Month: July 2006

“Hey, Those Guys Are Pretty Good.”

“A Berlin opera house is encouraging audience members to smoke cannabis joints during its latest production.” You know, in case, like, the show isn’t very good.

About the title of this post:

In his act, . . . Martin makes a passing reference to [his drug using] period. “I’m not into drugs,” he confides. “I used to be … In the old days everybody’d get stoned. People would be watching me … and they’d be going [takes a long, simulated drag]… Hey … those guys are pretty good.”

Read the rest

The Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame

I went Saturday. It was very cool. A few notes, in no particular order:

Remember that the subject matter is cool, but it’s still a museum. If you don’t like museums (looking at things through glass, then trying to read the little descriptions below), you might not like this. They have quite a few audio and video and audio/visual stops, though, which are pretty neat. If you have any eye troubles whatsoever, take a pair of binoculars. Some of the descriptions are real hard to read.

The basement is a circle, with rooms in the middle. It starts with the early influences (Mississippi Delta) and ends with more recent stuff (I can’t remember the exact exhibit). The circle is kind of in chronological order, but not completely (the Jimi Hendrix exhibit is one of the last ones you come to, and there’s obviously been a lot of rock-n-roll after him).

What struck me most is that the bulk of the artifacts surround the years 1964 to 1974. I guess it makes sense, since a ton of stuff happened during those ten years (Beatles and Stones, psychedelic, peace and love, the arrival of the full concert (with pyrotechnics and stuff), punk, folk music, start-up of Rolling Stone magazine), but I’d never thought of it that way, until I noticed that (I’m guessing) half of the basement deals with those ten years alone.

Anyway, if you’re in the Cleveland area, it’s well worth the $20 and the trip. If you’re with a friend, buy a membership. It cost me $50, and it came with two free passes (value: $40), plus a t-shirt, lunch tote bag, decal, a … Read the rest

Something for Sunday Morning

When a man is always occupied with the cravings of desire and ambition, and is eagerly striving to satisfy them, all his thoughts must be mortal, and, as far as is possible altogether to become such, he must be mortal every whit, because he has cherished his mortal part. But he who has been earnest in the love of knowledge and of true wisdom, and has exercised his intellect more than any other part of him, must have thoughts immortal and divine, if he attain truth, and in so far as human nature is capable of sharing in immortality, he must altogether be immortal.

Plato… Read the rest

The Weekend Eudemon

The House that Rock Built. The Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. That’s my destination this morning. My wife is the godmother of a newborn little girl. The family is in Cleveland, so we’re going to make a day trip out of it and check out a few sites. I’ll try to post some pictures tomorrow.

Of course, blogging will be light. It’s been a rough summer, travel-wise. Every weekend except one from mid-June to mid-August requires me to travel at least three hours (one way). And the one weekend I didn’t have to travel? I had out-of-town company. Combine this with a busy summer at the office, and it’s a wonder I blog at all. It’s a wonder I do anything. I’ve scarcely read anything, and I’ve written nothing.

At one point in my life, I read and read and read: philosophy, theology, history, literature. I grappled with Aquinas and Pascal. I bought the 54-volume Great Books series and figured I would read it by age 40. Now, all that’s gone, and I’m reminded of George Santayana’s poem about the scholarly life and marriage:

I cannot part from what I prize
For all I prize is in my head;
My fancies are the fields and skies
I will not change till I am dead,
Unless indeed I lose my wits
Or (what is much the same thing) wed.

Am I complaining? Perhaps. Am I unhappy? I don’t think so. Am I resigned? For the most part, but it’s a melancholy kind of resignation. Thing is, each individual event is fine: I like a family vacation, I like to attend weddings, I’m happy to make … Read the rest

Brews You Can Use II

Imported beers are gaining market share in the Midwest, the heartland of American brewing. Link. The homeland brewers are nervous. Maybe if they weren’t cranking out the likes of Budweiser, the better beers from Europe would make inroads.

All right, that’s a low blow against Budweiser, but I thoroughly dislike that phenom of mass marketing. … Read the rest

Brews You Can Use

The First Baptist Church of Hampton Falls, NH, has a beer bottle on top of the steeple. According to the locals: A brewery owner donated $50,000 to build the church with the condition that everyone was to know he donated it. The church, worrying about the morality of accepting money from such a sinful source, agreed.

Go check out the story yourself. I’m not sure I see the beer bottle (which is odd, since I see beer bottles everywhere).

Thanks, A Gentle Fuss. … Read the rest

Of Course It’s Boring

Interesting piece by Helen Kirwan-Taylor, a mother/writer who says her children bore her. The later article makes a few decent points (I, too, don’t know why “good” parents have to attend every blasted sporting, band, or artistic event; moreover, I detest it when parents try to bring their children to adult functions), but her points revolve around this:

Invitations to attend a child’s birthday party or, worse, a singalong session were met with the same refrain: ‘I would love to but I just can’t spare the time.’

The nanny was dispatched in my place, and almost always returned complaining that my son had been singled out for pitiful stares by the other mothers.

I confess that I was probably ogling the merchandise at Harvey Nichols or having my highlights done instead. Of course I love my children as much as any mother, but the truth is I found such events so boring that I made up any excuse.

I can’t say which activity I dreaded more: playing Pass The Parcel at parties with a child who permanently crawled away from the action towards the priceless knick-knacks, or listening to the other mothers go on about such excitements as teething and potty-training. Mind-numbing!

To be honest, I spent much of the early years of my children’s lives in a workaholic frenzy because the thought of spending time with them was more stressful than any journalistic assignment I could imagine.

Kids are supposed to be fulfilling, life-changing, life-enhancing fun: why was my attitude towards them so different?

While all my girlfriends were dropping important careers and occupying their afternoons with cake baking, I was begging the nanny

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Gay Clinton

I’m not an Ann Coulter fan. I don’t dislike her, but I don’t watch her on TV, read her articles or books, or follow her career moves. She’s just a non-entity for me, kinda like Unitarianism. I found these remarks about Bill Clinton interesting, though. She thinks he might have some level of latent homosexuality.

Now, her reasoning (such as we can discern from the dialogue) isn’t great, and I’m wholly unconvinced that Clinton is at all gay, but she’s onto something when she talks about his “bathhouse” ways. If he’s as promiscuous as he appears to be, he shares something with the gay culture: intense selfishness that manifests itself in a sexual way. It’s also a type of self-obsession that can lead a heterosexual to try homosexuality. Pete Townsend comes to mind, and I’m also reminded of the rumors about Mick Jagger’s experiment with homosexuality. I don’t think Townsend and Jagger are gay, but when you spend 20 years experimenting with every sort of depravity, it gets old after awhile, so you’re more inclined to try something else. … Read the rest