Friday, November 25, 2005

Great Tidings

It is, I think, significant that certain days stand out in memory and beckon for our attention and reflection. We purpose them, plan them and then, counter intuitively, allow our plans to unfold, acknowledging in so many words that plans are (very routinely) lists of things that do not happen. And these plans and the reality that follows them quickly become the stuff of myth and legend. The thanksgiving dinner, when the daughter of your second cousin turned the heat up on the stove and browned, blackened and burnt the Bird beyond recognition as the until-that-moment-quiet nephew began to pour gravy into the sweet potatoes, quietly begs to be recounted over Thanksgivings present and future. The road trips to homes of friends and family, which began in earnest and ended in cheap motel rooms, sadly picking away at KFC drumsticks as we imagined that heroic bird, great and glistening, laid to final rest upon the dinner table to be drawn and quartered before the family, still await us through unsuspecting short cuts and diversions. These days we set aside to celebrate human virtues (gratefulness, giving, sacrifice, honor) become and remain so (in the heart and mind of this reporter) only by the effort we exert to honor the values for which they stand. In that spirit, I would like to share my thanks for those that have stood by me, beaten me when I needed it, lifted me when I could not walk, encouraged me, laughed with me, shared time and money and shoulders. I am, in short, inexhaustibly grateful to you: my friends and family. I hope this Thanksgiving found you well, with full bellies and loosened belts and leftovers on speed dial. Nurse your bellies, all of you.

Shalom.

Monday, November 14, 2005

"W"it

I must have some repressed self-loathing, because my brain unleashed a fury of W’s drivel in my dream last night. I wish I could remember more of it, but the only phrase that remains (and picture him with his usual…

--I wish I could describe this particular expression more concisely, but I can’t quite reduce it to those few and precise words that would normally form a well-crafted insult (and, in this case, purely objective observation). It’s that look when he leans forward on a podium, eyes staring hazily forward as his brain fumbles for any series of words that could comprise competent speech, almost as if he expects the audience to gaze at him with admiration as he stares down with non-comprehension, asphyxiating arrogance, and something between conceit and pert ignorance, that fills you with rage at the man; for not only is he an idiot, but he clearly has opposite delusions about the same fact. It’s more than the vacancy between his ear canals, though; it’s the utterly false assumptions that he seems to possess about his own character and the character of his audience. I could rant for pages on this frustrating flaw in his moral and intellectual fiber. When he announced his Harriet Myers appointment to the Supreme Court (if you saw this clip on the news, you’ll know exactly the look that I want to capture) he said, (I paraphrase), “The best idea I’ve heard in a long time is to appoint someone to the judicial seat who has never been a judge (or practiced real law).”

…back to the dream) clear is, (W’ concluding his speech), “…so I figured if I can’t win an argument, maybe I can win a war.”