Charles M. Blow Has No More F*cks To Give

So he’s laying it right out there, since too many missed it the first four thousand times.

Bill Clinton had a number of cowardly moments, but one that really stuck in my craw was the whole “didn’t inhale” garbage. The first POTUS to admit he was going to let the powerless rot in jail for ages because of a harmless “crime” he had committed himself. That’s a new level of hypocrisy and indifference to the weak.

Not as evil as the original establishment of the “War on Drugs” of course, which I brought up in my second point back here.

I fell short when I forgot that there was a confessed tyrannical agenda behind these irrational “wars.” And I see how it worked. Operating in total ignorance, my parents thought maryjuana was Satan incarnated in a plant.

The Fundamental of Racism

This Michael Eric Dyson essay is essential reading. I remember coming across the LBJ quote when it was recent and thinking “So THAT explains it.” Why in the hell was I not hearing that in my classroom rather than “Mumble, mumble, slavery was wrong and evil but it was a long time ago and if we aren’t having race riots in town here you don’t have to worry about it.” Unfortunate traces of that “lesson” explains why I was so shocked at the blatant bigotry I encountered in Boston: the metropolitans were supposed to be more sophisticated, not more bestial.

The Eternal Truths Just Keep Coming

No matter how clever or slyly eclectic an international music fusion is, if the recording centers on a voice, the same old, same old question is all that matters: “does the singing transcend language?”

No-budget recording will hamper an album no matter how much it combines obscure release and admirable taste (and even execution).

Grace for Lady Grace

Retail is tough. Everyone can do their best and still come up short. Several businesses are leaving our closest retail center. Don’t feel the same about all of them (the less said about Panera Bread the better), but there’s a tinge of sadness about Pier 1 and, especially, Lady Grace.

The store display windows were discreet enough you wouldn’t suspect their emphasis on lingerie, but they featured what I consider my Mother’s biggest breakthrough idea: there was a shortage of fashionable clothes for older women. You shouldn’t have to choose between inappropriate youngster-imitation and frumpy. I thought Lady Grace did an especially good job with such outfits and sensed it was a place where Mother would have been glad to work.

But the same tides of taste affected both Pier 1 and Lady Grace. The accessories, decorations, furniture and doo-dads in Pier 1 were ahead of their time in quality and affordability when I first encountered the store. But it’s now an outdated form of funky-but-fun. And likewise, the past couple-three years, Lady Grace has looked more out-of-step than before. Happens often. But like I say, it’s tough.

Memorials

A tough ceremony. I haven’t always socially remembered the passing of friends. A best bud from high school died tragically in a car wreck but (a) we had been out of touch since the teen years — and in your mid-20s that can seem like a long, long time and (b) I was too broke to travel back to MT more than once a year. Another dearest friend was just not the memorial-havin’ type. A merciless disease too soon and suicide generate the most agonizing rituals.

Oddly, I’ve had the same superstitions as this writer, that cataloging every near-death experience I can remember might trigger a terminal event. But, while we can debate the triteness of the idea, I do buy the notion that, as long as somebody remembers you, evokes you even in their mind, you are not entirely gone.

Dude, How Can you Misspell When You’re CARVING the Letters?

But, it does happen. Here’s my story:

When we went in to pick out a headstone for my mother, I was shocked spitless to see a finished gravestone for my high-school track coach, who had passed several years before (quite young by today’s standards).

“What the hell is that about? I knew him!”

“Uh, we got the dates wrong …”