Stars & Stripes

There is a spirited debated among my circle of friends. The basic question is ‘Can you consider yourself a good parent if your child has not seen ‘The Princess’ Bride?’

I come down strongly on the side of no on that question. You might be a fine parent in many other aspects, but declining your child of this gem is borderline criminal. 

But that is not what I meant to write about today.

Life remains super busy for me. But strangely, I feel blessed. Lucky. Lucky for my family and friends and able to take care of myself in a world that increasingly makes no sense. As the craziness of a corrupt Supreme Court and global warming and wealth inequality mounts around us, I am learning to be a little more detached. Not uninterested and not fully disengaged, but emotionally focusing on my own things. I will vote. Of course. That is what I can do. If a revolution comes, I will be ready. But if a long slow steady decline of this society comes, I will ride that wave too. I guess. 

Anyway, the stress and anxiety of constant worry about things over which I have no control has been a trademark of my time here, but I am learning to let it go. This also leads me more towards a place of solitude—which I’ve been missing. I think this is part of my impatience to have Black Dog Ridge finished and move-in ready. Time to read and write and reflect and read and write some more. With whiskey and wine and cigars of course. And now, Marti the dog.

So for the moment, until the shop is open and the house is done, it will remain a little on the crazy busy side, but the end is in sight on both of those projects. And then I will settle into a more reflective place. Just my one job and perhaps a writing project or two.

Martini is learning to be a dog. Right now she’s 100% pure puppy. But, as any parent will tell you, probably the cleverest and sweetest pup in the world. That’s the nature of raising our own kids and dogs. 

Speaking of martini’s, this week was an excellent vesper. Here at home—with John Price and Mark Knopfler on point for entertainment. I used Ketel One Citroen vodka with Hendrick’s Gin, in equal proportions and served up with blue-cheese olives. World Fucking Class — right here in farm country. Later me and Marti sat outside by the fire. I smoked a cigar and sipped excellent Japanese whiskey while Marti chewed up a beach towel. 

Last week Brittany and I took Marti to Smith & Wollensky and sat on the deck. We had excellent martini’s and Martini laid calmly beside my chair. She was a champ and got herself a few French fries for good behavior. 

We’re getting back into our habit of Sunday family dinners. Last two week’s at Larry’s and this week at Mom’s. It is good. The last Sunday of each month we dedicate to Dutch Oven Cooking.

I rarely watch sport on TV, but this is the season of excellent international rugby and also the Tour de France. Each day I try to catch the Phil Leggett commentated TDF highlights and once a week or so I dial in one of the rugby matches. I keep the tv on one screen while I am chipping away at some administrative task or another. Mostly, recently, getting taxes together. I now have or am part of 5 LLC’s, so lots of paperwork. 

I read a good book about Cassius Clay. Not the fighter, but the mid-19th century Kentucky politician, activist, and  emancipationist who worked tirelessly to abolish slavery. Good book. Very interesting. He was a badass for sure.

Here’s a great passage. 

According to legend, Clay always walked alone down the center aisle of the courtroom or meeting house, carrying his carpetbag. He mounted the dais and faced the hostile crowd. “For those who obey the rules of right, and the sacred truths of the Christian religion, ‘he would say as he held a bible aloft’, “I appeal to this book” — ‘and he would place it on the speaker’s table’. “To those who respect the laws of this country (while taking out a copy of the constitution), this is my authority”, ‘and so saying he set it next to the bible’.  “But to those who recognize only the law of force–” (and here he would bring forth two long-barreled pistols, thumping them down on the table in front of him– and draw his Bowie knife, which he held so that the blade caught the light before he dropped it casually next to the pistols), “for those–here is my defense“.

On two occasions, while speaking out against slavery in Kentucky he had been viciously attacked and both times saved his own life only by the Bowie Knife. In one of those occasions a man put a pistol to his head and pulled the trigger by the gun misfired–so Clay finished him with the knife. 

Like I said, a badass. 

There are some very interesting and relevant passages that seem to foreshadow how the Republican Party evolved from the party of emancipation to the party of Jim Crow.

The social policy carnage continues. Now Roe-v-Wade is gone and states are drawing their lines and battle plans. The pro-lifers are really just after control. If they cared about babies they would commit their energy to making sure women had access to free pre-natal care, and that children had free health care and access to education and reasonable living standards. But they seem to care not (if the GOP platform can be used as a measure) for the health and opportunities of the children. Nor do they seem to care that a women can be shackled for life for a singular decision. SCOTUS also struck down a law allowing states to restrict anyone from carrying a gun in public. The Wild West is now the whole country.

It strikes me as incredibly ironic that we have laws forcing women to have children they don’t want. Punishment to kill people who we deem unfit to live anymore. And laws preventing someone that wants to die from a dignified solution. 

In nearly every facet of American life, we find a way to legislate to the least empathetic option. It’s as if we are trying to make everyone’s life as difficult as possible. This is the influence of religion. Common sense and fun and interesting are bad. Making life difficult and full of suffering is pious.

In the latest Jan 6 insurrection hearing, there was damning testimony by an attractive 26-year old ‘senior aide’ to Mark Meadows, Trump’s Chief of Staff. Aside from the obvious, I wonder what does a 26-year old really has to offer in running government? I wonder if the fact that she was attractive made him pick her, with her zero work and life experience, over someone say, in their 50’s with loads of experience. Unless ‘aide’ means carry my bag. In which case you have to wonder what is the difference between a senior aide and a regular aide. Cup size?

On the other hand, Joe Biden picked Pete Buttgieg, in his 30’s with no federal government experience and no transportation experience to head the multi-billion dollar Transportation department. So obviously a reward for dropping from the presidential primaries in return for a cushy cabinet position. It poisoned me on ole Slow Joe. Of course also his lifetime in government with nothing significant to show for it and his reluctance to stand for real change.

He’s got two feet in the past and is just gazing into the future and appears scared to fucking death of what he sees. 

Things have gotten so bad that we are down to considering Liz Cheney a hero. 

Go America—you’re killing it.

As some clever internet philosopher said, ‘No birthday party for you this year America—you’ve been misbehaving’.

No other news of note.

Humbly submitted.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close