Monday, May 30, 2005


happy memorial day everybody.

Don of the Fiat blog asked me some questions about my profile-- although the groundswell of people wanting to know answers to questions about my profile isn't exactly deafening, I thought I'd answer (some of) the questions here, just in case you want to know these things(also, I'm stuck on a topic right now, and I don't know what I could add to the blogospheric conversation regarding the Newsweek fiddly business, the fillibuster sellout, or John Bolton and his frightening mustache that hasn't already been touched upon elsewhere.) So here goes:

The picture at the upper right is of Victor Hugo, the 19th century French novelist. I call on him as inspiration because he was a politically active progressive in his age, when it was a riskier proposition than it is today, the forces trying to again make it a risky propositon notwithstanding. I think the image is from a famous contemporary portrait of him.

And no, I'm not 101-- I'd say I'm in the middle of life(or not quite there yet if I actually make it to 101, which (I think) would be nice, if unlikely.). But don't tell the people at blogger,ok? They keep sending me free stuff like senior's vitamins, bee pollen, coupons for colonoscopy and a truss, and I may need these things someday. Tell you what-- if you want to blackmail me, you can have the truss. How's that?

Yes, I like Herb Alpert and Dumbo. What's wrong with Dumbo? Disney stuff from the 30s and 40s was a whole lot better than latter day crap like Aladdin. I like Dumbo's mother, and the crows:

"well, I heard of a shoe fly, a horse fly,
I even hearda house fly,
but I ain't never hearda no elephant fly."

And I like Mr. Sammler's Planet. I was in the last day of a two week orientation at a certain job that I got in the early 90s when I was reading Sammler. The orientation had different people leading the discussion on different days, and we had one particular person, the last orientation leader, for the last two days. By the end of the first day with this person I figured out that it didn't really matter if I was there or not because of how chaotic and unstructured the whole affair was, and during breaks I was reading the last few pages of Sammler, which much more interesting to me. So after lunch on the last day of orientation I decided to finish Sammler instead, and get back just before quitting time to sign the paperwork. Only I was caught. I was lectured at, but I didn't get into any lasting trouble, although for all I know the incident may still appear in my file.

I have a copy of More Die of Heartbreak, which I bought for a buck(hardback!) at a sidewalk sale. Don says he likes Updike. I also have a copy of The Coup by Updike,which I've had for many, many years. I have a lot of books which I haven't read. One of the reasons I hope there's an afterlife is because I'm a slow reader, am easily distracted, and have a lot of books I'd like to read someday. Yes, I know that must sound like a bizarre reason. I have other more conventional reasons as well, but this isn't the place to discuss them, anymore than it's the place to discuss the likelihood of an afterlife, or lack thereof. My impression is that most God-believing people believe that

there is a god, and

therefore there is an afterlife.

It seems to me that it's just as plausible, if not more plausible that

there is a god, and

there is no afterlife.

I'm not rooting for that contingency, mind you. But it strikes me as perfectly believable.

Ok, so I broke my made-up-as-I-went-along rule. Well, it's my blog.