The next time you think to yourself, “What can one person do?” remember Nelson Mandela.
Archive for the ‘Bad news’ Category
Nov. 22, 1963, may have been the day when I first realized that all was not as it seemed.
I was sitting in front of my fifth-grade class at Randolph AFB outside San Antonio, reading aloud to the other kids (yes, even at age 9 I had the mellifluous speaking voice we have all come to know and love), when The Authorities announced via loudspeaker that President John Fitzgerald Kennedy had been shot in Dallas.
That was it for school. Stunned, confused, we trudged home and, with the rest of the world, watched on TV as the young president was buried and Vice President Lyndon Baines Johnson sworn in to replace him.
Yeah, right. Replace Jack Kennedy. Like that could ever happen.
Forget everything you’ve learned about him since. For a 9-year-old Irish-American, JFK was as good as it got. Like my old man, he’d been in the war; like me, JFK was a swimmer. “PT 109″ sailed well ahead of “The Ten Commandments” in my personal mythology, and “Profiles in Courage” may have been the first work of non-fiction that I ever read.
JFK wasn’t some baldheaded old warhorse like President Eisenhower, or a sweaty, shifty-eyed rodent like Richard M. Nixon — he was young, and brash, and when he went eyeball to eyeball with the Commies, guess who blinked first? Nikita Khrushchev and Fidel Castro, that’s who. Made it a little easier to crouch under the desk during duck-and-cover drills, knowing that Jack had our back.
Then, in a wink of an eye, he was dead. Gone. And some jug-eared Texican was calling himself the president. LBJ used Randolph as a landing strip whenever he had a hankerin’ to visit the ranch, and we went to see him a time or two, but it felt like bullshit to me. This guy was the president? Says fuckin’ who?
In the October-November issue of AARP The Magazine, Bob Schieffer recalls covering the assassination as night police reporter for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. He likens the transition from Eisenhower to Kennedy to a key scene in “The Wizard of Oz.”
Remember how the movie started out in black-and-white, and then Dorothy opens her front door into this vibrant Technicolor? That’s how I think of the Kennedy administration. He brought style and grace, and inspired a generation to do something for their country.
I’ll carry that a step further. The assassination of John F. Kennedy revealed to some of us, for the first time, that there is a man behind the curtain, a shadowy, furtive figure that warrants our close and undivided attention, no matter what the Wizard says up front.
And while the Wizard loves to work his magic in rich, warm colors, the world often shows itself to us most truly in stark black and white.
• Editor’s note: As you might expect, Charles P. Pierce has some thoughts on this subject, too.
Git yore goldurned big-gummint paws off’n my Army, Air Force and Navy! Don’t you know we got a football game this weekend?
It’s rare that an upcoming trip to Sin City feels like a vacation in the making, but sheeeeeeeeyit, will I ever be glad to get the hell away from business as usual for a week.
You read the news this morning? Having shit the bed on Syria, the White House has turned to a Russian laundry to clean up the mess. An anonymous dossier makes Pat McQuaid look like Leo O’Bannion from “Miller’s Crossing.” Turnout is expected to be heavy as Bibleburg decides whether to recall Sen. John Morse for offending the penis-extension segment of the electorate, whose idea of a full magazine is decidedly not The New Yorker.
So, yeah. A nice long drive through the desert to clear the head (with the radio off); a few days of wandering about unfettered in Santa’s Workshop; eating meals I don’t have to cook — it all sounds like a little slice of heaven to me.
I’ll be providing daily updates from the show — or that’s the plan, anyway — so keep the dial tuned to WDOG for the latest and greatest from the Mandalay Bay Convention Center once the doors open a week from tomorrow.
Don’t expect me to come home with any $519 bibs, though. If that’s not an invitation to stack it on a rocky trail I never saw one.
Bad news, if you haven’t already heard it: Dale Stetina has been hospitalized following a hard crash in Boulder’s Lefthand Canyon, apparently while trying to avoid an unpredictable motorist.
Dale, 57, is one of the legendary names in cycling on this side of the pond — a multiple national champion, a record-holder at the Mount Washington Hillclimb, a two-time winner of the Coors Classic, and twice a member of the U.S. Olympic team.
Steve Tilford has been in touch with the family, and the word sounds grim, but everyone’s continuing to hope for the best. Please give a thought to Dale, his friends and his family as you enjoy your holiday weekend, and stay safe out there.
It’s just the latest in a series of beatings the town has had to take over the past couple of years, beginning with the Waldo Canyon fire, which scoured the surrounding area of vegetation, turned Williams Canyon and Highway 24 into a freeway for water and ash-laden mud, and made an open sewer of Manitou, particularly Canon Avenue.
The storm was bad enough here, with 25-mph winds lashing heavy rain at us sidearm style. The good news is, I caught a trout in the front yard. Didn’t even need to unlimber the old rod and reel. I threw him a Bible, and when he turned to Genesis to see when Noah was due, I shot him with the Mini-Thirty.
Outrage repeated ad infinitum is like an overlong intervals session. At some point you come up off the saddle and then sit right back down.
I’m not even in the saddle for the news about Stuart O’Grady and the rest of them from 1998. I’m back at the house, with the bike on its hook, and looking longingly at that unopened bottle of Bushmills in the kitchen. My performance-enhancer of choice for longer than I care to remember, even if I could.
So, instead of me struggling to gin up an anemic burstlet of apoplexy, how ’bout we take a trip down memory lane to August 2007, when “Friday’s Foaming Rant” still bestrode the narrow cycling world like a Colossus?
Tattoo shops? Sure. Massage parlors? No prob’. Adult bookstores? You betcha. Predatory lenders, pawn shops and payday-loan outfits? Why not? Grog shops, alehouses and “smoker friendly” death merchants? Damn’ straight.
But retail marijuana sales? Hell, no. Are you nuts? That’s a jobs-killer, man!
Uh, Mr. Mayor? Can we have a hit off whatever it is that you’re smoking? We’re gonna need an appetite to choke down all this pie in the sky you and your developer pals are pushing on us.
It’s Monday. Know how I can tell? There’s a plumber in the driveway and my Visa card just spontaneously combusted.
One of the few downsides to living in an old neighborhood like ours is that the plumbing is even older than the residents. I think Hammurabi laid the original pipe, and the Romans handled most of the maintenance (But other than that, what have the Romans ever done for us?) until the Vandals came along and ensured that the pumps would no longer work by appropriating the handles.
Anyway, the lone bathtub at The House Back East™ has become something of a wading pond, and a plumber is over there panning for gold as we speak. I expect he’ll find some.
Judas Priest. More fires. Not in the immediate vicinity this time, but we’re sure as shit getting the smoke.
This is worse than anything the Black Forest fire threw at us (well, down here by Chez Dog, anyway). The Gazette says this cloud is either from a fire near Wolf Creek Pass or another going on in Jefferson County. Others are burning in Huerfano County near the Spanish Peaks, Cañon City, up by Rangely … gonna be a long, hot summer, folks.
The prevailing wisdom at the moment is that these are lightning-caused. So I’d like to know whether the NSA has been monitoring God’s communications, and when we can expect an arrest.