Archive for December 9th, 2010

Don’t You Weep

Aretha Franklin has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Generally, such a diagnosis is not good. Generally, it indicates a fairly fast, in the end agonized, shuffling off this mortal coil.

When it happens—soon, or 100 years from soon—it shall be a strain and a trial and a frightful and fearful thing, her consciousness taking leave of her corporeal container. It shall be a great and unalterable wrong, as is all suffering, as is every death, all proof positive that the mysterious manufacturer bequeathed to us a flawed and capricious, senseless and sad, cruel and lacking, impenetrable puzzle of a world.

But in her singing, through her soul, Aretha Franklin ofttimes raised even Jesus from the dead.

he got up
walkin’ like a natural man
yes he did

Surely, then, someday, surely every day, he—we—shall do the same for her.

Baby It’s Cold Outside

There is currently a record cold snap in central and south Florida, which is just Wrong.

I mean, if you choose to live in some place like Buffalo, New York, or Icepick, Minnesota, or even up the road here in Quincy, you have to expect that December temperatures will be, well, December temperatures.

But not in Florida. No. Because that is the tropics. That is the Caribbean. Even in December, one should be able to live like a decent human being there, instead of a beast hunkered down in the cold in a cave.

But no. Not now. Now, down in Florida, fish are dying, manatees are huddled around power plants, pets are being ordered indoors, fruits and vegetables are shivering, helicopters are crashing as they attempt to warm crops in the Everglades, houses are catching on fire, people are being forced to wear pants and shoes, and in Miami a man waiting in line at a McDonald’s, cold in the brisk morning air, thrust his hands into his pockets to warm them, and there inadvertently pulled the trigger of his .22 derringer, shooting himself in the leg.

[Rafael Ubeda] said no one in line with him reacted, but the manager of the restaurant asked him to leave, so he did. The manager then followed Ubeda out to the parking lot, got a description of his vehicle, and reported the incident to the Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies stopped the car about six miles south. Detective Mike Wilkinson responded and was interviewing Ubeda when he noticed blood on the man’s pants leg. Ubeda was not aware of the fact that he’d shot himself in the leg.

Paramedics took him to Mariner’s Hospital, where he was treated for his injury. Ubeda will not be charged in connection with the accidental discharge of his firearm because Florida law requires the discharge of a firearm to be done “knowingly” in order for it to result in an arrest[.]

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I Feel Unusual

Sunday was my brother’s birthday. He and we don’t celebrate it in the traditional way anymore, because he’s gone beyond, to the place of forever young.

I’ve written about him some on this blog, including here (as a person violently opposed to “Good Morning Starshine”), here (as a land-locked pirate), here (as a master of language), here (as a sage farmer), and here (a story that is a sort of bent kaleidoscope, presenting his views on matters ranging from white people to television sets, Elvis Presley to Rush Limbaugh, shotguns to two-headed catfish).

Last year for his birthday I posted here one of his favorite pieces of music, the first movement from Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony. This year I thought I’d post something from one of his favorite films, Withnail And I. But this has proved something of a struggle, because the cretins at YouTube are in the midst of one of their periodic spasms of content blockage. Such nonsense. I mean, what, really, is the use of that place, if not as a vast repository of stuff for people like me to browse through and steal?

Maybe it’s Good that my brother did not live into the era of YouTube. For presented with these sorts of frustrations, he was known to resort to his .12 gauge. Many computer screens, if he had lived, might have been blasted across the land. My brother once hurled a television-set into a rice bog because people on it were lying to him. Jeebus knows what he might have done with a machine occupied by ditherers like these clowns at YouTube, who can’t decide from one week to the next what of theirs it is permissible to Rob, and what it is not.

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When I Worked

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