To the Point

There comes a time in every epoch when pragmatism simply evolves into extreme acquiescence and surrender to the forces of apathy and do-nothingness, a guarantor of the status quo in all of its easy, democratic criminality--its fortress of greed.--TL Simons

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Wag: The Boykin Effect

When in Texas do as Texans do. Brawl in the bar.

He'll play, because this is Texas after all and normative.

Helfrich would have sent him home with a sack lunch.  Boykin's coach Gary Patterson is of a sleek Texas breed, old school, and this won't matter.

Sure have been a lot of kids sent home from bowls early this year.

Clemson has sent three home.

Update:  I guessed wrong.  The kid has been suspended and won't play.


Tuesday, December 29, 2015


As I suspected would happen, I've caught mere snatches of the bowl action to date.  It's all good. I'm looking forward to the weekend when the top teams play.

There ought to be a better playoff system, but short of that I like the games and the matchups that are set now.

Another year in the can.  I'm about to turn 65.  Doesn't seem possible. Damn...


Sunday, December 27, 2015

Don't Get Sick

I visited the hospital ER today, and do believe I managed to annoy every nurse in the place by the end of the session.

They seemed all too pleased to see me leave.  They were nice and efficient to begin with, but it didn't last.  I know they got very busy around me.  I entered a nearly empty room, and then got lost in the shuffle as some seriously sick people arrived and the triage grew heavy.  I watched football and waited.

And waited.

There's a lot of stress in nursing, but by my usual standards I felt I was pretty mild with the situation this time.  I think I asked too many questions, made too many requests.

They essentially sent me home with a tube of medicine and said don't come back here.  The dermatologist I visited last week went on vacation Christmas Eve and is gone through the New Year's holiday.

Thanks for the warning, pal.  What happened to a followup?  If there is a rather too-late and untimely one down the road it'll cost me too much cash.  My insurance won't cover back-to-back visits to a dermatologist, which shouldn't have surprised me, I guess.

This is the American health care industry we're discussing here after all.  One, two, three.  Everybody get rich.  Four, five, six. Everybody else, get fucked.

I should have read the fine print.

The nightmare continues...


Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas, Or Just Another Day

It's just another day, a long and sluggish one at that.  It might have been a lot better if I could have traveled out to Minnesota to see my daughter and her family.

Her boy is 7, which is a good Christmas age, and it would have been cool to see him light up as he opened a few gifts.  Christmas is for kids.  All of us jaded elders can appreciate the day for gathering and swapping tales, but really it's for the innocents.

I'm not a Christian, but I have nothing against the holiday--except for its tedium.  I'm not a Christian but I'm all for goodwill and peace on Earth.

Too bad that's such an illusion overall.  One day of it annually isn't going to change anything.

When I was a kid I coveted a Lionel train set for Christmas the way the kid in the popular movie coveted a Red Ryder.

It worked out and I received a nice set, basic really with just a few landscape pieces to give it a little bump. It was solid and well made. I enjoyed that train during the long, housebound winter months in my home town.

I think my mother donated the set after I became bored with it a few years later.  After I graduated from high school my mom sold the shack we lived in and moved into town. Maybe she included the train set in the sale, if she didn't give it away outright.

Naturally I wish I'd kept it.  It really was a nice toy, and there's money in old toys today I hear.

But if I did have it I might not sell it.  I might set it up in my studio in a figure-8 and watch it roll with the same pleasure I did when I was a kid.

You could press an auxiliary switch and the dang thing would toot like a real train.

This winter, like all the others, will drag slowly on.

Merry Christmas to all.


Wednesday, December 23, 2015


Yes, but there really are stupid people out there who cannot--should not--be taken seriously. The increasingly popular idea that we must listen to and appreciate the opinions of the terminally stupid makes no sense.


Tuesday, December 22, 2015


Not to be overly sensitive, but I may already have it. Something is seriously wrong, that is all I can say.

My newest doc suspects an allergic reaction, never an easy issue to isolate.

Unless it's obvious, as when a cat walks into the room and you develop hives.


Saturday, December 19, 2015

Post-Racial America

Wall Street was founded on slavery. African slaves built the physical wall that gives Wall Street its name, forming the northern boundary of the Dutch colony designed to ward off resisting natives who wanted their land back. To formalize the colossal trade in human beings, in 1711, New York officials established a slave market on Wall Street.

Many prominent American banks including JP Morgan and Wachovia Corp made fortunes from slavery and accepted slaves as “collateral”. JP Morgan recently admitted that it “accepted approximately 13,000 enslaved individuals as collateral on loans and took possession of approximately 1,250 enslaved individuals”.

The story that American schoolbooks tell of slavery is regional, rather than national, it portrays slavery as a brutal aberration to the American rule of democracy and freedom. Slavery is recounted as an unfortunate detour from the nation’s march to modernity, and certainly not the engine that drove American economic prosperity. Nothing could be further from the truth.

A lot of serious thought and writing on American race relations is coming to the fore these days, including this lucid piece by Harvard scholar Garikai Chengu.

And this, selected by CP's Jeffrey St. Clair as one of the best books of '15.


Thursday, December 17, 2015


Was never a big Star Wars fan.

I saw the first one and it was definitely underwhelming, didn't bother subsequently.  I don't get it. Star Trek was another one.  I watched a couple of issues on TV, skipped the movies.

I guess blockbusters just aren't my thing. Neither are the super hero comic-book movies.

I wish I had Harrison Ford's hair, however.

I took a book back to the library today and came home with three works of fiction.  Camus' A Happy Death, Achebe's Things Fall Apart, and the lone Bukowski novel I haven't read to date, Ham on Rye.

Cheaper than the movies, and likely more entertaining.



The (Name a Company) Bowl and 39 others are almost here.

I'll probably watch most of them, even if somewhat passively until the better teams play.

I won't miss the Oregon/TCU Alamo Bowl, that I guarantee you.

Oregon found a QB for next year, grad transfer Dakota Prukop out of Montana State.  Good player, stop-gap to give two or three very talented young guys on Oregon's roster a chance to grow into the job. Oregon's dumbest critics are blaming Helfrich for not developing a roster QB this year, as if the old quarterback himself doesn't know what he's doing.

Christ, the coach found Marcus Mariota when nobody else was interested in the Hawaii native.  The real problem was that when Mariota came on the scene as a redshirt freshman everybody could see how good he was.  Nobody Oregon recruited the next couple of years wanted anything to do with sitting for two or three years behind Mariota.

Kids aren't that patient these days.  The recruits are coming around again, though.  Oregon has two good ones in line for next season to back up Prukop, and the second-ranked '17 product, a kid named Ryan Kelley, who is the highest rated QB to ever pledge to Oregon.

I was pissed all year at the "Fire Helfrich" crowd.  The entitlement and sanctimoniousness of a good portion of the fan base was purely ugly.

Amateur hour ruled in some circles.  Loudly.  Obnoxiously.

Helfrich and Scott Frost did a great job once Vernon Adams recovered from his broken finger.

The team's defense is another issue.  We'll see how that plays out post-bowl.  There could be a change, or perhaps not...


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Battle

My new skin doctor told me I was a "real mess" yesterday, but ruled out cancer or organ failure.

I now have a new drug.  Hope it works.


Poem of the Day

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

 S’io credesse che mia risposta fosse
A persona che mai tornasse al mondo,
Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse.
Ma percioche giammai di questo fondo
Non torno vivo alcun, s’i’odo il vero,
Senza tema d’infamia ti rispondo.

Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question ...
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes,
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.

And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window-panes;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair —
(They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”)
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin —
(They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”)
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

For I have known them all already, known them all:
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
               So how should I presume?

And I have known the eyes already, known them all—
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?
               And how should I presume?

And I have known the arms already, known them all—
Arms that are braceleted and white and bare
(But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!)
Is it perfume from a dress
That makes me so digress?
Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.
               And should I then presume?
               And how should I begin?

Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows? ...

I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.

And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!
Smoothed by long fingers,
Asleep ... tired ... or it malingers,
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in upon a platter,
I am no prophet — and here’s no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid.

And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while,
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it towards some overwhelming question,
To say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”—
If one, settling a pillow by her head
               Should say: “That is not what I meant at all;
               That is not it, at all.”

And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while,
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor—
And this, and so much more?—
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:
Would it have been worth while
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the window, should say:
               “That is not it at all,
               That is not what I meant, at all.”

No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool.

I grow old ... I grow old ...
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind?   Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me.

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

T.S. Eliot

Source: Poetry (June 1915).

TS (the other one)

Modern Insanity

The "debate."  As the kids say, LOL.

Only, like, it ain't funny.

I don't think HST would have minded.  Too bad he wasn't there to fill in the gaps.


Saturday, December 12, 2015

Exceptionally Stupid

By now, it is taken for granted that a perpetual war regime like the one we now live under needs wars to fight, and that they can’t all pass under the radar like Obama’s quasi-secret wars in Yemen and in Africa. Every now and then, the military-industrial-national security state complex needs a war that excites the public and themselves. If none exist, it is necessary to create one. With servile media in tow, that is easy enough to do.

Andrew Levine examines one of our exceptional qualities--the most prominent one.


Friday, December 11, 2015


“When sisters sit together, they always praise their brothers.
When brothers sit together, they sell their sisters to others.”

“In my dream, I am the president.
When I awake, I am the beggar of the world.”

Sounds like a good read.


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

One Mother, Two Voices

John Trudell died of cancer yesterday, exactly 35 years after John Lennon was murdered by a madman.


Tuesday, December 8, 2015


It is always something, isn't it?


Sunday, December 6, 2015

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Frost to Central Florida

I think this guy is a good coach and hate to see him leave the Ducks.

But he is ambitious.  Chose a real challenge in rebuilding a recently decent Central Florida team that fell on hard times this season and finished winless.