We are all unique. But most of us spend our lives as a cluster of dots on a graph, never entirely overlapping with anyone else, never really drifting free from the crowd.
Then there are the outliers: the folks who offer beauty and fire and sadness and insanity. The flowers in the garden. They reinforce our individuality by emphasizing their own. They take the pavement we give them and shade it with haystacks and sunflowers. They take the road and give it a place to go.
It has always been this way, and no one remembers a time when there was no snow. If all the snow were subtracted from the world, there would be nothing. Nothing but a beating heart yearning for snow. Snow is our essence. It is our fiber. It surrounds us, sustains us, mothers us, and overwhelms us. It grants us life. It steals our hopes, our dreams, our desires, and replaces them with snow.
The opening synthesizer riff of “Wonderful Christmastime,” symbolic of the song’s late-‘70s production era in the same way air raid sirens are symbolic of World War II, serves as kind of an early warning signal: “change the station,” it calls out. “Change the station before Paul lets us know that ‘the moon is right.’” And we do. Yet radio keeps playing it and shopping malls slather us in its goo as if doing so isn’t just one more excuse to shop online.
It would be shocking, really, to consider that the guy who gave us “Live and Let Die” and “Maybe I’m Amazed”—and who was at least 25 percent of The Beatles—managed to scribble out, record, and actually release a song containing such lyrical damage as “The choir of children sing their song / ding dong, ding dong / ding dong, ding / ohhhh / ohhhhhhh,” and the phrase “simply having a wonderful Christmastime” repeated 75 times. Until, of course, you realize that Paul McCartney is the evil genius behind “Let ‘Em In” and “Silly Love Songs.” He’s also the guy who stole Stevie Wonder’s mojo—an artistic assault with a deadly weapon from which the latter has yet to recover, three decades later.
Clearly, although Sir Paul is a Music Legend with a Ton of Talent, he’s not infallible. “Wonderful Christmastime” serves as an argument in favor of middle management, because someone expendable needs to be able to tell the cash cow, “No.” Continue Reading
A friend of mine who is also an NRA member once asked me, “If all your neighbors had guns, wouldn’t you feel safer?
I laughed out loud at the thought. Everyone in my neighborhood could kill me at a distance and that’s supposed to make me feel safer? I don’t think so. Beating each other with fists seems much more civilized, and I’d rather nurse a black eye in a pub than bleed out in the emergency room.
Don’t think I’ll ever understand the gun thing. And you know what? I’m fine with that.
I don’t know much about what happened the night of Feb. 26, 2012. I don’t know if anyone was a racist and I don’t give a crap about the skin color of those involved. I don’t know if one party was acting suspiciously or who decided to initiate a confrontation. I don’t know if one guy smoked weed or wanted to watch a game with his dad, or if one was a good family man or a tough guy with a gun. I don’t know about Stand Your Ground or Castle Doctrine or any of the other legal mumbo jumbo lawyers like to throw around.
What I do know is this: an armed civilian reported that he saw someone “suspicious” and was told by the dispatcher to leave the situation to the police. And there’s almost no scenario in which George Zimmerman follows those instructions and Trayvon Martin ends up dead.
A couple of videos from my Fourth of July. And what did you do?
In all seriousness, I can’t post this without saying that the staff at Trapeze School New York – Chicago was the best. The absolute best. Climbing 20-some feet in the air to swing from your knees—even with a tether and a net—involves a certain level of trust, and Jason, Birgit, and Scott were fun, cool, totally professional, and you can tell they enjoy what they do. Thank you!
Little video some of us put together at work. Don’t worry if you don’t understand it. It’s promoting an employee recognition program and that’s probably all the background you need. I recorded the vocals and play “Ryan Petecrest.”
It’s a simple enough idea—arguably the mantra of libertarians everywhere—and as rules of thumb go, it’s a pretty good one. After all, the argument says, in a free country I can swing my arms all I want, as long as I don’t hit your nose.
For me, it’s difficult not to apply this simple folk aphorism to the debate about gay marriage, which became turbocharged this week when President Obama waded in and (some would say finally) declared his support for the idea.
I have to dismiss many of what could be termed impact-on-society arguments here, because let’s be frank, most are ridiculous. Some people say allowing men to marry men will destroy the institution of marriage, as if a divorce rate somewhere north of 40 percent for first-time marriages hasn’t already done that. As one friend recently stated, “I believe that marriage is one of the most beautiful and sacred things to ever be offered as a prize on a game show.” Continue Reading