extremist Ronald Reagan was. He wasn’t a kindly old man who told funny stories, he was a demagogue who wanted to end political unrest by slaughtering all the hippies:

“If it’s to be a bloodbath, let it be now.”

Later he claimed that “bloodbath” was just a figure of speech. I’ve never heard anyone else use “bloodbath” as a figure of speech. Certainly the National Guard at Kent State didn’t use it that way.  They loaded their rifles with live ammunition, took aim, and fired.

Of course this is the same man who, when called out for telling a joke denigrating Poles and Italians, claimed that he was merely giving an example of the sort of thing he personally did not find funny.

So I don’t think telling the truth was of particular importance to him.

And I don’t think our current political climate is an aberration.

It’s more of a culmination.

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If Donald Trump is ever called to testify, listen for the sound of steel balls clacking together.

Special

If you could travel back in time and kill Hitler as an infant, would you?

I’ve been asked that question before, and my answer is always “It wouldn’t matter.”

The question presupposes that Hitler was a remarkable, irreplaceable human being, and I don’t think that’s accurate. I think he was an idiot.

And in an alternate time-line, where infant Adolf is murdered in his crib, I believe the same societal forces that forced that idiot to the front would just force some other idiot to the front.

He wasn’t that special.

Paisley

Grief is a weird thing. It can hit you out of nowhere.

I was in Stein Mart last week and found a wonderful paisley shirt, and as I was heading towards the checkout it suddenly hit me that the only other person who would be as excited about this shirt as I was would have been my mother, but she’s gone.

So I didn’t get the shirt, and it knocked me down for a long, long time.  It’s strange to consider that something as simple as a pretty shirt can light the tinder.

Anyway.

Mona and I went to see ELO in Dallas Monday night, and I was still so depressed we almost didn’t make it.  Mona was ready to punt and drive me home.  But I did rally enough to make it into the venue, and once we there we both had a great time. The crowd sang, danced, and were totally immersed in the experience.  This was Jeff Lynne’s first tour in thirty years, and he hasn’t lost a step.

It was healing.

I’m happy not knowing

I remember reading an article one time that confidently stated, “Well, we now know who Jimmy Durante’s ‘Mrs. Calabash’ is,” and I was a little disappointed. I enjoyed the secret. But then I did a quick internet search, and found a site that named a different person, and a third that named a third person.

I suppose that’s the best of all worlds: the people who need an answer think they have one, the people who enjoy the mystery know they don’t.

I’m happy with a little mystery.  I don’t want to know what happened to Emilia Earhart, or the true identity of D.B. Cooper, or the final disposition of Jimmy Hoffa. I want to believe that Ms. Earhart circled back and lived a long and happy life with a secret lover, that D.B. Cooper enjoys a prosperous new life somewhere in the wide open spaces, that Mr. Hoffa entered the witness protection program with one hell of a cover story.

And I’d also like to believe that Elvis is hiding in plain sight as an impersonator in a kitschy wedding chapel in Las Vegas, eating peanut-butter-and-banana sandwiches and laughing himself to sleep every night.

There’s hope in “maybe.”