Archive for December, 2012

New Year resolution? None.

December 31, 2012 5 comments

New-YearI forget them as soon as I make them, so what would be the point? One day at a time or even one hour at a time is how we can best deal with things, on our terms, with the unavoidable bumps and mistakes. To what specific area should I turn my attention? Well, there’s the crucial and ongoing effort of jettisoning clutter. That includes people guilty of one or more of the three unforgivable sins: rudeness, arrogance, and stupidity. It also includes cleaning out cabinets and rooms and closets that keep on filling up no matter how little I acquire. And the more insidious clutter of thoughts, the absurd spurts of anger, the repetitive longing for what didn’t happen, the crippling sense of incompetence or failure, and the projects too grandiose to come to fruition. Also, throwing out poisonous memories to keep only the good ones, those that spread a pleasant glow inside me as my fireplace with its just-swept chimney does inside the house. Read more…


Who are these people?

December 23, 2012 3 comments

christmas newsletter‘Tis the time to be jolly…and puzzled. At the risk of showing my inner Grinch, I’ll confess to not being as cheered as I should be by holiday wishes. It wasn’t always the case. I used to love receiving them as much as sending them, as long as they were on actual cards. Now, things have gradually gone south so that where the mantelpiece above my fireplace could barely hold the innumerable cards, it’s almost empty. I still get good wishes, sure, the generic lines entered on a virtual card—wintery landscapes enhanced by cute sleighbell music—and emailed to the sender’s entire mailing list. Or, occasionally, a customized card, still electronic, or, even more customized, an email to me as the sole recipient. Read more…

Of the two Americas, I love and admire only one

December 16, 2012 15 comments

assault weaponsBecause there are two, clearly defined and quite separate. Aware of the difficulty of reducing people and society to a few bullet points, I’ll still forge ahead. No apologies. I’ve been sickened enough over the last few years and particularly in the bruising electoral cycle we’ve just been subjected to by the sorry spectacle of red America—bigotry, pig-headedness, tea-party extremism, the poison distilled by Rush, Bill and co., the running amok of the “gun- and Bible-toting” simpletons denounced by Obama in a rare un-pc statement. I feel personally insulted that a Sarah Palin could become an icon for a benighted part of the population, this in a country with the highest percentage anywhere of extraordinary brain power. Read more…

Egyptian Spring, unraveling

December 7, 2012 5 comments

egyptian anchorwomanRaise your hand if you thought a Muslim Brotherhood-led government was a viable solution for Egypt. From the minute bearded Morsi oh so politely strode upon the world scene, from the minute he cleaned up the military until then considered untouchable, from the minute he put his head-scarfed female journalists on national Egyptian TV, one could guess where this was going. What will it take for the world to understand that no religious tenets can ever, ever replace government, let alone Islam’s? Even the Obama administration for whom Egypt can do no harm as long as it more or less heeds its uneasy 1979 peace with Israel should recognize this. Read more…

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