Oh Me, Oh My

I don’t know how to classify this video. Song … sermon … meditation … chant … ? I ran across a reference to it on the Times, and when the article mentioned that Michael Stipe was doing a background vocal I was curious enough to seek it out and give a listen.

It has an effect on me that is calming, meditative. Somehow it creates a feeling of … I dunno … gratitude.


A week ago I planted seeds in plastic cups from two varieties of tomatoes, and yesterday the first tiny miraculous seedlings emerged. Only 80 more days and we’ll actually have something to eat. Patience is a necessary attribute for a gardener, and it is one in which I am congenitally lacking. A dictionary definition pf patience reads like this:

The capacity to endure what is difficult or disagreeable without complaining


See! There you have it! It’s the “without complaining” part where I fall short. I’ll be nursing these babies along for a month before I can get them off my desk/table and into the ground. By that time the idea of how precious they are will have worn off and I will be weary of the whole process, yet unable to bring myself to toss them into the refuse pile. I will agonize as sun-scorching and blossom end rot wreak their havoc on the developing fruits. I will be pathetically grateful for the 10% of green tomatoes that finally make it to the table and into BLT sandwiches, caprese salads, pasta sauces, etc.

All this bad karma to look forward to and yet I do it every year. I suspect that it may be my version of medieval sinners wearing hair shirts or flagellating themselves. It’s the mea culpa part of my personality.

If you look into the background of this woodcut you can clearly see three tall plants. It’s almost a certainty that they are tomatoes.

There are true gardeners and then there are people who put seeds into the ground and in so doing kill off a package of miracles. I am one of the latter group. Lord have mercy.

The Garden, by Bobby Mcferrin


Clarence Thomas wonders why we are making such a fuss about some billionaire taking him on cruises for weeks at a time. “All this nonsense about lavish vacations and yacht trips … why, if my billionaire BFF came before me tomorrow I wouldn’t be affected one bit by all those things he gave me before I ruled in his favor. Not one bit.”



Watched a very good movie on Netflix … a true story … called The Mauritanian, starring Jodie Foster and Benedict Cumberbatch. All about one man’s incarceration at Guantanamo. He was exonerated after eight years of unlawful imprisonment which included being tortured repeatedly. But it took another seven years before he was set free. That last seven years was during the Obama administration.

Seven years … surely someone must have mentioned this case to Mr. Cool, perhaps one day as he munched on his six almonds or shot a few baskets or during yet another gala White House musical evening. A sorry business, you say? Couldn’t agree more.

You think that I’m being too hard on President Obama, perhaps? I respond, is anyone forced to be POTUS?

If you kick, bite, and chew your way to that high office part of the deal is that you swear to uphold the Constitution. The history of Guantanamo since 9/11 is rife with egregious violations of protections that our Constitution promises. Any president who has the power but can’t be troubled to release a man who was never charged with a crime and in whose case there was no evidence against him gets a big “F” from me on that particular civics project for sure.

There is a line from the Harry Bosch books and television shows that also fits here, I think. When asked why he is pursuing justice for yet another forlorn and inconsequential soul Harry’s answer might be “Everybody counts or nobody counts.” I’ll go with Harry here rather than Barack. Even though Harry is imaginary.

I am reminded of this scene from the movie Judgement at Nuremberg. Burt Lancaster plays a German judge who was highly respected before WWII, but collaborated with the Nazi regime. Spencer Tracy plays a similarly respected American judge who has been presiding over the Nuremberg trials.


Unchained Melody, by Harry Belafonte


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