Do Not Try This At Home. These Are Professionals.

The Republicans in the House of Representatives have been giving us a lesson in civics this past week. The lesson is: Don’t do what we are doing!

It’s what happens when you begin giving in to the worst elements of your party, thinking that you can use them today and ignore them tomorrow. Except that when tomorrow comes and you keep doing it and doing it … well, eventually you get the mess that they are in. Because those fringe-style folks don’t want to run things any other way than theirs. Compromise is re-minted as a four-letter word.

The pundits and the chattering classes have been asking repeatedly: What does Kevin McCarthy stand for and what are his political beliefs? The answers that they have come up with seem to be that he stands for Kevin McCarthy, and has no firmly held beliefs other than that to be re-elected is a good thing.

That’s not enough to whip up much enthusiasm, apparently.



I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that I am living proof of the old saw “There’s no fool like an old fool.” This past week I have immersed myself in the music of Tori Amos. Don’t bother to ask why … it’s today’s whim. But her songs are not easy listens, nor are they hummable. So why relive the angst that better belongs to another part of life, a long time past? That’s where the fool part comes in.

I should be leaning up against a bodhi tree in a cow pasture, reveling in the serenity that age is supposed to bring. Focussing on the beauty of the bee in the flower.

Instead I persist in getting myself all worked up about the vagaries of life and the fleeting qualities of past loves.


For instance, Marjorie H. never returned the passion that I felt for her. But we were only eight years old, so I forgave her her limitations.

I suspect that Judy M. never noticed how many times I bicycled past her home, going first this way and then that. I lived in hope that she would step out her front door and discover the dashing twelve year old ready to slay dragons and happily toss his cape over puddles for her. But she never did. I forgave her for her ignorance.

When Kathleen T. chose to trade me in on the boring stiff she eventually married, well, that was not a good week for a 16 year-old heart, but … what could I say … I forgave her for her huge lapse in judgment.

(I begin to see a pattern here…)

So Tori sings of fathers and mothers and assaults and many more of the confusions and alienations that being alive packs in your bag. I don’t know whether my rekindled outrages and angsts are appropriate for a man of my years or not. But, as I frequently have to tell myself, if you hurt somewhere it means at the very least that you are still sentient.

China, by Tori Amos


George Santos, a newly elected representative from New York has admitted to telling a long list of fibs in order to be elected. Today he admits that he isn’t even George Santos, but part of an alien vanguard sent from the planet Pinocchio VII to reconnoiter our world.

“That’s why I’ve come up with so many croppers … I have no idea what I’m talking about. I’ve only been here on Earth for two opteks, so give me a break! How well do you think YOU would do if you washed up on MY home planet?

When pressed, he revealed that his real name is Cfhhhvnxm. Which, roughly translated, means Charmin Plus.



The Canada geese can’t quite decide what to do. When the bomb cyclone hit up north, they came down as far as Paradise, where they found mellower temperatures and much less snow cover on their food sources. So they stayed. But they still get up every day and mill about making a great squawk, while flying in no particular direction.

I don’t mind. Is there a lovelier sight than a “V” of geese passing overhead following routes that go back a bazillion years? It’s a direct visual connection to a life we don’t live any longer. Where we were much closer to the rhythms of rain and earth and air.

Once in a great while I will smell the faintest hint of that existence, on a chilly November morning when I seriously need to turn up my collar against the wind and there it is. Archetypal memory … why not?

Hunters claim that they are out there to make that connection, but no one needs a gun in their hands to do this. What the hunter is there for is unutterably sad. When all that is necessary is the will to be quiet for a few moments. It may be that humans have evolved as far as they are going to go. That we can never fully divorce ourselves from violence and murder against other creatures and against our own species. But if we could, I think our earth would be the better for it. It’s just my guess, you know, because we’ve never really tried it.

The Cry of the Wild Goose, by The Easy Riders


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