How to tell a story

How to tell a story

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The positive side

Girl Sets Up Lemonade Stand To Raise Funds For Vet With PTSD, Moves Him To Tears -

The great American fallacy

There is no greater disrespect for individual autonomy, choice and freedom than the practice of advertising. Advertising is driven by the premise that you can be persuaded to need and buy something that had not been on your immediate shopping list. Advertising does not satisfy needs; it creates needs.

Advertising is the very heart and soul of American capitalism. The business of America is business, and the business of business is advertising.

In a culture that truly respected the individual, ads would be replaced by directories. If you wanted something, you easily could find it with a range of choices. But you, and no one else, determined what you needed. Exposure to new products would be in special directories. Advertising as we know it would disappear. I wouldn't have to race through TV ads on our TiVo.

The American system has an engrained mythology about respect for the individual. It's like saying you have freedom of religion as long as you believe in God - there's a catch. Advertising says I know what you need better than you do, so buy my product. There is no greater insult.

Early showdown

USC at Stanford next Saturday afternoon. Go, Nerd Nation!

Mariners blow it

Missed great opportunity last night, playing after Tigers and Yankees already lost. But hitting slump continues. Better snap out of it soon or it will be a long September.

USC is back. They would have crucified UCLA yesterday. Stanford and Oregon also look tough.

Bet Hundley skips senior year and goes pro.

I need a good 5K race. What are Rupp and Cain up to?


Anybody care?

Louisiana Land Being Submerged at a Rate of One Football Field Per Hour, Scientists Estimate

Saturday, August 30, 2014


Feel impending illness ...


College football doesn't excite me as much as it used to. Watched a lot this weekend but I more enjoyed other recent sports, like ...
-the world cup
-the little league world series
-any horse race
-any Mariners gsme

I look forward to the Army-Navy game but the rest doesn't thrill me much. Passes time, that's about it. Game I most enjoyed today was Wyoming-Montana.

No big deal. MLB is really exciting now!

Not the same

Watching football isn't as much fun as it used to be. Too much commerce, not enough game.


UN Calls Out U.S. On Police Brutality -

Not surprised



UCLA doesn't look like a top ten team. But Navy! is giving Ohio St all they can handle.


There's an epidemic of unsolicited advice in the culture: what to wear, eat, listen to, watch, visit, discard, all cleverly pretending not to tell you what to think. The Like Generation needing to be liked by proper group behavior. Worse than the 50s because everyone thinks freedom is expressing an opinion. It's really a consumer dance with corporations playing the music.

Are tough-minded individuals a dying breed?


Moments of my own existential brooding ...

The decline of academia

Give me a break

Oregon is a 52 pt favorite over SDak. Why not schedule a local high school team? It would be more interesting.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Worst of career

Hernandez gave up 4 HR in first half of game. Mariners losing, after Tigers won. The King not rising to playoff race so far, 3rd bad start in row.

Strange game

Nobody wanted to win Villanova-Syracuse game. V had easy major upset but missed 12 yd FG at game's end. S cd win in OT with first and goal at 1  but had to settle for FG and more play. Then at end, V goes for 2 pt. conversion, W or L, and loses 27-26.

Pit bulls owner convicted

Great design

The Yahoo sports app has a terrific design: football games listed vertically with a variety of filters, with play by play updates, so I can follow a large number of games at once - all this with game audio on another app and muted TV on a different game. Wowie.

Auto dubbing

This new technology could make watching foreign films easier

Ah, humanity!

Report: Interrupted Oral Sex Leads to Shots Fired In Pioneer Square

Huge fan!

Paris Review - The Art of Fiction No. 44, John Dos Passos

The Great American Novel

Quotation of the day

"The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting." --Milan Kundera

Blah blah blah

90% of sports commentators get immediately muted in my house. More of these deliverers of gibberish appear every season. One of the dark sides of sports.


Jorge Luis Borges’ 1967-8 Norton Lectures On Poetry (And Everything Else Literary)

O brave new world, or Let me out of here!

A New Idea For Colonizing Space: Send Our DNA, Assemble Ourselves Once We Get There

Thursday, August 28, 2014


I was wondering if my love of the World Cup would change how I respond to Amer football. Nope. Not mutually exclusive. Loving the start of college football season. Pageantry, corruption, pure Americana.

A sane country

Photo exhibit

Labor Day: remembering the Wobblies

A dramatic and musical collage. Perfomed years ago at UU church with General Strike.

Soldier's Joy

Almost have this down ... hope to record in Sept. A joy to play!


Couldn't resist: picked up A History of College Football In 14 Games.


Yellowstone in the Backyard: Time to Declare LA's San Gabriel Mountains a National Monument | Frances Beinecke's Blog

Uh ...

Scientists catch Schrödinger's cat with quantum physics

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Who wouldn't be pissed?

Cops Arrest Black TV Producer Who They Thought Robbed A Bank -

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

What's it take?

60s college students felt the urgency of the Bomb and Vietnam ... why don't today's students feel the urgency of climate change and the Middle East? Why aren't they staging mass protests?

Day late, dollar short


What the hell, let's go shopping!

Talent, OR by RP Thomas

From RBP blog ... where it's been a while since Terry Simons posted a Talent poem.

Faulkner interview (remember him?)

Paris Review - The Art of Fiction No. 12, William Faulkner

A noteworthy accident

King's now famous Letter From Birmingham Jail was first published in The New Leader magazine, for which I reviewed books with some regularity - and, in fact, I have a review in the same issue. One of those interesting accidents.

Sesame whole wheat bread, baked to Caruso


Baking bread, listening to Caruso ... when done, take Sketch for a run.

Hot stuff!

The Feynman Lectures on Physics, The Most Popular Physics Book Ever Written, Now Completely Online


Not long now, o brave new world ...

In Scientific First, Scientists Create Working Organ From Scratch -

Corporate greed

Monday, August 25, 2014

Tempus fugit?

New Quantum Theory Could Explain the Flow of Time

Damn, damn, damn!

Iced coffee! Caraway rye toast! All hand-crafted by myself! Damn, damn, damn!


Flannery O’Connor Explains the Limited Value of MFA Programs: “Competence By Itself Is Deadly”

Scary reality

Eerie Photos Capture Scientists' Reactions To Climate Change -

Remembering the talent

Robin Williams Performed Brilliant Improvised Routine In Response to Question on ‘Inside the Actors Studio’ in 2001

Sunday, August 24, 2014


Hot damn: Incredible footage of Django Reinhardt’s guitar technique

Excellent writer

Read 12 Masterful Essays by Joan Didion for Free Online, Spanning Her Career From 1965 to 2013

Sweep story

No shocker

Mariners sweep at Fenway

A first. Very tough save for Rodney, 40 pitches, Red Sox leave bases loaded. Mariners playing like playoff team most of the time.

Baldwin rules

James Baldwin and Leon Uris: The Lasting Power of the New Narrative

Greed trumps art

God's country

Profiling wrong again


Majority Of Digital Media Consumption Now Takes Place In Mobile Apps

War, Lies and Audiotape

On the 50th anniversary of overwhelming Congressional passage of the Tonkin Gulf Resolution, August 7th 1964, a BBC documentary featuring archival audio of President Johnson and his advisors discussing the complicated and controversial decision to announce an "unprovoked attack" on American ships and the retaliatory strike that followed. President Johnson said "we seek no wider war," but a much wider war followed.


Heard this superb BBC documentary at 2 a.m. Should be on at prime time. The deception is now clear but at the time only senators Morse and Gruning opposed the resolution. What joy and sadness to hear Morse's enraged voice, telling the truth to colleagues who would not listen. Such passion! Where is enraged passion for truth today? We need more Wayne Morses. Warren may be getting close ...


Google Glass-Like Devices That Look As Natural As Sunglasses Are Closer Than You Think

Count me out

The Bionic Age Is Here — Helping People Walk, See, Hear, Breathe — And Creating The First "Superhumans"

Medicine marches on

Yet another ...

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Hope it's true

How coffee could help you keep your teeth

Go, science guy!

I miss them

Guns beget guns

Here's One Theory About Why Cops In America Kill So Many People

Art is dangerous

Our oldest story

Modern times

Woman Vows To Become First Female Jihadist To Kill American Captive -


Not sure either U.S. team can beat South Korea- but I am rooting for Nevada, not Chicago.

Praising Eugene

Create! Eugene inspires a creative life | Emerald Media

Portland project!

This Genius Project Would Create Tiny Homes For People Making Less Than $15,000 A Year -

Friday, August 22, 2014

Skipper says stretch run begins now

Seattle's socialist

Seattle News and Events | Seattle’s Long Road to Socialism

As she told Seattle Weekly last year, “Growing up in India, the experience of seeing the deep contrast between extreme wealth in the hands of a tiny elite and massive poverty and misery on the other end, I think it was inevitable for me to ask the logical question of: ‘How can it be that we have so much poverty and misery when it’s clear that from a standpoint of wealth and technological innovation we are perfectly capable of eliminating it?’”


(USA) :: All newspapers at your finger tips

Here is the link to the app :

Mariners story

Mariners stun Red Sox 5-3 with two-out rally in 9th inning |

Mariners losing momentum

2nd bad start in a row for Hernandez, not a good trend for a wild card run.

But offense comes to life in 9th ... score 5 and win!

Chaplin and Agee

Subtitle of John Wranovics' book is "the untold story of the tramp, the writer and the lost screenplay." This is misleading. There is no lost screenplay but rather a lost opportunity to collaborate on a treatment Agee wrote with Chaplin in mind. It's a dark post-nuclear war story, expressing Agee's moral outrage at Hiroshima.

Chaplin and Agee, more mutual admirers than friends, became closer after Agee praised a late Chaplin film disliked by almost everyone else. The project never got far but this book publishes Agee's treatment and notes and does a good job of telling Agee's growing obsession for collaboration in the context of the times.

Big sports weekend

Sat. = U.S. and Int. finals in LLWS, then final between winners on Sun. Sat. also starts college fball with E. Wash. game. Tempus fugit.

OyamO: 2 plays, interview, remarks

As relevant as Ferguson's headlines. A favorite playwright of mine.


In the fall, Brecht's plays are coming out in Kindle editions. Outstanding.

American sounds

I love the sound of baseball on the radio, which is a thoroughly American sound, like jazz, but of an America that's been fading for some time now. But in the time remaining to me, I will enjoy the SOUND of baseball as much as possible.

Battle of the covers

50 shades of murder

Man, nothing like a beheading to upset Americans! On the other hand, we love showing videos of smart bombs hitting their targets, BAM!, those folks are toast!

Sometimes I think the likes of Swift, Twain, Mencken, Lehrer, have let the human species off too easily.


World's Largest Ice Sheets Melting At Fastest Rate Ever Recorded -


As Labor Day approaches, I begin to feel Relief as a consequence of retirement: no Fall term class prep to do!

No one seems to know who they hired to replace me - except not my recommendation, to their great loss. They blew it.

Thursday, August 21, 2014


'Isn't Losing An Eye Enough?' Battered Veterans Struggle To Restart Lives -

Zero sum universe

College football just ahead. Unfortunately, this brings more pundits than usual out of the shadows to fill the air with noise.


H just got tickets for 2 in Sept, Madam Butterfly and Don Giovanni ... looking forward to seeing both again.


Remind you of something?

Nevada deserves credit


Excuses, excuses.

Seems the media no longer can tell a story without hype, exaggeration and exclusivity. Consequently many other stories get ignored, such as the Nevada team, here for the very first time after decades of trying, a considerable powerhouse of a team, clearly the favorite to go to the final, whose 8-1 manhandling of Mo'ne and Philly was their closest game in the series so far. No one has come close to giving them a game. How about putting them on the cover of S.I.?

Fortunately Mo'ne appears to have a head on her shoulders, isn't taking the attention too seriously, and wants to play basketball, not baseball, at the Univ of Conn. More power to her.

This culture's star syndrome sucks.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Big LLWS game tomorrow

Lady sensation pitches against powerhouse Nevada ... should be fantastic.

Where I wish I was

But since I'm not, and won't be soon, I enjoy what's around me.

The romantic left

There's a faction of progressives who identify with the Wobblies and a time when considerable support came from the working class. That dynamic faded with the rise of the middle class after WWII. When you have something, you tend to protect it. In the sixties, blue collar workers did not embrace the New Left. The Marxist fantasy of a rising working class wasn't in the cards then, and the romantic left looked pretty silly.

But this may change as rich and poor move apart if two other issues don't hijack the more central economic disparities: race war; and a war between native born and immigrants.

Effective radical movements here have been driven by immigrants not raised on American mythology. Will it happen again?

1 x 1

Nice feedback on my Robin Williams piece: "Perfectly said." Clearly a minority view, so nice to get this.

I hope I never face a situation like that. If I get something, I want it terminal so I qualify for medication. I hate the self-righteous bullshit of our medical institutions.

Fix this!

What Happened When A Student Told Her Campus Health Center She Was Sexually Assaulted -

Rare coach?

Little League World Series Coach Perfectly Explains Why It's OK To Lose -

In general, LLWS coaches have not impressed me.

The radical delusion

Radicals over-estimate their appeal to "the people." The imported Ferguson anarchists and others eager to fight the police are probably surprised by the vehemence of locals telling them to get out of our town. Even here there is a racial element: local black leaders telling visiting white radicals to beat it and do your revolution somewhere else.

What happens next?

This question is the engine of drama. It also drives little league baseball - you never know what some kid is going to do next. Texas had Philly beat - until their shortstop threw the final out into the stands. Errors are an important contributor to outcome. Part of the game. Frustrating - but also dramatic.

Monday, August 18, 2014


Little league kids are so much more inspiring than non-peaceful protestors and over-kill authority powers.

I need to reread some Jonathan Swift for the perspective sanity of it. I need to recharge my cosmic sense of humor.


Not impressed with Ferguson coverage from networks, cable, liberal blogs, conservative blogs, it's all pretty much knee jerk reactions. Most sensible words I've heard come from local black clergy.

Robin Williams' existential crisis

Pure speculation: but this makes sense to me. Williams did not want to face the consequences of Parkinson's and had no option, in our uncaring culture, but to take his life.

But the disease is not terminal, you say. But it is as far as W's persona is concerned. What made Robin Williams himself? A frantic wit and intelligence delivered with rapid fire speech. The very thing Parkinson's would attack and kill. Survivors of the disease are visible, W well knew what his future would be.

So he had a choice: to continue with a different persona; or to call it quits, refusing to compromise his sense of self and well being. This is a perfectly understandable and legitimate dilemma. The choice is his and no one else's. However, our medical institutions do not accept the choice as legitimate. Williams would get no help if he chose to die as himself, his persona. This is what happened.

In a caring, humane culture, it would have happened differently. He would have taken his concerns to his doctor and psychiatrist. He would have told them his decision - and for this reason alone, in a culture with genuine concern for individual freedom and dignity, he would have been given terminal medication.

Maybe he then would have shared the news with us, given a last concert, a farewell wake, but whatever he did, he would leave us sanely, honorably, courageously, a free man, and not have to take off his belt as if he were a deranged criminal.

The criminal is our hypocritical culture with its lip service to individual freedom and dignity.

Thriller ... Mo'ne pitches next

Taney Dragons Come From Behind On Final Out To Beat Texas, 7-6:

Why we write plays

Because history has so few surprises, i.e. repetitive, dramatically boring. Even at that, we learn nothing from it. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014


San Gabriel Mts from Pasadena City College:

Lesson plan

Michael Eric Dyson spells it out for white people: Police won’t ‘kill your child’:

Baseball fun

Mariners and two LLWS games on, trying to follow them all!

AP football poll

Oregon #3, UCLA #7, Stanford #11.

A little bliss

Beautiful day, empty house, baking bread, Mariners with lead in day game, Sketch mellow ... nice.

Never forget, Mr. Citizen

You live in a country where someone can execute a coup d'etat and get away with it. Such power does not fall easily or, historically, without great bloodshed.

And then short term improvement gets infected by its own power, and the cycle begins anew.

Individuals can break the cycle. I don't know if nations can.

Liberal optimism

Remembering mom

Oregon's Wizard Island Is Pure Magic -

A favorite place for my mother to visit.

The human spirit

If you avoid pop culture and do a little research, it's surprising how many first rate (usually unknown) books you can find. If books actually could change the world, it would have changed long ago. Readers change the world - or not.

In retirement I finally have time to discover, read and consider great expressions of the human spirit, long forgotten. I'll mention some from time to time.

I'm also finding a few contemporary authors to whom I respond, the most impressive to date being Brad Warner, a punk rock musician turned trained Zen master. His long interview with a bright, articulate porn queen in his book Sex, Sin And Zen is extraordinary.

From Warner:
Sorry to burst your bubble. Not even total and complete enlightenment will fulfill you. It didn’t work for Buddha, and it ain’t gonna work for you, no matter what the guy running the get-enlightenment-quick seminars tells you!

Verbs and nouns

From a dramatic point of view, history is boring because it's repetitive with few surprises. The verbs of history seldom change. The nouns change.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

10K thriller

40-Year-Old Runner Wins Record-Breaking Gold Medal With Breathtaking Performance -


Jupiter and Venus will align almost completely on Monday

Serious sky observers will want to set their alarms before dawn Monday, Aug. 18, when Jupiter and Venus - the two brightest planets in the northern skies - do a little astronomical two-step called a conjunction.

Read more here:

Friday, August 15, 2014


The lady can pitch!

Mo'Ne Davis Leads Taney Dragons To Victory In World Series Opener With A 4-0 Shutout:

Genius and courage

"The Tramp and the Dictator" is a documentary about Chaplin's making of The Great Dictator. Extraordinary story, process, result.


The Guy Who Invented Pop-Up Ads Says 'I'm Sorry' -

The awful truth


Ferguson Was A Ticking Time Bomb. This Man Defused It. -

In praise of fried squash blossoms

6 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Zucchini -

Like tasty hotcakes!

Murder by any other name

Robin Williams and Parkinson's

Early stages of Parkinson's. Maybe it's this simple and focused: he didn't want to go through it. Sure, there's treatment and there are living models of how that works. Maybe it wasn't for him. It wouldn't be for me.

In a humane, caring culture that doesn't engage double-speak, a culture that respected the individual and truly valued "death with dignity," Williams would tell his doctor, I do not want to live with this decline in quality. Help me. And the doctor would give him life-ending medication. He wouldn't be forced into the indignity of using a belt.

The real indignity is ours, with our claims to care about individual freedom and death with dignity.

Pope's potential

Pope Francis' Message To South Korea: Resist The Allure Of Materialism -

He needs to lead a march on Wall Street.

Tennessee Williams

Inside Tennessee Williams's Diary -


FLASHBACK: Ferguson Cops Beat Innocent Man, Charged Him For Bleeding On Their Uniforms -

Night and day


New top cop marches with, hugs protesters. No armor, no swat team, no problem.

Trouble ahead? Potential prosecutor of shooter condemns change. 3 witnesses consistent, suggest first degree murder. Will prosecutor make charge? Will Feds? Still much possibility of injustice.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Against the grain

This Is What Happens When Artists Take Over An Abandoned Building In Detroit -

Where is the outrage?

If Sen. Wayne Morse were commenting on Ferguson, he would be red in the face with outrage at police misconduct and overkill! Our President fails us in his measured criticism.

LLWS begins

Double elimination. Washington/Lynnwood opens against Illinois/Chicago team batting .473. Ouch!

p.s. Wash. loses 12-2.


Post-racial America, Ferguson edition:

"At the Bundy ranch, white anti-government militia wanna-bes pointed loaded firearms at federal employees and law enforcement officers in the support of a criminal, and nothing happened.

"In Ferguson, MO, a young African American was killed by a police officer for jaywalking, and the city and county police have attacked the mostly African American citizens with baton rounds, tear gas, armored vehicles, and riot gear while threatening them with automatic rifles.

"Where are all the 2nd Amendment open carry zealots to defend people who are actually under attack by an out of control government?"

Seabiscuit' s comeback

The greatest in sports history?

Brave new world

Soon We'll All Be Having Sex With Robots, Maybe: Scientist -

Is it?

Sen. Elizabeth Warren: 'This Is America, Not A War Zone':

Could be better, could be worse

The future?

Getting worse

Al Jazeera Crew Hit With Tear Gas In Ferguson -

Seattle pitching

Ain't it the truth

Try Setting a Good Example Abroad After Ferguson, America:

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


A sweep! On to Detroit to break the wild card tie.

Law & order

It's Perfectly Legal To Film The Cops -

"Reilly and Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowrey were detained and assaulted after attempting to film a swarm of police officers inside a McDonald’s. An officer slammed Reilly's head into a glass window, and Lowery was shoved into a soda fountain while wearing press credentials around his neck. Both were later released without being charged with breaking any laws.

“They essentially acted as a military force,” said Reilly, who was in the restaurant to charge his phone and computer. “It was incredible.”

Historical grammar

A long view of the news/olds suggests that the verbs never change; the nouns change. Same actions/behavior, different players.

Alma mater

UCLA And 75 Other Colleges Are Now Under Investigation -


Pianist Plays Beethoven's 'Für Elise' In An Airport, Drops Our Jaws In The Process -

Poetic justice

Anti-Gay Crusader's Wife Left Him For... A Woman -

Brad Warner

Stumbled across a book by this punk rocker Zen dude - really enjoy his humor and take on life! He used to write a Zen column in a Gothic girlie mag, to suggest how unorthodox he is. But he makes sense to me.

Mental illness

Robin Williams' suicide has genersted a lot of discussion about mental illness. As a result, an argument as old as mankind itself has surfaced: is mental illness about chemical imbalances or about wrestling with demons?

Both, I say. But it's the psychological aspect that gets dismissed or over-simplified. The same attitude that embraces the chemical explanation includes a kind of scientific arrogance that has short term answers often leading to long term disasters. We put in dams. Oops, a mistake, we blow them up.

Poets are less confident than scientists and more easily accept mystery. Poets ask for the reenchantment of the world. To say a sensitive artist like Williams did not wrestle with demons is to reveal an appalling insensitivity to the human condition.

Once we used to give poets shock therapy and labotomies, and congratulated ourselves for being progressive and humane. We are no wiser today, just use more advanced and more dangerous tools.

Norman O. Brown nails the conflict: the tradition of Protestant literalism v. poetic reality. Our culture dismisses the deep power of metaphor.

Updike on Cheever

John Updike Beautifully Explains How Difficult It Was To Read John Cheever's Tortured Journals:

Off my butt

Before my go-anywhere-on-anything bus pass expires in October, I need to go exploring. Take the AlphaSmart, that old plan. Find something new I enjoy around here. Take the Bloggie, get pictures. Get off my butt! for something other than packing boxes, walking the dog. Go to new suburban places. Start sooner rather than later.


With a house guest, feels like vacation - except every day should feel like this by virtue of retirement. Not sure I'll have any more boxes ready for Friday but that's okay.

A mellow morning, jazz on my radio app, just hanging out in the bedroom.

Woman mathematician wins major prize

Interesting reflection

Robin Williams, Hamlet and the Undiscovered Country -

Against the grain

25 year age difference between Bacall and Bogart when they married - oh for shame! certain knee jerk observers cry out - but heard on radio this morning an eloquent, intelligent assessment of her very happy marriage by Bacall, and to hell with the politically correct fuddy duddies who lose sleep over such nonsense.

43 games ...

... left in the season. Seattle after that #2 wild card spot. So far, so good.

Love seeing the faces of Seattle fans when they are winning. Love being among them, love the ballpark. Too tight a budget for that today but can cherish the earlier visits. Love Seattle.

Just can't seem to get into Portland these days. Feel like being here is living in a low security prison. Never warm enough, long enough.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Tied with Detroit for wild card#2! And soon go to Detroit on next road trip. Go, Mariners!

R.I.P. Lauren Bacall

House guest

One of H's oldest friends is visiting from St. Louis and will stay here for a few days - sleeping in the art studio, in our small home. Change of pace.

Buttermilk bread in the oven. Caraway rye in the hopper. Baking bread is therapy.

Uploading a feature to Vimeo. Time consuming!

Sad about Williams. I still find great joy in my life, despite the horror that surrounds me. As I wrote in a song in the sixties, "the inside of my head is my country."

The Heirs on Vimeo

Sunset Hearts on Vimeo

Baking bread

The sanest thing I do.

Police state 102

Journalists Threatened By Police While Covering Michael Brown Killing -


Robin Williams In 'Dead Poets Society' Inspired A Generation -


In a sane world, a man would eat a real tomato daily and see the Milky Way nightly. I could do that once upon a time. Terrible things to lose.

Monday, August 11, 2014

SEA 11 TOR 1

Wow! Loved this, Seattle home fans really loved it. Let's do it again tomorrow.

Police state 101

Police are blocking media from entering town in Ferguson, Mo.

West Texas

No section of the country has less external street light, and therefore less interference to star gazing. I easily could live there! Who gives a damn about politics if you can see the Milky Way? We've lost cosmic perspective with star-killing cities.

I'd rather observe in wonder the grandeur of the heavens than the baffling self-destruction of so much human behavior.

Sports in America

Steubenville Rapist Returns To School Football Team -

Dead Poets Society

The King against Blue Jays

Big game tonight re wild card race.

R.I.P. Robin Williams

Hey, Republicans!

Shut up about Obama's vacations.

How sadly true

'The War is Not Over': Many Vietnam Veterans Still Afflicted by PTSD:

Changing reality

White blinders

We're Not a Post-Racial Society: We're an Innocent-Until-Proven-Racist Society:

Good idea, fat chance

Rooting for her

Throws Like A Girl: Mo'Ne Davis, 13, Leads Philly Team To Little League World Series:

Pissing against the wind

The Death With Dignity Center, a big national institution, responded to my inquiry. They have NEVER heard of anyone wanting to expand eligibility requirements beyond terminal with six months to live.

Talk about feeling alone with an opinion! My two best friends agreed with me but they're gone.

 I suppose I need to  prepare to cover my ass in a worst case scenario. This really, really pisses me off, no less than it pissed Welch off at the end of his last poem. This makes my last years more stressful than they have to be.

This culture's moral values make no sense ... quick to bomb the shit out of "enemies," but outraged to help out an old citizen who has decided it's time to pass on.

I hate being painted into a corner just because I choose to make my own decisions about life and death issues. As JFK once said, And we call ourselves the human race.

I've been so blessed, I hate to ask the gods for one last favor - but I have to. Keep me from being put on the spot.


Another VVA pickup Friday. 5 boxes ready so far, bringing total to over 40. Harriet slowing me down with all her stuff she insists on going through personally. Consequently we might not be done in a year.

A real tomato!

Nothing like a slice of real tomato on toast, in this case my olive bread. You have to make an effort to get a real tomato today ... grow it yourself, a friend's garden, a farmer's market ... forget the supermarket.

Whatever happened to quality control in the food industry? Oh I forgot, this is progress.

My best five digital films



Foreign policy

U.S. Bombing Own Weapons in Iraq:

We need a Jonathan Swift to write about this stuff.

Live music in SF

An endangered entity. Venues being converted to condos or condos built nearby with new noise issues raised. Continuing class war at root. Artistic, bohemian, poorer classes under seige. Happening everywhere.

Book vending machine ...

... in Turkey. Sent by Lena, former grad student of mine.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Shock is the new normal

How many times a week does a story about some neighborhood horror or other - murder, suicide, rape, abuse, severe vandalism - include interviews with shocked neighbors who say, I can't believe something like this can happen here.

Well, neighbor, that's because you haven't been paying attention.

Stone's film shows this dramatically

Bob Woodward: Nixon Was Driven By 'Hatred' & 'Personal Revenge' :

Little League World Series

Starts Thursday ... I'm rooting for Washington, Nevada and Pennsylvania, who has a girl star pitcher.

Ed Edmo

TS brings to mind the Indian poet ...

I went into detox for a week before going into VA treatment - and there was Edmo! He held the Portland record for most visits to detox. Edmo took me under his wing to avoid chores, get seconds at meals, all sorts of things.

We sat together during required acupuncture. Wish I had a photo: a poet and a playwright with pins in their ears and eyebrows. I crack up thinking about it.

The Color of Light

I usually don't like novels about writers but an exception is William Goldman's The Color of Light, which influenced me as a young writer with its refrain of "it's all material." I picked up a clean hard cover for 50 cents. Curious how it ages.

Goldman is high on my list of admirable writers for one reason: the first screenwriter of choice, he turned down $1 million to write The Godfather script, saying he would not participate in the glorification of criminals.

Another typical Sunday


Why expand Death With Dignity?

The purpose of Oregon's act is to provide "a humane and dignified manner" of death - but only for those with a terminal illness. This greatly compromises the humaneness and dignity of the bill because there are other reasons for an old person to want to pass on and without the assistance of this law we force him to choose among illegal, demeaning and difficult options. It's disgraceful.

In fact, life itself is a terminal illness! Obviously terminal. And if you don't believe human behavior is an illness, you are an illiterate observer of history.

This act is a gesture in the right direction but also is an insult to a truly humane and dignified offer. It's a tad Orwellian, suggesting All seniors are equal but some are more equal than others.

We should set an age after which ANYONE is eligible for terminal medication.