Friday, November 19, 2010

A Knob of Widgeons

There's a scene around the kitchen table in one of the Godfather movies, probably the second one. They are discussing Vietnam. Micheal reveals that he has signed up for the Marines, after one of his brothers, I think it was Sonny, derided enlistees as saps.

So why did Michael join? It is never explained in the movie. Perhaps it was because he was a psychopath and he wanted to hone his skills.


I keep my laptop computer screen scrupulously clean. Yet I often find that someone has left grimy fingerprints and such on it. I will get a fingerprint-identification kit and find out exactly who has been doing this. Then I will confront them. I will derate them for their slovenliness. I will give them very harsh looks.


"You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot force them to take their Levaquin."


When did such things begin, these new American norms? Was it with the infamous photograph of the naked Vietnamese girl running away from the napalm? Was it when Reagan sold armaments and spare parts to our Iranian foes in order to fund the Contras? Or was it much further back, with the Tuskegee syphilis experiments?

Waterboarding is acceptable now. Pundits openly call for the summary execution of flood victims who have been forced to loot stores to get bread to survive. Material witnesses are detained without charges forever. We bomb weddings.

It was always this way, wasn't it? This is how we are. We are not guided by words on paper. We do not read.


The Union troops could plainly see the mortally wounded Confederate soldier that lay in the field between the opposing forces. They watched as he loaded his rifle, put it to his chin, then fired.

What was the Civil War all about? I do not know. Power, I suppose, like all things. Like the abortion debate. Like tax cuts for billionaires. Like Marshall guitar amplifiers. Like poetry.

Monday, November 01, 2010


Glenn Gould
Anna-Sophie Mutter
Catrin Finch
Eroica Trio
Jan Cizmar