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Monthly Archives: September 2018

This morning, via Facebook, I shared some thoughts on the Kavanaugh US Supreme Court nomination. Facebook’s default text on the Timeline posting box is “What’s on your mind?” Between the sets of asterisks is what I put in the box, and what my friend Laura J Young was kind enough to ask permission to Share. Laura, thanks again, and on your behalf I am sharing with my WordPress followers…

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“What’s on your mind?” The post box asks us. “Doublethink,” the term invented by George Orwell, is on my mind. It is when you know something is false, but at the same time you know that it is true.

Brett Kavanaugh is a fine, decent man. And Brett Kavanaugh is a lowlife and a liar. There is plenty of evidence that he is part of a male culture that likes to sow wild oats, to euphemize, or to have fun and jokes at the expense and to the detriment of women, to be more candid.

Anyone remember Panty Raids? Frat boys being frat boys would invade dorms or sorority houses and steal young women’s panties. But that’s not all they would do. When I was a student at the U of A one frat boy ripped the bedclothes from a woman in her bed, exposing her bare breasts. I am 100% certain that worse things happened during that panty raid. I am also grateful that I was never in a fraternity.

What Kavanaugh did with his testimony was de facto plead guilty to a lesser series of crimes. He pled guilty to liking beer and hating Democrats. He pled guilty to making fun of his farting classmate and he pled guilty, through demonstration, of being a crybaby.

And this enables the doublethinkers of his like-minded colleagues to rush to his defense. It is the same doublethink that allows Trump supporters to excuse truly egregious behavior on his part, including adultery in his current marriage, as “brash.”

The trouble is, bad as panty raids were (are?), something far worse is going on under our noses. A Treasury raid. An Abuse of Power raid. A raid on our environment. An invasion by a hostile foreign power.

Please, dear friends on both sides of the aisle, stop double-thinking. It is killing our country.

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The title of this post is a riff on the Bob Dylan song title “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right.” Though I regret the partisanship revealed by the “Alt-Right” portion of my title, my weakness for bad puns overcame my wish for neutrality. To all you non-Nazi, humanity- and diversity-loving Alt-righters, please accept my sincere apology.

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I’m a sucker for bad puns, so every so often my friend Sandra Snow sends me one by posting on Facebook and tagging me. Her latest was a photo of the classic Dracula, also known as Vlad the Impaler, posing beside a classic Chevy Impala, and the title is Vlad, the Impala.

In acknowledgment I posted three comments:

1)

Straight Outta Vladivostok.

2)

Q: How did the Scottish farmer reply when Vlad the Impaler asked him what part of himself he would least like impaled?

A: “Eye, Vladdie.”

3)

There once was a bad guy named Vlad
Whose penchant for piercing was sad.
Were he now live and free
He would no doubt Spike Lee
And tell Jonze he was next. What a cad!!

Consequently I’ve had Vlad on my mind. The thought occurred–wouldn’t he make a great pitchman for blood donations? So here is a public service announcement for a cause I believe in. It is silly but serious. Please consider donating blood, as I have dozens of times–platelets too, which takes more than an hour but you can do it much more often. You may save a life!

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This page went sideways in more ways than one. At first it was going to be a triple acrostic, most likely built around Fizzler (or perhaps Fiddler), Puzzler, and Dazzler. But when I columnized Puzzler, it occurred to make of the words an end-in-itself structure. Suddenly there was an ambiguous artifact, perhaps of a lifeguard station or a large container or the upper torso of a breastplated, long-dead soldier. Then it needed to be populated. Then tied together…

The result would serve as an illustration to any of dozens of stories. When I look at it I feel a pang of loss for the late great Shel Silverstein.  The stripped-down drawing style and the service to Story remind me of some of the things he did.

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Gold is versatile, being malleable, ductile, and conductive. Its true value might be more in the realm of symbolism, though. Most of us gold-owners want more, feeling better off with each additional acquisition. But there are those for whom a drawerful of Kruggerands is not enough . . .

Here are the words. Note that Ringolevio under slight name variations is a sort of combination of Tag and Hide-and-go-seek, originated in one of the New York City boroughs. Coventry is a place in England that has come to symbolize shunning, banishment, or quarantine.

Coventry’s a game of ring

O-levio with children’s lingo

Linger on the second level

Deviate and be bedeviled

Long ago and very early in his career the underground comics legend Robert Crumb drew a frog looking mournfully at the viewer and saying “‘ ‘Tis sad.” Decades later the President of the United States ended quite a few of his limited-character assessments with the word “Sad.” Crumb has made it clear in more than one of his creations that he regards Donald Trump as a personification of Evil.

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Sam Rockwell is an Academy-Award winning actor. Norman Rockwell was an illustrator who championed civil rights, most famously in a portrait of grade-schooler Ruby Bridges being escorted to a sanctioned-by-law non-segregated class by four hefty enforcers from the U. S. government. In contrast to these two gentlemen, George Lincoln Rockwell was the hate-mongering head of the American Nazi Party in the 1960s. On the laptop screen behind my drawing is a scene from the ROOTS saga featuring Marlon Brando as the Nazi Rockwell, who would have fit right in at that infamous rally in Charlottesville.

Here are the words to the quadruple acrostic:

See, some surnames make it rain and snow
And two fellows with a row to hoe
Make Art crafty on a carousel
And for our emotion’s sake excel

I drew Sam Rockwell from a freeze-frame from WOMAN WALKS AHEAD, starring Jessica Chastain and Michael Greyeyes. I drew Norman Rockwell from the canvas-sketch detail of his “Triple Self-Portrait.” I wouldn’t waste a gram of graphite drawing George Lincoln Rockwell, unless it was absolutely essential to do so for an image’s sake. Turns out it wasn’t in this case, so I cheerfully excluded him.

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The word “woebegone” is self-ironic. And tears leave the body.

Words to the minimal acrostic:

Whence Bardo

Or Omegan

Endgame

Friends, if you are Woebegone, though you may feel like the loneliest person on Earth, you are not alone and you are loved.