Unnoticed in Clever Worlds

The clearest description I have managed so far about my blog is that it is not about cats. In general, I find predators pretty predictable while prey on the other-hand, because they live in universes of anxiety, develop more textured personalities. I also have as a writer a deft hand when it comes to making matters worse, so of course , the already panicky are ready made for me. I will try to grow this blog into an assortment of laughs, because that is what my life has mostly taught me to do. I will use the famous people I have known to get your attention and then tell you small but many times wonderful things about them. I will never name the ones I say ugly things about but I hope you will guess who they are.

Month: April, 2015

One Best Friend and a Mechanic

Women are always pretty, auto mechanics never are. I recently had to find a new mechanic. His name is George. Never exchange last names with your car repairman.
My last mechanic left me to return home to Egypt. His family was in line to the throne, and four years ago he seemed to think the time was right to go back. Perhaps given his short-sightedness this was good for me.
One day he was just gone. I kept the tire gauge the owner of the gas station said he left for me. I had to limp back to the Honda dealership, prodigal, apprehensive and bruised.
Men can get through life with one best friend and a mechanic. A woman can’t be a man’s best friend, and neither can a dog. If this fact ruffles women and disappoints dogs, well, they need to suck it up.
Most men, deep down, wish women were more like cars. No man ever refers to his car as “he,” it is always “she.” It makes me wonder if gay men refer to their cars as “he?” I will check Car and Driver Magazine for clarification on this.
My dad was not too much for giving advice, but he made this point to me strictly and often as I grew up. “At fifty-thousand miles you must trade your car in for a new one,” he said. He knew that ruin was in all cars. He knew little more about this mischief because it came from somewhere larger than himself, but he wanted to protect me as best he could.
We boys of the fifties and sixties, all had this kernel of truth, “planned obsolescence”, stuffed into our pockets by our dads.
I think it led inexorably to the high divorce rate of that era. We naturally applied the laws of our fathers to what we loved most, cars and women. Nobody ever explained the difference to us. We forecasted the doom of our marriages in exactly the same way we did for our cars.
Cars and marriages are not complicated if you understand their warranties. At 100,000 miles, you find a good mechanic if you want it to last. At the twentieth anniversary mark in a marriage, you break out the humor that only you two can understand.

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Hot Pittsburgh Summers

Children in the 1950’s were the first ever to have happy childhoods. No kid had had a very good time in that American century until then, what with the World Wars, The Great Depression, and the child labor practices.
My dad was a curious amalgamation of this century’s circumstance. He was born in 1900. He was too young for World War I and too old for World War II. He lived through the Great Depression. The men who lived through these upheavals feared the future, any future.
I lived from two to twelve years old in this decade. I feared polio, my nasty neighbor who was two years older than me and a severe psychotic, the atomic bomb and boners in class that everyone could see. That was about it unless you counted pimples.
I also dreaded my father’s root beer that he brewed in giant metal garbage cans in our cellar. He would bottle it and command we drink it instead of “pop.” My friends would not come to my house because my father would chase them around with the shit.
When my dad decided to solve problems, he did so in large ways. Summers in the suburbs of Pittsburgh would get very hot. A camera shot of our living room could have replaced front covers for The National Geographic Magazine except we were white. My family moved slowly around in near faint,  half-naked in light rags fighting the heat.

My father bought us a fan for the living room. Telescoped, its maximum height was six feet tall, and the blades were at least five feet in diameter. It filled the entire corner. He wedged it behind a chair that no one ever sat in because it did not face the TV. The blades were scrap WWII bomber blades from someone else’s “big” idea.
It rotated slowly around the room like a ghoul in the grade B horror movies of the time. You could feel the apprehension in your testicles as it zeroed in on you. It had a removable screen that shielded you from amputations. The first time my dad turned it on, the suction from behind the fan dragged an entire wall of curtains to it which toppled the behemoth and sent my dad vaulting for the power cord.
I got more warnings about this fan than about anything else during my childhood. ” Do not stick anything through the screens,” he warned. There was nothing that fit that I did not try. The best were sharpened pencils. “Don’t ever run it without the screen on.” Only my being a Methodist prevented me from tossing our pet hamster into it.
On full throttle, this machine made it difficult to walk into the room and nearly impossible to hear the television. The dog whined constantly when it was on.
Within three seconds, it dropped the temperature in the room by forty degrees. On Saturdays, my mother would rig the clothes line from the outside, into the living room, using the fan to dry our laundry. On the very rare occasion, we washed the dog, he would be leashed, in near shock,  close to the angled fan to dry him. If someone’s food was too hot they would hold it to the fan. We ran down from the bath to air dry in it. My dad set off a flurry of fan purchases that summer. Mr dad was a card.

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Moving Art

Is art what moves us or simply something we see when we are moving?

The Grateful Dead Authentication.

Art will never thrive until we understand what it is not.

the dead

How to Raise Young Black Boys

I watched Toya Graham, the mother who beat up her son at the Baltimore riots being interviewed this morning. She is now a worldwide expert on child rearing. The white interviewer was shoveling praise on her for her breakthrough in the proper parenting of young black boys. “You should be the Mother of the Year, ” she fawned.

White people and black people enjoyed that boy getting hit by his mother. “It’s about time someone did something about them,” I heard us thinking. People are loud when they actually think.

White parents are not permitted to hit their kids, so, of course, no one else is either. Our media and our experts have discovered it is not the way. Besides, every parent has after-school programs, summer camps and sit down family dinners of kale and salmon. We also have Ritalin and psychologists and ponderous guilt to use in correcting our child’s behavior. Hitting is never necessary.
Adrian Peterson, the rich football player, was charged with a terrible whipping of his child and was severely punished. Adrian Peterson up to that incident was considered a fine human being. Now he is shunned.
There is little doubt that Adrian took beatings as a child. He understood being black and the danger his kids faced. He was determined to save his son. So was Toya Graham, the “Mother of the Year.”

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On Immigration

I have always found that the best way to handle an influx of strange new people is to remind yourself how much you despise the people who are already here.

The Murdered and Selfish Rich

Democracy works only if Capitalism and Socialism are comrades. Living is no fun unless you feel you can claw your way to the top of something. That stated; life is also unfair and always discriminatory to the vast majority of people, and that, of course, is less fun.  It is the responsibility of Capitalism to provide the help that is needed and to do so without belittling the destitute.
It is the obligation of the Socialists to remind people  that money must come from somewhere and that jealousy might get you elected, but it will never solve your problems.
The Capitalists will not recognise the suffering without prodding. The Socialists will deny the importance of balance, concentrating only on the suffering, unless they are forced to be realistic. This is what government should focus on.
If the Capitalists refuse to be generous, they will be slaughtered by the masses eventually. History is not a stranger to the murdered and selfish rich, but she is far more familiar with the starving poor.

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Goodness: Net or Gross?

I was raised to be secretive about good deeds. I never donate to charities when contacted by them to do so. I don’t give a dollar at the supermarket or movie theatre. I only deliver help, unseen, and I never expect a thank you. I expect my children to behave this way.
I grew up in an ascetic Methodist Church. Tithing was important. The Church says that tithing is “the minimum goal of giving”. It does not specify net or gross. Some people tithe out of their gross income. Many tithe from their adjusted gross income and many tithes out of the after-tax income. The important thing is to begin to tithe. God can always work on the details later.”
I never made enough money back then to be a good Methodist.

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Who I will Be

God must let me choose who I will be next. Otherwise, He has little to contribute to my life and death other than his standard regal indifference.

who are you

Someone’s Wife

Women did not dream, for so long, that someone’s wife would be the first woman President.

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