Saturday, December 26, 2009

Oh, and this?

Oh, and this?

I thought we were fighting them over there so we wouldn't have to fight them over here. I thought war and killing was supposed to make us safer. I thought we were going through all this to make our world a better place. That was what all this was about, right? We're going to make the world safe for democracy, isn't that it?

War never makes anything better.

Only The Lonely

TTBOOK had another great program this week, this time about loneliness. You can take the UCLA Loneliness scale test here, if you want. I scored a 29.

I've never really had friends as an adult. I know a fair amount of people, but in terms of people I would ask to pick me up at the airport? Other than my wife? None. Not a sausage. This bothers me sometimes. It seems deeply abnormal, but I don't know how to change it. I don't know how to be someone's friend. I don't remember what it feels like.

Ten Songs About Loneliness

1. Roy Orbison, "Only The Lonely"
2. Jackie Wilson, "Lonely Teardrops"
3. Ray Charles, "Lonely Avenue"
4. Paul McCartney, "Lonely Road"
5. Eric Clapton, "Lonely Stranger"
6. The Beatles, "Lonesome Tears In My Eyes"
7. Live, "I, Alone"
8. The Eagles, "The Sad Cafe"
9. Billy Joel, "The Stranger"
10. Pearl Jam, "Alone"

Friday, December 25, 2009

Jesus Loves Health Reform

Matthew 25: 35-46

[35] For I was hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

[36] Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

[37] Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

[38] When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

[39] Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

[40] And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

[41] Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

[42] For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

[43] I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

[44] Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

[45] Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

Two Great Books

I finished Lorrie Moore's "A Gate at the Stairs", and it was gobsmackingly good. She is breathtaking. I read "Birds of America" back when everyone else read it, but I haven't, for no particular reason, read anything else of hers.

I just started Steven L. Carter's 2nd most recent book, "Palace Council". Years ago, I read his first two-"New England White" and "The Emperor of Ocean Park", and he is really a terrific author. He writes thrillers, but very intellectual ones.

I hope everybody (by which I mean, all 12 of you) had a lovely holiday.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

A Charlie Pierce story, ten years old but no less relevant, about how the drive to cut down on government waste can hurt real people.

God Bless Us, Everyone.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I saw a wonderful television program-Spectacle, with Elvis Costello hosting a group of musicians. They play their own songs, and Elvis' songs, and just generally talk about music and songwriting. The one I caught was with Sheryl Crow and 3 other people I should probably have heard of, and I really enjoyed it. I know Sheryl Crow is kind of, I don't know, commercial and hackneyed-but I like her, and I really enjoyed watching her reinterpret her work with Costello playing with her.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Tangled Up In Blue

I first heard this song driving home from a girl's house, at an absurdly early hour. It was someone I had talked myself into being with, mostly because I didn't want to be alone. I think I knew this, all the way through the relationship, and I never said anything. After we broke up, I remember slamming the door on my car so hard I shattered the window. Did you know you could do that? I didn't until that day.

I treated her poorly, and I have always regretted it. She deserved better.

For some reason, this song always reminds me of her, even though we never heard it together.

Brittany Murphy

Actress Brittany Murphy has died. Twitter pretty much exploded with the news, while I, only having access to Twitter at the time, was forced to ask myself, "Who is Brittany Murphy?" I'm terrible at recognizing actresses and actors. Whenever my wife and I watch a movie with a number of characters in it, I separate the actors into two groups: the ones I know, and the others. For example, Ang Lee's "Sense and Sensibilty" stars Hugh Grant, Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, and a bunch of people who are not Grant, Thompson, or Rickman.

So I had to come home and look up Ms. Murphy, and it turns out the only projects of hers I have seen are Fox' "King of the Hill" and the film "Clueless". I saw Clueless, but this is the only part of Clueless I can remember:

Which I love for the line, "Girlie, I'm the Messiah of the DMV." And she's not in that scene. Ms. Murphy was 32, and there is tons of speculation that her death involved drugs or anorexia, which is sensible at least as far as it is rare for 32 year old people to suddenly suffer cardiac arrest. It doesn't, in the end, matter what killed her because she's gone. Dying young, though, she may get a Heath Ledger/Marilyn Monroe sort of halo effect, making the work she did better than it was because she'll never get the chance to turn 46 and play the mom on a sitcom about two wacky teenage twins.It's a shame that she's gone, though, because people will miss her. Eventually, she will be only the sum of her work, the series of characters she played and the impression she made on audiences. Which is too bad, but it sure beats not being remembered at all.